Every nonprofit communicator should have a list of what we call Core Topics or the topics you want to be known for and that you will talk about often in your content marketing strategy.
Let’s say you have a list of 5-10 core topics. How do you decide when to talk about each one of them? When does Topic A get more attention than Topic B? You can’t talk about everything all the time, so you need to sort out what makes the most sense.
Here are a few ways to do that.
What’s Most Relevant Right Now?
Always think about how your core topics fit into what’s happening in the world around you, and especially how the people on your lists are experiencing that world.
Which of your core topics are most relevant right now? We define relevance as rewarding, realistic, real-time, responsive, revealing, and/or refreshing.
Also, look at the bigger picture as you plan your editorial calendar. Where do specific topics make the most sense on your Big Picture Communications Timeline for the year?
If you need help seeing trends over the course of weeks or months, Google Trends is a great place to start. I also love Google Search Console, which can give you a sense for how the search traffic to your website fluctuates for different terms. For example, through Google Search Console, we learned that “how to raise awareness” brings a lot of traffic to our website around this time of year and again in late October/early November.
What Supports Upcoming Calls to Action?
Think about what you’ll be asking people to do in the coming weeks or months. If your fundraising appeal will be on Topic B next month, then talking about Topic B this month makes sense. Sharing content now can prime the pump for your later asks.
What Supports Your Current Story Arcs?
This is really a combination of the first two questions but think about the larger story you are trying to tell. What topics make sense to talk about in the beginning, middle, and end of that story arc?
If you aren’t able to put your core topics into a reasonable order based on the previous questions, I recommend going with what’s easiest. Don’t make your work life any harder than it has to be!
Here are some additional posts that might help too:
P.S. There’s a whole chapter on Core Topics in my Content Marketing for Nonprofits book.