Digital Outreach

Getting Started with a Documented Content Marketing Strategy


A recent report from Blackbaud and the Nonprofit Content Marketing Institute reveals that only 25% of nonprofit professionals have a documented content strategy.

Why do we find this problematic?

– Success with inbound marketing drops with the nonprofits who don’t document their content strategy –

“52% of those with a documented content strategy rate themselves highly in terms of effectiveness, compared with 14% of those without a documented strategy” (John Haydon).

– What is more, marketers that have their strategy mapped out have more numbers to point to when they need budget approval (or to apply for a grant) for future content marketing success (Content Marketing Institute).

– Marketers that don’t write out what they’ve done don’t have much to refer back to to understand what’s worked and what hasn’t. Without studying your past, how are you supposed to go forward with greater effectiveness? What happens if you hire a new employee and they don’t have anything to refer to?

How can we fix this? Start documenting your content marketing now!

1. Start with one channel, then go from there.

– Joe Pulizzi of The Content Marketing Institute states, “For nonprofits without many resources for #contentmarketing, focus on delivering consistent content by owning just one channel. Be the go-to resource!” 

Essentially, he suggests that rather than trying to be everywhere at once, start strong somewhere and then move to the next channel once you’re grounded with the first.

But how do you decide where to start? Think about your audience personas and determine where they might be online (check out Sprout Social or Pew Research Center). Pick one of these channels and then use the endless resources out there that focus on instructing you to maximize each channel.

– Then, with this single channel, determine your goals – how many followers do you want to add each month? How many interactions would you have with followers? How many posts each day will help with this? Do you simply want more followers or do you also want to increase traffic from your social accounts to your site?

2. Use an app or system that will help you map out each piece of content & more easily post it.

– Nonprofit marketing master, John Haydon, recommends IFTTT as well as Zappier. Both are free tools that connect different social networks together. IFTTT even allows you to click and drag posts into other social platforms.

– At ArcStone, we work with Trello to plan content ideas, assign them to different team members, and drag them across the stages (planning, writing, reviewing, sharing and completed)


– We also use Hubspot, allowing us to schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Google+ in just a few clicks. Read more on this software in Nonprofit Marketing Automation Software.

3. Set a time to monitor how you’re doing. 

– It’s no surprise that the most important aspect of a documented content marketing strategy is actually documenting the success. Set up Google Analytics reports to compare activity from week-to-week, month-to-month etc. Take time each week or month to write down what’s working and what’s not. You can even send yourself an email from Analytics at a set time each week to ensure you don’t forget to look.


– At ArcStone, besides looking at what’s working almost daily, we take time to write down trends we see from week to week on a spreadsheet. From there, we can repeat what received the most attention, rework what didn’t, and a/b test new ideas.

If you want help determining your first steps, or reviewing your previous ones, contact ArcStone and we’ll walk you through a way to keep up with and continually improve your content. Or, we can simply manage it for you.