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September 30, 2020
 
An Expert Guide through Nonprofit Content Marketing
Kivi Leroux Miller
Kivi Leroux Miller
Telling people about your nonprofit is no longer enough if you are to break through the communications clutter: You must attract them to your cause, and, whether you are a novice or veteran communicator, Content Marketing for Nonprofits provides an indispensable, detailed guide.

Kivi Leroux Miller, a highly experienced, savvy marketing pro, leads the reader through the full panoply of activities that constitute content marketing, what she calls “a new kind of journey...that will require an adventurous spirit as you make your way.”

First things first. Content marketing, as Miller defines it, is creating and sharing relevant and valuable content that attracts, motivates, engages, and inspires your participants, supporters, and influencers—called PSIs—to help you achieve your mission.

Effective communications is based on knowing with whom you want to communicate, and then defining your message and delivering it. What’s different today, from, say, a decade ago, is that significant changes in media and demographics have altered the ways nonprofits deliver their message. Adding to the challenge is the growing influence that your PSIs will exert over what your relevant messages ought to be. In other words, as Miller notes, “Your brand, your talking points, and your story are no longer yours alone to construct and discuss.”

Content marketing provides a framework for constructively dealing with these changes. For example:
  • Without a content marketing strategy, nonprofits tend to publish a random collection of articles and other content, but with such a strategy, each piece you create fits into the larger story you are telling.

  • Without a strategy, you tend to focus on your organization’s goal, but with a strategy you focus on the goals of your supporters and participants.

  • Without a strategy, your communications may tend to be unpredictable, but with a strategy your communications are consistent.
What makes the book especially valuable is that Miller doesn’t just explains the reasons for a content marketing strategy; she provides a highly articulated implementation roadmap. She starts by telling readers how to use major events and milestones to lay out primary actions and identify major story arcs, and then guides them on how to break down and effectively tell those stories. “Stop, Think, and Discuss” call-outs help the reader further think through what they’re trying to accomplish.

To make it all work, Miller lays out her vision of the role of communications director as translator, navigator, and coach in helping to create a marketing culture that involves everyone, from marketing staff to program directors and the board.

She also provides detailed advice in the form of seven ways to make content work and seven mistakes to avoid when developing and using websites, blogs, email, print newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, video, and images. This guidance alone is worth the price of the book.

No doubt about it, getting all this right is hard work, for there’s never enough time or resources to do the best job you want to do. But, Miller writes, the journey is worth it and she provides an able helping hand.

Content Marketing for Nonprofits is available from Jossey-Bass.

Reviewed by Peter Lowy
Posted: March 2014
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