A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute showed that 92% of nonprofits are content marketing. However, nearly 75 percent of those polled rated their efforts middling to ineffective.
Where do you stack up?
The 2014 Nonprofit Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report by the Content Marketing Institute and Blackbaud looked at how important content marketing has become for nonprofits and associations.
Just 26 percent of the 1,714 survey respondents, who are nonprofit professionals from North America, say they were effective at content marketing, the creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple media formats to attract and/or retain clients/constituents.
The lack of confidence among nonprofits is telling.
“Forty-five percent of nonprofit professionals are challenged with a lack of knowledge and training about content marketing, compared with 26 percent of for-profit marketers,” says Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute. ”As more nonprofit professionals become better educated on content marketing, we hope to see more of them develop documented content strategies and grow in confidence with their effectiveness.”
Some key takeaways from the study:
- 91 percent use Facebook to distribute content
- 69 percent use Twitter
- 65 percent use YouTube
- 65 percent are producing more content than they were one year ago
- 69 percent of non-profit organizations have someone in place who oversees content marketing
- 25 percent have a documented content strategy
- Non-profits use an average of 4 social media platforms
Nonprofit marketers who rated themselves as most effective use these tactics much more frequently than those who consider themselves less effective:
- Videos (80 percent vs. 60 percent)
- Articles on other websites (59 percent vs. 38 percent)
- Blogs (58 percent vs. 38 percent)
- Infographics (43 percent vs. 18 percent)
- Online presentations (43 percent vs. 19 percent)
Other tactics that many nonprofit professionals say are very effective include in-person events and e-newsletters. And, the most effective nonprofit professionals have far more confidence in all social media platforms than their less effective peers do. For example, 79 percent of the most effective marketers consider Facebook to be effective, compared with 30 percent of the least effective marketers.
In fact, nonprofit marketers who rate themselves effective use on average 13 tactics, compared to nine tactics for those who rated as least effective. That doesn't necessarily mean that more is better, but you should be open to trying new methods of connecting to your audience and distributing content.
In addition, nonprofits of different sizes have different content marketing challenges. Lack of time and lack of budget are greater challenges for small non-profits than larger organizations. Smaller groups also feel challenged in producing content that engages readers. However, larger nonprofits feel more challenged in integrating content across marketing platforms.
For more information, see the full report from the Content Marketing Institute here.
The bottom line? You need to be producing and sharing content that your members value. And, you need a plan and goals to help keep you on track. If your association's website isn't easy to update and add new content such as blog posts or articles, you'll always be struggling to keep ahead of the content game.
For more useful tips for producing content that your members will value and help you reach your goals, check out our recent post, Top Questions About Content Marketing for Associations.
How do your content marketing efforts compare with the nonprofit world at large?