Content demands a lot—time, attention, focus, creativity. If you approach content from on high, perched atop a lavish marketing budget, surrounded by swarms of writers, photographers, and videographers, perhaps those demands aren’t your concern.
But perhaps that image is completely foreign—and pure fantasy. What happens when you’re tasked with growing the visibility and donor base of a nonprofit organization?
If you work in the nonprofit world, you know that fantasy doesn’t begin to describe your reality. Content requires resources—including the time you need to spend on other tasks, the attention you already invest in a presentation to your board, and the creativity you also need to allocate to your next fundraiser. All the free new social media platforms in the world won’t help you with those responsibilities; in fact, they’ll only complicate your work. That’s the rub: marketers in all industries face the increasing proliferation of platforms and channels. In some industries, deep budgets allow them to explore, make mistakes, and make a play across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest with multiple campaigns and conversations. Maybe those channels are worth the investment, and perhaps those gambles pay off.
But when you work in a nonprofit, you can’t gamble on scattershot content marketing. Instead, you need something different. Count on content strategy to help you make sense of it all.
Draw strength from the constraints
Strategy is simply planning to meet your organizational vision with the tactics, tools, resources, and workflow at your disposal. In both the nonprofit and for-profit worlds, strategy makes the biggest difference when we need to stare down constraints. All brands face constraints, but nonprofits need to exercise the most creativity to navigate them—and that’s not a bad thing. If your budget, time, and in-house talent are limited, that’s okay. You can still effectively engage your audience and meet your goals, and content strategy can ensure those goals are realistic and achievable.
Content strategy means planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable, and appropriate content in an experience. What are you going to say? Where? Who’s going to write it or illustrate it?
Set concrete communication goals
I recently had the opportunity to work with a hunger-oriented nonprofit organization. They were eager to launch a recipe blog, but before we started writing, we needed to think through […] See the full post, Can nonprofits afford content strategy?, at the Confab Events blog. Want to talk it through in person? I’ll be presenting at Confab for Nonprofits in June 2014 in Chicago.