This is part five in a 5-part series of articles examining the stages of blogging development within the nonprofit arena, describing the various challenges, solutions and innovations I have witnessed in the actual content marketing work of my clients. See if it doesn’t get you thinking about the power of the blog for your own organization. Access the previous entry here.
Stage Four: Going Beyond
Once an organization is blogging on a regular basis, they often find themselves ready to branch out and create more original content. The process of producing a blog (and working with stakeholders as guest bloggers) tends to get people’s creative juices flowing and thinking of other ways they might promote their organization via content marketing.
A church I work with creates some additional blogs during holiday seasons such as Advent and Lent, by recruiting members of their congregations to write “reflections” on scripture. These special blogs are published during each day of the holiday season.
In addition to their regular blog, one of my clients has begun producing a “spotlight” on stakeholders. The spotlights are created by providing an intern with question prompts and arranging for her to interview an organizational stakeholder. She transcribes her subject’s responses, then later uses the transcription to write an article about the stakeholder. The piece includes a photo, and is distributed by email, as well as being posted on the website and posted on all social media channels.
Essentially, what these organizations are doing has gone beyond blogging. For them, “blogging” is not just a single tool in their toolkit. Instead, “content marketing” is a range of tools, including blogs, feature articles, news-type items, and more, that these organizations use to achieve a variety of goals. Identify a need or goal, then consider which content marketing tool to use. For example, if your organization would like to invite greater participation from particular stakeholders (such as board members), ask them to be guest bloggers. If you want to promote an upcoming panel discussion, instead of just issuing the standard blurb (who, what, where, when), consider publishing a series of articles about each of the speakers. In other words, get creative with your blogging skills and utilize them to help you share the story, the mission, and the unique perspective of your organization with the widest possible audience.
I produced this series of blogs as my own company’s content marketing, and I hope it provides some useful food for thought for nonprofit leaders. All of the ideas presented here are taken from my own professional experiences with a variety of (faith-based) nonprofits in the New York City area. I hope that the witness of their success can serve to inspire you to at least think about the impact that content marketing might have on your own nonprofit organization’s efforts to communicate with a wide audience of engaged supporters..