Content marketing is a powerful way to spread your message, but when worrying about shareability, promotion, and SEO, it can be hard to remember some of the essentials to make sure your content is doing the job you need it to.
Here are four content marketing essentials for nonprofit fundraising you should make sure you have in every piece of content you share.
1. Call to Action
Make sure every piece of content you share includes a clear and powerful call to action. It’s easy to get caught up in the stories we are telling and the emotional impact of our content marketing. We can completely forget the entire reason we are creating the content in the first place: to get someone to do something in support of your cause.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your audience knows what they need to do. If you are sharing stories of the beneficiaries of your nonprofit, you can say something like this: “If you think X’s story was inspiring and want to help more people accomplish the same, please consider a donation. Just use the form at the top of this page.”
I’ve personally had a lot of success with the “if you think…please do X” model, since it takes advantage of powerful psychology: when people identify with a personal stance, they want to act consistently with it.
2. Keep it Tight
The issue you’re tackling is complex, and the solutions may be even more complex.Don’t make the mistake of trying to cover all your bases at once with each piece of content. Focus on one element of your strategy or a single story. This makes it easier for your audience to digest in one sitting as they get more invested in your cause.
One powerful technique for accomplishing this is to outline your content before you create it. This allows you to see it all laid out before you start fleshing it out. It can help you notice when one article really ought to be two. Outlining also helps you generate more ideas, more quickly.
3. Keep the Big Picture in Mind
When you’re trying to keep up with a crushing content marketing calendar, you can get too focused on just getting the next blog post or video out, without knowing its place in the overall structure of your nonprofit’s strategy. This is a big mistake, because you are losing the ability to make content as impactful as possible.
Simply switching the order of two posts could make a huge difference in spreading your message or landing donations. Usually, this means understanding what your content is meant to accomplish. Ask yourself some pointed questions:
- Is THIS article meant to lead to donations?
- Is it trying to create familiarity so that the audience watches a video, which then asks for the donation?
- Is it meant to get them to your main website?
Remember to think in the other direction too: is this piece of content the end-goal of an earlier content funnel? You might have an infographic that sketches out your solution, with a link to a blog post. You had better make sure that blog post doesn’t stay high level and simply repeat the information you already gave, but provides the in-depth explanation that viewers of the infographic came to the site to see.
4. Consider the Context
In addition to creating content that is an integral part of your content marketing strategy, you should also consider the wider context that your audience exists in. For example, think about the time of year, the economic climate, current events, and your audience’s general attitude. Referencing these events can help your content seem timelier and more personal, rather than just part of a pre-planned scheduling program.
Keeping your audience’s preferences in mind, rather than your own preferences, is important as well. Maybe you love videos, but most of your donors are an older generation and prefer written material. You can use these tips as a checklist to make sure you meet whenever you create new content for your nonprofit fundraising blog so that every piece you put out is an integral part of a tight, effective fundraising strategy.
If you need some help on setting the direction of your content marketing strategy, here is a great article from the Content Marketing Institute worth reading.