by Candice Latham

According to HubSpot’s Not Another State of Marketing Report, almost 70% of businesses actively invested in content marketing in 2020. With more people working remotely due to the pandemic and internet usage increasing, organizations have a huge opportunity to get their products and services in front of more people. This is also true for nonprofits and social good causes – we believe that in 2021, content marketing will be key to every organization’s marketing plan!

Content marketing includes all the digital ‘stuff’ you put online – social media, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more. For many nonprofits, this can feel overwhelming, but just remember that you don’t have to tackle it all at once. In this post, we’ll dive into why content marketing is important, why your cause needs a content marketing plan, and four things to keep in mind when creating your content marketing strategy this year.

Let’s start with why content marketing is so important. Online channels offer a way for potential customers to know, like, and trust you. It’s a way to be seen as an authority figure in your space, tell the world what problem you’re solving, and share your passion around your cause.

Before social media became popular it was harder for smaller organizations and causes to get attention because you needed to have a large budget to pay for TV ads and billboards but now anyone can get their message out for minimal cost. Here are four things to keep in mind when it comes to creating your marketing strategy.

  1. Make a calendar. When brainstorming your creative content be sure to keep in mind what your organization’s top priorities are for the month. Planning your content in monthly batches allows you a bird’s eye view of your plan and gives you more time to develop the content you prioritize. There are tons of ways to organize your content – we recommend something that already aligns with the way you organize your work. Our team uses Trello, but here are some other great content calendar examples.
  2. Know your goals. This is the most important part of the process. Not knowing your goals is like going on a road trip to California, but not knowing how to get there – you set out for the Golden Gate Bridge, but before you know it, you’re lost on a side road, looking at the world’s biggest ball of yarn. The same is true about creating content. When starting without a plan it’s easy to get distracted and post without intention – then you don’t get the results you hoped for. Before you start brainstorming fun content ideas, think of what your nonprofit’s goals are. Are you launching a new service? Promoting your fall event? Asking people to sign an advocacy letter? Once you know what your goals are it will be easier to create content ideas around these goals.
  3. Focus on personas. Create a customer profile or persona of the person you want to engage with and focus on creating content that solves their problems or answers their questions. Knowing who’s in the seats is important when creating a content marketing strategy. You want your audience to feel understood and engaged with the content you are creating. Targeting content helps you to be seen as an authority figure in your space – and it helps your audience connect with your mission. Here are a few questions to keep in mind when creating your ideal customer
    persona: What are their demographics?
    Where do they live, work, and play?
    Where do they hang out online?
    Why are they interested in your cause?
    How do they want to engage in your work?
  4. Focus your efforts. Social media and digital marketing can feel never-ending. Focus on mastering a few social media platforms at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. I know this may go against what you see online. You’ll sometimes see people recommend that you need to be everywhere and at all times, but this is a lot of pressure to put on yourself, especially if you do not have a dedicated person to handle your content marketing. Let’s take a deep breath and repeat after me: I am permitting myself to not be on every single platform. Consistently showing up and mastering a few of the social media platforms where you know your constituents hang out online is a lot better than having an account on every platform and barely showing up on any of them.If you’ve been putting off your content marketing plan, today is the perfect day to get started. This year has only increased digital focus and it’s not going away any time soon. Creating content is a great way to build brand awareness for your nonprofit and let potential donors, volunteers, and constituents in on the important work you do.