Why Content Marketing is the Key to Your Nonprofits Online Success | npENGAGE

Why Content Marketing is the Key to Your Nonprofits Online Success

By on Mar 10, 2012


Content Marketing for NonprofitsI read a blog post by Joe Pulizzi the other day. It got me thinking about how content is used by nonprofits to help them connect with the right audience online.

In essence, Joe points out the fact that great content is the tool that moves  hearts and inspire action online.

The concept of creating content to engage with your audience isn’t new, especially in the nonprofit world, but it is becoming more and more critical when it comes to creating success online.

According to Altimeter’s latest report by Industry Analyst Rebecca Lieb, using content, also known as “Content Marketing”, is the up and coming form way to grab people’s attention online – something that every nonprofit and for-profit organization is trying to do.

Research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) backs Altimiters finding up by showing that 60% of businesses indicate that they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. Up from roughly 50% in the previous year.

What’s content marketing?

According to Wikipedia … “Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential constituent bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high quality, relevant and valuable information to potential and current constituents drives profitable constituent action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.”

Here’s a little shorter version by the Content Marketing Institute… Content marketing is a marketing technique 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.”

Content marketing and your nonprofit

If you think about it for a second you’ll quickly realize that nonprofits (probably yours) have been at this type of marketing for years.

Content marketing products take the form of annual reports, custom magazines, print or online newsletters, blog post, articles, success stories, white papers, webcasts/webinars, podcasts, video, in person events, ebooks, research report and email.

I’m sure you just said to your self “we do that” at least 3 or 4 times. Am I right?

But it’s not about doing content marketing; it’s about doing it well.

Why should my nonprofit care about content marketing?

To help answer that question let’s look at what’s happening in the business world.

  • 9 out of 10 organizations market with content marketing.
  • Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.
  • 60% of businesses indicate that they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months – up 9% from previous year.
  • On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics to achieve their goals.

I’m reaching a bit, but I suspect that if we surveyed a few thousand nonprofits we’d find similar results to those produced by the CMI.

When you boil it all down, the reason you should care about creating great content (i.e. Content Marketing) is because your constituents and potential constituents demand that you do – it’s the way they’ll connect with you online.

If you want to reach people in this ever changing, online and social world you’ll need great content. Simple as that.




Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

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