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The Nonprofits' Guide to Content Strategy


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Behind every successful .org website is a strong content strategy. In this webinar, we’ll share an action plan to help your nonprofit organization build a new content strategy or shape up an existing one.

You’ll Learn
- Tips for choosing content KPIs
- How to stay on track and focus your time with a content strategy planning checklist
- Improvement areas you may be overlooking

Published in: Technology
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The Nonprofits' Guide to Content Strategy

  1. 1. November 26, 2019 Planning a Content Strategy to Grow Your Nonprofit Website
  2. 2. | 2 Speakers Celeste Gomez Digital Strategist, Mediacurrent Megan Harris Digital Strategist, Mediacurrent
  3. 3. | 3 Who We Are Mediacurrent is a full-service digital agency that implements world class open source software development, strategy, and design to achieve defined goals for organizations seeking a better return on investment.
  4. 4. | 4 Agenda I. What is Content Strategy? II. Why Do Nonprofits Need It? III. Executing Your Content Strategy IV. Measuring Success: Choosing Content KPIs V. Best Practices Checklist VI. Areas You May be Overlooking VII. Resources VIII. Q&A
  5. 5. | 5 What is Content Strategy?
  6. 6. | 6 A content strategy is the approach and execution plan for delivering your message to the right audience at the right time. Definition
  7. 7. | 7 Content Strategy WorkflowStructure Governance Substance Themes, narratives, messages needing to be communicated Process, tools and resources needed to create & maintain the content How we prioritize and break up the content Consistency, integrity and quality of the content What Is Included?
  8. 8. | 8 Content Strategy Development Take inventory of all assets; identify internal and external needs and highlight commonalities and gaps. 2. Identify Needs, Assets & Patterns Using well-established digital psychology principles, set the foundation for creating effective experiences. 4. Utilize Web Principles of Persuasion Identify ways to serve your audience and organization while utilizing your resources. 3. Align Personas To Assets & Priorities Keep brand messaging and imagery consistent and intentional across channels. 5. Create Content Themes & Key Guidelines Determine with key stakeholders what your mission is about and how you want to describe it to others. 1. Listen, Observe, & Document Content Strategy: The Formula
  9. 9. | 9 ● Device usage ● Age ● Trusted sources ● Marketing channels ● Goals ● Challenges ● Decision criteria ● Pain points Persona Research Includes: Environmental Factors Emotional Motivators Demotivators Measurable Engagements Hopeful Outcomes DONOR Theresa
  10. 10. | 10 Why Do Nonprofits Need It?
  11. 11. | 11Technical Plan Mass Task Force THE PATH TO DONATIONS ACHIEVE? How will you SPEND my MONEY? What are you trying to
  12. 12. | 12 Usability Counts 5% Sites able to answer a user’s second question on the homepage 2.6x⌃ Mission and values = more important than how funds were used 47% Sites able to answer a user’s first question on the homepage
  13. 13. | 13 Conclusion Nonprofits need to more clearly state their mission and how donations are used, or they miss out on donations and may have funding shortfalls.
  14. 14. | 14 Executing Your Content Strategy
  15. 15. | 15 Web Principles of Persuasion Commitment/Consistency - People tend to adhere to what they’ve already decided to support Social Proof - People trust what they see is endorsed by others that they trust Reciprocity - People tend to repay what they have received from others Authority - People are more likely to act if they are told to do so by a trustworthy entity or person Scarcity - People are more drawn to things which are exclusive or hard to find Unity - People are drawn to be part of a family, group or community Liking - People are more likely to believe, trust, or buy from people they already like1 2 4 3 A well-known researcher in the art of influence and persuasion, Psychologist Robert Cialdini established 7 principles that influence people into agreeing to the requests of others. These are known cornerstones used by marketers for decades. 5 6 7
  16. 16. | 16 What Stands in the Way of Change? ● Budget and resource constraints ● Competition for your audience’s time and money ● Content governance ● Outdated tech
  17. 17. | 17 Who Should Own and Maintain Your Content Strategy?
  18. 18. | 18 Pros ● More control over messaging ● Better access to stakeholders who have a say in direction of messaging Cons ● Lack of time and resources ● May become overlooked over time as priorities shift ● May not be experienced in writing for the web Keeping Content In-House PROS AND CONS
  19. 19. | 19 Pros ● Easier to direct someone else to complete larger volume of content ● Collaborate with a knowledgeable partner Cons ● Need to budget resources ahead of time ● Need to manage the projects and provide access when requested Outsourcing Content PROS AND CONS
  20. 20. Allocating Time and Resources for Content Strategy
  21. 21. | 21 Measuring Success: Choosing Content KPIs
  22. 22. | 22 A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of your organization. What is a KPI?
  23. 23. | 23 Tracking measurable goals helps evaluate the overall success of the project. These metrics can also be used to identify areas for improvement and whether your strategy is working or needs reevaluating. KPIs should be: ● Reflective of what is important to the organization ● Measurable quantitatively or qualitatively ● Easy to understand Why Are KPIs Important? | 23
  24. 24. | 24 Measuring Content KPIs Conversions Click-Through RatesOpen Rates Keyword Rankings AmplificationDropoffs Help Inquiries Transactions How many people are becoming donors or volunteers? How much and how often are people donating? What percentage of people are opening your emails? What percentage of people are taking action? How do search results compare with others? At what point are users leaving? Are users getting lost or confused? What content is getting shared, retweeted, featured or reviewed?
  25. 25. | 25 Use Data to Drive Content Strategy Metric Measurement Intent Data Source Behavior Flow Where do users begin their journey, and where do they end it? How do they navigate through the site? Percentage of users who download a PDF vs emailing it? Google Analytics All Pages What content is most popular with users? How many pieces of content are they engaging with? Is there a PDF users are downloading more than others? Does this vary with age/demo/geo? Google Analytics Traffic Sources Where are users coming from? Google Analytics Requests for Help What questions are people currently asking? Are those questions represented in the FAQs? Internal Tracking
  26. 26. | 26 Set Early Benchmarks ● Begin goal-setting and tracking metrics today to set the starting point for your content strategy going forward. ● Establish benchmarks based on the live website traffic you begin collecting as you move your content strategy forward. | 26
  27. 27. | 27 Tracking KPIs
  28. 28. | 28 How Can You Track Your KPIs? Email /CRM Software Reporting (Mailchimp, Salesforce, Hubspot, Marketo) Social Engagement Analytics Content Consumption Reporting (Hotjar, CrazyEgg) Keyword Tracking Tools (Moz, SEM Rush) Internal Tracking Systems for Help Inquiries
  29. 29. | 29 Content Strategy Checklist
  30. 30. | 30 Battle-Tested Content Strategy
  31. 31. | 31 Your organization’s mission is clearly stated in the content. Your content is transparent about how funds are being used. You provide a noticeable and clear button to donate to your cause. Your content initiates an emotional response that helps users visualize themselves as part of the solution. You have a content style guide that helps you maintain brand consistency and a champion to spearhead your plan. CONTENT STRATEGY CHECKLIST
  32. 32. | 32 Your website and payment processes abide by the latest device and security standards. You use clear, explanatory language with recurring narratives and messages. You maintain and grow the relationship with your donors or volunteers after they have engaged. You make an effort to reduce friction for users with minimal steps, speed/load time, and clear directions. You collect and monitor user data to drive decision making. CONTENT STRATEGY CHECKLIST
  33. 33. | 33 Areas You May Be Overlooking
  34. 34. | 34 Audit Website Forms 300% Increased conversions in multi-step forms 26% Increased conversion rate by reducing the number of form fields
  35. 35. | 35 Fewer FieldsMobile First Donation-Ready ● Fields and mobile layout are optimized for easy form entries on all devices and browsers ● Minimum number of fields to complete ● Longer forms are split into concise steps for ease of use ● Trustworthy payment system ● Minimum necessary number of choices for where donations can be allocated Form Setup HIGH-PERFORMANCE FORMS: 5 TIPS
  36. 36. | 36 WHY CONTRAST MATTERS 12% of men have some form of color-vision deficiency. Color Blindness Half of people over the age of 50 have some degree of low-vision condition which increases with age. Low Vision Reading low-contrast text on a mobile device with glare in the bright sun is nearly impossible. User Conditions Audit Accessibility
  37. 37. | 37 Audit Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Questions to consider: ● Do your page titles accurately and uniquely describe each page? ● Do your meta descriptions describe the page while compelling users to click on your search listing? ● Do your images have proper alt text? ● Does your website load quickly (a contributing factor to SEO)? ● Is your site optimized for mobile? ● Is your Google My Business profile up-to-date? ● Does your site contain the tasteful use of keywords that your users would use to search for you?
  38. 38. | 38 Resources
  39. 39. | 39 Resources ● Good Form: 6 Tips for a Smooth Sign-up Process - Mediacurrent Senior Director of User Experience Cheryl Little discusses how to make your forms more user-friendly. ● Creating a Measurement Strategy - Mediacurrent Webinar ● Introduction to Emotional Design - Mediacurrent Webinar ● How To Do Keyword Research - Learn the first steps in monitoring the key terms you rank for in search engines. ● Buyer Persona Template - Get to know your target audience. ● Editorial Calendar Template - Track your content development at a month’s glance.
  40. 40. | 40 Q&A
  41. 41. Thank you! @Mediacurrent @Mediacurrent