Nonprofit Content Marketing Ideas That Drive Results
A comprehensive content marketing strategy can get your nonprofit’s message in front of those it matters to the most. This includes volunteers, donors, and important news sources, and increases awareness of your organization and cause. The more content you develop, the more channels you’ll be able to utilize to generate results.
Content that is distributed through email campaigns, social media channels, blog posts, and other means demonstrates to potential stakeholders that your organization is active and has authority in your niche. Without a well-rounded content creation and distribution strategy, your message will fall flat.
How Content Marketing for Nonprofits is Unique
Content marketing can benefit organizations in all industries, but nonprofits can especially benefit from increasing the content they strategically distribute. This is because potential volunteers, partners, and donors need to trust the organization they are becoming involved with, and an established content marketing distribution strategy will help to cultivate a perception of legitimacy.
Nonprofits should incorporate the usual 5 elements of a content marketing campaign, but there are a few different things to consider as well.
The 3 Cs of Nonprofit Content Marketing
For most industries, the 3 Cs of marketing are:
- Customer. Who is our target buyer? What are the issues they face that our services or products can solve? Where do they live, how do they spend their time online, and how much money do they have to spend?
- Company. What is the goal of our business? Are we looking to lead users to our website? Do we want to increase sales? Are we hoping to rank above our competition in search results?
- Competitors. What kind of content are our competitors distributing? How is our business superior to what our competitors are offering? How can we outshine our competitors with the content we create?
Each of these aspects plays a role in an effective marketing strategy, and they depend on each other.
Nonprofits require a different approach to the 3 Cs, that places importance on their mission statement and the goals of the organization.
An effective nonprofit content marketing strategy incorporates these 3 Cs:
- Capacity. Who does the organization need to bring in with our marketing strategies? Are we in need of volunteers for upcoming events? Are we seeking a new company sponsorship? Are we more interested in appealing to many donors who would contribute smaller amounts?
- Commitment. What is the goal of our organization in terms of the social, political, environmental, or other cause we are devoted to solving? How do our content marketing efforts reflect our commitment to the cause?
- Connection. When we interact with our local community or the people directly involved with our cause, how do we make them feel? How does our content increase awareness and authority, and instill trust in potential donors and volunteers?
Nonprofit content marketing is unique because it’s more important to create content that educates, instills trust, and establishes authority related to your cause.
Content Positioning and Themes
Most nonprofits and NGOs (non-government organizations) have a positioning statement that establishes the organization’s reason for existing. This statement usually establishes what you do, why you do it, how it’s different from what other people are doing, and why it matters.
The content you create should directly tie into your positioning statement.
These are some common content positioning themes for nonprofits:
Nonprofit Local Content Marketing
When your nonprofit focuses on affecting change in a specific geographic area, it’s important to create content that has a local perspective and tone. If your organization has chapters in multiple locations, you may benefit from incorporating local SEO content into your strategy. This will establish a presence in each of the geographic areas while maintaining the core mission of your organization.
Content That Inspires Change
If your NGO’s mission is to end “X inequality for X group” (i.e. types of people, animals, etc), your content strategy should directly address what needs to be done. Nonprofits that create content that inspires change have the potential to generate more involvement, increase awareness about a cause, and educate about what exactly needs to happen for the change to be made. New shares, infographics, and video content are all effective ways to distribute content that inspires change.
Content That Educates About a Cause
The best way to get people inspired to join your organization – either by donating funds or volunteering their time – is to educate them about the cause behind your mission. This content theme should emphasize factual information that is easy to share and digest, even if people have never heard of your organization. Blog content, email marketing campaigns, and social media marketing are great channels to distribute educational content.
Your nonprofit will probably choose a mix of content positioning that incorporates all of the listed themes. The sweet spot of nonprofit content is that it reaches its regional target audience, educates about a cause, and inspires change – simultaneously.
Content Marketing Goals and Channels
The channel you use to distribute nonprofit content depends on the goal of your marketing campaign, and where your ideal target audience spends the most time online. If you have a good amount of inbound traffic coming to your website, it may be enough to publish new blog posts periodically.
If your goal is to funnel more people or new users to your website, the use of external channels such as guest blogs, YouTube, webinars, and social media platforms can be effective.
Best Social Media Platforms for Nonprofits
We recommend all nonprofit organizations claim their accounts on social media platforms, but it’s not necessary to post frequently on each one. It’s more important to identify who you are trying to reach, where they’re online, and what they care about.
For example, if you want to reach high-profile donors, you may find they spend most of their social media time on LinkedIn. To effectively reach a large number of potential volunteers, you may consider Instagram or TikTok to spread the word.
3 Nonprofit Content Marketing Examples
The best way to formulate your nonprofit’s content marketing campaign plan may be to take a look at how others are effectively using content. We gathered three examples of content marketing nonprofits can refer to when creating their own strategies.
Target ALS Establishes Expertise with its Resource Center
Target ALS is a medical research foundation committed to research that can lead to better outcomes for those diagnosed with ALS. Though funding research collaborations, drug trials, and therapeutic approaches are at the core of Target ALS’ efforts, educating the public, patients diagnosed with ALS, and their friends and family about the disease is a huge aspect of the organization’s content marketing strategy.
Target ALS has published a trove of ALS information for scientists and civilians alike on their resource center, The Science, Explained. This resource center includes informational blogs about ALS research and news, frequently asked questions about ALS, a video library, and a glossary of terms related to the disease.
Each piece of the Target ALS resource center establishes the organization’s expertise and authority on the subject of Lou Gerig’s Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Additionally, the organization distributes educational content from each of these resources on its social media channels, increasing awareness about the disease and Target ALS’ impact on research, and inspiring change.
Not only does The Science, Explained resource center provide reusable and evergreen content for the organization to distribute, but it also increases the SEO value of the Target ALS website, resulting in more impressions on search engines.
*Disclaimer: Target ALS is a client of Crimson Park Digital.
The ASPCA Spreads Awareness through Episodic Video Content
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is one of the largest humane societies in the world, founded on the belief that animals are entitled to respectful treatment and should be legally protected. The ASPCA boasts over 2 million supporters across the country and reaches this large audience with episodic videos posted to their YouTube Channel.
The ASPCA uploads new videos several times each week, with playlists for happy adoption outcomes, educational videos about caring for pets, how to advocate for fair pet treatment, awards, and frequently asked questions.
This combination of information about the organization, educational videos related to the cause, and sharing specific details about adoptable pets has established a well-rounded video content library. With over 13 million views and 43,000 followers, the ASPCA has figured out a formula that informs its followers and inspires interest in the cause.
Voices for Children Shares Real Experiences to Attract Donors and Volunteers
Voices for Children is a nonprofit organization located in Southern California that matches children in the foster care system with adult advocates, called CASAs. Voices for Children relies on a combination of fundraising efforts and volunteer recruitment to be able to function most effectively as a nonprofit organization.
Volunteer recruitment is vital to the foundation of Voices for Children, as these volunteers become the CASAs that are paired with foster children. Donations to the organization help recruit, train, and support these volunteers throughout their terms of advocacy.
Voices for Children has implemented a content marketing strategy focused on both of these needs. The organization distributes quotes from CASA volunteers about what it’s like to be involved with the nonprofit as well as quotes from foster children or adults who were formerly in the foster care system about the impact CASAs can have on their experience.
These firsthand accounts are shared alongside photos on social media and in email marketing campaigns. Additionally, Voices for Children periodically holds panels of foster children sharing their experiences. These panels are accessible digitally and increase awareness of the foster system while inspiring viewers to act by volunteering or donating to the cause.
How to Implement a Nonprofit Content Marketing Campaign
With limited resources, you may be overwhelmed by the idea of creating and implementing a content marketing strategy. What if your content isn’t strong enough? What if it’s not shared in the most effective digital channels?
Our experts are here to help. We bring with us specific nonprofit content marketing experience and will design a campaign unique to your organization and its goals.
Let us know how we can help your nonprofit grow!
What is content marketing for nonprofits?
Content marketing is a culmination of all the creative efforts a nonprofit distributes through various channels such as on a blog, in newsletters, on YouTube, and on social media platforms. Nonprofit content marketing should align with the mission statement of the nonprofit organization and lead to an increase in education, awareness of a cause, volunteer signups, or donations.
What are the 3 Cs of nonprofit marketing?
The 3 Cs to integrate into a nonprofit marketing strategy are Capacity, Commitment, and Connection. These themes should tie back to the nonprofit’s mission and positioning statements and differ from a for-profit company’s goal of earning more sales than competitors.
How do nonprofits market on social media?
Nonprofits can use social media to spread awareness about their cause, interact with people local to the region or those affected by the cause, garner support from volunteers, and increase donations.