Creating content for your org doesn’t have to have to be a time suck—especially if you do it efficiently. In fact, one of the smartest content creation strategies involves taking one story, topic or theme and turning it into several pieces of content that you can distribute on multiple platforms or channels.
You might think, “Well, that sounds repetitive.” And it might to you, sure—but it won’t to your audience. In content marketing (well, really all of marketing), we get tired of our own voices before the people we’re talking to even begin to recognize us.
So, let’s walk through the steps of this time-saving trick so you can get to trying it out and making it work in your own content strategy. You’re likely going to love the efficiency and make it an integral part of your content marketing plan.
Pick a topic. Maybe you want to focus on a family or individual that your org recently helped and create a real human interest story, or talk about a piece of legislation that just passed. Or maybe you want to share your insights and opinions on an issue that’s evergreen. Whatever you choose, be sure it’s worth talking about. There’s nothing worse than writing an article or a white paper about something that you’re bored with before you even finish.
If you choose a topic that barely sounds interesting to you, it’s not likely to resonate with your audience. Before you dive into something, bounce a few ideas off coworkers, friends or volunteers and get feedback to gauge their level of interest.
Create content based on your idea. Maybe it’s an article for your blog, or it’s a new page on your website, or it’s a presentation for your board—whatever the story or issue you landed on in step one, your job here is to simply flesh it out and create one solid content piece. Just one.
You typically want this first piece to be pretty comprehensive and include all (or at least most of) the information you ultimately want to share—you’ll use this first piece as a jumping off point to create what follows. Take your time on this and do it well, because that will save you a lot of time in the next steps. If you don’t have the internal resources, there’s no shame in outsourcing it—in fact, it could be one of the smartest investments you make.
Brainstorm. Once you have a solid, well thought-out, compelling piece of content, now it’s time to ask, “What can I turn this into and where can I post it?” Let’s say you decided to write a blog article or a white paper about the pros, cons and dangers of AI in your sector. Can you turn that into a video? Can you parse it out and turn it into a series of social posts? Can you put a snippet into your e-newsletter for your constituents that links to your blog article, where you end it with a CTA to attend your newest webinar about how nonprofits in your space can use AI? See how it all works together?
We could keep going and going and going . . . One great content piece can “feed” your other content channels and platforms and open up all kinds of opportunities to engage with your audience. You just need to get the right minds together to think about all the possibilities that exist and throw all those ideas up on a whiteboard. No idea is a bad idea at this stage. And these ideas will lead you into the next phase.
Execution, or “Divide and Conquer.” You don’t have to use every idea you came up with in step three—it’s probably not a good idea to execute on all of them, depending on where your audience is and what type of content they consume. Like, if your target audience isn’t hanging out on Facebook, hosting a Facebook Live discussion is a bit pointless. Here’s where you narrow down your ideas to the best options for your audience and decide how and where to execute on them.
Maybe you hire a videographer to turn your blog post into a video for your website or YouTube, and that video becomes short clips or Reels you can use on social, and then you use the transcripts from your video to form a podcast script or an infographic. The idea is that you take your initial piece of content and morph it into different forms for different channels and platforms rather than starting from scratch all the time—it’s the most efficient approach to content creation there is.
And remember that part I mentioned about getting repetitive? That’s only going to happen to you and your content creators. To your audience, it’s going to be like listening to a beautiful story in stereo, from a variety of channels and in multiple forms—as long as you did your due diligence in step one of making sure that your initial idea is interesting and relevant.
Measure. Now’s when you see which content pieces worked especially well. How much engagement did that video get? Did people click through your email to your blog article? How many people downloaded your free white paper? Which social platform worked better, LinkedIn or Instagram? Pay attention to your data and analytics to learn which content pieces worked and which ones you might spend less time on (or ditch) during the next round.
Rinse and repeat with every content idea you have. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every single piece of content you create. That takes a lot of brain power and energy, and nobody’s got time for that.
However, we all know by now that content creation is key. It’s a way to educate, inspire and engage with both supporters and prospects, and without it, it would be nearly impossible to compete for all the donor dollars out there.
You have stories to tell and thoughts to share—but they don’t all have to be told. Find the ones that really resonate and matter, then share and tell them in multiple ways and on multiple platforms.
If you could use some help in this area, our content creators would be happy to step into your world and help you spread the word about your cause, whether you need copy, design, video or all three. Reach out and connect with us.