3 Shocking Stats about Nonprofit Content Marketing and Why they Matter to You

We live in the information age – people have all the info they need at their fingertips and Google has trained us to find anything we need by doing a simple search.

Your potential donors are searching. Volunteers are searching. Funders are searching. Patients are searching. Parents are searching. Those who would benefit from your programs and services are searching.  Everyone is searching.

We also live in the information overload age – meaning there is more information being fed to us than ever before and there’s no chance of us making sense of it all. Which means we have to be selective. We find the sources of information we like and trust. Then we stick with those, ignoring others.

That’s why great content (aka Epic Content according to Joe Pulizzi) is so important and content marketing is the key to being found and capturing the attention of those you need to reach.

3 Shocking Nonprofit Content Marketing Stats

1) 92% of nonprofits professionals use content marketing.

92% of nonprofits use content marketing

That sounds like a huge number, but keep in mind content marketing has been around since at least 1895 when John Deere launched a magazine titled “The Furrow”, providing information to farmers on how to become more profitable.

According to Wikipedia content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers (or donors, volunteers, advocates, etc. – inserted by me). This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.

With that definition it makes sense that 92% of nonprofits surveyed in the first ever nonprofit content marketing report said they’re using content marketing. Nonprofits have been creating content to engage constituent and acquire new supports for as long as the charitable sector has been around.

But we also have to keep in mind that the world is changing every day. It’s getting harder to connect with those who would love to support your cause. “Nonprofits are turning to?content marketing because ‘spray & pray’?mass marketing isn’t working for them.” According to Kivi Leroux Miller (@kivilm), President of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

Ultimately, the real question is if using content marketing is helping to advance your mission?

2) Only 25% of nonprofit professionals have a documented content strategy.

25% of nonprofits have a documented content marketing strategy

This is where the rubber meets the road.

Many nonprofit organizations lack a documented content strategy to guide their efforts. Yet it’s clear that those who do document their strategy are far more effective than those who do not. 52% of those with a documented content strategy rate themselves highly in terms of effectiveness, compared with 14% of those without a documented strategy.

According to the Content Marketing Institute this is similar to what they’ve observed in their research on both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies.

Those organizations that take the time to think through, plan and document how they’re going to use great content to educate and engage in order to advance their mission have a leg up on the rest. Without this type of planning it’s likely you’re spinning your wheels and wasting valuable resources.

3) Lack of time and budget are the greatest challenges for nonprofit professionals.

lack of time and budget for content marketing

Ok, maybe this one isn’t “shocking”.

Finding the time and the money to do most anything can be difficult for nonprofits that are watching every penny and doing their absolute best to make an impact. But it’s important. And there are ways to alleviate the pain.

Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi), Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, suggests “nonprofits without many resources should focus on delivering?consistent content by owning just one?channel. Be the go-to resource!” The idea is simple yet highly effective – pick one place and focus all your time and attention on it. Be the most helpful. Be the most engaging. Be the most fun. Be the best!

Once you’ve determined that the time and effort is worth it and mastered one channel, move to the next one.  Slowly but surely you’ll build your expertise, capacity and ability to expand.

Check out the full report

Make sure to download the full report and check out the infographic.

It’s Your Turn

What’s your take? Is content important?

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John Haydon