One of the top takeaways from the CMI’s report, entitled “2015 Nonprofit Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America,” is that 23 percent of nonprofits have documented content strategies in place. That’s a low number, and it could explain why it’s difficult for so many organizations to effectively manage and run their campaigns—especially those that integrate with other channels.
But the news wasn’t all bad. Some of the report’s findings show signs of improvement from 2014: “Last year, we asked marketers for the first time whether or not they had a documented content marketing strategy,” the report states. “The high percentage of nonprofit marketers who said no (54 percent) left us wondering whether some had a strategy but had simply not taken the time to document it.”
By distinguishing between documented and verbal strategies, in other words, researchers found that many more marketers believe there is a strategy in place—but only a small percentage choose to document that approach.
According to the CMI, there are two particular challenges for nonprofit content marketing professionals. Financial roadblocks continue to create headaches for marketers in 56 percent of organizations that typically aren’t flush with cash, while 34 percent of nonprofit marketers report that they struggle to effectively do their jobs because executives resist buying into the process.
Nonprofit marketers should feel encouraged by the video marketing progress seen in 2014, which was the most successful year to date in terms of nonprofit-branded video views. In total, nonprofits generated more than 670 million views—a massive increase from five years earlier. Viral campaigns such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge underscore the potential for digital marketing to serve as a fund-raising tool along with an awareness-generation tool. And even given the budget constraints of those organizations, the low-cost access to video production and other content campaigns should push all nonprofits into action.
It’s too late to drag heels on content marketing, even for nonprofits. With the right strategy and tools, these campaigns can drive strong returns on investment.
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