Content Mathematics: Track the financial value (or ROI) of your content

Content Mathematics: Track the financial value (or ROI) of your content

content mathematics

Tracking the financial value of your content sounds like a silly thing to attempt. Until you do it, that is.

If you have ever tried to understand the return on investment of your content, but haven’t been able to get sensible answers out of your digital marketers, read on. This is for you.

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Doesn’t content have an ROI problem?

According to the internet, it does. And according to the internet, it’s not an insignificant problem, either. It’s such a big problem that there are pages and pages of content, maybe hundreds of articles about it. One blog[1] went so far as to claim that reducing content to a dollar value is not possible. Others have confused the notion of ROI with the notion of impact or awareness, instead of the calculation of dollars.[2]

Given that most of those articles and blogs address marketing, and are confused about whether the return is awareness, impact, or finance; and given that the articles are also confused about whether the ROI relates to content assets or marketing assets, we can consider that the content ROI problem is simply a definition problem.

Therefore, before you learn the mathematics that will show you how to track the financial value of your content, we both need to be on the same page. The maths you’ll find here you won’t get from a marketer. This about value to your business, not value in relation to your marketing spend.

Content assets are items that grow the financial value of your business.

The return on investment of pay-per-click advertising is not the same thing as the financial value of content assets that you own and maintain.

Pay-per-click advertising is an expense, or cost of sales. For it to be available, you pay whenever someone clicks a link to access whatever is ‘behind’ the advertisement. The lifetime of PPC advertising is only as long as you continue to support the expense.

In contrast, when you have a whitepaper developed or designed for you, that too is an expense, or cost of sales. The difference is that you upload it behind your own wall, which requires a different kind of payment: It’s payment in personal information. Then when it’s made available, you don’t pay to keep it available. The flow is instead the other way: It earns you personal information and, by extension, income. Apart from the initial expense, the item works to gain you revenue, and its maintenance is limited to perhaps 15 minutes annually to keep it updated.

The content ROI problem isn’t a content problem, but a marketing performance problem.

A strategist recognises that every piece of content must support the financial future of an organisation, and be able to explain how it does so.

If content is not designed in such a way that it supports the direction of an organisation, developing it is a waste of time, money, and effort.

That’s why learning how to demonstrate the financial value of content assets is critical.

It gives CEOs and Managing Directors a method of seeing the value of content in a way that they understand.

It then allows them to demonstrate to the board, to the partners, and the Chief Financial Officer the ways in which the company’s intellectual property is adding to the bottom line of the company.

This puts your company in a more powerful position when it comes to mergers or acquisitions down the track, because the intellectual property has been properly valued and given its rightful place in the valuation of the business.

So, how can you work out the financial value of your content?

Simple. Learn the mathematics.

Brutal Pixie trains individuals and teams in content mathematics.

The training sessions teaches you how to track the content of nearly every content type that is also properly an asset. This training builds on and extends the original concept, which you’ll find at this source.

The training covers:

  • the formulae and abbreviations you require
  • the critical inputs and data you need to make the mathematics work
  • products like books and ebooks
  • webinars
  • website pages, posts, and online series
  • downloads and lead magnets.

You learn the Why and the How, and then you practise!

The training isn’t just a passive education session. It’s completely interactive.

Importantly, every participant practices with the formulae in-training, and then develops a “board presentation” that they give on the spot.

This enables participants to come to grips with everything they don’t understand, to play with the mathematics, and to role play a realistic scenario.

It also allows for everyone to interact and discuss what they learned.

Once you’re through the training, all you have to do is keep using it!

Contact us for group training sessions scheduled just for you.

[1] Flanagan, Kieran. 2014. Content ROI is a Myth.
[2] Fryrear, Andrea. 2016. Content marketing ROI: 4 ways to get started.

Leticia Mooney

The Brutal Pixie is Leticia Mooney. Race: Eladrin, Class: Publisher. --- Leticia is Australia's foremost authority on publishing in a business context. She ghostwrites for, and advises, entrepreneurial individuals in the professional services.

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