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CONTENT ISN’T KING. PROMOTION IS.The first thing anyone will tell you as you craft your social media presence is that you have to have content to share. From blogs, to photos, to videos, there’s really no end to the different types of content you’ll be encouraged to produce. We non-profiters are used to telling stories and creating content, but the internet is now so saturated that it can be hard to get heard above the noise. That’s why I want to challenge the notion that content is king.

You might think this an odd statement coming from a guy who crafts content for a living. While I agree it is true that you need to have great content to recruit volunteers and donors, I also know that your content will never move the needle until you get it in front of someone. That’s why I believe that promotion is king over content.

But how do we promote our content? Below I’ll unpack the five tips that have helped us dramatically grow the number of eyes on all the content we create (HINT: it actually involves creating less content):

The Five Golden Rules of Non-Profit Content

  1. Observe the 20/80 rule. I used to spend 80% of my time creating content, and 20% promoting it. I quickly realized that meant that no one would hear the story we were trying to tell. So, I flipped that ratio and now spend 20% of my time producing and 80% promoting. I still create high quality content, but I produce less of it and focus instead on sharing it.
  2. Build a content calendar. I’m crazy, so I’ve literally mapped out a calendar for an entire year’s worth of content… You don’t have to go that extreme, but you do need to invest time in making a plan for at least the next 2-3 months of content that you’ll produce. This can be as simple as coming up with a monthly theme that your blog will stick to, or creating a series of twitter hashtags that you’ll focus conversations around each month.
  3. Follow the 3×3 matrix. For every piece of content you create, there are literally thousands of different on and offline communities that can benefit from it. Your job is to find the communities that are most aligned with your needs and get your content in front of them. That’s where the 3×3 matrix comes in. For every piece of content you create, you should think about sharing it on 3 different communities within 3 different mediums. For example, you write up a success story and share it with 3 different communities on facebook, 3 different local newspapers, and 3 different bloggers. You can do more or less if you’d like, but the point is this is a great way to get you exposure to multiple communities.
  4. Repurpose, repackage, and reuse content. Remember rule #1? This is where you rock it with that whole 20/80 thing. Oftentimes, you can tailor a piece of content to a unique community just by changing up the title or the first paragraphs. You could even turn a blog post into a podcast or a group of photos into a video slideshow. The bottom line is you want to always be thinking about ways you can modify existing content to reach new people.
  5. Lift others up. If you want to get noticed in the noisy social media world, you’ll have to help others get noticed as well. The good news is, as you seek out communities to share your content, you’ll naturally find groups who are providing information that is relevant to your community. Share that on your end and give credit to the original authors. By doing this, you’ll build your credibility with your own community and help others share their story.
    CONTENT ISN'T KING. Promotion Is. These golden rules have helped many a non-profit grow their impact in a number of ways. Stick with them and watch your social media presence grow in some awesome ways.How did this help your content strategy? Let me know by leaving a comment or question below!

    content isn't king. promotion is. Josh Shukman

    The preceding is a guest post from Joshua Schukman of WonderWe courtesy of Social Media for Nonprofit's August 4th blog post. Josh Schukman is the wonderful writing whiz for WonderWe – a crowdfunding social network that provides free viral tools for non-profits to fundraise, recruit, and measure impact like a pro. When not crafting beautiful musings for WonderWe, Josh can be found cooking up the latest Paleo dish (his fiancée’s fault…), cycling all over God’s creation, and/or endeavoring to understand the mysterious ways of the universe.

Topics: Communications