Though content marketing is most often associated with for-profit businesses and companies, non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) rely on content marketing to get found online, too.
I can guarantee that your non-profit has a mission.
Can you guarantee that the public knows what your mission is?
That’s where content marketing comes into play.
If you’re not sure what content marketing is or why it is important, read this first.
All too often, for-profits and non-profits alike treat sales and marketing as two separate entities.
Though non-profits and NGOs are not selling anything, they are raising funds and definitely need to be discoverable to support their organizational goals.
Both types of businesses see much greater success when combining forces and ensuring that the “sales” (or fundraising) and marketing teams are on the same page.
Even if you run a small non-profit wherein your fundraising and marketing “teams” work as one person, you can still benefit from reviewing the steps below.
Ultimately, your non-profit or NGO has three main goals: Promote your organization’s message, increase brand awareness, and help rally supporters around a cause.
Content marketing can help with all three. Here’s how.
Promote Your Organization’s Message
Before promoting your organization’s message, be sure you have a solid understanding of the time-ask effect.
Studies have shown that people are more likely to have a positive reaction when asked to share their time – which creates an emotional response that they’ll likely remember – versus when asked to share a monetary donation.
Of course, your non-profit needs monetary donations to survive, but it is best to create the emotional response first, which will, in turn, motivate donors to give more than if they’d been directly asked to donate upfront.
Your non-profit or NGO’s content marketing should include mention of the opportunity for monetary donations; however, be sure it also includes an invitation for time donations as well.
Additionally, it would be beneficial to offer the opportunity to donate other personal resources, such as expertise, that will ultimately impact your non-profit.
Ultimately, the goal in promoting your organization’s message should cultivate a giving mindset – one in which donors do not feel pressure to contribute with money alone.
Increase Brand Awareness
In order to begin increasing your brand awareness, the general public must first know that you exist and know what your organization’s goals are (hence why promoting your organization’s message comes first).
Remember the ice bucket challenge?
That could be you next!
When you set a goal of increasing brand awareness, you are intrinsically setting a goal to increase traffic to your site, increase donations (revenue), gain your audience’s trust, and set yourself up as an authority in your industry.
Sometimes, you’ll focus on one goal at a time; other times, you’ll be able to hit two (or three or four) birds with one stone.
To begin, you’ll need to determine the type of content you want to use to promote your brand:
Some brands may function while using all of the above; however, others may want to focus on one or two.
Regardless of what your non-profit or NGO centers around, you should choose at least two content marketing strategies listed above to help increase your brand awareness.
Just as there are many “styles of learning” in a classroom – hands-on, teacher-led – there are many styles of consuming content.
If your brand is available to consume through a multitude of platforms, you’ll likely see an increase in donations.
Help Rally Supporters Around A Cause
As the number of places and platforms your brand is seen on increases, the authority you hold also increases.
If you are consistently producing quality content, you’ll not only have an audience that finds you trustworthy, but you’ll also have an audience that passes on your content — whether through a retweet, share, or good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
It is crucial that you maintain contact with any and all persons that have an interest in your cause.
If a person lands on your website, be sure you have a method of prompting him/her/them to share contact information so that you’re able to continue the conversation.
The more emails you acquire, the more prospective donors you have.
If you use a platform known for working with non-profits (like Salesforce), they have a lot of documentation and non-profit-specific programs about how to acquire emails and use them wisely as a non-profit specifically.
Know Your Audience
At least once a year, conduct audience surveys for your target constituencies (donors, volunteers, anyone on your mailing list).
Ferris Bueller taught us that: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
This sentiment does not exclude your supporters.
As the world changes, people change how they feel and behave, as well.
In fact, your organization’s priorities might change.
Use annual surveys to consider what your audiences value and what compels them to take action.
Make Your Content Relatable
Knowing your audience will help you determine how to make your content relatable.
By nature, people want to help other people, but people also live busy lives and may need to be reminded of ways in which to help.
Part of your content marketing plan should include making relatable content.
If your videos, webinars, podcasts, etc. include descriptions or examples of opportunities that the average citizen can relate to or engage in, you’ll see an increase in supporters for your cause.
Create The Opportunity For User-Generated Content
Hand-in-hand with making your content relatable comes user-generated content.
If you provide your donors with the opportunity to show their support for your cause by posting while using a hashtag, not only will people rally around your cause, but you’ll increase your brand’s awareness.
It’s a win-win!
Encourage users and followers to include their own personal message along with the hashtag so that they feel a personal connection to your cause.
Content marketing is not reserved for for-profit businesses; non-profits and NGOs can and should reap the benefits as well.
When you see “tips and tricks” for content marketing, don’t keep scrolling – read!
To maximize your “sales,” work as a team to promote your organization’s message, increase brand awareness, and help rally supporters using a variety of platforms.
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