Content strategy ROI is always big concern, as it should be. It seems hard to measure, because content has both immediate and long-term, tangible and intangible effects on a business. How do you know if it’s worth the investment?
Luckily, one of my favorite Confab 2012 presentations last week by Melissa Rach addressed just this issue. Her presentation on the economics of content strategy is here.
Essentially, she broke it down like this:
Value = Benefits – Costs
That’s the formula: value = benefits – costs. It’s simple, yet brilliant. First, consider the benefits — and the corresponding monetary value — of your content strategy. Then determine the value of each one and add them up. Like in this example:
Content Strategy Benefits
|Gain new customers.||Value of 1 customer X number of additional customers you may get.|
|Reduce customer service calls.||Value of your customer service rep’s time X amount of time gained by reducing calls.|
|Improve internal efficiency.||Value of 1 writer and developer’s (for example) time x time gained by streamlining processes.|
If you’re in a professional industry, one new client might mean an additional $10,000 – $100,000 or more over the course of a year. If you’re in consumer goods, a 10% increase in sales might also mean hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Other measurable monetary benefits to your organization might include:
- Faster speed to purchase
- More self-selecting traffic and customers
- Increased repeat visits, clicks, and/or purchases
- Increased word of mouth
- Decreased new content costs via repurposing and structuring
- Additional signups
- Increased time spent on site
Multiply by Certainty
Not 100% positive of the effectiveness of your content strategy? That makes sense — many factors will influence success, including things out of your control, such as a competitor product launch, economy shift, staff reorganization, or seasonal changes. Melissa Rach suggests figuring out how sure you are that content strategy will benefit your company — 75% sure? 85%? Then multiply that by the value you came up with above to determine a range.
$100,000 potential value X 75% certainty = $75,000 value
Once you know how much the benefits of content strategy are worth to you, it’s much easier to make a smart decision about the costs.
The Costs of Not Practicing Content Strategy
The costs aren’t limited to paying for the creation and implementation of your content strategy. At Confab, several speakers, Including Anne Rockley, president of the Rockley Group, told true stories about the costs of choosing not to invest in strategy or implementation.
In one story, workflow oversight of the content strategy was cut back, and a message intended for staff was published publicly. The information cost them not only embarrassment, but also potential investment, and the company went under.
What’s the Value of Content Strategy to Your Business?
Consider the monetary benefits to your company, the costs of the strategy design and implementation, and the potential costs of not giving your content the attention it needs, and you should have a strong projected ROI.