Content marketing for your nonprofit doesn’t have to be difficult. You can reuse and repurpose content. You have more content at your fingertips that you realize. I promise.
I was recently a panelist for the IMPACT Funding Symposium at Cal State Fullerton on nonprofit marketing with Alex Vasquez. After the panel, I was approached by a few nonprofit executives who had questions about creating content or maximizing the use of the content they have. Or even how to engage and start storytelling.
There are a few ways you can maximize the content that has already been written and storytelling connects humans.
Repurpose Content by Breaking It Down
More often than not, you already have the content you need — and then some — on and off your nonprofit’s web property.
“What marketing materials do you have? You may have no marketing materials, and that’s okay. But maybe your business creates flyers or mailers that you send out. Those mailers and brochures are just teeming with content that you can use on social or your website.” Alex Vasquez, Digisavvy
Case in point. One of the nonprofit executives I met showed me her gallery of video testimonials.
Her question was simple:
“How do I get people to watch all of these videos?”
The problem is that they’re all in one part of the site. People may be binging on Netflix, but are they binging on your videos? Probably not. But it doesn’t mean they don’t care about your cause. You just have to break it down.
So the trick is to make the content you’ve already prepared and published consumable. Think of how we serve meals to large groups of people. A sit down dinner for eight is easy. Once you get to fifty or a hundred a buffet or hors d’oeuvres is the answer. We do the same with content. Make it easy to consume and digest. They will come back for more when they are ready.
So, in this case, when you have a gallery of video testimonials, each one of those can be repurposed into a single blog post. Write 300 words or so about the video, put in a featured image, and embed the video from YouTube. Eight videos can become eight blog posts. There’s content for the next eight weeks.
And not just that but you can use those blog posts in your email marketing. Now you’ve not only added content to your website over the next two months, but you have your email campaigns, too.
At the nonprofit panel, I asked the following question:
“How many of you work for nonprofit organizations that impact human beings?”
Would it surprise you that 100% raised their hands? Probably not. We all have a heart to make a difference in this world which is why we’re involved in a nonprofit.
Take an animal rescue for example. Saving that animal also helps the person who adopts it. So telling the stories behind your cause is an effective content strategy.
Smart phones and even point and shoot cameras perched on a tripod are easy ways to quickly interview people involved either on the inside or outside of your nonprofit. These videos can be as short as 5 minutes. Of course, those videos can live on YouTube, Facebook, and even your blog. You can even go so far as to use Facebook Live to interview people at your next gala!
Another way to use interviews is in written content. A quick phone call can help you write more about the person who started the organization. Understanding the origins of your Founder’s passion helps connect with donors.
Dust & Refresh
Perhaps some of your content is on the edge of qualifying as evergreen — meaning, it’s still true and relevant but it could use an update or two.
This is where you can apply the refresh principle. Take an audit of your site’s content. Go through it page by page. Update the copy so that it still resonates and enhances your why.
Refreshing content has the added benefit of helping with your search results — especially if you update the keywords and optimize for semantic search.
“Natural language, words and phrases your audience would use when searching for information lies at the core of semantic search.” Pawel Grabowski SERPs
Take one older post a week. Read it out loud. Should the text be altered? If so, go ahead and update it. If the article wasn’t event-specific, you can even change the publishing date. Recycling and repurposing go hand-in-hand.
Whether you use a form on your site to collect stories from your audience (like we do with Give Stories) or you embed Instagram posts or tweets, this is a great way to hack your content.
People love to see themselves in photos, quoted, or otherwise featured. Allowing your volunteers, staff, or participants to tell stories on your nonprofit’s blog is a great way to help expand your circle of influence.
Why, you ask? They will share it on their Facebook timeline or tweet it out or share it on their LinkedIn profile. Their friends will gain awareness of your organization. That second circle may share to the third, and so on.
You Have the Content
Whether it’s user-generated content, a dust and refresh, interviews, or repurposed media, your nonprofit organization has a treasure trove of valuable brand assets. A twenty minute brainstorming session should give you plenty of ideas to propel you through the next quarter and year.