Content Marketing for Nonprofits Part 1
September 15, 2016 Lynette Garet Marketing 0 Comment
Content Marketing: Every Nonprofit Organization Should Have a Written Plan
Content marketing has become an essential element of any well-rounded business and marketing plan, and nonprofit organizations are not exempt from the rule. However, social media, e-newsletters, email blasts and drip campaigns, blogs, white papers, articles, and websites can create a tremendous drain on your most valuable resources: time and money. For that reason, it is vital that every content marketing strategy be planned out in writing.
The Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 survey found that only 25 percent of respondents actually have a written content marketing plan, even though nearly all (92 percent) respondents used content marketing, and more than two-thirds of the nonprofits surveyed have dedicated staff to oversee creation and distribution. However, keeping content flowing through various distribution platforms is often a seat-of-the-pants arrangement, leaving staff scrambling.
Obstacles to content development
As mentioned above, it takes time and money to develop content. Other obstacles include an inability to produce engaging content, as well as an inability to measure content effectiveness. Regularly updated content helps boost the search engine rankings but posting because it’s “posting day” on Facebook isn’t really helping if you don’t have something to say that’s new and fresh. Sure, campaign updates can help feed the flow, but impactful stories and pictures, infographics don’t just pop up on the screen—somebody has to create them. That means someone has to have the time and information, as well as an understanding of the organization’s overall objective, to decide what works and what doesn’t.
Why it needs to be a written plan
A written plan is a point of reference for the entire organization, from the board to the person answering the telephone and opening the mail. It tells each one where your nonprofit is going, how it’s going to get there, and how it’s going to look when it arrives. A written plan provides every stakeholder with:
- Practical and measurable ways to achieve goals
- Specific guidelines for resource allocation
- Clear understanding of desired impact
Your content marketing plan represents the focused agreement of every stakeholder in your nonprofit. It keeps your strategic goalposts firmly planted despite the tides of change—in personnel, resources, and circumstances. Just as the old saying goes about changing horses, it’s hard to make progress if current thinking is in flux.
The end result
A solid content marketing plan will make it easier to time campaign themes, as well as spotlight, inspire and impassion your supporters. Your plan will help curate content for reuse in other distribution channels and help you work smarter, not harder, to be more effective. Your groundwork will build teamwork, connect your nonprofit to your constituents, and strengthen your entire organization.
Stay tuned for Part II, where we’ll look at how to develop a written plan.