You’ve no doubt heard folks bandying about the latest buzzword: “content marketing.” There’s a reason it’s buzz-worthy. Without content, you’ve got nothing. You’re just a box with nothing inside. Kids like to play with boxes; most folks — when they grow up — are looking for something of value inside the box. At the same time…Continue Reading
I really want you to blog. Did you know that Social Media Examiner’s 2013 State of Social Media Report puts blogging #1 at the list of the top 14 social media channels you should be exploring? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Your blog is the hub of your content strategy (or it should be). Build a blog and rock it. You’ll simultaneously put in place a content strategy that will enable you to easily share relevant content across every communication channel you use. Online and offline. There’s no better way to offer your constituents meaningful engagement. So… what are you waiting for?
BTW: You can learn a lot more if you download my free webinar,The Keys to Nonprofit Blogging that Drives Engagement. Did I mention it’s free?
Here are 10 tips to get you started, or to help you simplify the process so you can focus and deliver.Continue Reading
Find a need and fill it. That’s Marketing 101. Well, today some of the folks most clued in to what people want are the apps developers. Why not piggyback on their insight and research to enrich your content marketing strategy? The key is to tie it to your brand promise (i.e., why you’re on this planet and what folks perceive your value to be to them). Find an angle that makes the trend relevant to your business.
End your constituents’ pain. This is simply another way to think of taking the consumer-oriented approach that means the difference between failure and success. What’s bothering your community? What keeps them up at night? How can you help? This is how app developers – and inventors, and successful business start-ups – think. Continue Reading
R.C.A. That’s the three things. Yup. When building a blog that’s not only worth reading but also worth sharing, you’ve got to think like an RCA Victrola and record. A great recording captures our attention. It transports us. It carries us away. It brings us into the music/story in an easy flow. It gets us tapping our toes and up on our feet dancing. Woo-hoo… it’s a party!
And don’t you just want to share a party? To get your readers to share your party you’ve got to make sure your blog posts are Relatable (they find common ground with your readers); Conversational (you speak directly to your readers), and Actionable(you achieve your blog post’s purpose).
Once you understand the three principles of R.C.A. you’ll be well on your way towards having a blog your readers will share with their networks. Today, let’s begin with the first principle: how to put the ‘R’ in R.C.A.Continue Reading
C.P.A.? Yup. In my last post I introduced you to the ‘accountant’ theory of an effective blog content strategy. C for constituent-centered. P for plan. A for accessible. You can review the ‘C’ post here. Today we’re going to talk about the ‘P.’
For starters, you’ve done your market research and you know what your constituents care about (if you haven’t done this, look at the 6 actionable tips in the previous post). Now, take all the great topics you’ve researched and brainstormed – all the questions you’ve been collecting from your constituents – and build an editorial calendar for your blog. I’m going to give you some tips and tools that will make this really simple. Promise.Continue Reading
3 Little Understood Factors Affecting Your Nonprofit Blog Readership – and How to Quickly Fix Things – Part I
C.P.A. That’s the three things. Huh? Your accountant? Well…. sort of. What do you want from an accountant? My guess is that you want someone who is:
- Passionate about helping you.
- An authority on their subject.
- Focused on you and your situation.
- Working from a plan; knows how to help you.
- Accessible to you; easy to understand; there when you need them.
Gosh, golly… that’s exactly what your blog readers want from you! So if you’ve got passion and authority (and I certainly hope you have that about your mission and the work of your organization) then you’re already ahead of the game. Woo-hoo! Now you just need to package everything, and make sure you’re Constituent-centered (focused on your readers); Planful (you know what your blog’s goals and objectives are and how you can use your blog to be of value to your constituents), and Accessible (folks can easily connect with you and understand what you’re sharing with them).
Once you understand the principles of C.P.A. you’ll be well on your way towards having a blog with content that knocks the socks off your readers. Today, let’s begin with how to put the ‘C’ in C.P.A.Continue Reading
|Vague requests > token gifts Image by Gamma Man
A person is more likely to give if they know how much is expected of them. Ask for a specific dollar amount. Don’t be vague, as in “any amount helps.” Don’t be passive. This beggar didn’t just sit on the sidewalk with a cup in front of her. I didn’t have to decide how much money she might appreciate. She told me specifically. She wasn’t aggressive. I didn’t feel “hit up”. And I didn’t feel apprehensive that the amount I gave would be too little or too much. I knew exactly what was being asked of me.
|Picture tells a story|
A person is more likely to help someone if they feel their contribution will make a significant difference in that person’s situation.When you ask, help me picture what the money will be used for. Ideally, it should be something I can visualize. Use words that immediately bring a picture to mind – like you, or the people helped by your organization, eating a sandwich. Or tell me a story – like a beggar’s sign informing me you’ve served your country. And don’t despair if you’re not a direct service organization. Show me a picture – like a cross burning on someone’s lawn (advocacy organization)… wide-eyed children being inspired at a museum (arts organization)… that helps me feel what the people you’re trying to help might be feeling. I’ve got to be able to perceive the unfolding drama – and the happy ending – that will come about as a result of my contribution. See ONE Incredibly Dramatic Way to Create Winning Content.
|Fresh, direct approach|
A person is more likely to pay attention if your approach is fresh and different from everyone else. This beggar was neither passive nor aggressive. There was nothing slick, sleazy or manipulative about her (at least from my perspective). Sometimes it pays to look at what others are doing; then do the opposite. Of course, this isn’t always the case. There’s a reason the tried-and-true is tried-and-true. But it bears consideration. Could you stand out more? Could you fix something that isn’t exactly broken, but that could function more effectively? There may be a different way you can ask, or a different place you can use as a platform for your message. SeeWhy If It’s Not Broke Don’t Fix It No Longer Applies.
Last week I wrote about the evils of using jargon. I got lots of responses. It’s clearly hard for people to get outside of their ‘insider’ mindset. When we use words at work daily, they begin to seem normal (even though we may’ve never used those words before). Before working at a social service agency, I never regularly used the words “client,” “youth,” “senior,” “programs,” “services,” “underserved,” or “managed care.” If you think these words are okay to use in your external communications, they’re really not. Later in this post I’ll point you to an article by Gail Perry that explains why. These are modern jargon; words that don’t cut it if you want to differentiate yourself, demonstrate impact and inspire investment.