Content is king, but it’s a noisy world out there. For those in the nonprofit space, it is enough of a challenge creating the content that tells your story, to say nothing about then getting that story heard.
The good news is there are several strategies we can employ to have our voices heard above the noise, some of which actually involve creating less content. Getting more out of your time and effort is especially important for nonprofit whose employees wear many hats, leaving precious little time to devote to content. Let’s unpack some strategies that can help you make the most out of your content.
Tips to Repurpose Your Nonprofit’s Content
Be an Editor Instead of a Writer
In my early days producing content, I felt that I had to be the author of every story that showed up on our website. Make the same mistake, and you’ll miss an important opportunity that saves time and adds new flavor to your content. You’re only one person at the end of the day, making it is impossible to scale up your content efforts if you’re the only one contributing. Instead, seek out donors, volunteers, and even clients who would like to write a story about your organization. By adding perspectives and voices from others to your content mix, you’ll save time and generate new buzz around each piece of content you publish.
Tips for Reaching out to Nonprofit Guest Contributors:
- Give them prompts. For example, ask that rock star volunteer to write a post about his/her experiences or encourage a client to write a quick blurb about how your organization helped them.
- Repurpose stories. You likely already have stories of clients that you’ve used in mailings and other publications. Repurpose these materials into fresh content on your blog, digital offers, or website.
- Spotlight a donor or member. Get a key donor on the phone for 5-10 minutes, learn about them and why the donate, then write up a quick spotlight based on your conversation.
Turn One Story Into Multiple Forms Of Content
Every piece of content you produce is competing against millions of other blog posts, Tweets, videos, website pages, etc. Maximize the reach of the content you put out by turning it into multiple additional forms of content. For example, a blog post can easily be turned into a podcast by recording a narrated version of it. Conversely, videos, testimonials, emails from clients, and more can be turned into blog posts by having portions of them transcribed. By repurposing existing content into new mediums, you’ll be able to cut through the noise and reach new audiences.
Tips for Creating Content in Multiple Forms:
- Distribute content on social media. You can post an image on Instagram to highlight a blog post or content offer. Visual content can be the vehicle to back a compelling written narrative. Or consider pulling a quote out of a blog post for Twitter. Tweets are short and sweet and a great tool to drive traffic by linking back to the post.
- Use a post to make a YouTube video. For example, if you have a blog post that is instructional (e.g. how we raised $1,000 in 10 days) you can easily use this to create a video of you in front of the camera walking people through the process.
- Link multiple blog posts together to create a whitepaper. Find topics in which you are an expert, and create several smaller pieces that can fit together into a larger offer. For example, I once wrote a series of blog posts on storytelling at nonprofits and then linked them all together to create a whitepaper called, The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling at Nonprofits.
Repurpose on Multiple Mediums
The most common mistake many nonprofits make is only telling their story on their own website and social media channels.
Think of ways you can share your content with an audience that hasn’t seen it yet. For example, you could ask other bloggers to publish your content as a guest post or submit an editorial to your local paper’s website. Getting your message distributed beyond your walls doesn’t necessarily require a paid budget. Build relationships with bloggers and other influencers who are writing about your issue area. Once you have that framework set, it is relatively easy to ask them to share content that will be of value for their audience.
Create a Content Savings Account
A content savings account is simply a bank of longer blog posts that you can use as main posts, cut down for shorter posts, and repurpose for guest posts. Creating a repository of content on larger themes can help guide your future content calendars and the publications on which you’ll search for guest posting opportunities.
One way to get started with this is by crafting an outline for all the content you’ll need for the next 2-3 months, then, spend 2-3 weeks focusing on writing drafts for all of it. That may seem like a daunting task, but a solid outline and plan of attack make it attainable. Once in place a content savings account will allow you to focus more on sharing your story, rather than writing it day-by-day.
Keep in mind that while this is an effective strategy, you’ll still want to budget time for on the fly content creation. A good way to do this is to build out longer articles as part of your content savings account and use current events to write shorter articles as they come up.
Repackage Content Several Times Across Several Different Mediums
It can be helpful to set up some internal standards around how often, and where you plan to repurpose your content. For example, our organization created a matrix that encourages us to share each piece of content 5 times, and in 3 different mediums. For example, one ebook could be shared with 5 different Facebook groups, 5 different newspaper websites, and 5 different blogs.
These numbers may be different in your case, so do some testing to find the frequency that works best for you.
Reshare Content from Others
There is no shortage of great content beyond what your team produces that is relevant to your audience. Find articles, blogs, podcasts, and videos that fit your tribe and re-share them through your own channels. If you’d like to reuse a piece of content on your own website, however, you’ll want to ask permission from the author before reposting.
The most amazing part of this process is that by lifting others up, you create synergies that help everyone to grow. When you share the work of others, you create a win-win relationship with them that can result in them helping you share your story as well.
Winning the Content Battle
There’s no doubt that the content battle is a tough one, but the good news is that much of your ‘competition’ is spending too much time producing content and far too little time promoting it. Use the strategies above and get your story heard in a way that brings people into your movement.