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Content Marketing isn’t just about content

Content marketing for non-profits and member based organisations

Does your organisation publish content on LinkedIn?
Do your members go to your website to lookup the latest article you created?
Did you recently post your organisation’s latest news on Facebook?
Is your organisation using Twitter or tumblr? Or Instagram?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, was there a strategy behind this content? Whilst it’s relatively simple to post links, publish a blog article and add new items for your organisation, ensuring that they all link to your goals can be easily forgotten.

Although this content might make you more visible is it bringing you new members, is it retaining your current members by answering their questions and giving them the support they need?

If the answer is no, you need to re-think your content marketing strategy. In building a strategy around your business goals, the needs/wants of your members should be driving your content marketing, and not content alone.

Here are some questions to think about:

  • What are the needs of your members?
  • What are your strategic goals?
  • How do you add value to your members?
  • How can you successfully deliver and address your members’ needs?
  • How can you build trust and relationships with your members?

How can you ensure you evolve in line with their needs? Building your strategy around your business goals and members needs should be holistic and ensure your organisation is thinking ‘with one head’. Before you publish/post/add think about the following:

  • How will this help your strategic progress?
  • What value will this be to your members?
  • Will this drive conversations?
  • Is this aligned with your organisations goals?

Currently there is a buzz around social media becoming too congested with content marketing and we could be witnessing a bubble on the verge of collapse. This buzz could be helping to drive organisations to deliver more content, to be heard above the rest and adding to ‘the noise’, instead of focusing on what is important to the organisation.

What’s more, now that we’re all having to spend ever more of our working lives online, the risk of information overload is at an all-time high. The imperative is to stand out from the crowd and to be talking to your audiences about the topics they’re interested in, otherwise you’ll simply be ignored.

Creating a content strategy will help you to have a clear and consistent voice and also ensure you aren’t publishing content that is useless to your audiences and isn’t growth-driven.

A Content Strategy shouldn’t be complex; it centres on an overall model comprising:

  • Having objectives you’re seeking to achieve
  • Defining your key audiences
  • Producing specific, tailored content for those key audiences
  • Delivering that content on the channels and in the formats they prefer
  • Monitoring performance and tuning accordingly

Lastly here are some tips for future content marketing:

  • Ensure content is of the highest quality
  • Be in sync with your organisation
  • Be boring (as long as you are serving the needs of your members)
  • Change is good (as long as it is progress)
  • Listen to your members
  • Be committed and consistent

If you’re ready to build out your strategy, we can help! Talk to us about our range of strategic development services including digital, social, business and technology.

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Is a digital strategy a thing of the past?

At Hart Square, we have a lot of conversations around digital strategy and digital transformation with clients across the NFP sector. As organisations continue to rapidly evolve their thinking in this area, one question keeps coming up again and again; is having a digital strategy an organisational necessity or should digital simply be integrated into wider organisational strategies?

For years, charities and NFP organisations have been trying to increase their digital capacity with increasing focus on developing more web-based offerings and harnessing new technology to raise more funds, engage more deeply with their audiences and collect higher quality data. But when asked in the Charity Digital study, conducted by Zoe Amar in 2019, 67% said that they still want to use digital to increase their impact. This would suggest that digital is still not ingrained in the culture and strategies of these organisations.

This is also something that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been looking at, concluding that,

Transformation should be the focus not technology, technology enables an organisation to change and enhance strategies.

But how does this translate into practice? What would your organisation need to make lasting transformation happen? How do you focus on transformation without technology being your focus?

A critical factor here is that behind any change, there needs to be a focus on how this would integrate with your organisations’ overarching strategy and vision. When you know what you want to achieve and what benefit it will bring to the organisation, you can then start to look at what tools, resources and skills are needed to make it happen.

Equally key will be ensuring that there is enough digital leadership within the organisation. As with delivering on any strategy, everyone will need to buy into this transformation, understanding its impact and their part in making it happen. This will naturally need leadership at all levels of your organisation, something that not everyone feels they have.

To quote the 2019 Charity Digital study, 58% of respondents said their charities have fair to low skills in digital leadership.

With digital now permeating across everyday business as usual activity, it’s more important than ever to ask yourself how digital transformation can support the vision and aims of your organisation. Digital should be a key pillar of any organisational strategy, front of mind when looking at how to achieve your aims, whether that is in supporter engagement, delivering services or growing impact.

Digital and technology will continue to be omnipresent across the sector and leaders will need to adapt to ensure that they are able to leverage the full value of organisation-wide digital transformation.

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