4 Questions to Answer Before Creating a Nonprofit Content Marketing Strategy
Do you have a successful nonprofit content marketing strategy? Running a successful nonprofit requires budgeting effectively and justifying every expense. This reality makes it even more surprising that in a recent survey of nonprofit marketers approximately 49 percent said they could not demonstrate how content marketing has improved fundraising efforts and 35 percent couldn’t say whether content initiatives have increased donations or sales.
There is no denying that content has a critical role in the success of a nonprofit—so, why do nonprofit marketers struggle to communicate the value of their content efforts?
Failure to Create a Nonprofit Content Marketing Strategy
Content Marketing Institute suggests that the main reason nonprofits struggle to justify their content marketing efforts is that they do not have a thorough strategy or content marketing plan in place before they start.
In fact, 74 percent of nonprofit marketers surveyed did not have a documented content marketing strategy, 62 percent were not measuring content ROI and 41 percent did not align their content objectives with the nonprofit’s goals.
It’s easy to see how important a content marketing strategy is for nonprofits. Below are four questions to answer before you create a nonprofit content marketing strategy.
What Are Your KPIs?
To assess the success or failure of your various content initiatives, you first need to define content marketing key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are data that nonprofits can use to measure the effectiveness of strategic activities against organizational goals.
For instance, website traffic might be a KPI for content marketers. To measure that KPI, you could look at total traffic volume, traffic sources and quality of your traffic. By tracking and comparing these metrics over time, you will be able to make reasonable assumptions as to the effectiveness of your content efforts.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Defining your target audience is one of the most important steps when creating a content marketing strategy. Because every nonprofit is different, there is no sweeping answer to defining your target audience. The best place to start is to look at the various human resource groups within your organization—including but not limited to your:
- Strategic Partners
As you can see, there are several subsets of an audience, and each group has their own motivating factors for engaging with your nonprofit. These different audiences need to be taken into consideration when crafting your content strategy, with the emphasis placed on the audience that most closely relates to your organization’s needs and goals.
For instance, if your nonprofit relies on volunteers to accomplish strategic objectives, then you should prioritize creating content that engages and motivates volunteers to support your cause. This might include video testimonials from other volunteers describing the joy and sense of purpose they feel when volunteering for your organization or detailed stories about your cause and the impact that one volunteer can make. Knowing your target audience will help you create better, more relevant content.
Where Will Your Onsite Content Live?
The onsite content architecture is an often-overlooked detail of a nonprofit content marketing strategy. Because most nonprofits have different target audiences, you may want to segment your website into defined silos that make it easy for website visitors to navigate to the area of your site that is most relevant to their needs and interest. Moreover, clearly defined sections of a website with similar content topics can help you improve your organic rankings for relevant search terms.
Deciding on the onsite content architecture was one of the biggest considerations we made when creating Great’s content marketing plan. We have ambitious goals for Great, a next-generation charity project, to not just focus on philanthropy, but to use content initiatives to be a catalyst for change in one’s personal and professional life. As a result, we intend to flesh out content for specific silos related to our different audiences and objectives.
How Can You Maximize the Value of Your Content?
Because nonprofits need to justify every expense, it’s important to stretch the value of your content investments. To increase your content marketing ROI, consider implementing the following tactics into your content marketing strategy.
- Promote your content: Content marketing is more than simply posting an article on your website and hoping others will find it. To maximize your ROI, create a strategic outreach and promotion plan to share your content with relevant audiences across earned, owned and paid channels.
- Repurpose your content: Repurposing content is a tactic by which you take one original resource and modify it to create multiple pieces of content. This strategy will help you maximize the value of your content by providing you with multiple assets from one initial investment.
- Collaborate on co-branded content: If you want to optimize the value of your content, consider finding a strategic partner with whom you can collaborate. Co-branded content is when two or more organizations work together to produce a piece of content—such as an eBook, podcast or article. Not only is co-branded content more affordable, but it also gives you the opportunity to reach a larger audience through cross-promotion.
Nonprofit content marketing can drive branding initiatives, increase donations, improve volunteer acquisition rates and generate strategic partnership opportunities. However, before you start creating content, you need first to create a plan. Consider the four questions above as you start mapping out your nonprofit’s content marketing strategy.