7 Actionable Tips To Improve Your Nonprofit’s Content Marketing

By eleventy marketing group

Connect more donors to your nonprofit story online using these content marketing best practicesAs a nonprofit professional, you know a lot about your cause. You know about the specifics of the problem you’re trying to solve. The people it affects. The challenges to developing or instituting a solution. The immediate and future needs. How donations can make a difference.

This is incredibly valuable knowledge. It’s also knowledge that needs to be shared with existing and—especially—potential donors and volunteers. A great way to connect new donors with your nonprofit is through content marketing. By sharing the knowledge of what you do, you can give people an “in” to your organization and cause.

In today’s post, we’ll provide some easy and actionable tips for increasing the effectiveness of your nonprofit organization’s content marketing efforts.

Seven Ways to Enhance Your Nonprofit Content Marketing

In order to create content that will connect with your target audience (people touched by and empathetic to your cause) and maximize interest and engagement, take these actions:

#1  Do Keyword Research

Craft your content around what people are interested in and what they are seeking out on the Web. How do you do that? The easiest way is to do a simple Google search of a key cause topic. See what turns up on the first couple pages. That’s probably what people are reading and clicking. Use that insight to inspire post and article ideas that people will want to read.

You can also use these keyword research tools, which will give you some insight on what terms people are searching related to your cause:

#2  Monitor Audience Response

Another way to find out what content peaks your audience’s interest is monitoring the response to what you post. Use your website analytics to see which posts are getting the most traffic.

Also, monitor which posts receive the most comments and clicks when you share them on social media. For example, if you share a piece of your content on Twitter and it gets a ton of retweets, that may be a topic you want to follow up on, re-explore regularly, or create similar types of posts.

#3  SEO Optimize Your Posts

There are a couple of small, simple pieces of behind-the-scenes or “meta” content you can add to your posts to increase the likelihood they will be found via search engines. Those are:

  • Title—A strong headline for your post (limit to 65 characters)
  • Description—A short description of your content (limit to 150 characters)

This “meta” content can appear in search results, and help encourage and inspire people to click on your link. Here’s an example of meta data appearing in Google search results:

Example of the Appearance of Content Meta Data in a Google Search

Additionally, when someone inserts your link in a social media post on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, your meta title and description may appear there as well. Here’s an example of how meta data appears in a Facebook link post:

Example of the Appearance of Content Meta Data in a Facebook Post

*Quick Tip: If you have a WordPress website or blog, install the SEO by Yoast plugin—which makes adding this meta data to your posts easy.

#4  Put Your Audience in the Headline

Another great way to ensure your content reaches its intended audience is to put them in the headline. For example:

  • 4 Ways People in Akron, Ohio, Can Help Feed the Hungry in Our Region
  • How Professional Women Can Help Empower Women in Third World Countries

These headlines both mention a specific audience. So if you were to see that headline in Google or on someone’s social media page, and you fall into that audience, you would know that content is for you. It’s an old trick, but one that works really well in the content-cluttered world of the Web.

#5  Post with Regularity

A common problem among nonprofit organizations is inconsistent creation and delivery of content. Maybe you post about an effort a couple times one week and then it’s dead air for a month. For people who read the post and were interested in seeing more content from your nonprofit (maybe they even subscribe to your blog feed), this can be an interest killer.

People like regularity. They want to know they can find a new post every week or two. Even if it happens subconsciously, people appreciate a set schedule. Perhaps more importantly, so does Google. The search engine gives weight to websites that regularly post fresh content. Establish a schedule (daily, weekly, bi-weekly) and do all you can to stick with it.

#6  Always Include an Image

Many nonprofits are posting a lot of great content to draw people in, but their content lacks visual appeal. That means it lacks power and impact. Great, effective content must include some sort of visual. One reason for this is our brains process visuals more efficiently, so it will help people digest your content and remember your nonprofit.

Visuals will also make your content more appealing when people posts links to it on social media sites (which you definitely want them to do).

How content images appear in a link post on Google Plus

You can use stock images, but if you have images of your nonprofit in action that’s always more effective. You can also use filters from sites like Instagram or online tools like Photoshop Express Editor to make your visuals more interesting.

#7  Encourage Social Sharing

We’ve mentioned several times the importance of making your post ideal for social sharing. That’s because social sharing is essential to content marketing. It’s the single best way to drive eyeballs to your posts.

Make it easy for people to share your content on their preferred social media sites. It can be simple as including buttons that allow people to post on Facebook, Twitter and G+.

Here’s an example:

Make it easy for people to share your nonprofit content on their social media pages

Or you can include a more elaborate set of buttons that also allows people to share your content on sites like reddit, stumbleupon, tumblr, blogger, delicious, and more.

Example of the AddThis social sharing WordPress plugin

If you have a WordPress website or blog, here are some plugins that make social sharing easy:

Connect More People to Your Cause with Content Marketing

You have a wealth of knowledge about your cause. You could probably talk someone’s ear off at a dinner party with all the information and passion you have about what your nonprofit does. Bring that knowledge and passion to the Web.

You may be surprised just how many people you can reach when you do a few little things to make your online content more interesting, engaging and accessible.

Need some advice on developing and executing a content marketing strategy for your nonprofit? Connect with eleventy group today to start the conversation.