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Is content marketing an asset or a cost?

is-content-marketing-and-assetThese days I’m reading Joe Pullizi’s Epic Content Marketing: How to tell a different story, break through the clutter, and win more customers by marketing less. In one of the chapters he mentions that many marketers consider content marketing as cost and not an asset.

This comes to me as a surprise because I believe everything you have that promotes your business, gets you more leads, gives you more exposure, is an asset.

What’s that signboard in front of your shop or business establishment? What are the employees that help your customers buy from your retail shop? What are the advertisements that you carry out? Are these assets or costs?

The thing is, everything you spend money on is the cost. This is the reality of life. You have to pay for things. If you want to have a very good website for your business, you have to pay the web designer. If you want to improve your SEO, you have to pay an SEO expert. Similarly, if you want compelling content on your website, you have to pay a content writer or a content marketing agency. A premium service is going to cost you.

Having said all this, I always tell my clients that all the webpages and blog posts they are getting our assets, because they are generating business for them, they have no reason to exist. Your FAQs page is an asset. Your about us page is an asset. Your homepage is obviously an asset. All the blog posts that you are publishing to improve your search engine rankings and engage your customers are assets because they are helping you get more business. All the updates that you are publishing on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to engage your prospective and current customers and clients are assets because they give you brand visibility.

People who consider content marketing a cost don’t understand what’s content marketing and the do content marketing simply because the others are doing. They have heard that other businesses are doing great with content marketing and they would also want the same results, but without putting in the extra effort of understanding how to do it and what to expect of it. Read Why content marketing is important for your business.

It’s the same like SEO: most of the people who want better search engine rankings don’t put much effort into understanding what is SEO. They just want higher rankings and for that they are ready to indulge even in those activities that are counter-productive. By the time they realize that they have harmed their rankings rather than improving them, it’s too late and the worst part is, they blame SEO in general rather than blaming their particular activities. Read 5 ways to beat your competitors at SEO with content writing.

Why is content marketing an asset?

In order to understand why content marketing is an asset you first of all need to have a clear idea of why you want to use content marketing for your business. Is it just because you have heard about content marketing and you have heard many people raving about it, or do you really believe it can make a big difference? Read What is content marketing? Explained in detail.

If you simply want to follow people because they seem to be doing cool activities, you are in for a big disappointment if your soul is not into it. In order to make full use of content marketing, you have to realize its importance. Why content matters to your business? Read Why is content marketing so important?

Content marketing is an asset because you use it to build a platform and then due to this platform, you are able to increase your business.

Sometimes a blog post that you publish and then promote may get you direct business or the email campaign that you send may get you direct business but more often than not, content marketing helps you build a platform and that platform eventually helps you convert. Blog post by blog post, web page by web page, you build this platform.

Take the example of a celebrity. Once you are famous, innumerable doors open for you if you have got talent. Suppose you are totally unknown but you are an exceptional writer. Paris Hilton is known for whatever reasons. If both of you approach a publisher who has got a better chance of his or her book being published? I’m not talking about an idealistic publisher.

The same happens with content marketing. It turns you into a celebrity in your own universe. You create your own circle of influence and whoever is inside that circle likes you, trusts you, values your opinion and consequently, when it comes to doing business, prefers to do business with you.

For example, if I’m constantly writing about content marketing and giving you useful insights that you can use to promote your own business, one day when you need someone to do content marketing for your business, are you going to look for a content marketer somewhere else or you would approach me (provided you haven’t heard bad things about me)? Or someone you know needs a content marketing service. Obviously, you are going to approach me.

This is the sort of presence your content marketing creates. This is the circle of influence you create when you do content marketing for your business. In that sense, content marketing is an investment and when you invest, you create assets.