The inbound marketing conversation often revolves around how businesses can use content to attract prospects, convert leads and generate ROI. Which begs the question, is inbound marketing right for nonprofits? The answer, for most, is ‘yes’.
Here are a few of the ways inbound marketing can help nonprofits achieve their goals:
One of the biggest marketing advantages nonprofits have is the breadth and depth of compelling stories they have to share. Whether it’s a client success story, volunteer anecdote or synopsis of organizational achievements, nonprofits have the content to generate social media marketing, blog posts, whitepapers, e-books and news releases that will resonate with a broad range of target audiences. This content is vital for an effective inbound marketing program.
Awareness and reach
Since content marketing programs live online and are shared across social media marketing channels, nonprofits can use content marketing to significantly increase their reach. By developing creative, compelling and relevant content that resonates with their target audiences, nonprofits can increase the reach of their message while boosting overall brand awareness. Heightened awareness is important for being able to engage content-consuming audiences and motivate them to take action.
Increasing awareness and reach can be done through blogging and social media marketing. Whitepapers and e-books, on the other hand, can help to build and organize an engaged community. Perhaps your nonprofit decides to blog about a new program that is being launched in the community. While the post provides an overview of the program and highlights the most salient points, it may not get into the mechanics of how people can support the program – be it as a volunteer, by donating goods or services, or lending financial support. This is where whitepapers and e-books come in.
Longer format content is an opportunity for nonprofits to help interested audiences to dig deeper into how the organization works and how they can become involved. Think ‘Five Ways to Organize a Clothing Drive in Your Community’, “The Complete Guide to Helping Increase Literacy in Your Community’, and other enticing offers.
While it is great to get current and prospective donors reading your blog, it is even better to compel them to download a whitepaper, e-book, toolkit or other premium content for which they have to complete a short intake form. Provided you capture their email address, they can then be entered into an email nurturing campaign that increases their exposure to and strengthens their connection with the cause. While these ‘leads’ are being nurtured with compelling and relevant content, there are also opportunities to include ways to make donations of time, services and funds as they progress through the email nurturing campaign.
Many nonprofits are tasked with working to solve community-wide problems. Through content marketing, nonprofits can enlist the community-at-large in helping to solve these problems. Once of my favorite example’s is DoSomething.org’s Peanut Butter and Jam Slam (more on why I like it so much can be found here). Why? The community was invited to actively participate in the organization’s mission by helping to solve a national problem.
The problem-solution dynamic that is common to nonprofits aligns well with content-marketing. Nonprofits can use everything from tweets to e-books to help engage audiences in problem solving. For example, a blog post might discuss five ways local government can help to end hunger in the community while a toolkit might include everything an individual needs to coordinate their own fundraiser for an anti-hunger coalition. Each of these pieces works towards solving the larger problem, while empowering individuals and groups to be part of the solution.
While content marketing programs require nonprofits to develop an arsenal of content geared towards various audiences and online communication channels, the benefits are both quantifiable and limitless.
Is your nonprofit interested in launching a content marketing program? Check out our other content marketing blog posts for questions to ask before deciding to launch a content marketing program and tips for screening a content marketing agency.