Is Content Marketing an Expense or an Asset?

Is Content Marketing an Expense or an Asset?

In the world of marketing, you get out what you put in—and content marketing is no different. Creating useful, engaging content on a consistent basis requires a fine mix of skill, time and creativity. Not surprisingly, content creation often comes with a price tag. But as marketers leverage content marketing as a way to build their businesses, they’re often left second-guessing whether the content they’re producing is more of an expendable expense than a valuable asset.

For example, consider a more “traditional” form of content, such as an advertisement. The content created has a limited lifespan because advertisements are generally distributed over a fixed period of time. The hope is that, during this time, the expense to create and distribute the advertisements will result in increased sales and brand value. However, this advertising content—along with its value—ultimately has an expiration date.

When content is treated as an expense, it may not receive the attention it deserves. Expenses are typically meant to be kept to a minimum. As such, treating content as an expense can lead to less robust content creation and marketing efforts.

Because today’s content has a long shelf life, producing high-quality content should be much more of a priority than minimizing its costs. In addition, worrying mainly about cost means you might be less likely to measure and optimize your marketing efforts, which is an essential part of any content marketing strategy.

Here are four key reasons why you should treat content marketing like an asset:

1. Content Can Generate Revenue

It is crucial that marketers shift their mindsets and begin managing content creation as an investment in a valuable asset, not as an expense. By doing so, they will create greater value for their businesses and elevate the marketing function in the eyes of the sales force and senior management.

For example, the Cleveland Clinic has had an incredible amount of success with its Health Essentials blog, which is now one of the most visited online healthcare destinations. Since its conception, the Cleveland Clinic’s content marketing department has put an emphasis on producing high-quality content and optimizing content marketing efforts, as well as collaborating with its CMO to monetize the blog’s content.

In addition, the Cleveland Clinic has formed a series of strategic partnerships with companies like that have not only created revenue, but also increased brand awareness and authority. The tremendous success of Health Essentials is just one example of how an attitudinal shift regarding content creation can pay off in a tangible way.

2. Content Can Generate Lasting Value

One of the greatest benefits of content creation is the content can be used over a long period of time. This extended shelf life means it still holds value long after it’s been paid for. A blog post, for example, can deliver returns for years after its production. Creating evergreen content, or content that remains continually relevant over time, can further expand the lifespan of your content.

For example, this blog post from Tremco Roofing & Building Maintenance explains the benefits of commercial roof restoration. By covering a topic that remains relevant and searchable no matter how much time passes, it continues to be a valuable, lead-generating asset to the company many months after it was posted.

3. Content Can Be Repurposed

Another valuable element of content is its ability to be reused in different formats. When you invest in creating a great piece of content, these pieces can and should be repurposed. For example, you could start with a white paper and repurpose it into a video, a blog post and a sales presentation.

One unique advantage to this strategy is that each of these new forms of content can be geared toward different points in the buying cycle—meaning the value of the original piece of content can be amplified. Repurposing your content is a relatively simple way to give your content new life and multiply your returns.

4. Content Creation Can Maximize Your Marketing Efforts

Treating content as an asset will help demonstrate its value in your overall marketing strategy, enabling your coworkers to understand why content is worthy of their time and effort. Similarly, if you establish that content is an asset from the very beginning, it will be easier for you to get executive buy-in for content marketing down the line and keep it in the long run.

If you’re thinking about investing in content creation, you’re not alone. In fact, 51% of marketers said they expect to increase spending on content marketing in 2016. Creating and marketing great content can increase brand awareness, engagement, sales and customer retention.

Treating content as a valuable asset is not just about semantics or accounting—it has important implications for the way content is created, marketed and managed. Optimizing and prioritizing your content creation and marketing by embracing content as an asset is one way to ensure that your content delivers maximum ROI.

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About The Author

As president, Brad Kostka leads business development, agency management and account services. His experience includes communications strategy, branding, content marketing, media relations, marketing automation, investor relations and event planning. Over his 25-plus-year career, he has worked with organizations ranging from global, publicly traded corporations to local startups.