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The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275) – Headlines and Show Notes
Every day, folks from our team hear marketers at companies large and small talk about how much their content marketing efforts cost. And, they’re not wrong. They often are spending too much money on content. But they’re also buying into the single biggest myth in digital. It’s not that content is expensive. It’s that — for any number of reasons — their content doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Maybe they don’t measure it effectively. Maybe it doesn’t drive clicks or links or shares. Maybe it doesn’t convert. But content is not expensive. Content that no one sees is expensive. Content that doesn't convert is expensive. But content that does its job is the best investment you can make in your business.
In this episode of Thinks Out Loud, we blow up the single biggest myth in digital marketing: content is expensive. Company founder andThinks Out Loud host Tim Peter looks at why content is expensive for some companies — and how you can make it be not only a solid investment, but the best investment around.
Curious to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:
Relevant Links – The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)
- Content is King, Customer Experience is Queen
- What is More Important Than Marketing?
- Content is Still the King
- For Travel Marketers, Content is Still King
- How Hotel Marketers (and Everyone Else, Too) Can Engage Your Secret Sales Force
- Mike Moran on Content Marketing, Site Search, and AI: The Thinks Out Loud Interview
- The Rebirth of Trusted Gatekeepers (Thinks Out Loud Episode 307)
- Is Content Still King or Have the Gatekeepers Won? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 328)
- Is Content a Strategic Product for Your Business? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 319)
- What Netflix’s Struggles Can Teach You About Your Digital Strategy (Thinks Out Loud Episode 347)
- The Future of Content Marketing is Already Here (Thinks Out Loud Episode 350)
- What Taylor Swift Can Teach You About Bypassing Gatekeepers (Thinks Out Loud Episode 393)
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Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks
You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:
Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud
Recorded using a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.
Running time: 13m 45s
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Transcript — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)
Opening — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)
Well, hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. This is episode 275 of the big show. Thank you so much for tuning in once again, I very much appreciate it. I think we have a really cool show for you. And I want to start by blowing up the single biggest myth in digital marketing, and that is that content is expensive.
Why Content Is Not Expensive — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)
You know, when I talk to people all the time, I talk about how critical content is. I've said many times content is king. And when you talk to people about why they don't do more with content, one of the things I hear again and again and again is that it's really expensive to create content, and I just think that's nonsense.
Content is cheap. Content is incredibly cheap. Imagine if you spent $3,000 a month producing content. Now it doesn't matter if you consider that number a big number or a little number given your current budget. But it stands to reason that you could produce a lot of text content, a fair bit of audio or even a couple of high quality videos for three grand a month. Like that's not an outrageous sum of money to produce a reasonable volume, reasonable volumes of content.
The reason that people think that content is expensive though is because what they're talking about is content that no one sees. They're talking about content that doesn't convert. Because content that no one sees is expensive and content that doesn't convert is expensive.
Comparing Your Content to a Sales Person — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)
Now imagine you paid a salesperson $3,000 per month, that's $36,000 a year. We can all agree that's not a lot of money for a salesperson certainly not a lot of money for a good one. And we can also agree that if that person did not close any sales, we'd ask them to find somewhere else to spend their days. Right. I mean, sure, we might give them an opportunity to get better, but we wouldn't give them a lot of opportunities to get better, even at $36,000 a year, which is cheap for a salesperson, you know? It's the fact that we expect more from them. So the question I would have is, why don't we expect more from our content?
And no disrespect to any sales person you're going to hire, they don't work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But your content can. And if you could produce content that people see, and if you can produce content that converts, suddenly $3,000 a month is going to seem pretty inexpensive for lots of reasons.
Why Content Matters for Your Business — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)
You know, first, as I've talked about before, if you don't have content, you don't have search. And if you don't have content, you don't have social. Fundamentally, the point of your content is to get in front of customers at a time of need, whether they're on search or whether they're on social, and answer their questions that they have. Maybe encourage them to share that content with other people online, their friends and families and fans and followers and folks like that on social. And in a perfect world, move them down the purchase funnel. Move them down their customer journey towards making a decision to buy from you, to buy what you offer. And if your content consistently did that, you probably wouldn't see it as expensive.
So let's talk about how you can do this a bit. You know, the average person online has roughly 200 friends on social media, whether we're talking about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, whatever else comes down the line. Any single piece of content that is seen by a visitor to your website, theoretically, could be shared with up to 200 additional people. Now, let's be fair. Most people aren't going to share, but that should be one of the goals you're tracking on your website, on your content. Is it being shared, and if so, how many additional views are you getting from those shares?
And if so, how many clicks are you getting from your shares? How is it improving your traffic? You know, maybe it's only being shared by one person out of, you know, 50, maybe it's only being shared by one person out of a hundred. So if you're getting a thousand people coming to your website, you know, every day, every week, every month, doesn't matter what the period is, but you're getting a thousand people coming to your website. You should be getting 10 to 20 shares and those 10 to 20 shares, in theory should be anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 additional people seeing your content.
Now again, we know the algorithms on social don't really show everything to everybody, so maybe it's only being seen by 10% of their friends and family and fans and followers. So instead of being seen by two thousand to four thousand, you're seeing you're being seen by 200 to 400 additional people. But remember, this is a piece of content that in theory is only being seen by a thousand or anyway. So you're increasing its exposure by 20 to 40% and of course you want to get that extra 20 to 40% of people to click through and to convert to make the content worthwhile.
But the question you have to be looking at, the thing you have to be thinking about is, if your content isn't being shared, why not? Do you know that it's being shared? Do you know that it's being seen? Do you know that people are clicking and do you know that people are converting? The challenge we have with content very often is not that it doesn't work. It's that we don't know whether or not it works.
And again, this is something that you could be producing lots of content. If you're putting out, you know, five or 10 pieces of content per month, let's say, right? And they're being shared with an additional 20 to 40% of the visitors who are actually being seen or who are actually seeing the content on your site, that's a remarkable bit of upside for you to leverage. And that's before we get into improved search ranking and all the other things that you would expect to come from really high quality content. That's before we get into can you promote it with any paid media? That's before we get into can you engage your employees in sharing that content with their friends and family and fans and followers?
But the simple fact of the matter is that piece of content has enormous potential for you to take advantage of. That probably is a place that you have some work to do. And this has not changed for years. It's a reason why I keep saying content is King because it is the core of everything you do. It's the thing around which everything you do evolves.
If you don't have great content, you have nothing to promote regardless of the channel you're going to promote it in. If you don't have great content, you're not going to have anything your customers are going to want to share with their friends and their family and their fans and their followers. If you don't have great content, you're not going to be picked up in search engines as being a good answer to a customer's question. And if you don't have great content, you're not going to be able to engage your employees and sharing with their friends and family and fans and followers, because they're not going to want to look like an idiot. They're not going to want to say, "yeah, this is something I worked on, and I think it's really great" if it isn't, right? But it's something that can be done very economically and really isn't that expensive if it works for you.
Again, think of each piece of content like a salesperson. Think of it the way you would anybody who sells for your business, they're not expensive. They're not cheap. They are a function of whether or not they do a good job, and when they do a great job, you never find yourself saying, "Man, I'm really paying my most successful sales person too much money." It's just not a conversation you have. You really want to think about the fact that content is King and the King is actually pretty cheap as long as you make sure the King works for you.
The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275): Conclusion
So my big advice is focus on making sure you have the right measures to ensure your content is working for you. Put an emphasis on measuring the effectiveness of its shareability, of its viewability, on its clickability and on its conversion, because those will help you make sure your content really does work for your business. And if you do all that well, you're going to find out that content isn't expensive at all, but that not having great content is going to cost you an awful lot of money.
Show Closing — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)
Now looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week, but I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode as well as an archive of all past episodes by going to TimPeter.com/podcast. Again, that's TimPeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 275. While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered every single week. You can also subscribe to Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Overcast, or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud or Thinks Out Loud. We should show up for any of those.
While you're there, I'd also really appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review. It helps new listeners find us and it helps them understand what the show is all about. It makes an enormous difference for the podcast. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/TimPeterAssociates and you can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. And of course you can email me by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, that's email@example.com.
I'd also like to thank our sponsor thinks out loud as brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI-driven content discovery and site search analytics to unlock revenue for your business. You can learn more about how to improve your content, increase your customer satisfaction, and make your search smarter by going to SoloSegment.com. Again, that's SoloSegment.com.
With that, I want to say thanks so much for tuning in. I really appreciate you listening. I know I say it every week, but I would not do the show without you. It means so very much to me to have you tune in. With all that said, I hope you have a great rest of the week one where ever you happen to be. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I'm looking forward to speaking with you him again here on thinks out loud next time.
Until then, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care of everybody.