You make a lot of content. That’s what communications staff do. But are you using that content well? Are you fully implementing a content marketing strategy?
To go from plain ol’ content to content marketing, you need to do two things:
First, put that content into a format people will find attractive and relevant.
Second, use that content to further your nonprofit’s marketing objectives. That could be building trust or influence, retaining donors, improving SEO for your website, or building your email list, for example.
When You Have Lots of Content That Few People Use
Let’s say your organization has a lot of technical content on a particular subject, whether it’s early childhood education, a rare disease, or saving the bees. You put out a lot of content, but you are really just talking to the same people all the time. They might read it, but there’s no indication that anything else is happening due to that content.
How could you change the format of that content to attract new people? Or how could you change the format of that content to motivate new behaviors in people already reading it?
First, let’s look at some different approaches to content format.
The format can include the length of the content, how visual it is, and the style and tone of the writing. But also think about format more broadly.
What format would work best for someone just learning about your issue? Perhaps a FAQ? Or a Top 5 list? Or 3 Steps to Take When . . . ? How about a checklist? Or a resource guide?
Or perhaps you want to attract people who are more experienced with your topic and might need more challenging content. In that case, you might work with your experts on creating opinion pieces that challenge conventional wisdom or project future trends.
When You Aren’t Sure if the Content Is Working
Along with your format decisions, you need to think about how that content will be delivered and how to measure that delivery against your objectives.
For example, if you are list building, how are you using the content to attract people and encourage them to give you their email addresses?
If you have a Top 10 List, perhaps you share three items openly but require registration for the full list of ten.
If you are working on search engine optimization, you’ll need several pieces of content related to your topic that you and others can link to frequently. FAQs and explainer videos are great content formats for SEO objectives.
Don’t just stop at making content. Really think about what you want that content to produce. Then, you’ll be on your way to real content marketing results.
Want to learn more? I’ve written an entire book about nonprofit content marketing!