Blog Like Big Brands: Goodwill

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Blog creation and blog marketing have become super-effective secret weapons for non-profit organizations. Blogging is a low-cost, low-risk marketing technique, making it perfect for fundraising organizations and community-based charities. Goodwill Industries is one non-profit that has really embraced blogging and all forms of online marketing. And no time of year is busier at your local Goodwill than Halloween. The multi-billion-dollar Halloween pie gives a sizable chunk to Goodwill and other thrift stores that have honed in on our collective desire to wear ridiculous costumes without spending a ridiculous amount of money.

Today, Blog Like the Big Brands looks at how Goodwill uses blogging to help scare up business during this spooky season — and all year round.

Goodwill is more than just a place to pick up some cheap knick knacks. Goodwill provides job placement, career education, recovery services and more for communities in need across the planet. So the main Goodwill blog presents all of this with an easy-to-read newsletter style befitting a non-profit organization. Posts that integrate what Goodwill does with current headlines along with profiles of Goodwill supporters and volunteers create a clear outline of the company. But in the fall, Halloween is king at Goodwill and the blog reflects that, too. From spooky tablescape ideas and Halloween shopping tips to expert advice on how to find a costume at Goodwill from fashion bloggers, the brand has embraced its most popular time of year. Goodwill even tweaks all of its other digital branding efforts — Facebook, Twitter, etc. — to reflect the company-wide love of Halloween. Thrift stores have been a holiday secret for years, and Goodwill has taken it out of the closet and into mainstream marketing.

Bumping up your blog for a busy season is a great how-to takeaway from Goodwill. Naturally, if you’re a retailer, your blog should feature your Christmas merchandise. But other businesses (like landscapers, ski resorts, restaurants and flower shops) that have busy times of year should use their blogs to cater to the seasons, too. Blogs are great place to show off holiday promotions, decorations and gift ideas.

Other non-profits can learn a lot about blogging from Goodwill, too. Blog posts are a succinct way for non-profits to express their mission statements while talking to their followers in an informal way. Posts rich in photos or videos like those from Goodwill are more effective than boring pamphlets or press releases. Plus blogs can be updated all the time, which is great for ever-evolving organizations.

Cheap and unique Halloween costumes and community empowerment isn’t exactly a natural combination. But thanks to great online marketing and blogging, Goodwill makes it seem easy.

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