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Content Strategy for Non-Profits: Taking a Story First Approach

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Everyone wants to tell engaging and compelling stories about their organization, but it isn’t easy. It must be well-orchestrated, budgeted and targeted for your audiences. The goal of our next session is to highlight which non-profits are doing storytelling and content strategy well, so that non-profits can better understand what constitutes a content strategy and structure content around the “story first” approach.

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Content Strategy for Non-Profits: Taking a Story First Approach

  1. 1. Content Strategy: Taking a “Story First” Approach October 2, 2014 #LEARNwithPOSSIBLE @POSSIBLE
  2. 2. Today’s Presenter: ANDREW GRINAKER @206ANDREW
  3. 3. My Non-Profit Experience
  4. 4. STORY FIRST APPROACH NON-PROFIT EXAMPLES HOW DO YOU DO THIS? THE GOOD STUFF
  5. 5. STORY FIRST APPROACH
  6. 6. THE APPROACH IS QUITE SIMPLE. WE BELIEVE THAT THE STORY COMES FIRST. BEFORE THE CHANNEL.
  7. 7. WE DON’T FOCUS ON A FACEBOOK CONTENT STRATEGY OR A WEBSITE CONTENT STRATEGY. WE WANT TO FOCUS FIRST ON THE STORIES WE WANT TO TELL.
  8. 8. THESE STORIES SHOULD BE NARRATIVES MEANT TO ENTERTAIN, CAPTURE INTEREST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY EVOKE AN ACTION.
  9. 9. EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT THESE STORIES ARE NOT SINGLE MESSAGES OR ADVERTISEMENTS. THEY ARE A SERIES OF MESSAGES CONNECTED TO SOMETHING LARGER.
  10. 10. THESE STORIES REPRESENT WHAT THE BRAND OR ORGANIZATION BELIEVES IN AND WANTS THEIR AUDIENCE TO ENGAGE WITH AND FEEL A PART OF.
  11. 11. THESE BRAND STORIES SHOULD DRIVE THE PRIORITIES FOR ALL CONTENT PRODUCED, PUBLISHED AND PROMOTED.
  12. 12. WITH THIS ALIGNMENT, A BRAND OR ORGANIZATION IS BETTER POSITIONED TO ENSURE CONSISTENT MESSAGING AND APPROACH WITH EVERY CHANNEL AND EVERY TARGETED AUDIENCE TYPE.
  13. 13. LET’S START WITH HOW WE HAVE TRADITIONALLY THOUGHT ABOUT CONTENT THROUGH THE LENS OF THE PUBLISHING CHANNEL.
  14. 14. CHANNEL FIRST APPROACH CHANNEL FIRST • Theme #1 content • Theme #2 content • Theme #3 content • Theme #2 content • Theme #3 content • Theme #4 content • Theme #1 content • Theme #3 content • Theme #4 content • Theme #1 content • Theme #2 content • Theme #4 content Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tumblr
  15. 15. NOW ADJUSTING THAT THINKING TO CREATE A CONTENT STRATEGY WITH A “STORY FIRST” APPROACH AND MENTALITY.
  16. 16. STORY FIRST APPROACH STORY FIRST • .COM blog articles • Social posts • Forum content/response • Banner ads • Long form content type • Twitter posts • YouTube videos • “How To” Content on .COM • Social posts • FB posts • .COM blog articles • Promoted Twitter posts Theme #1 Theme #2 Theme #4 Theme #3
  17. 17. Non-Profit Examples
  18. 18. I am worried about the state of branded content Cool examples, but what about me?
  19. 19. Why/What/How
  20. 20. 3 Why Should I Create Content What Content Should I Create? How Can I Create This Content?
  21. 21. Why Should I Create Content?
  22. 22. Why Should I Create Content
  23. 23. Evaluate All Goals All marketing/sales goals should be reviewed as potential drivers for producing content. Align Goals to Specific Audiences Once the goals have been defined, determine what audiences will be serviced with these goals and the content produced for them. Why Should I Create Content Identify and Define Goals Select the goals that are most realistic to achieve and further define what role you expect content to play.
  24. 24. What Content Should I Create?
  25. 25. What Content Should I Create?
  26. 26. Topics (Stories) Based on your audience and goals, what topics or stories should you be producing content for? Content Type To tell your stories effectively, what content types do you need to create? Article, video, infographic, etc? Audience Determine who your audience is. Donors, volunteers, etc. Goal Alignment What are the goals you are trying to achieve with the content? The Why Section. What Content Should I Create?
  27. 27. Content Themes • Donor Management • Success Stories • Facts/101/Q&A Content Type • Blog/Article Format • White Papers • Video • Social Content Audience • Members • Donors • Board • Volunteers Communication Goals • Acquire new donors • Increase volunteers • Increase awareness & reach of organization • Engaging the community What Content Should I Create?
  28. 28. Content Type • Video Audience • Donors Content Themes • Success Stories Communication Goals • Receive more donations What Content Should I Create?
  29. 29. What Content Should I Create?
  30. 30. How Should I Create This Content?
  31. 31. 3 How Can I Create This Content?
  32. 32. Evaluate Resources What content can your organization create? What do you need to outsource? Be as realistic as possible. 3 How Can I Create This Content? Channel & Goal Prioritization Determine what channels (website, Facebook, etc.) and what goals are the most important to develop content for.
  33. 33. Planning Ahead Based off the “What to Create” Planning stage and the resources available, build out a working editorial calendar with target dates. Measure + Optimize Before publishing content, make sure you have a measurement and optimization plan in place to properly evaluate success. 3 How Can I Create This Content?
  34. 34. The Good Stuff
  35. 35. 1) Find ways to break bigger stories into a number of smaller assets to build out your editorial calendar. 2) Create a visual account of an event for your organization by using a service like Storify. 3) Don’t be afraid to share content more than once. Your audience consumes content at different times. TOP 10 “STORY FIRST” TIPS
  36. 36. 4) You can duplicate and share stories, themes and even the same photo or video on different channels, but don’t copy/paste the text. 5) Stay up-to-date on the latest technical enhancements for the publishing platforms. (Images, markup, etc.) 6) Explore different types of articles to build. How-To, Lists, Advice, FAQs, First-Person, etc. TOP 10 “STORY FIRST” TIPS
  37. 37. 7) Leverage internal employees or board members as the subject of your “Story.” 8) Always be looking to Steal Borrow ideas from other Non-Profits. Don’t limit yourself. 9) Implement an RSS feed like Feedly or Pulse to locate and curate content OR Monitor Industry Trends with a service like Topsy or Technorati. 10) Review through old marketing folders/files to locate pieces of content that could be updated and published. TOP 10 “STORY FIRST” TIPS
  38. 38. INDUSTRY TOOLS - FREE Content Management  Trello, EditFlow (wordpress plugin), Google Calendar Content Distribution  HootSuite, HubSpot, Buffer Analytics + Measurement  Google Analytics, Native Analytics (FB, TW, etc.), Simply Measured (limited)
  39. 39. INDUSTRY TOOLS - $$ Analytics  Simply Measured, Moz Content Management  CoSchedule (WordPress), Opal Moments, Percolate Content Production  Skyword, SJR Group, Zooppa Paid Distribution  Sharethrough, Outbrain, Taboola
  40. 40. RESOURCES Content Audit Tutorials/Templates http://moz.com/blog/content-audit-tutorial http://uxmastery.com/how-to-conduct-a-content-audit/ https://www.distilled.net/blog/seo/how-to-perform-a-content-audit/ Editorial Calendar Templates https://econsultancy.com/blog/64587-eight-free-content-calendar-templates-to-help-plan-your- output#i.rfprerqyldnj11 Definitions and Terms http://www.thelanguageofcontentstrategy.com/ Additional Production Examples http://www.socialbrite.org/2011/04/21/8-great-examples-of-nonprofit-storytelling/ Need something else? Check these two place. http://www.jonathoncolman.org/2013/02/04/content-strategy-resources/ http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com
  41. 41. RESOURCES
  42. 42. KEY TAKEAWAYS 1) Lead with the Story, not with the Channel. 2) Identify why you are creating content and agree on goals before you start producing. 3) Organize your content by Audience, Goal, Theme and Content Type. If this doesn’t work, choose something to structure your content! 4) Find free (or paid) tools and resources to help the gaps of your strategy and execution.
  43. 43. Thank You.

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