Why nonprofits need to tell their stories by creating new content
I‘ve been to dozens of nonprofits’ offices, but there’s a phrase I’ve never heard uttered even once: content marketing.
Sounds kind of mysterious, doesn’t it? But when you strip it down to its essence, content marketing is just a way for organizations to tell their stories.
I was interviewed, along with marketer Greg Jordan, about content marketing for nonprofits at a new podcast from the Content Marketing Examiner moderated by publisher Martin van der Roest. Here’s our conversation:
To get discovered online, you must create fresh content
Some highlights from the podcast:
• Don’t be put off by the term “content marketing.” The marketing landscape has evolved with the realization that all nonprofits and businesses are media entities now. If you have a nonprofit or business with an online presence, guess what? You’re a media publisher. For people to find you through search, you have to create content. The webinars I give for CharityHowTo cover search engine marketing in part and explain why keywords are critical to your nonprofit or business.
• Content comes in many forms, from blog posts and Facebook updates to Pinterest pins and Twitter tweets (I’ve never liked the term “micro-blogging” so won’t use it here).
• Don’t get hung up on crafting perfect content. Don’t get frozen by writer’s block. As my partner John Haydon likes to say, Done beats perfect.
• Greg Jordan made an important point: Before you begin, start with identifying your business goals. Write them down, make them something that’s attainable, realistic and worth achieving. And measure them, little by little.
• I suggested trying to find individuals who represent your cause or brand. Ask if they’d be willing to share their stories. Have someone inside your organization, or a contractor, come in and capture those stories on video, on audio or in text. By bringing your story down to the individual level, you make it universal.
• Consider asking people in different parts of your organization, in a respectful way, whether they’d be interested in sharing their skills and passions. Do they blog in their off-hours? Do they shoot photos or video on the weekend? Are they willing to attend an event you’re putting on to help capture it and share it in social media?
• Greg reminded us that it’s not just about creating your own content. It’s about sharing others’ content and updates.