By Alison Law, Marketing and Sales Manager, For Momentum
Experts predict that 2016 is the year that organizations of all shapes and sizes will significantly ramp up their content marketing efforts. A recent survey indicates that content marketing continues to make gains in most nonprofit organizations, although many of their formal marketing plans are silent on the topic of content strategy.
According to Nonprofit Content Marketing 2016: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America, nonprofit content marketing continues to grow in terms of the amount of content distributed and the number of tactics and channels used. According to the survey, this growth often outpaces the budget allocated, which highlights the need for nonprofit marketers to be savvier about content marketing.
In this annual survey of 404 nonprofit professionals in the U.S. and Canada, produced by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in association with Blackbaud and FusionSpark, researchers defined content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive action.” 76 percent of respondents said they were practicing this definition of content marketing, up from 61 percent in the 2015 survey.
However, while 34 percent of nonprofit respondents said their organization had a content marketing strategy but nothing in writing. Only a fourth of the respondents said they had a documented strategy and system of measurement in place. Those who said they drafted and followed a documented content marketing plan reported they were more effective and capable of demonstrating a return on investment (ROI) to key stakeholders. That’s why the big recommendation in the Nonprofit Content Marketing 2016 report is for nonprofit organizations to formalize and track their organization’s content marketing strategy.
Other Insights from Nonprofit Content Marketing 2016
- When asked what departments were responsible for content marketing, 40 percent answered marketing. In larger nonprofit organizations, the answer was almost always marketing or PR and communications, while in smaller nonprofits, development and fundraising professionals managed content marketing duties.
- Content marketing accounted for an average of 23 percent of a nonprofit organization’s overall marketing budget. That’s up slightly from 20 percent in 2014.
- Survey respondents said they post to an average of five social media platforms. Facebook remains the most popular social network; a majority of the nonprofit professionals surveyed listed Facebook as both their most popular and most effective social media platform.
- The social network that has experienced the most growth over the last two years is Instagram, rising from 38 percent last year to 58% in the 2016 research.
You can download a complete copy of the Nonprofit Content Marketing 2016 research report here. Does your organization have a content marketing plan for 2016? What content marketing strategies have proven most effective? Email us and tell us about them.