June 12, 2013

Content marketing: We’re all media publishers now


Why nonprofits need to tell their stories by creating new content

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, marketers, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaI‘ve been to dozens of nonprofits’ offices, but there’s a phrase I’ve never heard uttered even once: content marketing.

Sounds kind of mysterious, doesn’t it? But when you strip it down to its essence, content marketing is just a way for organizations to tell their stories.

I was interviewed, along with marketer Greg Jordan, about content marketing for nonprofits at a new podcast from the Content Marketing Examiner moderated by publisher Martin van der Roest. Here’s our conversation:

Continue reading

February 4, 2013

19 ways to engage your nonprofit’s Facebook fans

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Get your Facebook page buzzing by using these tactics

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, businesses, Facebook administrators.

John HaydonIf you’re like most busy nonprofit professionals, you make your best effort to have an organized content strategy on Facebook. Still, there are times when you get buried with other projects and simply have no idea what to post on your Facebook page.

Here are 19 quick Facebook page post ideas that you can use right now to get your page buzzing.

  1. Ask a fill-in-the-blank question about the specific area of your cause. Begin the prompt with “Fill in the Blank:”
  2. Ask a multiple-choice question related to a specific area of your cause. Begin the update with “Quick Poll” and then write the choices on separate lines (A, B, C). Continue reading
December 8, 2011

5 tips on writing knockout social media content

Image by Tawng for Big Stock

How to get your content noticed in a sea of information

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, bloggers, Web publishers, marketing professionals, educators, individuals.

Guest post by Debra Berger
Founder, The Academic Support Link

Debra-BergerIn 2011, people are tweeting 200 million times daily, reports TechCrunch. With that kind of competition, your target audience can jump ship before you can say “nanosecond” (1 billionth of a second). What’s going to keep them glued to your information and coming back for more?

Here are five tips on making a long-lasting impression:

1Energize your copy with action verbs (you learned about them in fourth grade)
Social media writing is all about descriptive verbs: “Google,” “share,” and “recommend” – you get the point. Power up your information by beginning sentences/tweets/postings with vibrant verbs and steer clear of the dull ones: is, are, am, etc.

2Cut content to the core
Clarity and conciseness is your goal. If you have ready-made copy, try putting it into bullet points. It’s amazing how many words you can eliminate (by doing this – I cut these last words. Do you miss them?). To craft concise content, you can also imagine that you’re writing an outline.

3Create engaging, quality copy that educates
You’ve probably heard this before, and you’re thinking, “How?” One way is to scan reports, e-newsletters, and other information for memorable statistics that create a buzz. Here’s an example: “Shocking unemployment rate for veterans at 14.3% – they deserve better.” However, don’t make the mistake of writing news headlines – you’re the expert here. Continue reading

December 5, 2011

4 awesome ways to create content with Google Plus

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, cause organizations, businesses, brands, social media managers, Web publishers, bloggers, individuals.

John HaydonLately, I’ve been using Google Plus as a way to find, collect and create content.

Here are some examples of what I’ve been doing — I’d love to hear your thoughts on these uses for Google Plus.



The search features in Google Plus are extremely robust. You can search public posts, posts shared with you, personal profiles (the parts that are public or shared with you), Pages and Sparks.

You can even use Google’s Search Operators when searching Google Plus. This allows you to fine-tune the results and save time.

When you do a search on Google Plus, you can also save the search in your left sidebar, under “What’s Hot.”


A common way to use Circles is to categorize people you follow based on their area of expertise. I have a circle that includes nonprofit techies, where I’ve discovered useful articles, ideas and discussions.

What makes using Circles different from using search is that Circles allows for off-topic discoveries that could never happen with “pre-meditated” searches. Continue reading