Content Marketing for Nonprofits

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)

Content Marketing

Why Your Nonprofit's Approach to Content Marketing Is Wrong

The way we write must change. It’s kind of sad actually, but due to the ways search engines operate, we need to consider how folks search for content into the way we craft our words.  While repeating a phrase like content marketing seems crazy, SEO has made some keyword repetition throughout your content marketing a necessity - but there is more to it than stuffing a bunch of keywords.

The way search engine's view content is different than the way you and I look at it. However, this doesn't mean that your writing should be an unintelligible stream of keywords. To help you adjust to this new writing style, and to content marketing in general, we’ve compiled a few tips for you:

What content marketing is: Content marketing is the process of making the words you write work for you. Content marketing drives traffic and engagement to your portals through the content you create.

What content marketing is not: Content marketing is not a panacea, it's not going to turn your website into a mega traffic-driven machine. However, a focused approach to content marketing will increase site traffic and search hits by focusing on the words people are typing into search engines.

Understanding what people are looking for:  Figuring out how people describe your work via identifying popular word choice usage is pivotal. People will only find you on the Internet if you speak their language and cater to common terminology.  Use the terms that people are searching for, not the terms you prefer.

Keywords are your friend: Determine what keywords you want to include in your content prior to composing a post. Doing this will ease your writing process as you deliberately incorporate selected keywords in your first draft.

Be proactive: Plan your content in a calendar and make sure you incorporate your keywords according to the most popular search engine returns.  Content should answer folks’ questions about your nonprofit, not just detail aspects of your organization that you find interesting. Understanding this dynamic is a big part of establishing a proactive strategy.

Be reactive, too! Posts that react to the news of the day may not use the keyword(s) you necessarily want, but embracing popular terminology will increase the paths by which online traffic is directed to your site. Reactivity can also lead to outside links to your site content by others, which can significantly boost your site’s return ranking. 

Tag Images: Tagging images and making sure you feature images that relate to your content goes a long way to driving people to your site.

Motivate folks to take action: Calls to action, whether they be for advocacy or simply asking for feedback, engage online users and create an interactive element to your content that can be very rewarding.

Tools to help your team write better content: If you are doing SEO and content marketing correctly, you will have more than one person assigned to blogging and adding content to your site.  I have a few SEO tools I love to use, and the YOAST SEO Plugin is a great starter tool for anyone beginning to implement content marketing. YOAST is a simple tool for press sites that can show your writing team the basics for SEO. Making sure your content works for SEO could really be a full-time job if only one person is doing it. That is why YOAST is so great. It is an easy-to-use tool that helps you and your writing team understand the importance of SEO as an effective part of content marketing.  We use it and other tools in order to get the basics of SEO right on our own website and blog. The basic version is free and we can’t stress enough how important it is for any nonprofit organization. 

You are further ahead than you think: If you’re reading this, chances are the amount of content your organization produces in a month is more than most blogs put out in a year.  With a small amount of effort and training, you can turn your content into an asset that works for your organization long after you’ve posted it. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Get your team on board: A properly trained staff is essential to content marketing.  With enough people creating content following an organized calendar, your organization finds a powerful asset in the palm of its hands.

One post is not a content marketing strategy: A volume of good content that proactively answers readers’ questions is a great way to show up in searches but this strategy is not a one-time fix. You need to have a consistent amount of content that comes out over time.

Content marketing will not solve all your problems:  To be clear, blogging and creating content is not the solution to all of your problems.  Content marketing will help organize your thoughts and let you decide your target content.  Most importantly, it will make you research what your audience is actually looking for and that alone is a good start. Learn more about a holistic approach to thought leadership here

Have questions about content marketing for nonprofits.  Ask them here or check out our  content marketing for nonprofits toolkit: