Appealing for donations is an increasingly difficult task in Australia’s cluttered charity market where 700,000 not-for-profit (NFP) organisations are vying for their piece of the pie.
It takes a lot more than traditional appeals for donations to engage and sustain the interest of consumers who are flooded with requests to support a variety of causes every day – some through personal appeals on our own social media channels such as World’s Greatest Shave, or global appeals from the likes of World Vision.
Savvy NFP players are turning to content marketing – particularly in the digital sphere – to cut through the noise and create deep relationships with consumers.
Content marketing is one of the simplest and most controllable ways for brands to communicate with audiences.
But most importantly, it’s affordable and it works.
Content can be produced on next to no budget. We recently created a single inexpensive infographic for our NFP client, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia that was shared on Facebook and reached 400,000 people!
And the value of shared content is not to be overlooked. Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising survey (2013) found 84% of consumers around the world say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, a form of earned media, above all other sources of advertising.
While content marketing was born in the owned media landscape, its value is ever increasing in the earned media arena. It’s not uncommon to see a clever piece of content marketing shared in traditional earned media channels. BuzzFeed is a major online collector and curator of content from all corners of the internet – much of which is owned by brands.
Involving PR in the planning stage can help create content that will appeal to both the media and the public – tapping into the trends and topics that are most interesting at that time.
Content might be king, but how you use it in your broader brand conversation is what matters. PR ‘hits’ in relevant media outlets strengthen the credibility of the brand communication and allow the content to reach new audiences.
One of the biggest misconceptions about content is that it has to be new. When in actual fact content can come from anywhere.
Before investing in creating new assets, consider auditing the content you already have. Explore your archives looking at photos, case studies, videos, diagrams – anything that can be shared to help tell your brand story, engage your audience and serve your objectives.
So many Australian NFPs are extraordinarily content rich and don’t know it.
Before creating new content, ask yourself what real emotional stories you have at your fingertips, and how can content marketing allow you to share them in a way that will make your audience feel connected to your cause and take action?
As long as it ticks the boxes of feeing personal, valuable, and credible and easily sharable – it can be used as part of your content marketing strategy. And if you have the right team, it won’t break the bank.