Content Marketing for Nonprofits, Part 2: Getting the Word Out

February 17, 2016 |
Jeremy Schmerling Headshot

By Jeremy Schmerling, Manager, Business Development

Our last blog post discussed strategies for creating engaging, effective content. Now that your organization has compelling content, it’s time to develop a strategy for sharing the right content with the right audience. Here is the challenge: When you have multiple stakeholder groups, such as members, donors, legislative contacts, etc., managing your content can become a daunting task. Digital dissemination of content (blogs, email campaigns, e-books, or downloadable white papers) allows nonprofits to tailor the right messages to the right audiences. Here are three methods to maximize the reach of your content:

1. Engage with Social Media

Social media offers nonprofits an inexpensive – and often free – method of disseminating content to large audiences. It is important, however, to have a strategy in place before launching a social media campaign. After evaluating your diverse stakeholder groups’ use of social media, carefully analyze your target audience to determine which platforms best suit your goals. For example, individual donors may be best reached through Facebook, while corporate sponsors may be more active on LinkedIn. The kind of content you share will make some platforms more suitable than others. Instagram, for instance, is ideal for organizations with plenty of visual content (such as Pencils of Promise), while LinkedIn is better for sharing scholarly publications, and Twitter is a great way to contribute to an ongoing conversation about a trending topic.

2. Invest in Social Advertising

More and more frequently, nonprofits are utilizing social media ad space. Paid content, like promoted tweets, Facebook ads, and LinkedIn ads, is an excellent way to reach target audiences and measure the effectiveness of shared content. Begin by creating an ad around a particular piece of content – e.g. a white paper or video – set a budget you are comfortable with, and then measure how many clicks, donations, or shares it receives. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn also offer analytics on the type of reader/viewer engaging with your content, giving you details about the people you are reaching and how well your content performs.

3. Take Advantage of Low-Cost Tools for Nonprofits

A number of software and online applications offer reduced-cost content dissemination tools specifically designed for nonprofits. YouTube’s nonprofit program, for example, allows nonprofits to collect donations directly from their YouTube channel. Google Grants offers eligible nonprofits a $10,000/month Google AdWords budget. Some email marketing platforms, like VerticalResponse, offer a limited number of free email sends per month, while major brands like Constant Contact will discount their products for nonprofits. Even the most compelling content is rendered meaningless if no one shares it, making your distribution strategy just as important as content creation. For help with getting started on content creation, check out our previous post, “Content Marketing for Nonprofits, Part 1: Strategies for Developing High-Quality Content.” Next up, we discuss how to use the content you create to maximize the impact of your team – regardless of how many people are currently on it.

Jeremy Schmerling is an energetic Business Development Manager at McKinley Marketing Partners with a primary focus on helping nonprofit organizations and trade associations fill their hiring needs. Jeremy has a strong understanding of different communicative styles and an appreciation for people’s unique backgrounds, which he attributes to his University of Maryland communication degree and his experience traveling abroad and living in Rome.

Jeremy loves working and living in the DC metro area. In his free time, he likes to travel, play in charity sports tournaments (including a basketball tournament that raises money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society), and give back to the community – especially by participating in programs that allow him to play sports with disabled or disadvantaged youth.

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