Every nonprofit website can benefit from a content strategy to ensure their digital footprint is leading their audience in the right direction. Though many of the basics remain the same, content strategies are not one-size-fits-all, especially for nonprofit websites. Understanding your audience, effectively utilizing each piece of content that is created and having a strong brand sense are critical building blocks for the framework of a content strategy, but the strongest foundation for a content strategy is a fully-realized plan and a meaningful understanding of the narrative your website is trying to achieve. Read on for tips to increase your organization’s online visibility.
Prioritize the Ultimate Goals of Your Content Strategy
Are you trying to recruit donors, round up volunteers, or encourage people to use your nonprofit’s services? Identifying individual goals will help you better pinpoint the audience you are trying to reach and allow you to best determine how to engage them, as well as give you the groundwork for your content plan. Once you identify your main goals, create a content schedule to map out when and how you will create and then utilize your content. Know who is creating what pieces, and encourage creators to keep in mind that each piece will be revamped and reused throughout your nonprofit’s online presence.
In marketing speak, these audience profiles are known as personas, and they can be a valuable tool to better understand your audience. You can have multiple personas for your brand, your content, your services and so on. Buffer describes these personas well:
A marketing persona is meant to represent a segment of your target market, not the whole thing. If your target market is ‘Marketers’, it is perfectly acceptable to have multiple personas for the different types of marketers so long as there is enough of a difference between them to warrant a separate persona. You may have multiple marketer personas broken up by business size, or industry, or whatever makes sense for your business.
Customize Your Content to Best Cater to Your Audience
One of the most important jumping-off points for a nonprofit website is understanding who is visiting your website and why. Who is your main demographic, what are they doing on your website, and what will keep them there? Engaging your audience is not necessarily about drowning them in content, but rather about putting the right content in front of them. Each piece of content created needs to be valuable to those who are consuming it, and in today’s fast-paced, social media-saturated world, be intriguing but not heavy. Photo and video content are appealing ways to better engage your audience, just keep video content short and sweet.
One way to track this information is with tools like Google Analytics. It will tell you where people are coming from, the technology they are using as well as what they are doing when they get to your site.
Maximize Each Piece of Content to Tell Your Story
For a nonprofit, maximizing the utility of your content can not only help you maintain a unified brand, but also decrease the amount of content that needs to be created. For example, if you are looking to gain donors or sponsors, determine a way to highlight and thank current donors and sponsors, such as profiling a specific donor in a blog post. After the initial blog post, use aspects of that profile throughout your digital landscape. Add a thank you section to your weekly newsletter with a link to a sponsor page on your website. Use a photo and pull a quote from the blog post for a tweet. Utilize a video clip with your donor on your Facebook page. Reusing your content without exactly duplicating it creates a strong thread throughout your online presence that reiterates the voice of your brand.
One great place to re-use content are the stories feature of several social networks. Stories typically get much better reach than posts on Instagram, and the same goes for Facebook. Facebook (who owns Instagram) has placed a premium on these pieces of content and they give them very prominent placement. It’s a great promotional tool that you should make sure you are taking advantage of.
A digital content strategy is key to the success of any nonprofit’s website, and creating and implementing a content plan sets a solid foundation for sticking to that strategy. Knowing your audience will help you identify the best type of content to create, and finding ways to reuse each piece of content increases its value and reiterates your organization’s voice. The combination of these aspects work together to increase the visibility of your organization and your brand.