Nowadays, traditional marketing tactics just don’t cut it. More and more brands, corporate entities, and nonprofits are turning to content marketing strategies to optimize their outreach.
When using content marketing, you aren’t just selling your services – instead, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your members to help them solve their issues. This way, they see your organization as a credible resource on a topic. The “content” may come in the form of blog posts, podcasts, newsletters, webinars, workshops, or any number of other ways to share information. The ultimate goal is to create a loyal community that will trust your organization and ultimately become a member or a donor.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Before you can begin creating content, you have to understand the types of people you are trying to appeal to. Many chambers of commerce, nonprofits, and associations wonder why their open rates for emails are decreasing. They are not getting high levels of engagement from their members because they're not adapting to their community's interests. After identifying the group of people you're trying to communicate with, you can brainstorm on what kind of content will truly interest and educate that specific group of people.
Developing a strategy is crucial to being successful at content marketing. Ultimately, we want our strategy to accomplish an organizational goal. Ask yourself, what do you hope to accomplish through content marketing? Do you want to increase your number of memberships? Do you want to bring in more donations?
Find a content niche that your brand can be a leading informational expert on. The content you produce should be unique and fulfill some kind of need. For example, a chamber of commerce's content "niche" would specific to how businesses thrive in the local community.
Next, do some keyword research to figure out how people are phrasing their searches when they look for these topics online. Align your topics with your targeted long tail keyword phrases and target audience search intent. This will help with your SEO and also ensure that your content will be useful and engage your target audience.
Organizing your time is essential when doing content marketing. In order to pump out content on a regular basis, you’re going to have to think like a publisher and plan ahead. The best way to do this is with an editorial calendar.
Create an editorial calendar to map out specific content to be published (such as blog posts), the dates each will be published, and who is in charge of writing the content. You should aim to stick to a regular calendar.
Currently, there are many different types of social media managers that are available for organizations to use, such as Buffer and Hootsuite. By using their platform, you can create your content all at once and then schedule your posts so that your content is being released consistently throughout a certain period of time.
To help you create your content, you can also perform a content audit. Look at all of the content you’ve produced in the past—including blog posts, news articles, videos, brochures—and determine if any of it can be repurposed as educational or entertaining content marketing material.
Extract content from other staff and employees of your organization. They don’t have to be strong writers—you can interview them on their individual areas of expertise, and then turn the information into a blog post.
To test whether or not your content is being well received, you can ask your existing members what type of content they'd like to see from you. For example, after conducting a survey of your members, you might realize that they would like to see a podcast from your organization or chamber. Without collecting feedback, you would have never known what kind of content your community is really looking for.
Share your content through social media channels so that you can expand the reach of your content.
Find as many avenues as possible where you can gain exposure and make your content marketing effective. This can include partnering with key influencers or investing in paid media. Email marketing is another popular avenue for you to share your content marketing.
With content marketing, you can position yourself as a trustworthy and valuable resource. Not only does this help with your SEO, it allows you to more effectively engage with your members. What's more, it is relatively low cost and can bring in long-term results.
Done right, successful content marketing will benefit your organization all around, everything from building credibility to expanding your community. To learn about how you can integrate your content marketing with effective event mobile marketing, check out these 10 tips.