April 25, 2012

Are you building an engaged community with content?

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Image on BigStockPhoto by David523

Or, why your organization needs a content marketing strategy

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, businesses, Web publishers, educators, journalists.

John HaydonYou understand that there’s more to engagement than simple small talk. You also understand that when folks are truly engaged, they tell their friends about the good work you’re doing, which is much more effective than if you told their friends.

So who’s doing a good job of creating an engaged community with content? Here are three examples:

1The American Cancer Society has created an entire community around achieving victory over cancer by talking about “creating a world with more birthdays.”

2Share Our Strength hopes to end childhood hunger by 2015. This mission is immediate, heartfelt and simply stated. Their people talk about the line they’ve drawn in the sand.

3Epic Change is talking about gratitude – not about their organization – and why you should donate.

Creating a content marketing strategy

Here are a few thoughts on creating a content marketing strategy. Please (and I do mean please) add your ideas in the comments.

    • Understand why they donate. The real reason. Not the one your board talks about.
    • Understand why they tell their friends. Maybe donating to your cause makes them look more altruistic?
    • Know what’s engaging the customers of your competition. Is there something they’re saying that’s not being heard?
    • Talk to your employees. Beyond the paycheck and benefits – what’s the real reason they show up every day at 8:30 am?

  • Talk face to face. Have coffee with some of your customers. Get to know their whole lives, not just the pain points you address with your product.
  • Polarize. Can you sincerely talk about your beliefs to an extreme? Think Greenpeace and the GOP.
  • Use your divining rod. Find bloggers who are already passionate about what you do. How are they talking about it? How engaged are their readers?
  • Plan. Map out why certain conversations matter and how you’ll start talking.
  • Be sincere. People can tell if you’re real. Make sincerity a key element in your strategy.

What else? Please add your thoughts below.

Related

How to build a sustainable community (Socialbrite)

The most powerful social media tool out there. Period! (Socialbrite)John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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  • jkbstanberry

    Love the face to face comment— surprisingly, the big thing at charity: water and some other nonprofits primarily successful online is the 1) ultimately the centrality of in-person connection (key to kony 2012’s success, years of building networks of in-person) and 2) we should always act as we would in-person ( polite, please and thank you, genuinely

    interested in the other, sharing to grow connection not self-promotion) etc.

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