The Value of Content
What is the ROI of Content?
Content isn’t an expense, it isn’t an investment. To assert either idea is to misunderstand the role of content in a business. Recently, we’ve begun to notice a disturbing trend in the opining of keyboard “experts”; dismissing content, in both promotional and supporting roles, as holding no inherent value.”Content isn’t an investment” we hear them say, “it’s only an expense.” “You can’t have a return on content” they babble, “that which is spent on content is money simply gone.”
But to rail against content in marketing is to rail against advertising in general.
The fact is that content is the base for almost all business and all of advertising. Without content, an honest billboard would be blank, a middle-man company would be inhuman. Think about this- your product only has value to a consumer once it is purchased. Content production is the process of lending value to a product where otherwise it would be useless until bought- essentially, it is advertising. Making a product valuable in the eyes of the consumer; not just by bringing it before their eyes, but by appealing it. If you rail against pointless content, that’s one thing. But the fact is that most businesses which aren’t members of the tangled esoteric money circles which we call the financial industry either have content or they have nothing.
The video below, published by a prominent philosophical institution, raises the inherent problem of modern advertising….
While content has become part of this problem, it is also the solution. Now the distinction between good and bad content is important, and that is precisely because of this notion of lending value. To assert something valueless is annoying, but to assert something with a poor value can be downright detrimental. The fact is, advertising is not meant to be a trick. “It’s not as if people don’t want to buy things” as the above video says. It’s about how they are sold things which matter to them.
It’s for this reason that native advertising has stirred up so much controversy over the past few years. As is shown in the video, it has become a point of personal pride, of steadfast constitution, to hate advertising. Some people flat out don’t want to be sold things anymore- and it’s this toxic attitude toward content which native and content advertisers are trying to fight.
So sure, the ROI of content is not a return on the content itself- but it’s the difference between two drastically different returns where the lower took content as useless, and the greater understood that even when it isn’t what you’re selling, it’s how you sell.
How important is content to you as a consumer? As a marketer? Let us know in the comments below!