content marketing

Flickr: Calixto BentoIt’ll take you about two minutes to read this. Do you think you’ll make it? 

It’s not likely.

People usually read just 20% of any content that’s 100 words long or more. Since this post is longer than that, you’re most likely to scan it for keywords that are relevant to you, plus highlighted elements I showcase with bolding or italics.

Most of us wish, when we write, that people read every single word. But the reality is that people read far less than you think, or want.

Here are six ways to up the odds that your nonprofit’s content is read, digested and acted on: 

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Nancy Schwartz on April 24, 2013 in Content Marketing | 4 comments
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The final draft of my friend Kivi Leroux Miller’s new book on nonprofit content marketing is due to her publisher on February 28.  And she needs your help to round out the guide with several more examples, stories, case studies, and/or anecdotes from nonprofits just like yours.

Can you share your experiences and guidance (if any) in these situations and topics? This won’t take more than 5 minutes of your time (a paragraph or two), and will be a great help to your peers in the field!.

Please use this Google form if you have something to share, or if you aren’t sure and have a question, feel free to email her at kivi@ecoscribe.com.

Kivi is looking for these examples (below). Please share any or all. Thank you! READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on February 9, 2013 in Case Studies | 0 comments
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“When the new antenna went live at New Year’s, you’d swear that Dizzy Gillespie was in your living room.”

I can easily visualize this scene, and hear it too. Can’t you?

This is an excerpt from a fundraising letter I received recently from WBGO (the premier jazz radio station in the NY metro area), referring to the value for listeners of the station’s huge new $2 million antenna.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 1, 2012 in Writing | 2 comments
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Nothing is more important than communicating the right message to your network at the right place and time! And  leveraging a news item or special day by connecting your organization’s issues to it (when relevant!) is a tried-and-true nonprofit marketing strategy with a strong ROI (return on investment).

That’s why I was looking forward to the emails I expected to receive on Earth Day last week, from the environmental organizations I support and others. Earth Day 2010 had delivered so many effective nonprofit marketing models, that I anticipated some great outreach.

Not that Earth Day has been a global success in any way in mobilizing us all to treat the environment more respectfully, but it is a marker heralded broadly in the media (mainstream and not) and leveraged by many advertisers in the New York Times last week. When an issue is addressed like this, it becomes embedded in our heads. Those advertisers knew that Earth Day presented an ideal opportunity of environmental issues being as front-and-center in the news as they get and piggybacked on the day with relevant advertising. An open-minded moment.

How basic then, you’d think, that environmental organizations – tasked solely on the issues at the core of Earth day – would reach out to the network of current and recent supporters. But most organizations I expected to hear from — e.g. Environmental Working Group (marketing geniuses, in a totally genuine way), Sierra Club, Appalachian Mountain Club — didn’t come through. I was poised to re-up our Sierra Club membership that day, but wasn’t invited to do so. Lost opportunity!

Kudos to Catalog Choice – which sent me this email, so-so in headline but spot-on on tying its campaign to Earth Day and my open-minded moment.

Here’s how to ensure you’re poised to capitalize on notable days (holidays and other days) and headlines.

  • Develop a editorial calendar around known notable days (anything from Mother’s Day, to the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution — any day that’s notable in relation to your issue. Those days that generate mainstream and other media coverage are the priority – as they position your outreach for success by getting folks thinking about the day. Your outreach just plugs right into that open-minded moment.
  • Brainstorm around the likely news events that are worthwhile triggers for your outreach.Be prepared, before the moment of, so you can use that moment asap, when your network is open mind.

How does your organization connect its marketing to stories, news and events that are top of mind for your target audiences? Please share your experiences and recommendations here.

Nancy Schwartz on April 25, 2011 in Content Marketing | 17 comments
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Email marketing strategies have matured and are no longer strictly about increasing the number of subscribers.

Today, the priority lies in building a quality list of names. And the 2011 Email Marketing Benchmark Report is a must-read guide to getting there, highlighting what works best to grow relationships with an engaged base and prospects.

The Report is based on survey findings initially billed as insights on building a stronger email list. But the strategy I’m going to share with you goes much further than that.

Effective marketing is rooted in strong relationships with the right target audiences – those with whom your organization’s shares wants and/or needs.  I write about that time and time again.

Assuming that’s so (it is!), content marketing — creating and distributing relevant content to your target audiences — is the best way to strengthen those ties and raise the engagement level of your base.

Here are 6 steps to effective nonprofit content marketing:

  1. Build your understanding, and your boss’ and colleagues’, that relevant content helps your organization develop trusted relationships which motivate your prospects to share email addresses and contact information.
  2. Review models: The Environmental Working Group is a wonderful example of an organization that shares most of its practical, unique content at no charge and, in doing so, has built a huge cadre of loyal supporters!
  3. Do do the audience research it takes to find the point of content connection, based on where your organization’s wants meets those of your audiences. That’s the he sweet spot.
  4. Inventory your content. Most nonprofit organizations are rich in useful content, but don’t know where or what all of it is so can’t use it to build engagement.
  5. Plan and launch your first content marketing campaign. Make it small and focused so you can get clear and quick results.
  6. Fine-tune and get out there again!

Is content marketing one of your strategies? If so, how are you implementing it? If not, why not? Please share your perspective and experiences here.

P.S. Get more in-depth case studies, templates and tools, and guidance for nonprofit marketing  success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz on April 7, 2011 in Content Marketing | 1 comment
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