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Digital Marketing lessons for the Not-For-Profit sector: Content Marketing Strategy


Content marketing, like all marketing communication, requires a strategy for it to be effectively implemented. “You cannot go North if you are already going South”, and if the marketing strategy offline is going one way, then the online marketing should go that way as well. This is the same for content marketing and devising a strategy for it, as, without a strategy, the content being produced will be meaningless, sporadic and with no purpose (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2019). More than ever, it is essential to have a content marketing strategy as 40% of Not-for-Profits said they were either unsure or did not have a content marketing strategy (Content Marketing Institution, 2016).

A goal is just a dream with a deadline.

The first step for a content marketing strategy is setting a goal for what the content is trying to achieve. Is the organization trying to bring awareness to a cause or an issue? Is the organization trying to encourage engagement about the cause or issue by social media content or blog posts? Or is the content trying to draw an action out of the PSIs?

Everybody has a story to tell and a product to sell, so know your audience (PSI) before you open your mouth.

Not-for-profits should start to view traditional marketing terminology differently as their work industry, and the consumers in this industry have different needs and mentalities than those participating in the public and private sectors. The term target audience implies that the participants are actively sitting there waiting for content and that the organisation is specifically targeting them. Not-for-profits should view their target audience as PSI’s: participants, supporters, and influencers (Miller, 2013).

  • Participants are actively supporting your cause by volunteering their time

  • Supporters are those who are financially donating to your cause.

  • Influencers are those who are not necessarily donating to your cause but can sway others to join or support your cause.

A very little key can open a very heavy door

When devising a content marketing strategy, the key messages that need to be conveyed in each piece of content is crucial to breaking through the clutter and reaching the right people with the right message (Dorf, 2018). What is the NFP trying to say to their PSI’s? A method that can be employed is the IC3 method; What is the CAUSE of the ILLNESS that the organization is trying to CURE, and what are the CONSEQUENCES if they do not (Diveley, 2019).

Good content is not storytelling, it's telling your story well

Once there is a goal for the strategy, the PSIs have been identified, and what key message(s) need to be communicated to them, the content for each channel can be created. Each channel will need to have the content tailored, as PSI’s view each channel differently, and the content should reflect that (Pantaleon, 2019). The word attract is being used instead of target as the content being published should being engaging and motivate PSI’s to read instead of using the traditional inbound and interrupting messages.

When devising a content marketing strategy, start with the goal, followed by who the NFP is talking to (PSI’s) and then what key messages are you trying to communicate to them. From there, decide which channels will best reach the PSIs and the measurements used to see if the goals and objectives are achieved.

What do you guys reckon? Drop a comment below about what has worked for your organization and how you came up with a strategy. Don’t forget to follow us on Social Media for more content like this and subscribe to our emails, so you know when the next article drops!

Benjamin Hale 10365126: #ECUindustryreadyproject, #ECUMKT5325 (Disclaimer: This content is for the sole purpose of teaching and learning at Edith Cowan University).


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