Can Your Not For Profit Learn from Coca-Cola?

From Dennis Fischman

Running a not for profit is harder than running a business.  Still, not for profits can learn lessons for free that corporations have spent a lot of money to learn.

Coke can give your organisation ideas
Coke can give your organisation ideas

Take Coca-Cola, for example.  If your not for profit were as widely known as Coke, you’d have a lot easier time attracting “customers” (clients, donors, and funders). How do they do it, and can you do the same?

Things Go Better with Content Marketing

Jeff Bullas reports that Coke now sees content marketing as the key to its outreach.  Content marketing means you don’t push your message out so much as attract your audience in.  Give people information that matters to them and you will draw supporters closer to your cause.

Coke is betting the farm that they can develop content that makes a commitment to making the world a better place and to develop value and significance in people’s lives…while at the same time driving business goals for Coca-Cola.

If Coke can do well by doing good, why not you?

Content Marketing Lessons You Can Bottle

Here are five lessons we can learn from Coke.  Jeff Bullas listed, and I translated them into not for profit.

  1. Create “liquid content.”  No, you’re not going into the soft drink business!  “Liquid content” means stuff that people love and can’t wait to share.  Whether you create an article, a video, a graphic, or an online game, make people glad they saw it.  (That means you have to know your audience.)
  2. Ensure your content is linked to your mission, goals, and values.  It’s not enough that they love it.  It has to fit what you do as an organisation.  People may love that cat video, but what does it have to do with your homeless shelter?
  3. Create conversations.  Don’t just publish. Interact with your audience. They’re asking questions online: do you have answers? They’re commenting on a topic you care about too. Reply.  And let what they say give you ideas for more content.
  4. Move on to dynamic storytelling.  This means you allow the story to evolve as you interact with your supporters. If you are truly engaged with them, they will care more about you.
  5. Be brave and creative with your content creation.  Sure, 70% of what you put out may be tried and true.  20% of it may be new but based on what has already worked.  But 10% of your time, experiment.  Try a new form–video or radio instead of writing–or a new medium–what is this thing called Google+–or an idea that’s a little off the wall.

Be ready to fail sometimes.  Remember New Coke?  Not that many people do.  If you try something that doesn’t work, people will forget…and you will learn.  And you will come up with the real thing.

About Dennis:  Dennis Fischman is a Cause & Effective Associate who focuses on helping organisations win friends and get the support they need to do their excellent work. He is the author of the Communicate! Blog, and you can also follow him on Twitter.

About B-Cause

B-Cause is published by Cause and Effective. We help good causes find and attract effective leaders.

Thats our take on things. Over to you, please add to the discussion.

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