Webinar: Your Guide to Content Marketing 2019-05-21

Sima: Hi, everyone. Thank you so much
for joining us today for our webinar, Your Guide to Content
Marketing for Nonprofits. Before we get started, I just want
to go over a few housekeeping items. So all callers will be muted. If you have
questions, feel free to use the chat box that you see on the
left-hand side of your screen. If you lose your Internet
connection and you want to reconnect, you can use the link that
was emailed to you earlier. If you have to drop off early, or if
you want to watch the webinar again, we will be hosting the
webinar on our website at Techsoup.org/community/events-webinars.
We will also be sending an email with the presentation, the
recording, and any relevant links. If you are on social media, feel
free to send us a tweet @TechSoup using #tswebinars. But like I said
earlier, we will be using the chat box that you see on the
left-hand side of your screen. Alright, so just a little bit about
TechSoup before we get started. We are located in 236
countries and territories. We serve over a million nonprofits
around the world offering donated or discounted technologies. We partner with several technology
companies like Adobe, Intuit, Microsoft, Symantec to make our mission possible. If you are interested in finding
out if your organization is eligible, my colleague Zerreen will be
sending out a link in the chat box and you can find out how to
get product details there. In addition to donations and discounts,
we also offer tech consulting, training, information and resources, and
apps4change, and several other offerings. So if you are interested in learning
more, you can go to TechSoup.org. All right, so this is the first
time that I am hosting a webinar and also presenting a webinar. So I’m
going to go ahead and make introductions. So my name is Sima Thakkar and I am
the Senior Manager of Content here at TechSoup. I am a
mission driven marketer with over 17 years of
marketing experience helping both small and large
organizations create brand awareness and grow their impact
through digital marketing. I’ve also worked at Warner Music Group,
Lincoln Center of Performing Arts, and I’m also the founder of a
website called GoodIndiangirl.com which has been featured
on Refinery29 and TV Asia. I also have with me here
my colleague Zerreen Kazi. She is the Marketing
Associate here at TechSoup and she is going to be helping on the
back end if you guys have questions or technical issues. She will
be able to help you out via chat. And I’m going to let Kyle do the
honors of introducing himself. Kyle: Great. Thank you, Sima.
Good morning or good afternoon to everyone who has joined
today depending on where you are. My name is Kyle Barkins and I am
the Cofounder at Tapp Network . We are a mission driven
marketing and technology agency. At Tapp, I wear a lot of hats. I’m mostly
responsible for the strategy, development, and execution of marketing campaigns
for organizations of all sizes. Before I founded Tapp,
at a previous business, I did everything from build touch screen
digital signs, to launch the websites, and digital brands for more than 250
professional athletes like Aaron Davis, Eric Becker, and Golden Tate.
But we started Tapp in 2012 with a mission to help nonprofits
and mission driven organizations realize the power of content marketing,
digital tools, and technology, and understand the impact
they can provide. Since then, we’ve helped over 100
organizations of all sizes and provided educational
resources to thousands more. I’m excited to share some of this
education with you guys here today. And I’ll turn it back over to Sima to
tell you what we are going to cover. Sima: Awesome. Thanks, Kyle. So before I move into the next slide, I
just want to make sure that we sound okay. So if you guys don’t mind using the
chat box and just letting us know where you are calling in from
and I can read a few of them out just to make sure you guys can hear me. All right, so we have Kristin from
Montana. Let’s see, Joy from New Orleans. We have Pleasanton, California. Okay. Awesome, it sounds like you
guys can hear me okay. Perfect. All right, so we have a limited amount
of time. So I’m going to go ahead and get started. So before we
get into the meat and potatoes of today’s presentation, I wanted
to tell you guys a quick story. So in 2011 there was a 5.9 earthquake
that hit near Richmond, Virginia. New York residents were casually
scrolling through their twitter feed and right after they read
about the earthquake on twitter about 30 seconds later, they actually
felt the earthquake themselves. The earthquake was one of the largest
recorded in the Washington DC area. The reason I’m sharing this story
is because I think it just shows you how quick and how powerful
content can actually be, and there’s just a lot of possibilities
if you use content in the right way. So before we get started, I just
want to go over today’s agenda and what we will be covering. So in today’s webinar, we
are going to be talking about what is content marketing and
why does it matter for nonprofits? The different types of content your
nonprofit should be thinking about and why. I’m going to focus specifically
today on blogs, social media, and videos just because I think those
are the easiest to get started with, and they have pretty strong impact. And then we will be talking about how
to effectively create a content strategy. And then tools and best
practices to make your work easier and more effective, and then
lastly, measuring success and understanding what
metrics matter most. All right. So I’m going
to pass it off to Kyle now who’s going to talk about
what is content marketing? Kyle: Thanks, Sima. So what is content marketing?
Content marketing is creating, distributing valuable
relevant and consistent content to attract and retain clearly
defined audience, and ultimately, to drive some type of
customers user interaction. So that can be recruiting
volunteers, raising donations, or filling your next
golf outing or event. Even though the term content marketing
has grown as we become more online, I’m sure you hear a lot more
now than you ever have before, it’s not a new concept at all. In fact,
the early sign of content marketing dates back more than 6000 years. There is
an ancient civilization from 4200 BC that was found to have – they used
to use wall markings on their caves to explain how to stay away, stay
protected and away from wild animals that were nearby. We’ve got much
better ways to communicate now, but the idea is still the same.
It’s all about your audience. And I can’t stress this enough,
it’s all about your audience. Who they are, where they
are, what they need to know, what they are searching for online,
what problem they are trying to solve, what they are connected to. If you
can start to get a solid understanding of these concepts and then educate them
and provide that audience some value, you will start to create a relationship
with them and that’s ultimately what you want to do.
Relationships are built on trust and if they trust you they are
more willing to support your cause, or share your initiatives,
or donate to you. We’re not going to talk too much
about audience development personas, but there will be some shared material
at the end of this that will have a link to developing audience personas. And TechSoup has done some
great courses in the past on developing these personas
through their email marketing courses and some other webinars
that you can check out. The best way to communicate
with the audience though, what is it? It’s
content, a lot of content. I see someone just said
[indistinct] hear anything. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to break
this up. Yeah, is a lot of content. Sima: That’s okay. It could be their
connection. So Zerreen will assist them to get that fixed. Kyle: Just wanted to make sure,
thank you. So tons of content. I know that saying “a lot” is
probably going to scare you guys. But don’t worry, you actually
probably already created a lot of it, and you are probably creating
a ton every single day. You just don’t realize it,
but we will get into it later. When we say content, we really mean
the message you are trying to deliver with this content marketing
strategy. There’s tons of ways that you can deliver that message.
There’s blogs, there’s emails, there’s website pages, there’s social
media, there’s print collateral, there’s billboards. You see cars that
are wrapped with messages these days. But these are all just vehicles, and
that’s not supposed to be a play on words. These are the tactics. These
are the delivery mechanisms. It’s how you get content to
people, but content is at the core of all of these things. Without
that content, without that message, you have nothing to deliver across
all these different channels. So think about what you are posting on
social media or what you are sending out in an email. It’s not the email you
are really trying to get out there. It’s not the post. It’s the
message within that post. So in a nutshell, content marketing
really is just the art of communicating with your prospects and your advocates
without having to sell to them. As opposed to marketing or
advertising your products or services, you are creating helpful entertaining
content that your volunteers, or supporters, or your future advocates
can enjoy and they can really learn from. Why is this important and why
does it matter to nonprofits? Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy
what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply
proves what you believe.” I’m sure many of you have heard this
but it really is all about the why. With content marketing,
you get to tell that why. And you do that by telling your
story and you tell that story through content marketing. Nonprofits,
more often than other businesses, have a much more
compelling story to tell. They are very connected to their
cause, often. They are very connected to their community and it’s a
much more kind of heartfelt story that they want to get out there. These
stories give us a reason to communicate and relate to people. They
give us something to believe in. They make us feel better about
what we are doing with our time or with our money.
And they give us hope. And like I mentioned earlier,
it’s all about building trust. It’s creating that relationship.
So if this is done correctly, content marketing will take absolute
strangers, people you’ve never met before, people who have never
heard of your organization and it will turn them into powerful
advocates, people that are ready to share on social media, or jump in the ice
bucket challenge, or something like that. I’m sure everyone has seen that as well. And it all comes full
circle and why is that? Because now these advocates are
going to want to tell your message and what better way for them
to do that than through content. And then you’ll see this
cycle just continues. Also, why else does it matter? It’s also
free. Really, it doesn’t cost any money to create content. And what we are
talking about today won’t cost you money to distribute it either. Sure you
can pay to boost a post on Facebook, or you can buy followers on
twitter, you can advertise in all these different places with
your message, but a lot of those things are peripheral. Unlike traditional
marketing and advertising, where you have to pay to promote
your brand with billboards or cars like I said earlier, or
create commercials, creating content just comes down to you
and your organization. It just comes down to what you
want to write, what your message is, what you want to put out
there. And who knows the value that your organization
provides better than you. Many of you are probably
here from small organizations or organizations of all sizes
actually and it might seem impossible to compete with the big nonprofits
and the for-profit companies. But I’m here to tell you, the playing field
is level. If you deliver a better message and you create content that your
audience needs, it doesn’t matter how small you are or how
limited your budget is. We have seen nonprofits
that are one person that is just working in their
part-time as they are going to school or they are a teacher or just
something very committed to their cause and some of them have created
some of the best content and really connected
with their audience. Now Sima, I’m going
to turn it back to you and she’s going to tell you about some of
these different types of content marketing that nonprofits use to
get their message out. Sima: All right. Thank you, Kyle. Okay, so now that Kyle has
covered what content marketing is and how it matters for nonprofits,
I want to go over the different types of content pieces that your
organization should be thinking about. So here you can see blogs, videos,
social media, webinars, infographics, case studies, e-books, white papers,
downloadable checklists, and podcasts. These all fall under the
umbrella term “content marketing.” But when we traditionally
think about content marketing, it’s usually in the framework
of B2C, so business to consumer; or B2B, which is business to business.
So I really want to get you guys thinking, how can nonprofits be thinking about
using content to achieve greater impact? For nonprofits, it can be something
more like what you see here. So the first bullet is community
engagement and education. So for example, providing content that
supports and educates your audiences on the work you are doing and what’s
happening in your particular industry or around your developments goals. For example, if you’re an organization
that is focused on homelessness are there new measures that have
been passed that would help improve the lives of those
experiencing homelessness? Or is there a new innovative app or idea
that you’ve seen being used to improve the lives of your constituents? When
we think about community engagement and education, content is really your
opportunity to be a thought leader in your space. The second bullet
point we have here is leadership. So this can be content that is
from your exe Cutive Director or from your board of directors
that shares how your organization is doing overall and what your goals are for
the year and what progress you are making. For example, TechSoup our
Executive Director and Founder released a joint blog titled An
Update on TechSoup’s Commitment to the Organizations We Serve.
This was an excellent follow-up to a blog post that they released a
year earlier showing what the goals were and what progress we’ve
made as an organization. And we can send that link out
if you want to see the example. And then another goal could
be program recruitment. So this could be things around like
showcasing the culture of your organization or if you have volunteer events. It’s
always a good idea to show pictures and share them from these type of
events and talk about how much impact these events have on the community. When it comes to content, I always think
it’s a good idea to have solid numbers that you can share when people are
reading your blog or seeing a post on social media so they understand the
breadth of your organization’s impact. And lastly, and I think for a lot of you,
maybe most importantly is fundraising. Content can be an extremely
effective tool for fundraising. So let’s say, if you are
launching a fundraising campaign, you can announce on your
blog and social media channels and perhaps this is supported by a video
that the campaign is officially launched. You can include a barometer showing what your organization’s fundraising
goals are. And you can launch a blog post before the campaign is launched,
during, and then maybe a recap blog post. And right there that’s
three pieces of content. So when you think about content marketing,
think about how your organizational goals are and how content through blogs,
videos, webinars, social media can help you with fundraising,
engagement, and awareness. And another thing that I want to point
out is when you do think about content, like how can you think
about it on a campaign level? So that blogs aren’t just isolated
and there’s one topic there and then social media has
a whole other set of topics. If you think about them on the campaign
level, how can you create a full campaign that includes all
different types of content? All right. So next I’m going
to talk about content strategy. So I wanted to show you guys an example
of how I typically set my content goals. Divided by – so you can see
the different sections here. So you can see here I just
created a basic Excel document that is segmented into Content Type,
Objective, Structure, Frequency, Tone, Desired Action, and URL. And then
underneath that I have Blog Post. So for this example, I created
three types of blog posts just so. But you can design this depending
on your own organizational goals. So here I just included a
fundraising related blog post, a blog post from the Executive
Director, and a blog post about a recent upcoming volunteer event. So each one of these has a
different objective. So one blog post might be to raise money, another
blog post would be to give insight into company culture, and then another
might be to motivate and recruit volunteers. Then I have the structure. So
like I said earlier, a blog post can be anywhere from 300 to a
1000 words. This particular example would mean that you would
have three blog posts per week. And then when it comes to tone and
voice, each different piece of content is going to have their own
sort of unique tone and voice. And I think this also
depends on your organization. So some will have more of
an informal and fun tone, while others might have a
serious and cerebral tone. But it’s just important to
define what each piece of content, what the tone is for each of them. And
it doesn’t have to be the exact same for all but there should be an overarching
theme for your organizational tone. And then lastly, it’s important
to think about what action you want your audience to take
after reading your content. So it doesn’t always have to
convert it to the desired action but at least it helps you think
about where and why you want to spend your content efforts, especially if you
are producing high volumes of content. So this is just a great exercise
to do with all the channels you pick to use for your nonprofit.
Since most nonprofits are time and resource strapped, producing
content for the sake of producing content won’t be realistic and it
needs to be done in a way so that there is an intention
behind each piece of content. All right, so now before I
get into – I’m going to focus on three areas of content. But before we
get started, I just want to do a quick poll and find out what types of content
your organization is currently using. And I will simultaneously take
a sip of water while you guys are answering this question. And
then I will share the results. All right. So, okay. All right. So I’m going to go
ahead and share the results. It looks like social media
is the most commonly used form of content. And then videos
and then blog and then infographics and then webinars. So that sounds
about right. Which is perfect because that’s what I’m going
to be talking about today. All right, so now that we’ve covered
the different types of content and how they can help your organizational
goals, I want to do a deeper dive on blogs, video, and social media.
So do nonprofits need a blog? Yes, definitely. And why? Because
blogs are great for several reasons. One they offer the
opportunity for storytelling. Two, they provide great content
for your social media channels. And three, they are a quick responsive
way to offer company updates, to promote whether it’s a company
updates or a fundraising campaign. And they also are a great way
to drive people to your website. I have a few best practices
here and this can kind of change depending upon how far
along you are into blogging. If you are thinking about
search engine optimization, you might want to
write longer blog post. So it kind of just depends on where you
are at. But if you are just starting out this is like a pretty good
framework to get started. So I just want to give you guys a
quick example. So Back on My Feet as an organization
that are volunteer with. And they use running to empower those
who are experiencing homelessness to get off the street. They do a
really good job with their blogs, with their social media, with their
videos. So I just wanted to show you guys a quick example. So here ,
there is one about a member whose experiencing homelessness.
And this blog shares his story, basically, from when he found
Back on My Feet to where he is now and kind of his experience with the
organization. And it’s a really inspiring story to read about. And then
another is a fundraising post. So this is about a marathon runner
who was able to raise $21,000 and kind of what their journey was. And the reason I wanted to show you guys
this is that I think it’s really important to not talk about the
same thing all the time. So it shouldn’t just be fundraising
all the time or it shouldn’t be about your constituents all the time. There
should be a really nice balance of content across all your channels. Okay, the next slide. I’m going
to talk about social media. So it seems like a lot of you guys are
already on social media which is great. I think, this can be kind of a
thorn in a lot of people’s sides just because it is very time-consuming.
There is often very little results, unless you are doing it really well. But, the thing is with social media is that
people spend so much time on social media. They are constantly scrolling through
Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. So I really think social media is
valuable because you want to intercept audiences where they already are. And like I said earlier, if you have
these blog posts that you are producing, you need a way to promote them
and social media is a great way for you to get that all your
blog efforts out into the world. And another really good thing about
social media is its global reach. So if you are a global organization, it’s
great because you can attract audiences from around the world or if you
are doing a fundraising campaign. You know you can definitely
have a much wider reach than you can if you are simply
collecting emails through your website or – yeah, those are
probably the top three reasons you should be doing social media. And
again, I have some tactical items here. And again, it depends on where
you are at in your process. But I do recommend, if you have
a tool like HootSuite or HubSpot, it makes social media a lot easier if
you can kind of map out your content in advance and then
schedule it for the week and then go in daily as you need
to kind of just check on activity. Okay. So now I’m going to use the
same example of Back on My Feet just so that there is consistency
throughout the presentation. So here you can see that
they have and Instagram post. So one of their members
finished a marathon so they posted that to Instagram. And then in the middle you can
see, they have a Facebook post and this was a volunteer event. So they run
three times a week at 5:30 in the morning with their volunteers and those
who are experiencing homelessness. So this is a great picture that
shows the power of their community. And they also have a little
message here that is saying, in case you missed it, team
SOMA still needs volunteers. So it’s a great way to
recruit volunteers also. And then on the top right I know
it’s a little bit hard to read but hopefully when you guys get
the slides you can zoom in on this, but it says, #happymothersday. And
they highlighted one of their volunteers who is a mother and who is also
a Back on My Feet volunteer. And this is great because
“happymothersday” was a hashtag that was trending on Twitter
and it had a much wider reach than probably their normal
hashtag. So this is really good because you can think about some
larger campaigns that are happening and how your organization can
kind of play into those campaigns. So it should give some content ideas. And then on the bottom
right, there is a image. Then I believe this is from their Twitter.
This is a video so like I said earlier, when you are thinking about content
this is a video that they created and that they pinned to the
top of their Twitter profile. So when you have content, you want to
think about how you can distribute it across all channels and how they can
all be sort of on a campaign level. Okay I just want to make sure – are you
guys seeing the social media snapshots? It looks like some people aren’t seeing
it. So if you guys don’t mind typing in if you can see the
examples. Okay. Perfect. So it looks like some people
have a little bit of a delay. All right. So the last area but
I’m going to talk about is videos. So videos definitely can be more
time-consuming and they can cost more money, but they can tell a
really meaningful story. They evoke a lot of emotion. So BuzzSumo
analyzed 100 million Facebook videos and found that the videos
that got the most interactions were on the sort shorter side.
And the sweet spot for video length is around 60 to 90 seconds,
followed by 90 to 120 seconds, and then 30 to 60 seconds. So I
think when you are thinking about how long your videos should be
definitely on the shorter side. And then also on Facebook,
I think it was 85% of people when they are watching videos on
Facebook, they watch them without volume. So I think having text overlay is really
important to get your message out there. And then if you have access to
music with proper attribution and copyright rights, then music is always
a good thing to have in your content. Okay, so now I’m going to pass it off. So now that we’ve kind of talked
about the different types of content, how to produce it, how to
create a content schedule, and sort of put goals behind it, it’s
really important to measure content. So I’m going to pass it off to
Kyle, who’s going to talk about how you can measure your content. Kyle: Great. Thank you, Sima. So first, we are going to
have a poll pop up here. Sorry, I realized that
was coming up later. I want to know how many people are
currently measuring your content’s success? So are you tracking through Google
analytics, are you doing this through a centralized platform
something like HubSpot, MailChimp, or Constant Contact? I will give
you a few seconds to fill this out and then I will jump
into the measuring slides. Great, it’s looks like we have
a good number of responses. I’m just showing the response on the
screen. It looks like more than half of you actually said you are not currently
measuring your content’s success and that’s fine. We will go through
some quick ways to get started today. So first, we are going to walk
through why it’s important. Content marketing isn’t black and
white and it can take a lot of testing and tweaking to see what really
resonates with your audience. Without these results being
immediate and without your content and messaging evolving so much over
time, it can sometimes cause you to lose sight of why you
are doing this to begin with. That’s why it’s important. It’s
important to refer back to your goals. It’s important to stick to them. And
then to track each and every campaign you run with the same as you did with
the first time, the first campaign you ran that you were
so excited to launch. Tracking should not just be something
you do just because we say so, or because you read it on a
blog, or you read it and some site that said you need to track things. It should
be done so you can gain actionable insights. And then you use that insight to
adjust and reposition your content and your strategy for better results. One of the most important
pieces of content marketing is learning from these efforts, finding
out what people are interested in, what people are searching for, and
how they are ending up on your site when they search for that, what people
are doing once they get to your site, and even down to what lengths they
click on it within your content. You can actually get really tricky
if you want and do like heat mapping, or eye tracking studies to see what
people are looking at on your page. But we are not going to
get too far into that today, especially knowing that about half of
you aren’t tracking at all right now. It’s also important to figure out
whether you have enough content, or whether you’ve got too much,
or if it’s organized correctly. Sometimes we will see websites that
have tons and tons and tons of pages and then once you jump into their analytics
people only go to three or four of those. So they spend a lot of time creating
this content that nobody’s going to. It’s either an opportunity to drive
some of those pages up or an opportunity to shorten that content
flow through the site itself. Any time you can enhance a user’s experience
by eliminating some of those steps, you are going to get the user
where they want more quickly. You are going to convert them.
You’ll make them happier visitors or supporter. Now with the short
attention span many people have when they are online, they just have
to get to what they are looking for. So if you posted a great message out
there on social media and you say, come back and support our
cause. And they get to your site but then they’ve got to take three or four
more steps to get to that donation page, you might’ve lost them. They might lose
interest. They might think it’s too tricky, especially if they are
visiting from a mobile phone and are probably doing
10 things at once. After all, these people are really
looking for a solution for their problem so if you are solving the
problem quickly and efficiently it’s going to be a win-win
for you and your organizations. Further, you are going
to need to show your team, you are going to have to show
your boss, maybe even your board that your efforts are paying off. Maybe
the success you have will be so great, you get a bigger budget next year and
be able to hire some content writers or get some bloggers to go out there in
the community and interview some people and do some case studies for you.
Maybe you can get some paid budget that will get redirected your way, so you
can help boost those social media efforts or boost your blogging. It’s also important to understand
how to collect this data and what data you want to collect.
One of the easiest ways, as I mentioned a little bit earlier, is the Google
analytics. It’s free. It’s relatively simple and painless to set up. And there’s
tons of resources available on TechSoup and externally. You can just Google
it, for a lack of a better word, and it will help you to
get you what you need. There’s also a number of other
marketing tools you can use like, you can track social media efforts
within things like HootSuite, or Sprout, or Buffer. I think Buffer is free. A lot
of these offer nonprivate pricing as well. You can track email effectiveness
through like MailChimp, or Constant Contact, or a
number of other programs. What’s important though
is to know what to collect. You know you are going to hear people
talk about things like impressions and click through rate and
reach and number of followers. But what’s really important?
That stuff is all fine and good but if you don’t know what you are
looking for, what you are looking at its not really going to help. It is
sort of depends on like the very minimum, you are going to want to know
how many people saw your content, how many people took an
action on that content. And you want to be able to categorize
these things by either like topic clusters or by date, or maybe it’s like
an event, or maybe a location. Whatever it is, you’re going to want to
be able to take a small cohort and say, for our location in Philadelphia,
the content we created around that this is how this content
performed. Or for this events, this annual gala that we created
content for this is how that performs. So once you have all of
this data what do you do? You want to learn. You want to
optimize. You want to go out there and get more visitors than more users.
You want to write better content. You want to write more content.
You want to write the content that your users are
going to engage with. You are also going to remove content that
exist that no one engages with at all. And you are going to report these
findings to as I said, your board, your executive director. And use
those results to go ask for more money to do more events and
create more lasting impact. So you know with more than
half of you referring back to that not even measuring at all,
you are probably, a good chunk of you, are probably wondering what to
measure. Some of you just haven’t and some of you are not
really sure what to measure or even what these
different metrics mean. There’s tons of things that I
mentioned that you could measure. And I’m sure you’ve heard these
buzzwords like I was talking about like, click through and engagement
and brand awareness, market penetration,
whatever it might be. We want to start with the basics.
So we don’t want to get lost in all of that marketing jargon
and all of those minute details. For nonprofits, it’s not the typical sales
funnels so it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. You know you are not measuring
visits to contacts to leads to sales. We are really just focused on
impact and making a difference. How do we measure some of
that content and what content and understand how it’s
having a lasting impact? The first one is website traffic.
What’s a good content strategy if you’re website is not optimized
and you are not really understanding what people are doing on there? I
know here I go talking about optimizing and having more pieces, but really your
website is going to be that central point for everything that we’ve discussed today
and pretty much all of your content efforts. It can help drive your brand awareness.
It should be where you are collecting these contacts through forms.
It’s probably what you are sharing most on social media, whether it’s the
website itself, or a page on the site, or a blog post. So you should be paying
better attention or close attention to how it is performing. So [indistinct]
really concerned with the website if we just keep it simple is traffic.
So this might seem pretty obvious but tracking and looking at what
is causing traffic to your sites really shines a light on how
well your content is performing. We also briefly touched on this earlier,
we were talking about brand awareness. Traffic can kind of show brand
awareness. And you can drill down to like individual sources and
look at performance over time. There’s also behaviors. So if
you are using Google analytics you should see an option on the
left-hand side of your screen called Behavior. It’s probably my favorite
tool to look through in Google analytics because you can really just start with
an overview and drill down from there. You see where people come in.
You can see where they go to. You can set it up to see where the
landing pages is or exit page is. So if you pick something like your
donation page, you can kind of track people back and see how they got
there through your site. You can even go as far back as
what platform did they come in from and how they get there? It’s a great
way to look at where users are going and what they’re trying to do
and where they are trying to go once they get on your site. The next thing you want
to track is fundraising. At this point, hopefully, you are
tracking your fundraising efforts if you are a nonprofit that does fundraising.
You know you are looking at things like, how much you raised last year.
And you want to compare things such as this year’s fundraising
and this year’s fundraising efforts, or one event versus another, or the
same event this year versus last year. Then you want to take a look
at where these registrations, these registrations, these funders
came from. Look at the content that helped convert them. Look at
where their initial entry point was and then optimize those channels. And then lastly, but definitely
the most important is impact. This is really going to be the growth
that you see and things like volunteers, how many more signed up this year versus
last, or after viewing a specific content on your site. Maybe you hold an annual
event, look at how many registrations you got and use Google analytics to see
where those registrants came from. Or better yet, just add a field
on your registration form and say, where did you hear about us? And
put options in there like Google, social media, a friend, maybe
I saw the event on your website. But anything you do, put things
in there that are relevant but just don’t go overboard with it. You
don’t want to give them too many choices. Maybe you’re an education program, so
maybe you track people to educate youth. You want to look at things here like,
similar to as you would with volunteers or attendees. You want to see
the growth in new applicants or the growth in quality applicants and
then track back where they came from. And then ultimately this measuring
impact is really more like a calculation. So you are getting use one of the things
that we talked about measuring earlier and then you are going to create and
show that impact. It’s pretty easy. It could be a calculation like percentage
of growth or it could be a number for growth
year-over-year. It all sounds kind of daunting. I
know we’ve kind of gone through a lot. We have got a little bit left for you
guys today. We want to give you five, we think, easy steps to get started.
Some things you can start doing today just to kick off your
content marketing efforts. First, the most important thing and I’ll
say all these five things are important but is to set SMART goals. This is an acronym
you will see a lot in content marketing and about marketing. “SMART”
stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound.
It’s on the slide there as well and I will actually provided a
template for creating smart goals. But it’s all about writing your goals
down so you know what you are measuring and what all this effort is for. So specific is going to be anything
that’s like what is expected, why it is important, who is
involved, what’s it going to be? Think about those things when
you are setting these goals. Measurable would be it’s got a be
something that has concrete criteria for measuring progress. It could be
like traffic, or could be donations, or it could be volunteers,
like a number of those. Achievable, is it something that
is realistic and is it possible for you and your team and the size of
your organization, your budget to reach? If you are one or two people and
you are currently reaching 200 people on social media and you say, I want
to reach 1 million people next month. It’s probably not achievable. I’m not
saying it’s not, it’s not impossible but that’s also probably not to
the next one realistic and relevant. It needs to matter to your organization.
It has to address a core initiative. So reaching 1 million people
next month might be a great metric but it might not actually have any impact
on your fundraising or whatever it might be. And lastly, it needs to be timely. It needs
to have an expected date to reach that goal. Just saying, you want to reach
a 1000 people or million people is great but you have to
put a time constraint on it. So if I was going to think of an example,
real basic, I would say something like, over the next three months our organization
will look to increase our blogs organic traffic by 8 to 10%. And that will reach
a total of 2000 organic sessions by the end of August. So if we
start in June, our goal is by August to have 2000 organic sessions
total which is going to be a growth in traffic of 8 to 10%. I
recommend writing this goal down. Use the metrics that we discussed earlier
and track your progress for that goal. The next thing we’re going to want
to do, we want to do a content audit. We talked about setting
SMART goals earlier. These goals help define where you
want to go but it’s just important, as important, to know
where you are starting from. This can really help set the
tone for what you need to create. And we will even refer back to this content
audit in some of the next three steps. Content audit is basically just an
inventory. So once you’ve collected whatever the content that exists,
you want to go through and decide what to get rid of, what you want
to update, what you want to keep. Maybe something is performing really
well, you don’t want to touch it. It will also help you to look at
opportunities to tie things together. So you can either create,
shorten the visitor’s path. Or you might see an opportunity
to put a link on a page that is performing especially well, so
maybe you want to throw a donation link on there or something like that.
I would recommend storing this in a spreadsheet or somewhere you
can easily view these different pages. And then make notes in that spreadsheet
you can sort them, you can search, you can filter, you can categorize. Following this webinar in the follow-up
email, I will make sure that we include a link to our content audit
template too. It’s super real basic. It’s something easy to get started. There’s a number of free
tools out there as well. So you know you could probably
just Google “content audit.” It will give you some ideas
on getting started there. And I’ll turn it back over to Sima to
talk about creating a content calendar. Sima: Thanks, Kyle. So I think with
content, the more planning you can do the better. So I know for myself
and our team here at TechSoup, we have a content brainstorm
meeting. We had it once a week. But if you are smaller organization
and you don’t have that much time, I would recommend once a
month just getting together and kind of mapping out the month ahead. It’s really nice to look at what events
are coming up that are not just limited to your organization but
on a more global level. So for example, if it’s a
giving Tuesday in November. So you have your content
brainstorm mid-October and you are planning out November, you
can say, giving Tuesday is coming up. And we have this gala coming up.
And whatever events that you know are happening both internally and
externally and just kind of mapping out what ideas you want to
include for the month. So I think it’s having a monthly
brainstorming meeting is always really helpful. I think also just if you are new to
content, just picking out three channels that you can start using. I
saw this thing on Instagram and I think it’s for artists or
photographers but it’s called, the 100 day project. I don’t know if
you guys have seen this on Instagram. But I really like it because,
basically, these artists and designers are committing to 100 days of creation. And I think that’s also really nice
with content. If you can commit, if it’s a social media post or a blog
post but just kind of getting started and realizing it’s not as insurmountable
as you think. It’s a good goal to have. And then kind of like I said earlier, I
think having a well balanced content calendar is really important. So if you want
people to really read your stories and come back to your blog and
if you guys want to be known as a great content production organization,
it’s really important to think about like your audience and what matters to
them and put yourself in their shoes. And then create content that’s
just really well balanced. So that when they come back you
know they are being educated, they are learning something new,
they also know what is happening with your organization, they also know
that you are having a campaign going on. So just having a really
well-balanced content calendar. And then in terms of generating content
ideas, I think this is a big challenge for a lot of people. I think
nonprofits do you have an advantage because a lot of us have a
lot of great stories to tell. But I think it’s important to understand
what are your audience reading habits, where do they spend their time,
what type of articles that like? Are there other organizations in your
space that are doing content really well, and what is so inspiring? Like look
at your own reading habits and think, why do I like reading this blog so much? And kind of think of that when you
are creating your own content ideas. There’s also, I don’t know if you guys
have heard of this website called Quora but it’s a question and answer
website. And what’s interesting is that you can go into Quora and
type in nonprofit or fundraising. If there are certain keywords
that are relevant to our industry and you can see what are some of the
top questions that people are asking. And if it’s more specific if you want
to type in homelessness or poverty. You can type in these search terms
and see what people are asking. And that also gives you an opportunity to
say, hey we know the answer to this question. Like we should produce a blog post
about it because we are experts on it. And then also,for SEO efforts,
I think there’s a lot of things you can think about when
it comes to keywords. And Kyle remind me how
detailed in Google Analytics, in terms of keywords, it’s pretty
limited right of what people can see? Kyle: Yeah, unless you set
those terms up specifically. Like you get to use Webmaster
tools connected to keywords or you can do some planning. Sima: Okay. Yeah, I think
but just on a general level if you know that there are
certain things that your audience is always looking for and you guys
are the experts, this will help you in terms of showing up in Google search. And that’s a little bit more
of a complicated content effort but it’s definitely something
to think about for the future. All right, so I’m going
to pass it back to Kyle. Kyle: Thanks, Sima. So
the next step we can take is repurposing existing
content. Earlier on I mentioned, that creating content is free. But it can
definitely take a lot of time and effort to create effective content,
especially on a consistent basis and something that fits the
plan that you put in place. We will often see
websites that have blog because someone told them to create
a blog, and they’ve done a few posts and then they might drop off
and stop posting over time. Repurposing content lets
you take the existing content and change its formats, it’s tone,
it’s length, it’s channel, whatever, and let it serve a different purpose.
So think about think taking a video and turning it into a blog. So now
you’ve got a piece of written content or multiple pieces of written
content that you have of something you’ve recorded or maybe a case study
video that you want to create a writeup on the organizations that you guys
have helped or the communities that you guys have helped.
Maybe you summarize an old, couple of old Facebook post
that performed particularly well. You turn them into a blog like, best
posts from last year or the best photos that we posted from
our events or something. Or maybe take a bunch of blogs and
you create one downloadable checklist for something. The messaging
is all the same but the channel, or the format, or whatever,
wherever it’s consumed is going to be what changes here
for you to repurpose these things. So this lets you, instead of like
creating a piece of longform content like maybe a guide or
spending the money and time on a video starting from scratch, you
just want to identify its core concepts of the content that you
want to deliver first. This way you can create like
a smaller piece of content or smaller pieces of content in the
short term like maybe a blog post series. And then turn that into your longform
content or resource down the road, when you have got some more bandwidth
or you’ve got some measurable results to see how that content
is really performing. So now what? What’s the next step?
We think you should just get started. You’ve got a take that first
step. Put something out there. So you can’t write your first
blog social email series. I would really recommend
starting at the bottom and working your way backwards,
anything you can do by implementing some of the five steps that
we talked about earlier. Take something like a donation
page, hopefully something like this already exist, this is going
to be like the very bottom of your funnel, so to speak, and the place where you’re
ultimately trying to drive people to. Or it could be a sign-up form,
a volunteer form, or apply form but that bottom of the funnel piece. Then you want to go out and write a
blog. You know talk about the impact your organization has had and maybe
some of the people it’s helped. So if you are volunteer organization,
talk about how volunteers help, how volunteers give back in this blog.
And in that blog you put in a link to that donation page or
the volunteer page say, do you want to be a volunteer?
Click here to learn more. Click here to sign up. And then
you want to take that blog now, you go post it on your
social media networks. Make sure you link right to the blog
itself. You don’t want to drive someone, you don’t want to tell someone
they are going to read a blog and take them to the donation page,
or tell someone to read the blog and take them to your homepage.
You know link right to that blog. Try to include a picture.
Pictures get more responses and if you can find a way to
work a puppy or baby in there, those are really good at
attracting people’s attention. So see if you can. You don’t make
it off brand or off message though. I’m sure you’ll get more
engagement. I’m really not joking. These types of images consistently get
better click rates, better engagement. It’s because they elicit an emotional
response. That’s what we’re really going for, as we talked about earlier, is
connecting with your audience. Now you want to go out after
that you want to write an email to your subscribers, people who have opted
in and said they wanted to hear from you. Definitely don’t spam people but
your current supporters, past donors, whatever it is. Let them know that
your new blog you just posted about all the great things you do, all
the great things that have happened, make sure they know it’s live. Say Hey, the
blog is up. Learn more about X,Y, and Z here. They can check it out to learn
more. And they can understand how other volunteers have helped
or where other people’s donations have gone. Again, link directly
to that blog that we talked about. And then ultimately just keep it simple.
The idea here is we obviously want to get people to donate or to be a
volunteer. But really all we are trying to do is get a baseline to see
how people are engaging. So if we see people
dropping off before the page, maybe they are interested
in your content that’s great. You’re doing a great job getting into that
blog but maybe like the conversion step is not working or the call to
action is not powerful enough. We just want to see how and
if this new funnel is working and then give you that
foundation to build overtime. And I think Sima has a little bit more
she wanted to add here [indistinct]. Sima: Yeah, okay so puppies and babies. If all of our TechSoup blogs have
puppies and babies now, you know why. Just to kind of close out today’s
presentation, I think one of the things about working in the nonprofit sector,
you guys all have really, really, really good stories to tell and content is
just your opportunity to tell them. I’ve worked with tech companies and
it’s always a little bit of a stretch where they are telling their stories
because they want to talk about how their technology is changing
the world. And it definitely can but I think a lot of nonprofits, you
guys are actually changing the world and you have a lot of great
stories that should be out there. So you know, just think about
the work that you are doing and the people that you are impacting.
And hopefully that will serve as inspiration for you guys to
get started with your content. All right, so that being said
if you guys have questions we have about nine minutes left
and we are going to into the Q&A. But if we don’t get to everything,
feel free to email myself. My email is here or email Kyle, and we will
try to help you guys out as much as we can. And now we’re going to move over
to the Q&A so I’m just a hop on over to our questions and see
what people are asking. So we got a question here. There was
one about, could you say more about how the blog drive readers to
your website? It seems most blogs are embedded in the website. So
that’s a really good question. And I think when you think about your
blog, I think ideally it would be hosted on your website. So if you
guys are using WordPress, depending on where you are
hosting your current blog, you would want to have a blog
tab. The good thing about the blog is you are updating it
one, two, three times a week and that freshens the content
on your blog and your website. And basically, when you promote
this link on social media you are driving people back
to your website to the blog which is posted on your website. And
that gives people, if they read your blog and they want to scroll around a bit and they
want to learn more about your organization. But that basically means
two to three times a week, you are putting fresh
content on your website and giving people a reason
to visit your website. Okay. And then we had another question.
I think Kyle this one is for you. It’s a little bit more complex. Can
you speak to the Google tag manager use and how it helps with
analytics? Very new to it. Kyle: Yeah, sure. So Google tag manager
is really just a way to kind of configure multiple tags. Google has a ton of
different tags like webmaster tag, there’s Google analytics, there
is also like third-party tags. So it just kind of creates like one
central place where you can add those different tags. So let’s
say you have MailChimp and you want to put embed MailChimp’s
tracking code in your site, you can just put it in Google tag
manager. And then the Google tag will actually add that tracking code
for you. And then you can configure and track certain things through that.
It just better for like centralization. Sima: Okay, perfect. We have
a question here from Jennifer. Best practices for how often and when to
post to a different social media channels? So that’s a really good question and
I think that gets asked pretty often. So there are different articles out there
that say, 1 to 2 times on Facebook per day. And then you know it could be 6 to
10 times – there are different factors that play into the out algorithm.
I think it changes pretty often. What we had done here at TechSoup
is we have kind of created like a weekly schedule. And
then we plugged in how many times we want to post on each channel and
then what topics we want it to be. So if you guys follow us on
Instagram, you will notice every Monday we have a Monday motivation
post that goes out. And that is something that we do
consistently. And then on Instagram, we will try to post like anywhere
from 3 to 5 times per week. But we have kind of everything
mapped out in terms of frequency and then what the topic is
going to be. And then obviously there’s going to be stuff that’s more
real-time. But if you look online, you should be able to find some
resources about best practices and how often you should post on each. Okay. Let’s see. Give me one second to read
these other question here. Kyle do you want to take this one? So
does using third-party posting programs like Buffer, HootSuite, etc. affect
views/reach positively or negatively? Kyle: No, it doesn’t. Sometimes
like they will only track in Buffer. HootSuite sometimes only track what
you posted through those platforms. But if you look at the individual
like social media platforms themselves or something that does all of the tracking,
it will show you like an aggregate. It shouldn’t negatively affect anything. Sima: Okay. And then, do you have
any ideas for growing Facebook or Instagram following? Kyle: Yeah. Sure, go
ahead knock yourself out. Sima: Yeah. I think both
of us can answer this. I think when you are
posting more consistently, you are going to be surfacing
in people’s newsfeed. I think if you create content that
is engaging, you know the algorithms take that into consideration and then
you will get a more prominent spot as people are scrolling
through their newsfeed. There’s always the paid option which is
not always an option for all nonprofits but that is an option that exist. And then I don’t know Kyle
if you wanted to add to that. Kyle: Yeah, that’s great.
Those are great ideas. The one thing that I will add
is like back to our core message, our core message in this whole thing is
content marketing is all about the message. Facebook, all of the algorithms
are actually about topics, well it’s about engagement,
right? But it’s Facebook will learn what your organization is
about based on what you post and then the type of people and
audience it engages with those. So it’s kind of keeping that content
that you are put out there consistent. It doesn’t mean that everything
has to be about one message but multiple posts about a similar
message, using similar hashtags are going to attract larger audience that is
looking for those things on those networks. So Facebook – I’m getting go back
to my puppies and babies example. If you post a lot about puppies or
babies, people that are interested in puppies and babies are
more likely to see your post, regardless of the level of
engagement on those posts. So following you or even if
it’s like suggested like people you may know, people you may want
to follow, if they are also engaging on like puppy and baby posts. So keeping that content
and that message consist is really the importance of
having that plan going into this and knowing what you want to talk about,
what message you want to get out there. And then pushing that out
across these different networks. That even trickles down to
the blog question from earlier, why is it important to have a blog? You’re
probably not going to constantly update your website homepage with new
content about a puppy or a baby but you can create a puppy of the
week post or something like that. And post that out there and
have that go out to your Facebook and Facebook will start to learn
over time that you are a resource of information for puppies. And
that will help drive engagement. I love the puppies and babies example. Sima: Yeah, I love the puppies.
All right so, I think before we go I know there’s some questions
here about tools that we use. I know HubSpot has been a great tool
for us in terms of scheduling content. There’s a free tool called HootSuite that’s
great for scheduling social media content in terms of blogging. WordPress is
great if you are getting started. There’s also a [medium] which is also
a little bit about blog/social channel. But ideally your blog would
be hosted on your website. There’s a tool called Canva which
is great for creating infographics. And in terms of – there’s a blog – there’s
a guy that I follow called Neil Patel. He always offers tons of great
content marketing tips and tricks and it’s pretty easy to understand. So
if you guys are looking for resources, I would definitely
recommend reading his blog. And then Kyle, I don’t know if you have
any that you would want to add to that. Kyle: Yeah, I think pretty much
covered some of those big tools. But to add to your Patel
example, I would say HubSpot. I kind of live and breathe HubSpot, I think.
But I think, their blog for getting tips and getting ideas on content and content
to re-share is a great resource as well. They’ve got a ton of content on content. Sima: Awesome, okay. So it looks
like we are getting close to time. If you guys don’t mind, we
have a post event survey. So any feedback that you
have for us is really helps. And we are also on social media because
we just talked about it for the last hour. So if you want to give us a follow feel
free to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. We also have a blog where
we post a lot of tips and trick and how-to’s and things like that.
And then if you’re interested, TechSoup offers courses around Google
Analytics, Facebook advertising, design. So if you want to do a deeper
dive into some of these topics, feel free to check out our courses.
And we do offer a 10% discount for anybody that is new to TechSoup
courses using this promotional code, which we will send out
an email afterwards. We are at time now, so I want to thank
you guys for being a super attentive and inquisitive audience. Thank you
to Kyle for co-presenting with me. And to Zerreen for
helping on the back end. And to our sponsor ReadyTalk. Kyle: Thank you all. Thank
you, guys. Have a good one.

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