You Are What You Eat: Optimizing Content ConsumptionQuality? Or Quantity? Content Marketing Struggles with the Right Path Forward3 Ways to Take Brand Advocacy to the Next Level with User-Generated Content5 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Isn't Working
Let's Measure Social Media ROI in a Way That Isn't StupidTo Grow Your Social Marketing Budget, Determining ROI Is a Critical Job SkillWe Need to Rethink Our Definition of Engagement
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career GrowthSandy Carter's 6 Social Business Lessons to Learn from Candy Crush5 Tips for Creating a Company Culture that Connects with Your Sweet Spot ClientsWhy Leadership Should Be a Collaborative Exercise
8 Internet User Statistics Every Small Business Should Know AboutCan't Find Time for Social Media? This Approach Will Help6 Ways to Turn Your Small Business into a Media Hub
- Social Organization
Beyond Engagement: Why Advocacy Is Always About the PeopleFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
The Biggest Content Marketing Mistake Nonprofits Make
Posted on November 13th 2013
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as the act of “creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” For nonprofits, that translate into a powerful, cost-effective method of acquiring new donors.
Many nonprofits have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon – publishing blog posts, videos and other rich media – which is great! However, one tiny misunderstanding about the nature of effective content marketing can sink those efforts before they even begin.
One of the worst things a nonprofit can do is simply transition their existing promotional content to digital mediums, and hoping that it will attract new donors. This shows little regard for the varied online audiences that your nonprofit currently has and can attract in the future.
The Three Audiences
When it comes to content, a nonprofit has three core audiences:
- non-donors who don’t know your organization
- non-donors who know your organization
Each audience is looking for and expects certain content from your organization. These three groups correspond perfectly to the stages of the donor funnel:
- prospecting (above the funnel)
- cultivation/asking (in the funnel)
- stewardship (below the funnel)
Nonprofits tend to be bottom-heavy in terms of their content: lots of cultivation and asking content (flyers, brochures, annual reports, newsletters, etc.) but little in the way of prospecting content. The good news is if you master effective content marketing, your current stewards will also draw value from that content.
Educational Content Wins Prospects
When it comes to attracting new donors, it’s important to understand that those individuals aren’t necessarily searching for nonprofits to donate to. They’re searching for the answers to their questions: What are early signs of alzheimer’s? How can I feed a family of five for under $10 without sacrificing nutrition? How can I get my child interested in reading? What can I do to avoid the flu in the workplace?
When your content is educational, you have a much greater chance of attracting potential donors to your organization’s website. Once they’re there, your existing cultivation/asking content can kick in and hopefully convert them into donors. Here’s a different way of looking at the donor funnel:
- prospecting (content marketing)
- cultivation/asking (existing promotional content)
- stewardship (donor communications)
By mapping content in this manner, you can see how someone who has never heard of your organization can organically convert into a supporter. While existing promotional and donor communications content can take a digital form, the bulk of your content marketing efforts should be focused on acquisition. Don’t flip your donor funnel! Create content that attracts, not pushes. Your current and prospective donors will thank you for it.
We Want To Know Where You Stand on Content Marketing
If you have three minutes to spare, please take our Nonprofit Content Marketing Benchmark Survey >>