Written by Ariad Communications on May 17, 2012
in Content Strategy

So you’ve created some well thought out content. You pushed through the approvals and the internal departmental disagreements. And then you get the call. “We have an executive meeting next week and want to know when we can start seeing a return on our investment?”

Sound familiar? You’re not alone, as my fellow Confabers described, most marketers know they need content, but few know how to measure its worth. And to make things more complicated, the metrics we use to value content may be different than most organizations are used to. Here are a few:

The life-time value of your customer. You have to ask yourself what’s one new customer worth to your organization – keep in mind how long you anticipate them being a customer. If you’re a bank, the life-time value of your customer may be as much as $1-million or more. Now imagine you run an online community designed to educate. Having just one user sign up for a new bank account could net the organization $1-million in unearned revenue.

Customer Loyalty. Gerhard Arnhofer and his team of content creators and strategists at Merck suggested creating a balanced scorecard to measure customer loyalty. Not unlike lead scoring, your scorecard could include things like analytics, customer survey results, etc. These results could then be used to calculate your Net Promoter Score (NPS).

The cost of not doing it. Melissa Rach, VP of Content Strategy over at Brain Traffic, made a great point. If you don’t move forward with a content project, what’s the opportunity cost? Imagine you own an online tee-shirt business. Analytics tell you that of the 100 people last week that entered your checkout, 60 abandoned their purchase. Now, if the average transaction is worth $50, you are losing as much as $3000 per week in revenue or $36,000 a year! If the content project costs $10,000 you could be increasing your net revenue by $26,000.

Quick wins are great. But when it comes to content you have to be in it for the long run. If, as the saying goes, your brand is the most valuable asset your organization owns – and your content is largely the expression of your brand – then is it not an asset worth investing in? It’s time we give content the credit it deserves.

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