Building a strategic digital content marketing strategy can be difficult for any organisation. Finding the time to get to grips with multiple technologies and curate, create and distribute useful, actionable content through various channels (including your corporate blog, email, social media, PR activity, etc.) is hard enough, but many budding content marketers fall long before they even reach these hurdles. The real challenge is dreaming up the big ideas for your campaigns in the first place.
Consider the plight of the industrial widget sales organisation. Typically, their rather generic products are so dull that the mere thought of writing a blog post or issuing a press release is enough to drive even the most enthusiastic content writer to the edge of despair. Despite this they work diligently, dreaming up new ways of engaging an audience who are equally indifferent to their efforts – until they need a widget (in which case they will buy the cheapest one). How they must envy those organisations with a real story to tell.
The third sector – too shy
Typically, this is not a problem suffered by the third sector. It would be a real challenge to find a single charity, non-profit, voluntary, community or non-governmental organisation that didn’t have a whole raft of inspirational and highly actionable stories to tell. Let’s not forget, the third sector is largely fuelled by passion and passion is a vital component of any content marketing strategy.
The fact that content marketing can be managed on extremely tight budgets (it can even be free) should be enough of an incentive to encourage vast swaths of the third sector to jump on the content marketing bandwagon.
Despite these factors, many third sector organisations struggle to commit to a robust programme of content creation and, as a result, potentially miss out on opportunities to effectively communicate with their core audience of supporters, volunteers, activists and media allies. This represents a significant lost opportunity to make a real difference in the communities they serve.
One of the biggest challenges the third sector face when it comes to creating compelling content is the fact that their stories often touch the lives of real people (often in difficult circumstances). For the inexperienced content producer, the challenge of seeking the permission of benefactors, recipients or other community members becomes a bit of a self-imposed roadblock.
How would you ask the parents of a sick child if they could front your next campaign? How can you seek permission from someone who is not in the position to fully comprehend your objectives?
You can see the difficulties some content producers face and why it might be easier not to engage in the first place. However, this should never be an excuse for not developing your content marketing efforts as the benefits will quickly put any doubts or fears into perspective.
Put in the ground work to reassure any subjects and ensure safeguards are in place to protect the vulnerable and you’ll be surprised how many people are willing and able to help. Get this right and the content will almost write itself, helping you to reach your goals and support your community.
The third sector cannot afford to be shy. If you’re still not convinced that it is time to rise to the challenge of effective content marketing in the third sector perhaps you should consider a change of career. The widget industry is always full of fresh opportunities – nope I didn’t think so.