It’s Time for Content to be Valued Like Customers and Patents and Inventory

Posted by David Meerman Scott 04:01 PM on May 26, 2015

patents_shutterstockIt’s time to treat content as a valuable asset instead of a monthly expense.

I’ve been involved in valuing a number of companies over the years and the assets that get added up include such things as the revenue from customers, real estate, equipment, inventory, and the like.

Let’s include content as an asset too!

A company’s blog content, videos, infographics, ebooks, white papers, and the like are assets that consistently deliver value over time. Content gets your company found in the search engines, is a tool for generating leads, and moves buyers through your sales cycle.

Intangible assets like patents and trademarks are often considered assets when valuing a company so why not content?

Let’s show our people how valuable our content is to our organizations

The problem is that nearly all companies look at content as a monthly marketing expense rather than an ongoing asset that is built over time and retains value. This is a holdover from traditional advertising and public relations services when you had no choice but to pay for attention.

The problem is when a company thinks of content as a monthly expense, it does not invest enough. It means that executives don’t pay enough attention to content.

For example, if you spend $10,000 a month on Google AdWords, the only thing you are buying are the resulting clicks of your ads appearing against the important phrases people search on to find your business. But as soon as you stop paying, your clicks stop too. This is the classic example of a marketing expense.

However, if you spend that same $10,000 a month to hire freelance journalists to write a bunch of interesting blog posts relating to important phrases people search on to find your business, you will have assets that live forever that will drive people to your content from the search engines for years to come. The content will have value many years after it has been paid for.

Content drives action now and forever

I started writing this blog in 2004. There are posts that I wrote many years ago that rank highly in the search engines for phrases that people search on today and as a result I’m getting hundreds of new visitors every single day to this blog from the search engines. That’s a valuable asset. Even if I stop writing new blog posts, my roughly 1,200 existing blog posts are still creating value.

It’s not just blog posts. Videos, infographics, ebooks, white papers and other content is valuable too.

For example, my SlideShare The New Rules of Selling has nearly 190,000 views as I write this and continues to generate thousands of views a month, even though it was published nearly a year ago. That’s an asset of my business, not an expense during the month last year when I paid Doug Eymer to help me with the design.

Talk to your team and your executive leadership. Explain how valuable your content is. Don’t allow content to sit in the monthly expense bucket with advertising. See if you can upgrade it’s value in your organization.

Image: Shutterstock / Olivier Le Moal

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David Meerman Scott

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