The important role of content in the third sector

What do you think about when you hear the words ‘third sector’? Although charity may be the first thing that comes to mind, the third sector is made up of lots of different organisations. These can be anything from local youth groups to voluntary bodies. It’s all about nonprofit organisations, each focusing on their own specialism to help give back. 

Lots of people are given the extra support they need thanks to the third sector, which is why it’s vital these organisations are able to engage and thrive. So how can the teams behind these nonprofits make sure their organisation maintains relationships with stakeholders, beneficiaries, volunteers and donors?

This is where great content comes in

And the strategy behind it, of course. Some of the biggest marketing challenges faced by third sector organisations are negative press stories or finding a voice in a highly saturated and competitive market. No one wants a punishing production schedule and it can be challenging – but its vital regular content is produced and distributed.

It’s easy to churn out 20 tweets a day or post pictures for the sake of making your feed look ‘busy’. Although it shows you’re active online, it doesn’t say much about your organisation unless your posts are focus and appeal to your audience. 

Lets look at  Macmillan Cancer Support. Their Twitter account varies when it comes to the number of tweets posted daily, but the content is always focused. Using a variety of content types, it’s social media posts are always engaging and very to-the-point. #InternationalDayOfCharity and #WeAreUndefeatable are just two of the recent topical hashtags used by the organisation to get people talking.

The top five charities in the UK in terms of brand value are Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Salvation Army, Macmillan, and British Red Cross. They all have an active presence both online and offline. But how have they been able to hone in on content that works and adapt it across all their various channels?

Research gives a foundation for accurate content

If you don’t know who you’re talking to and how to talk to them, chances are your content won’t be as great as it could be. When we say research, we don’t mean lots of spreadsheets full of data that’s hard to navigate. Third sector organisations are built for a variety of causes, so a good starting point is defining what your charitable goals are and who your target audience is. For example, your objective could be to increase the number of donations to your charity, or bring attention to an important news story around legislation. Whatever your aims are, knowing who you’re talking to will help shape your content and create a strong strategy. 

Once you've defined what success looks like, set your content goals and clearly identified your audience, it's time to get cracking on your content. Speaking out to your audience effectively can really make a difference in their perception of the organisation. Third sector organisations have a direct impact on communities, so it’s important their values come across in all their communications. 

Representation of the organisation is just as important

Having an excellent brand perception means you’re more likely to engage with new stakeholders. You’ll also form relationships with new prospects – people interacting with the brand for the first time.
Reputational risk is something that can affect any organisation, third sector or otherwise. It’s vital, especially in the third sector, that there are plans in place to manage any risk to the reputation of the brand so negative impact can be minimised. 

Through effective positive content, more trust is built with current and new advocates – meaning more people are likely to use the organisation’s services. And by managing the way risk is dealt with, you’ll know your charity or other nonprofit organisation can continue to flourish and help others. 

Feeling lost with your third sector content? We’re happy to help. Get in touch and let's get started.

Jaina Parmar