Elaine Fogel

Only a Quarter of Nonprofits Have a Content Marketing Strategy to Guide Them

Content-marketingThe good news is that 92% of surveyed nonprofit professionals are using content marketing. The not-so-good news is that 26% rate themselves as effective at content marketing and only 25% have a documented content strategy to guide their efforts.

The 2014 Nonprofit Content Marketing Research: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends–North Americafrom the Content Marketing Institute and Blackbaud, says the lack of content marketing knowledge and training is a bigger challenge for nonprofit professionals than it is for marketers at business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies.

Results worth noting:

  • Small organizations are more likely than large organizations to have someone who oversees content marketing strategy (71% vs. 62%). Surprised?
  • 65% of nonprofit professionals are producing more content than they did one year ago. 
  • Nonprofit professionals use an average of 11 content marketing tactics.
  • Nonprofit professionals rate in-person events as the most effective content marketing tactic.
  • Nonprofit professionals use Facebook more than any other social media platform.
  • Nonprofit professionals are uncertain about social media effectiveness.
  • Fundraising is the top organizational goal for nonprofit content marketing.
  • Nonprofit professionals cite increased fundraising as their top content marketing metric.
  • 38% of nonprofit professionals plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months.
  • On average, 20% of nonprofit marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing.
  • 49% of nonprofit professionals outsource content creation.
  • Among those who outsource, nonprofit professionals are most likely to seek design services.
  • Nonprofit professionals most often tailor content based on the profile of individual decision makers.
  • Nonprofit professionals cite lack of time and lack of budget as top content marketing challenges.

Organizational Goals for Nonprofit Content Marketing

Take a look at the top goals nonprofits cite for their content marketing efforts. The number-one answer doesn’t surprise me at all. But, fundraising isn’t the first choice for large nonprofits. They cite brand awareness (79%) and engagement (69%) as top goals over fundraising (68%).

Small nonprofits cite volunteer recruitment as a goal more often than large organizations do (45% vs. 26%), while large nonprofits place higher emphasis on lead generation (29% vs. 16%).

What’s interesting to me is that retention comes in fourth at 59%. One of the most effective ways to fundraise is to retain current donors and hope that they increase their gift size. Retention is a strong antitdote to attrition, which tends to be high, especially after the first year.

The survey lists engagement as a separate selection, yet it is engagement that leads to retention and word-of-mouth marketing, which, in turn raises brand awareness. Got that? 🙂

So, what now? My big advice?

Nonprofits that use content marketing should have an overall marketing strategy to guide their efforts. Too bad the survey didn’t pose this question.

After all, if organizations don’t identify where they’re going, all the content marketing in the world can’t get them there.

Does your nonprofit have a content marketing strategy? What about a nonprofit marketing plan?

Organizational Goals for NP Content Marketing

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