Posts Tagged ‘Content Marketing for Nonprofits’

Inject soul into your use of technology

contentmarketingLeroux Miller’s comprehensive guide to curating content is the cornerstone to creating a climate of followers engaged in your organization’s fundraising and brandraising.

The author’s vast number of nonprofit examples and specific guidance on why it’s important to create your content identity, build a plan based on your constituents’ preferences, and map out a functional timeline are only a few of the passage highlights in this book.

You’ll have answers to some of the most popular questions like, “What are the benefits and drawbacks of each online channel?” “What three questions should my homepage answer?” and “How do I allow for content surprises in a pre-planned editorial calendar?”

The secret in Leroux Miller’s sauce is she practices what she prescribes. She has worked out the kinks in all the methods and tools she recommends and has done so single-handedly. So, if you’re wondering if your small or sophisticated shop can implement her approach, wonder no more.

We asked Leroux Miller about injecting soul into your use of technology and what’s around the corner for nonprofits:

CausePlanet: Hi, Kivi. Many thanks for the much-anticipated book about content management. What would you most like readers to know about how your book uniquely adds to the body of work on this topic?

Leroux Miller: Nonprofits are trying to change the world–and that’s hard! That’s why I believe content marketing in the nonprofit world is much harder than in the for-profit world but also potentially more powerful, too. It’s all about making strong connections with participants, supporters and influencers and showing how relevant your organization is to their lives so they’ll help you change the world. This book is for and about nonprofits and how they use content; it’s not just slapping business advice on to the nonprofit world.

CausePlanet: Content management is constantly evolving in light of the channels that seem to emerge every day and the tools with which we can better communicate. If you added new content to your book, what might the topic be?

Leroux Miller: I think it would be an expansion of chapter sixteen on the technology of content marketing. In just a few short years, the technology the corporate world uses now to customize your experience on some of your favorite websites will be available and affordable to even small nonprofits, too. That will change everything.

Learn more about this book and our summary.

Check out Kivi Leroux Miller’s slide deck.

Questions? Email us at Support@CausePlanet.org.

Image credit: TheNerdyNonprofit.com

 

 

 

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Content marketing for nonprofits: Don’t forget to rinse and repeat

rinseandrepeatThe number of tools and the amount of noise around us grow by the day. With choice comes complexity, and our environment changes constantly, due to technological, generational and marketing shifts.

Redefine your audience for today’s current climate with the help of author Kivi Leroux Miller. Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money delivers on the title and much more.

Without the benefit of a multichannel communications plan like Leroux Miller’s, your organization pushes out mass-messaging in a variety of unplanned channels and hopes that a few calls to action land in receptive hands.

But with Leroux Miller’s guidance, you will develop a solid marketing plan and implement a dynamic content strategy, step by step, that will attract generous donors.

In our Page to Practice book summary of Content Marketing for Nonprofits, we asked Leroux Miller about repurposing content. Here are some great reminders and tips:

CausePlanet: We love your passage on repurposing content–it’s liberating to know you support this strategy. What’s one of the best examples you’ve observed or you personally use that you would recommend to our readers?

Kivi Leroux Miller: I rarely create anything new without knowing how I will use it in at least three ways. Sometimes it’s just an inkling, but everything gets reincarnated at some point. I am always expanding or reworking things I did earlier. It’s a way of life for creative professionals, including marketers! 

CausePlanet: In your book, you discuss one of many content strategies, including “Foraging and Filtering: Curating Content Created by Others.” What are some of the online tools you prefer to use when organizing thoughts and ideas within the same subject area?

Kivi Leroux Miller: The specific tool you use is less important than the tagging or labeling system you use. You have to know how to identify things you find so that you can find them again later! But since you asked, we use Diigo and Evernote regularly.

Learn more about this book and our summary: http://www.causeplanet.org/pagetopracticelibrary/detail.php?id=121

More titles and their summaries on this topic:

The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand

Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications

How to Write Fundraising Materials That Raise More Money

Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits

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Who says you can’t get smart on National Taco Day?

tacoIt’s National Taco Day today and you’re probably wondering what tacos have to do with great books for nonprofit leaders. Well, it turns out a lot. Before I share our CausePlanet spin on tacos, I’ll give you a little context.

At Smithsonian.com, history professor Jeffrey Pilcher suggests that the taco originated around the 18th century in Mexico’s silver mines. “Taco” refers to the charges they would use to excavate the ore. The charges were pieces of paper the miners would wrap around the gunpowder and insert into holes they carved in the rock face.

In honor of America’s passion for the taco, we’ve assembled four titles at CausePlanet that make up the acronym T-A-C-O. Together, these recommended books cover governance, fundraising, content marketing and leadership. What more could you want? Okay, we threw in some salsa, too. I hope you enjoy blending your passion for getting smarter with a little history and culture today.

T Transformational Governance: Our newest recommendation about how change happens at the board level, not just what it looks like at the end.

A Asking Rights: Learn how to successfully fund your nonprofit and do so with a greater focus on funder interests and motivations.

CContent Marketing for Nonprofits: Examine how your marketing and fundraising strategies must dramatically change in order to genuinely attract donors and adapt to evolving market influences.

O Ordinary Greatness: Find out how to maximize your organizational results by cultivating the potential for greatness in everyone.

Plus, some salsa:

Salsa Soul and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age: Discover the eight principles of multicultural leadership and how they can be applied to your organization.

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Make your content king by accepting these two challenges (audio)

“You never write one thing for one purpose. If I’m asked to create something from scratch … I never say ‘yes’ unless I can see using it in three different ways,” explains Kivi Leroux Miller, author of Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money.

While the ever-growing variety of communication channels available to us as nonprofit marketers and fundraisers is inspiring, it’s also completely daunting. With choice comes complexity, not to mention a completely different environment due to technological, generational and marketing shifts.

Kivi Leroux Miller has taken us behind the expert communicator’s curtain to show us exactly how she’s done it over the years for hundreds of nonprofit clients she’s advised and observed. In her book, Leroux Miller illustrates how to:

redefine your audience for today’s current climate,

develop your content marketing plan,

implement a dynamic content strategy, and

leverage online channels through an exploration of their potential pitfalls and opportunities.

Live interview sound bite: Repurposing content

In our most recent live interview with Leroux Miller, we asked her about the importance of repurposing content since she dedicates an entire chapter to this topic. She says, “I am always expanding or reworking things I did earlier. It’s a way of life for creative professionals, including marketers!” Leroux Miller also explains, “When you repurpose content…”

Live interview sound bite: “Six Rs” of great content

Our live chat also covered how to be relevant and creative with your audience. Leroux Miller explained that “Finding your voice or your content personality is the place to start with relevancy. The biggest problem nonprofits have is when they are speaking like a 501c3…” Find out how Leroux Miller finishes this answer and shares “Six Rs” for great content.

Rewarding
Realistic
Real-time
Refreshing
Revealing
Responsive

Your odds of being relevant greatly increase if your communications can demonstrate at least on one or more of these content goals. Leroux Miller shares an example in her book of a nonprofit that had all six of these characteristics in an email campaign.

Accept the challenge

Consider accepting Kivi Leroux Miller’s two challenges we’ve excerpted from our author interview the next time you work on a communications piece:

1)      Try to repurpose the content you’ve created in three additional ways

2)      Apply one or more of the “Six Rs” in your content for a fundraising or marketing piece.

In the spirit of repurposing content, I’ll finish with one of my favorite quotations in Leroux Miller’s book:

“Your success as a nonprofit depends on your ability to stay in the conversation, week after week, with the members of your community, on their level. Engaging your community requires that you mix and mingle and be seen as one of the community members, rather than as some authority somehow above and removed from everyone else, who decides to speak only on a limited and predetermined schedule.”

 

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Content marketing: canyons, road trips and surprises

“Only 32% of marketers say they’re producing enough content, while a mere 27% think they’re tracking the right metrics,” reports the Aberdeen Group. Kapost’s director of marketing Jodi Cerretani says, “That’s a big difference between understanding that content marketing works for your organization, and making content marketing work for your organization.”

So we all know content is king but the incredible distance between an awareness of its importance to making content work for your organization feels like standing on one rim of the Grand Canyon and looking at the other. Cerretani’s quote grabbed me because I sometimes wonder who’s in charge of my day—am I or is the content schedule?

Our currently featured author, Kivi Leroux Miller, knows how to make content work for you. In fact, she’s recently published Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money. Three highlights from her book could really help focus and build your content schedule: her exploration of different communication channels, three categories of content and repurposed content.

Content marketing is like a road trip. There are many routes from which you can choose and you always have surprises along the way. Leroux Miller helps you explore and evaluate all the channels where your content can travel. For example, today, Fast Company reported 10 surprising social media statistics, including: “The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket.” “189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only.’” “Every second two new members join Linkedin.” Leroux Miller helps you navigate these channels with current trends.

Leroux Miller also acknowledges you can’t anticipate every surprise so one of the strategies she discusses is how to accommodate these constantly changing demographics and technology in an opportunistic way in your annual plan. I found this passage in the book particularly helpful. Kivi recommends separating your content into three categories: evergreen (long-term content), perennial (content you create every year) and annual (content that adds color). The book’s full text explores this analogy thoroughly and offers a comprehensive strategy.

Finally, I asked Leroux Miller a question related to repurposing content:

CausePlanet: We love your passage on repurposing content–it’s liberating to know you support this strategy. What’s one of the best examples you’ve observed or you personally use that you would recommend to our readers?

Kivi Leroux Miller: I rarely create anything new without knowing how I will use it in at least three ways. Sometimes it’s just an inkling, but everything gets reincarnated at some point. I am always expanding or reworking things I did earlier. It’s a way of life for creative professionals, including marketers!

See also:

Seeing Through A Donor’s Eyes

Social Change Anytime Everywhere

The Nonprofit Marketing Guide

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What’s a reasonable amount of content to produce?

This was originally published on Kivi Leroux Miller’s Nonprofit Communications Blog on her site, Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com.

I just took another look at the preliminary results from our 2013 Nonprofit Communications Trends survey and “lack of time to produce quality content” is the biggest challenge nonprofit communicators are facing, with almost 52% of the 300+ who have taken the survey picking that answer out of a list of a dozen choices.

This begs the question, “What is a reasonable amount of quality content to expect from a nonprofit communicator?”

What’s reasonable for you will be way too much for some and way too little for others. Figuring out what’s reasonable depends on several factors.

How ambitious your goals are. How many different kinds of target audiences are you trying to reach? Program participants or supporters or both? And with how many different messages and calls to action? How quickly and to what extent are you trying to increase turnout or raise money? Limiting the target audiences and the things you want them to do (your calls to action) is the first thing I recommend to overworked communications staff because these two factors have such a huge ripple effect on everything else.

The role of content marketing in achieving those goals. Just how important is the content you produce to achieving those goals? For example, if you are trying to establish your organization as an expert on a topic, be seen as the go-to source of news in your field, or build a grassroots network of citizen advocates, then you are going to need to create a lot more content than a nonprofit that provides direct social services to clients who show up at the door primarily via a strong referral network and word of mouth.

The level of resources available to implement the plan. If you don’t have the staff capacity, including time and talent, along with adequate financial resources to get the work done, then your goals are unreasonable. Plain and simple. Too many nonprofits create pie in the sky plans that they don’t back up with resources. That often creates negative situations where (1) everyone knows the plan is a farce, and so there is little accountability for anything or (2) people are essentially branded as failures even when they do their very best work. It’s certainly fine for a plan to have”stretch” goals, but only if everyone understands the difference between stretching and breaking.

The difficulty of the topic and the storytelling. Some nonprofits do really complicated, technical work that takes awhile to understand and translate into plain English. Others do highly personal work that requires a very careful, deliberate touch. In certain fields and in certain situations, it simply takes longer to tell the story. This is especially true if your communications staff members are not really fluent on the program side of things.

I know, I still haven’t answered the question: What’s a reasonable amount of content?

Here’s one example of what feels like a reasonable list of work for one generic communications person, not including all the other stuff that comes along with a full-time job, like attending meetings or conference calls that are only tangentially related to work, all the various reporting you have to do, dealing with incoming calls and email, office drama, fire drills(real and imagined), your turn to clean the lunch room, etc.

This assumes a good deal of repurposing of content between channels.

    A monthly e-newsletter

    Print communications, 4–6 times a year (maybe a short newsletter, or event marketing, or an appeal letter)

    Blog or website update, weekly

    Social media updates, at least once a day

    An annual report

    A few special projects over the course of the year (e.g. producing a special report or guidebook).

    See also:

    Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause and Raising More Money

    The Nonprofit Marketing Guide

     

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    Are assumptions driving your content strategy?

    A teen employee at one of Goodwill’s Florida outlets was charged recently with theft and jailed for giving discounts to the store’s poorest patrons. Andrew Anderson explained Goodwill “is a giving and helping company” so he wanted to extend that philosophy to customers with the greatest need. Four days later, after determining Anderson’s actions were not for personal gain, Goodwill dropped its charges.

    Life is full of decisions made without all the facts. On the surface, Goodwill saw an employee taking money from the store. After talking with Anderson and learning more, they realized his methods, although unusual, were done with a good motive and ultimately consistent with Goodwill’s mission.

    While not as dramatic as this Goodwill story, the same can be said of our decisions about communicating with donors and friends. We don’t always consider all the pertinent facts. Too often, nonprofits base their communications efforts on dated assumptions about the market, preferred channels, donor preferences and content relevancy. This can turn away donors and supporters central to your cause.

    Kivi Leroux Miller addresses this issue in her new book, Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money.

    Today as nonprofit leaders and communicators, we have four divergent generations to connect and contend with appropriately. We’ve experienced dramatic marketing shifts in the way our constituents consume information. Our inboxes, social media networks, screens and mailboxes are exploding with marketing messages so that it’s become necessary to do what we should have done to begin with: share relevant and valuable information so we attract versus target people who care about our causes.

    Without the benefit of a multichannel communications plan like Leroux Miller’s, your organization becomes one of those causes that pushes out mass-messaging in a variety of unplanned channels and hopes that a few calls to action land in receptive hands.

    We can no longer afford to repel our audiences with a one-size-fits-all messaging. Leroux Miller defines superior content marketing as:

    “Creating and sharing relevant and valuable content that attracts, motivates, engages, and inspires your participants, supporters, and influencers to help you achieve your mission.”

    We found Kivi’s last section in her book particularly helpful: “What You Need to Know About the Channels You Choose.” Leroux Miller provides you with an incredible service in this part by analyzing each communication channel: how it’s different from others, how to use it well and how to avoid pitfalls.

    Her recommendations are so specific that only reading them can do them justice. However, some overarching themes emerge. Some of the do’s include:

    using enticing subject lines/hooks

    making your content skimmable

    researching the right amount for your audience and the channel

    testing/experimenting with each channel

    We asked Kivi to introduce her book to you so you can learn more about how it can help your cause:

    CausePlanet: Hi, Kivi. Many thanks for the much-anticipated book about content management. What would you most like readers to know about how your book uniquely adds to the body of work on this topic?

    Leroux Miller: Nonprofits are trying to change the world–and that’s hard! That’s why I believe content marketing in the nonprofit world is much harder than in the for-profit world but also potentially more powerful, too. It’s all about making strong connections with participants, supporters and influencers and showing how relevant your organization is to their lives so they’ll help you change the world. This book is for and about nonprofits and how they use content; it’s not just slapping business advice on to the nonprofit world.

    See also:

    The Nonprofit Marketing Guide

    Seeing Through A Donor’s Eyes

    Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding

     

     

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