Posted by Theresa Gutierrez Jacobs on November 6th, 2019
Posted in Blog, Digital, Nonprofit Communications, Social Media, Storytelling, Videos
It’s the new reality; your nonprofit, foundation, or independent school needs a blog, or a social media presence — or both. If you’re not taking advantage of these digital communications tools, you’re in danger of losing touch with the people you depend on for mission success. And that means you’re likely under pressure to produce new, engaging content every week.
But posting anything you can get your hands on to Facebook — just to keep your feed active — is not the way to go about it. Instead, you need to curate content just as a magazine editor would. Doing this keeps a blog, social media feed, or even a print newsletter on brand and effective.
Curating content means prioritizing what your audiences need to hear over the stories you want to tell. It means building out an editorial calendar that integrates different types of content that maps to your brand strategy and adheres to your brand voice.
If producing all that content seems overwhelming, we have good news:
The content you need is already at hand!
Here are seven types of content you can use to build out your editorial calendar and keep your audiences interested.
Remember, while some of your stakeholders know exactly what you do, many don’t. Some of your readers will be new, others will have fallen out of touch, and others will be operating under incorrect assumptions.
This is a great opportunity to address bedrock questions such as, “What is affordable housing?” or “What is experiential learning?” You can also get more specific with “What does affordable housing look like in San Francisco?” or “What does experiential learning look like at our school?”
These types of posts can take the form of a video, a blog post (that you can link to from social media), or a story. Not only will they help your stakeholders better understand you, they’ll also potentially bring in new readers who are searching for foundational definitions you’re providing.
Small but impactful pieces like these add pizzazz to your annual report — so why not repurpose them for quick and easy social media consumption? Add a background (either an image or graphic element, both of which you can find in Canva templates) and voilà! You’ve got on brand, engaging content.
It’s not necessary — or best — to rely on lengthy, copy-heavy posts. Instead, try letting photos or GIFs do the talking. Take a look at your image library and ask yourself if there are creative ways to sequence the images so that they tell a story.
If you don’t have many images, try repurposing existing content by adding GIFs to enhance (and potentially add humor to) the piece.
The Q&A interview format can provide great fodder for a blog or a series of social media posts. Come up with a handful of thoughtful questions and then interview your leadership team, staff, and/or your constituents on the phone or via email. These Q&A posts help connect your internal or external stakeholders through easily scannable content (which means it’s easy to get the gist of quickly).
At Mission Minded, we’ve found that our blog readers especially enjoy our look behind the scenes of branding series, which fits this format.
What personal connections draw your staff members to your organization? How does your team’s daily work help you accomplish your mission? Describe the happenings at your office and you’ll share the human element of your work.
As one example, at Mission Minded we strive to live our values and so one of our brand strategists, Abbey Meyers, wrote a post about how our team members live fully.
One of the easiest but most often overlooked sources of content is your organization’s website. Take a look at it with fresh eyes and ask yourself how you can drive audiences to specific pages, like a resource or services page (not just your donation or volunteer page).
There’s existing information on your site you want to publicize. Why not share it through social media?
Finally, you don’t need to always create content on your own. Tap partners, grantees, and community members and ask them to draft blog posts or create social media content for you. You’ll want to maintain some control by providing brand guidelines but then let guest writers take the reins with a Twitter or Instagram takeover. Not only does this approach free up your time, it helps bring the guest blogger’s networks into contact with your organization’s work.
We hope this (non-exhaustive) list helps you look at your content challenges with increased optimism and gives you some creative ideas to help fill out your editorial calendar.
What other ideas can you come up with?