Determine the Value of Content with Better Planning
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.