In the last week, I’ve presented at three conferences for not-for-profits and one thing is clear: people are overwhelmed.

Marketing has had more changes in the last five years than the last 50. Leaders and doers are confused and struggling with ‘digital distress’. Everyone knows they have to do something, but no one knows what to do.

But there’s a simple secret to success amidst all these changes: creating strategic, purposeful, and measurable digital channels.

Most not-for-profits are stuck in campaign mentality: churning out expensive annual campaigns instead of engaging supporters all year round.

Switching to an ‘always on’ mindset doesn’t mean just ramping up your outputs and creating content for the sake of it. Here are three lessons I’ve shared over the last week to engage donors 365 days of the year – not just during tax time and Christmas.

1. Have one-sentence content strategy

A content strategy helps you to focus your resources, and spread your content across multiple channels at a sustainable pace, creating better experiences for users. It means your results can be tangibly linked to your outputs.

In plain english: it makes thing easier.

You should be able to define your content strategy in one sentence. That might sound intimidating, but we’ve got a formula to help…

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  • Goal: Identify what you want to achieve. Usually this is an increase in donations, however it could be anything related to a problem your organisation is trying to fix.
  • Pain: Think about what barriers are hindering your ability to reach your goals. What’s preventing your donors from giving or using your service? It could be that they don’t know how to use your service, or that they are evaluating you against your competitors.
  • Solution: Develop the solution for how content can address your donor’s pain point. It should address the problems, change opinions or create actions.
  • Measure: Determine what metrics you will need to track to measure the success of your goals. Is it donation value, or number of inquiries, or petition signatures, etc? Digital metrics like click-through-rates and conversion rates are incredibly useful here as they provide real-time insights that help you make better decisions and optimise your content for best results.

Once you’ve figured out each of the above, string them together and you have your one-sentence content strategy. For more info on how to do this, read here.

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2. Use content themes

With a content strategy in motion, create 3-5 content themes that segment the content you will be sharing. For example, if you want to increase trust in your brand, you may choose content themes that show:

  • How your services work and the impact they make

  • Staff member stories, their skills, and why they love your organisation

  • Donors stories, why others trust you.

Hand-in-hand with measurement, these themes can also be used to gauge which type of content your community responds well to. You can then adjust your approach accordingly using data to guide your decisions. It’s also important to keep an eye on your competitors and learn from their successes and failures.

Remember, your content themes should never be fixed. As our environment – and undoubtedly our organisations – continue to change, your content themes should be reviewed at least quarterly and refined to address your evolving goals and pains.

3. Plan your content in a content calendar

Your content calendar should have information about what type of posts you’re creating, across what channel, using which imagery, and highlighting what content theme it aligns with. It should also detail who is responsible for posting/approving the messaging, and the date and time for posting. After the content is posted, you can also use a content calendar to track success.

Not only will this help bring content to the heart of your organisation, but it will also streamline your approvals processes and allow more agile, responsive thinking.

ntegrity has a great content strategy template that can help you with these quick changes that make a big impact. Send an email to richenda@ntegrity.com.au and we’ll send one your way!

Originally published on Probono Australia.