During a lively #NPMC Twitter chat on content marketing in April, it became clear that we should have a follow up chat dedicated just to setting goals and measuring effectiveness.

When we work on improving our nonprofit’s content, we often focus on increasing page views, improving email open rates, upping click throughs, and generating more likes. Yes, this kind of content optimization work is important, and you should always strive to measure and improve your metrics—you might A/B test a new email subject line, experiment with images in blog posts, or do some SEO work on your site. Learn more about the many varieties of content optimization tactics, including for human connection, SEO, and clicktastic-ness.

However, content optimization is just one part of strategic content marketing. There’s so much more to be done to make content really work for your nonprofit.

When you focus on content strategy, you’re deciding how content can best help your nonprofit reach its overall goals. More than clicks or likes, you need content that compels audiences to engage with your nonprofit and, ultimately, that helps your organization achieve meaningful impact. Tread the roiling waters about why content optimization isn’t enough and content strategy is necessary here.


Content marketing goal setting and evaluation: The questions

What questions should we answer about our content marketing in order to set clear goals and evaluate what’s working? Here are some examples to start:

What organizational goals can your content help you achieve?

  • Brand awareness
  • Volunteer recruitment/retention
  • Donor engagement
  • Community education
  • Political advocacy

Reality check: Which of those goals are shared by your priority audiences?

What will you measure to know whether your content is helping you achieve those goals?

  • Activity, Reach, Engagement, and Impact Metrics (tell me more)
  • Direct Measurements vs Proxy Measurements (what the?)

What tools will you use to plan and measure your content?

What types of content can advance your goals and offer value to audiences?


Join the content marketing conversation during the June #NPMC Chat

Have you been asking these questions in your own nonprofit content marketing work? Let’s explore some of them together to exchange ideas, insights and inspire each other to start setting goals for content marketing and evaluating our effectiveness.

Bring your content marketing questions, ideas, and experiences to the #NPMC chat on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET.


Lauren Girardin

Lauren Girardin

Marketing and Communications Strategist at Lauren Girardin Consulting
Lauren Girardin uses her creative chutzpah to help nonprofits engage their communities and tell their stories. She shows organizations how to experiment bravely in their social media, blogging, content marketing, web content, brand messaging, and other digital and traditional communications. She counts Caravan Studios, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Essential Access Health (formerly California Family Health Council), GovLoop, NEOGOV, Points of Light, Rebuilding Together, TechSoup, TeenSource, and YTH among her clients. Reach her at lg@laurengirardin.com.
Lauren Girardin
Lauren Girardin