By Jesse Noyes
No use pretending it isn’t true: at far too many organizations, content creation happens well before strategy or structure.
The result? Chaos, as recent research from the Aberdeen Group shows. But if you work at a nonprofit, you can feel especially overwhelmed by the amount of content marketing that needs to be produced, and the sense that not enough planning is in place.
A new report on benchmarks around content marketing among nonprofits was just released by Blackbaud and the Content Marketing Institute. Among the findings, 92% of nonprofit professionals use content marketing. Not only is the industry embracing content, but many sophisticated practitioners are focused on using their skills to raise money for worthy causes.
Still, if you meet someone cranking out content for a nonprofit, give that person a hug. The survey revealed some startling statistics that many nonprofits are facing increasing pressure to do more – often with less.
1. Nonprofits are putting out more content.
65% of nonprofit professionals reported that they’re developing and producing more content. The need for content isn’t diminishing as more donors head to the Internet. The need to differentiate a cause and relate directly to donors and clients of a nonprofit’s services means professionals inside organizations are doubling down on production.
2. Nonprofits are doing most of the content themselves.
If you think nonprofits are outsourcing all their content as they rush to produce more, think again. 50% of nonprofits are making content using only in-house resources. Oh, and another 49% use a combination of outside and in-house resources. So only 1% are using entirely outside resources.
That’s a good thing, as no one can explain a nonprofit’s mission or tell its story better than the staff. But it also means as content creation ramps up, most of the work is falling on the shoulders of employees.
3. Strategy is lagging behind production.
More than half of the nonprofits surveyed had no content strategy. So that means nonprofits are producing and distributing more content, doing it mostly on their own, but have no set plan or process for ensuring the quality, consistency and effectiveness of all that content.
That’s going to need to change. As nonprofits create more content, they’ll need to invest time and resources into establishing a set process, a clear team, and the right tools if they want to excel rather than burnout. (In fact, the Blackbaud/CMI study found that 86% of the most effective nonprofits had someone in charge of overseeing content marketing strategy.)
Here’s to 2014 being the year of strategy!