Here’s a quick test to see if you do content marketing: Does your YMCA have a Facebook page that you post to regularly? Does it have a blog? Do you distribute flyers or program guides? If you answered yes to any, you’re officially a content marketer.
But content marketing encompasses so many channels and techniques that it is kind of vague. So let’s take a stab at understanding the goal of content marketing in order to demonstrate it’s importance for your YMCA. Content marketing is done in order to “attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action” (CMI). Translation: you want to increase participation and want more families, members, and participants. In order to attract them, you create marketing materials like articles, flyers, tweets, and brochures so your audience can find you.
Keeping that in mind, here are 4 articles with ideas for you – the YMCA content marketer – to attract your audience through content. (You’ll see the title in bold, followed by the content idea in parentheses):
1. ASC 2013: Transforming Communities, One Life at a Time
(Create an Inspirational Video Featuring Your Members)
YMCA of Honolulu created a powerful video that features the life-changing stories of its members for the Annual Support Campaign. They’ve used a fundamental technique of marketing: let your customers tell the story. In the video, you’ll see how one lady learned to swim and lost 140 pounds, you’ll see a group of five lively 90-year-old members and other great stories. Here’s the bottom line: Your YMCA has changed lives. Let those people tell your story.
2. YMCA to Offer Women’s Wellness Day
(Write and Distribute Local Press Releases)
Huntington YMCA (NY) must have sent out a press release that got picked up by the local Patch site. They talked about an upcoming women’s wellness event, provided a direct link to their website, and offered contact information. Press releases are a good way to reach a local audience that you do not have direct access to otherwise.
3. Harlem Shake: YMCA Calgary Edition!
(Use a trend and make a YouTube Video Featuring Your Customers)
YMCA of Calgary created a Harlem Shake video with volunteers, daycare kids, members and staff. The Harlem Shake dance has taken off as an internet sensation over the last few weeks, and Calgary has used that momentum to make a fun video of their own. Keep your eye out for the next trend!
4. Content Marketing for Non-Profits: How Your Local YMCA Keeps it Fresh
(Keep Content Fresh)
This article from Diana Muina of Hannon Hill keeps the big picture of content marketing in perspective, using YMCAs as an example. Specifically, the article discusses the importance of keeping content fresh and new.
What content marketing ideas have you implemented? Comment below.