How to Determine the Value of Content 2

Determine the Value of Content with Better Planning

by Pam Didner
How to Determine the Value of Content


A common task most marketing and media managers face on a daily basis is how to determine the value of content production. Being able to forecast expenses and returns is one of the most important jobs a content marketer faces.

Abstract values like “design” and “experience” are hard to translate into sales dollars, making it one of the most difficult variables to determine the value of content creation.

Content plays a critical role and is an integral part of daily marketing communications. Without valuable content, we don’t have an efficient method to engage and expand our audience.

I often feel content is like a piece of furniture. Yes, a sofa is a sofa. However, the quality and  style of a sofa is the most important aspect we consider when valuing this asset. The quality and beauty of the sofa can only be highlighted when matched with the right setting, décor and color palette. Just like the sofa, the usefulness of content can only be quantified when someone views it, takes action, or shared among multiple departments.

The problem is how do you quantify the return on investment in order to determine the value of content before you have any feedback on the campaign. If content needs to be at the forefront of management’s minds, somehow, content’s value has to be calculated.


Formula to Determine the Value of Content:

Value of Content = F (Content Usage for Business Results or Organizational Impact)

Measurement Category Measured As Function of (  )
Growth: Drive Business Results  F (Demand Generation programs)
F (Sales Enablement and Training)
F (Content Syndication as Lead  Generation)
Services: Aid Other Internal Departments  F (Content Usage for internal  communications)
F (Content Usage for Customer  Services)
Consultancy: Share Content Best Practices within the company  F (projects taken to support other  divisions)

Determining the value of content can be measured by comparing the individual functions. It makes sense that the basic measurement of content is numbers of views, clicks, downloads, shares and the like. Measuring content downloads without a purpose is fruitless, unless it’s quantified in the form of lead conversions that produce positive returns. To track this, the back-end infrastructure needs to be integrated with various awareness-driven channels, marketing automation and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Without the ability to tie various data points together, you won’t be able to determine the value of content accurately.

It’s also proper and fitting to measure content usage for internal communications and by other departments outside of sales and marketing.

Some customer testimonial videos and inforgraphics can easily be used on employees’ forums to share customer feedback and fun facts about our products, technologies, history and trends.

Select content can also be used for senior management external keynotes and presentations.

Value can also be assigned based on the adoption within the company of internal marketing processes and tools for generating and obtaining useful content. By sharing best practices with other functional areas you leverage the value of content management and establish good will.  Essentially, a rising tide lifts all boats and the company will benefit. To determine the value of content as a form of sales is a hard metric that management should pay attention to.

It’s also important to call out some soft benefits of content and present it to management so they are aware of content’s influence above and beyond sales and leads.

How to Determine the Value of Content


How to determine the value of content

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  • Michael Gerard

    Nice post Pam. No doubt, this is a mountain of a topic with many challenges, yet many opportunities. You provide a good model for marketers to begin thinking about how they determine the value of their content. Although more difficult to measure, I’d also include that content value = f(awareness building). Measurement of this area is probably more feasible in a larger organization that takes the time and money to determine the value of its brand. An alternative may be to determine the equivalent digital marketing value of your earned media gained through use of content marketing.

    Regardless, as marketers we’ll need to better measure the impact of our content marketing investment in the coming months/years to: 1) better manage this investment; and 2) justify the increased resources that we’re allocating to this strategy.

    • Thank you, Michael! Measurement is so hard. It’s also different from company to company as well. I actually thought about adding content value = f(awareness building). At the end, I took it out, because I was thinking it’s hard to quantify “awareness” as part of business results. However, I do agree with you: if the objective is brand building, then, measuring awareness becomes very critical. The point I should have made it clear in my blog: Measurement follows objectives. It all comes back to clearly understand what we want to accomplish. Thanks for your friendly reminder.