Conservation organisations aren't the best at marketing themselves.
They've got better things to do, and bigger things to worry about, right?
Well, not really, no.
Content, when designed and used strategically, is a powerful tool for any business. Unlike paid ads, its traffic-attracting juice doesn't "run out" when the dollars do. It keeps working indefinitely; raising awareness, increasing visitor numbers, and converting those visitors into advocates - all the essential elements in building a successful conservation organisation.
What do I mean by "content"?
Anything that exists online or on an organisation's website. That might be images, videos, posts, blogs, newsletters, eBooks, learning modules... The list goes on.
In my 4 years of freelancing as a content marketer, I have primarily produced newsletters and long-form, educational blog posts optimised for SEO. This means I design resources that help organisations rank at the top of the Google search results pages because that's where most people click (more than 70%, in fact).
I harness those clicks, show them interesting content, and tell them what to do next.
More than 90% of the content online is totally wasted. It's not intentional, it's not optimised, and it's not what an audience actually wants.
So if I could give conservation organisations any tips when it comes to leveraging content marketing to increase brand awareness, visitor traffic, and "conversions" (whatever that means to them), it would be the following...
1) Let your audience decide your content
Who are you trying to attract and what are they interested in?
These are core questions for any business or organisation and they should dictate everything you do, not just in a content marketing sense.
What are they searching for online? What relevant themes or topics can you talk about with authority?
The practical application of this step is keyword research. You can learn about it here.
2) Be intentional about its purpose
What is this piece of content for?
Is it to rally newsletter sign-ups? Increase social media followers? Educate on some important work the organisation is doing? Educate on a relevant theme?
Why are you creating it (this should relate to the first point), who are you talking to (do they know you yet?) and what do you want your audience to do after reading it?
These things should influence what you write, how you write it, and how you'll use the content to prompt an action.
3) Optimise, optimise, and optimise some more
People's interests change so what they're searching for also changes over time.
You'll need to keep updating and adjusting your content to make sure it's still relevant. You can do this through repeating your keyword research, using tools that measure how successful your content is (like Google Search Console), and these days, leveraging new tech like AI.
ChatGPT and similar tools are scarily good (they're not as good as us humans yet!) but they can help to make content more comprehensive, more efficient, and faster.
This is an extremely simplified overview of the key things that need to be considered in content marketing activities.
There are so many more, and I write about them a lot.