How Nonprofits Can Succeed with Content Marketing

For a recent article in Nonprofit Communications Report, I was asked by writer Dawn Wolfe for 3 keys to successful content marketing for nonprofits.

I thought it would be worth sharing them here, via excerpts from the piece (a subscription is required to view the full article online).

What is content marketing? It's self-published sontent that is genuinely useful and/or entertaining, which you us to attract people to your website and socal media presences. It's a core part of  inbound marketing.

My 3 keys? Brand, persona and focus:

Brand. “First of all, you need to use your brand to unify everything and amplify everything you do,” Critchley advises. “It’s more important than ever for a nonprofit to have a strong brand identity and strong emotional impact on people. Too many nonprofits still focus on information first — but marketing runs on emotion.”

Persona. "Always identify the persona of the people you’re trying to reach and figure out what they want to hear about,” even if those interests are just tangentially related to your organization. “A common mistake nonprofits make in their content marketing is announcing news that’s important to them — the point of view is what you (the prospect) can do for me (the nonprofit).”

Focus. “Content marketing and social media can be very complicated, because there are so many things you can be doing — e-mail newsletters, podcasts, Facebook, etc. — and people keep looking at all of the options and quickly become overwhelmed,” Critchley explains. “Instead, think in terms of campaigns; you can’t do everything, so think about the personas of the people you want to attract (for example, to a particular event or donation opportunity). Find out which channels these people use, like Facebook and e-mail, and use those channels while ignoring the rest. You have to deploy your resources strategically.”

["Get Your Content Marketing Noticed Today and Tomorrow," Nonprofit Communications Report, November 2013. Subscribe at