10 Aug What Is Content Worth?
One of the great conundrums in marketing is tracking a customer journey and figuring out what content they engaged with – and what made them convert from a prospect to a lead. The answer is often ambiguous – if you can track it at all. Which raises the question: What is content worth?
My friend Kim recently lamented that she’s been blogging regularly for five years, yet she has no idea if anyone has become a client because of her blog.
I told her that people might read a few of her blog posts. Then they connect with her on LinkedIn. Then they meet someone who knows her, and that person makes an email introduction.
How on earth would Kim know the impact of her blog – and by extension, the value of her blog – unless she asked this new client, and the new client was able to recount his entire journey?
We all face this same dilemma. Even those of us who are content marketers.
First, what makes content great content?
Great content is more than interesting and well-written. Great content teaches you something new. It:
- Presents a specific viewpoint or perspective
- Sounds like the author
- Is authoritative – it’s based on deep industry knowledge and practical experience
- When appropriate, is actionable
There are basically two types of content out there: Actionable, how-to content and high-level, strategic content. High-level stuff is usually not actionable – but it does make you think (like this post).
What is content worth to your brand?
OK, so let’s go back to our original premise about the value of content. If it’s valuable to your audience, it’s worth a lot for your brand.
Content builds thought leadership
Want to be perceived as an expert in your field? Great content shows people that you know what you’re talking about – simple as that.
I would argue that recounting conversations, telling client stories, and sharing personal experiences or insights will build your thought leadership faster than teaching people how to do stuff step-by-step.
If you read my blog posts regularly, you’ll notice that I do provide actionable tips. I do teach people how to do stuff. Actionable content is an important part of the mix.
Content supports your search ranking
Content needs to be optimized for search, specifically around the keyword(s) you want to be found for. This allows Google to index your page.
For your page to rank well, it needs to be visited by hundreds or thousands of people. This signals to Google that you are a trusted source of information. And it’ll be reflected in your search ranking, making you more findable online.
Content creates trust with your audience
Every single relationship – professional, romantic, platonic – is based on trust. Your clients trust you to deliver on your promises, and you trust your clients to pay you. None of us would be able to run and grow our businesses if people didn’t trust us.
Trust is invaluable – and pretty hard to come by. And so many relationships are ruined when trust breaks down. Do you know how many times I’ve talked to a new client about a terrible experience with another marketer? Once that trust is gone, they’re looking for someone else to trust.
Content turns you into a go-to resource
Once someone trusts you, they’ll turn to you for more information on the topics they care about. That’s pretty cool.
Just think about how many competitors you have – and how many other sources of information are out there. Because they trust you, they turn to you instead.
What’s that worth? Can we put a dollar value on it? Nope.
And eventually, content leads to sales
Here’s what we can put a dollar value on – a sale.
So let’s go back to what I told Kim. Could Kim have gotten New Client without any content at all?
Definitely not. Let’s say New Client never heard of Kim before their mutual friend said made the email introduction.
What do you think New Client did after Mutual Friend told him about Kim? He looked up her website. He read a blog post or two. He checked out her LinkedIn profile and saw how active she is – and how engaged her network is. He read her recommendations.
Together, this told New Client that Kim is a trusted thought leader. People like her. Mutual Friend likes her.
What is content worth? New clients and new projects.
How to measure what your content is worth
You can measure what your blog posts are worth by digging into Google analytics. How many page views are your blog posts getting? How much time are visitors spending on the page? What’s the bounce rate?
When it comes to email marketing, look at the open rate and and click rate. You can also measure the value of your blog posts by how many clicks to “read more” they get.
Social media has the worst ROI of all channels, so don’t feel bad if your engagement isn’t that great.
Still, you want to look at the number of comments and shares your posts are getting – especially the ones that are linked to a blog post. (The number of reactions doesn’t matter much. It’s so easy to hit “like” as you scroll.)
Finally, what’s your average client engagement worth – or average lifetime value of a client?
My client, Bob, and I have been working together for 10 years now. We were introduced by a friend of Bob’s who found me online, read my stuff, and said, “Bob needs Monika’s help.”
Bob’s lifetime value to date is, in the words of Buddy the Elf, ginormous.
Content is worth a lot
Even though it’s hard to measure, content is worth a lot to your brand.
If you are now seized with anxiety because you are very behind on the content train, check out our Breakthrough Marketing Package. You’ll get one blog post and email that are tailored to your brand each month. It’s a great way to get on board that content marketing train!