It will come as no surprise to you that competition in the charity sector is fierce. Having a digital presence isn’t enough to attract the attention and build loyalty amongst donors. So in order to stand out from an already crowded market place, you need to ask yourself three things:
- What constitutes as great content?
- How do you create it?
- Most importantly how can you make it work for your charity?
Crafting great content is all about stories that capture the imagination of your audience. In fact in 2016, Forbes said that “storytelling was the year’s hottest marketing trend[i].” Throughout my 15 years of experience, these are my 4 tips for crafting, sharing and measuring great content.
Craft unique narrative
A fundamental part of your content strategy is crafting your narrative. This work enables you to carve out your key messages and provide a platform for future communications. Your narrative will provide consistency for your brand, business or charity right across the media and platforms that you engage.
When forming your narrative you should ask yourself what story you are trying to tell, If you are a charity:
- What do you do?
- Who for and how do you make a difference?
- What is the history of your organisation – how and why were you formed?
- What is your brand vision – what are your aspirations in 5-10 years’ time?
- What is your USP/ points of difference from your competitors?
- Finally what do you want to be renowned for?
All of these key components give you a base for your narrative.
Structure your social media content using this formula for success:
Be visual- posts with images or videos get more than double the amount of engagement than text only. Photos with close up images of people work best. This is because this composition can covey more emotion for people to respond to.
Make sure that you are timely – whether it’s International Women’s Day, British Pie Week or Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there is always something in the news that you can piggyback your story off. This gives your content much more resonance and reach. Never, never jump on the band wagon late. If you’re going to join in make sure it’s still (or just about to start) trending.
Tailor your content so that it is shareable – most of us don’t have tens of thousands of followers but even if you do, make your content on social media as sharable as possible. As well as following these tips your content should be entertaining, educational or surprising. Depending on the content should probably contain a link or be pretty short form.
Relevancy is a key part in creating content. Any and all content should be relevant to your organisation. Sometimes it can be tentative and they often are the most fun. For example Scandinavian Airlines were right on the money with the Brangelina split[ii]. It’s important to take into account the national news agenda as well as news within your own organisation and explore possible synergies.
Anyone can write content but remarkable content must be entertaining, inspiring, educational or surprising. It must be something people want to read because it enhances their experience as a result of visiting your website or blog.
Map your channels to your audiences
Instagram is great for tapping into current trends and inspiring millennial audiences. You can utilise Facebook to promote events and campaigns to families by tapping into emotions. Or use Twitter as a brand loyalty platform to build advocates amongst service users. Your organisation will have its own key messages, unique mix of audiences and there will be an ideal mix of channels for you to use. The key thing to remember is that social media is another way to have conversations with your audience. Customer service has moved beyond the realm of face to face and now online conversations play a vital role in how you are presented online.
Create a content plan
Work with all teams in your organisation to map out a 12 month content plan. This should be focused around key calendar dates, seasonal pillars and planned campaigns. The themes of the content plan should be identified while you crafted your narrative.
A content plan rich in relevant, timely, visual and shareable content will attract potential customers. If that content makes their life better in some way it will make them want to share it. Make sure your digital channels are the must visit location for everything to do with your sectors specialism.
A content plan should enable you to produce a steady stream of content around themes you own and that your audiences care about. If you’re new to producing content plans and don’t know what your audience wants a good place to start is your competitors. Find all of their online channels. Follow their social media and subscribe to their news and blog feeds. Note down which themes they are covering and measure how much interaction they are getting.
Or if you’ve already got a content plan up and running make sure you understand which types of content gets the most views, shares, likes and comments. Do more of what’s getting the best results and less of the worst. Over time this will optimise your efforts.
But what is the next big thing in content?
It is predicted that in 2017 74% of internet traffic will be video. Online video users doubled in 2016 to 1.5 billion. Already brands are launching their ads on social media prior to the airing on TV just like Centre Parcs [iii] did in 2016.
This “Social video” phenomenon is growing exponentially (in spite of the failure of Twitter’s attempt with Vine) and the likes of Facebook are giving more reach to video than any other app on the platform.
Social videos have it all: they can be entertaining, educational and inspiring. The emotions that can be conveyed can change behaviour and compel action.
Creating videos can be expensive but social videos can be more effective even if they do feel DIY and a bit shaggy. A few ways to save money can include:
- Repurposing imagery you already have – such as your products, your people and your workspace
- Use your internal talent – using staff for your videos gives you a unique personality and authenticity
- Use free editing tools like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker
- And finally check out this list on adweek [iv]for royalty free music sites
We hope you found these tips useful, if you want some more advice on how we can help you create great content, get in touch with us!