Balance in Board Games and Nonprofit Content Marketing

by Jeremy Hoffpauir, creative marketing director, OKCNP

I love board games. I play them whenever I get the chance – and I’m not talking about your standard household games like Monopoly or Clue. Specifically, I am addicted to games involving a high level of strategy, like those offered from Days of Wonder, Rio Grande Games, and similar companies.

What do I love so much about these board games? I love the intricacies of devising a winning strategy, of using my brain to counter my opponents’ strategies, of figuring out the best way to use my resources to achieve victory. But there is a balance in game design. Games should be interesting enough to be fun, but not so overcomplicated that you have to read the rules sixteen times to understand how to play it.

The same can be said for content marketing. People want information. Whether you are trying to find volunteers for your nonprofit, seek funders to support your endeavors, or reach your targeted demographic, you have to provide your audience with the information they need and want without overwhelming them.

As defined by Michele Linn from Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is educational, but is not about the products the company sells.” In the nonprofit fundraising world, you might say it is not specifically about your mission, but content marketing helps you connect your donors with the people you serve. For this to be effective, there are several points to consider.

Your content marketing should be…

  1. Clear – How many times have you seen a commercial for a product that leaves you remembering the commercial, but not being able to recollect what brand the commercial was advertising? That’s the worst form of marketing. If your brand is not connected with your marketing efforts in your target’s mind, then that marketing wasn’t clear enough and failed in its intention. Make sure people remember who they heard your content marketing from and how it connects your organization to them.
  2. Concise – This doesn’t necessarily mean “short,” but “to the point.” Often, those two concepts overlap, but not always. Don’t spend five sentences saying what you can say in one. If you have a long message, make sure every part of that message is important and contains value for your target. Otherwise, you are wasting their time and yours.
  3. Helpful – This might be the most important part of content marketing. If the content you provide doesn’t help your target, or seems unconnected to them and your organization, your efforts won’t be fruitful and they will ignore your future messaging, whether it is helpful to them or not. Establish a reputation for providing helpful content and your audience will return to you time and again.

A good board game should leave you fulfilled and feeling like you enjoyed it, rather than frustrated and confused. It’s the same with content marketing. Leave your audience satisfied and begging for more content they can relate to, rather than frustrated and confused with unclear, unhelpful information. Get to know your audience and connect with them. This will build your brand and help you achieve your mission to its fullest.

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