The content you create is a bridge that connects you to your audience. However, most communications are viewed differently. The fixated focus on results, such as increasing donations, signing a petition, etc., makes you lose sight of the straightforward truth of building relationships that can lead to those results.
It's an example of the cart before the horse.
So, what's the significance of building relationships through content marketing?
Marketing is a means to build genuine relationships through communication if you are intentional about it. Building stronger relationships with your audience naturally leads to more donations.
What if we always ask ourselves how this content establishes or strengthens the relationship with our audience? This would change our mindset behind content creation.
Benefits of strong relationships
According to Better Health, there are three types of relationships or connections we have with people:
- Intimate connections with close friends and family who deeply care about you.
- Relational connections are the relationships with people you talk to and share likes and dislikes, like co-workers or the baristas who make your coffee.
- Collective connections are the groups of people who share something significant in common, like the same faith.
Your nonprofit can build powerful relationships through these types of connections.
The following three emphasize emotional appeal, self-identity alignment, and trustworthiness.
- Emotional Connection: Nonprofits are effective when they evoke emotions and make their audience feel a certain way. People seek organizations that reflect their desired identity, aspirations, and values. This reflection creates a deep emotional connection.
- Self-Expression and Identity: Nonprofits that allow their audience to express themselves as individuals and align with their desired self-image are appealing. People love brands that reflect who they want to be and help shape their identity and lifestyle.
- Consistency and Trust: Nonprofits that deliver on their promises and provide quality products, services, and experiences foster trust and loyalty. Donors appreciate nonprofits they can rely on to meet their values, leading to long-term love and commitment.
Strong relationships offer benefits like trust, loyalty, collaboration, and growth opportunities. And you know what? Storytelling is important because it helps create and strengthen empathy, trust, and a sense of community.
Examples of companies that build relationships through content marketing
TOMS is a shoe company that uses content marketing to build relationships with its audience. Their content tells stories and showcases how their products help people in need.
Their company creates emotional connections with its audience through storytelling. The result is their audience feels they're making a difference by supporting the brand.
The outdoor gear clothing company Patagonia connects with its audience through content that aligns with its values. They promote sustainability, outdoor adventures, and social activism. Patagonia has built a loyal community by delivering content that reflects its audience's interests and self-image.
Lastly, who doesn't know Dove soap? Their content promotes body positivity and self-acceptance. Their "Real Beauty" campaign challenges traditional beauty standards and celebrates diverse representations of beauty.
By addressing critical societal issues and empowering its audience, Dove establishes a deep emotional connection.
These examples show how organizations can use content marketing to create emotional connections, foster self-expression and identity, and establish trust and consistency. This leads to building solid and meaningful relationships with their audience.
Building and strengthening relationships is an unspoken part of your job description. It requires active engagement, genuine interactions, and shared experiences.
Your audience can form meaningful relationships with your Nonprofit. It only takes the mindset of genuine connection to do so.