By Sarah Mitchell published August 17, 2010

What Content Marketers Can Learn from an Australian Non-Profit

One of the hallmarks of a good content marketing campaign is that it’s designed to pull the customer in. Developing content that will engage your prospective customers isn’t always easy. Getting your audience to take action on your behalf is even harder – a seemingly impossible task. The aged care industry in Australia found a good solution to do both at the same time.

While this example talks about a non-profit, the lessons are key for anyone in content marketing:

  • Have a specific and easy way for your audience to take action.
  • Have your core audience get others involved.
  • Use multiple media types for greatest impact.

Here’s how the program works.

The Challenge

Australian citizens receive aged care as a benefit from the federal government. Escalating costs in utility prices and staffing have put a burden on aged care facilities, making it increasingly difficult to operate within the current funding model. Faced with an aging population and the first Baby Boomers hitting retirement age, the industry struggles on three other fronts:

  • The only media coverage they attract is when something goes wrong for a resident at an aged care facility.
  • Elderly people have a tiny digital footprint and an extremely low profile in social media circles. They are also one of the least influential voting groups.
  • The general public would rather not think about the inevitable fact of aging. Topics such as climate change, immigration and labor laws garner far more mindshare. The politicians are quite happy to put aged care on the back burner.

The Grand Plan

The Campaign for the Care of Older Australians (CCOA) – a joint effort by the leading aged care organizations in Australia – launched The Grand Plan in the beginning of July. It’s a grand example of content marketing, too. Knowing they needed to put pressure on the government before funding reform would get on the political agenda, they needed to raise community awareness about the looming issues and current problems.

The Beauty of the Plan

To attract people to their cause, CCOA provides a way to engage the wider population for the sake of the elderly. Offering an opportunity to send a free postcard to any elderly resident in Australia, CCOA provided a terrific way for anyone to connect with a loved one by filling out a simple form. The “grand person” receives a bright pink postcard in the mail with the words “I think you are grand” printed in bold, white script across the front.

Mission Accomplished

At the same time, the CCOA automatically generates a letter to the government representative for the elderly person asking for support.

“I am writing on behalf of a special grand person in my life, [insert your favorite grand person’s name] who lives in your electorate. I’m worried they may need care in the future and I don’t think the government is doing enough to help.

Please support The Grand Plan to invest in the future health and wellbeing of all elderly Australians.”

Shortly after The Grand Plan campaign launched, a general election was called. With a relatively short election cycle of six weeks, the contending candidates for the top job in the country would rather avoid the complex issue of a failing aged care industry. The Grand Plan is making evasion difficult. By giving the general public a great incentive to participate with a fun and easy way to get in touch with loved ones, the industry is making a significant impact on the elected body.

It remains to be seen if social policy will change on the back of this content marketing campaign. One thing is certain: the two main party candidates are speaking about aged care for the first time ever. One other nice thing is happening. Every day, thousands of elderly people are receiving bright pink postcards in their mailboxes.

What other lessons do you take away from this?

Author: Sarah Mitchell

Sarah Mitchell is Director of Content Strategy at Lush Digital Media, co-host of the Brand Newsroom podcast and founder of Global Copywriting. She develops content marketing and community engagement strategies for clients in a variety of industries. Sarah works in Perth, Western Australia and frequently speaks on topics related to Content Marketing and Social Media. She's also the Australian editor for Chief Content Officer magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @SarahMitchellOz.

Other posts by Sarah Mitchell

Join Over 180,000 of your Peers!

Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Get Inspired: 75 (More) Content Marketing Examples FREE!

  • FiBendall

    Sarah, fantastic post and straight to the point. Its about Older Australian's and their carers were acknowledged and most of all respected.

  • Psparrow

    HI Sarah

    As someone involved with The Grand Plan just want to thank you for your support. It is a great post and I have sent this out broadly through aged care.

    Pat Sparrow

  • http://www.globalcopywriting.com/ globalcopywrite

    I agree, Fi. The lesson I took away from this is to be cognizant of influencing markets. It's easy to get caught up in attracting the people with the money. Sometimes a better way to reach a goal is to let someone else make the noise for you.

  • http://www.globalcopywriting.com/ globalcopywrite

    Hi Pat,

    It was my pleasure. I'm a big fan of the work CCOA is doing. I'm delighted to see examples of organizations using content marketing to affect social policy.

    Cheers,
    Sarah

  • http://www.page1guaranteed.com.au Australian SEO Services

    you’ve delivered your points clearly
    indeed content marketing is a great tool