Why Nonprofits Should Believe in Their Content Marketing Efforts

By idfive \ April 1, 2015

Rescuing two birds with one hand

Line up a row of chimpanzees typing on keyboards and post their gibberish with a link back to your website and you, my friend, are content marketing. Cheaply, inhumanely, and ineffectively content marketing.

Good content marketing isn’t writing a 500 worder and putting it on Facebook at the optimal 11 P.M. slot. It’s also not a take-from-the-NY Times-and-give-to-your-greedy- readers- and-retweeters, Robin Hood-style “repurposing” of content. Good content marketing takes time and thought, for sure, but it starts with worthwhile content covering a range of topics while focusing on one mission.

This is why nonprofits are the best content marketers we know of

Making progress in the world requires widespread knowledge and passion, and making the world a better place is at the heart of every non-profity mission statement. Take that knowledge, extend it out in different directions, and make it actionable and inspiring and you’ve done good content marketing.

Kill two birds with one stone by using knowledge and insight to serve those in need and to promote your company and mission—or more appropriate, save two birds with one hand.

What merges their mission to educate their constituents with the actions of content marketing is telling stories and putting them in the right place.

A story and a place

Nonprofits must draw for their ocean of content and create stories people will think about and react to. Coming in the form op-eds, video, blogs, or case studies—these pieces will stick if and only if they’re in the right place.

There is an ever-expanding list of high traffic sources covering various topics. Though not a nonprofit, Language-teaching software giant Rosetta Stone is a great example of how to take advantage of these.

Rosetta Stone doesn’t just write about language, they write about the benefits of knowing another language—content that can be featured on travel, adventure, food and educational websites.

They found a story

Rosetta Stone realized that knowing another language is a portal to cross-cultural experiences, like homemade Ecuadorian Chile or Parisian bike rides. By putting language in the context of “real life”,  stories are made, and it’s these stories that pique interest, and interest drives action.

For nonprofits, you’re not buying an advantage (like a Parisian bike ride) you’re giving one. Communicate what your recipients will accomplish with the proper aid. Show what their world is like—the ugly and the beautiful. Show their family and friends. Show their history. Show the movements history. Make it a story, expand it and get it to the right audiences and the unexpected audiences. Meanwhile, audiences will be finding you.


While the potential to have effective content marketing is inherent in many (if not all) nonprofits, you can easily squander that potential with a poor strategy. Consider this grassroots effort with the confidence that the insight and stories that drive nonprofits can also drive content marketing efforts, then develop a strategy to carry out this effort.

For strategy advice, check out our April Whitepaper The Contrarian Guide to Content Marketing Strategy, and the Content Marketing Institute’s nonprofit content marketing study.