How much does your business spend on content each year? If you are following global trends, it is an amount that is set to have doubled between 2016 and 2021; global spend on content marketing was assessed at $200bn+ in 2016 and in on track to exceed $400bn by 2021.
However, that only covers content that falls under the banner of ‘content marketing’. Considerable amounts of content fall outside that description, such as sales content and ongoing customer engagement content. Depending on how you assess these things, even advertising is often deemed to be separate.
Even if you can put a reliable figure on the cost of content production annually, it is definitely the case that you will struggle to understand how much of your content spend is actually delivering returns for your business – despite the temptation, let’s resist paraphrasing the famous John Wanamaker quote about not knowing which half of the spend is wasted! This is because of the chaos that surrounds content production and distribution within a typical business. With different areas of the business all creating and distributing content to the same audience, the cost of content chaos is enormous.
So when it comes to assessing the cost, four points have to be taken into consideration:
1. Wasteful duplication
On the one hand, the larger your organisation is then the greater the risk of duplication and the associated waste. However, it is common for engagement content to be recreated time and again within different functions, with different departments and even by the same team over time if there is inadequate planning.
2. Wasted engagement
This is the biggest cost and the hardest to calculate when content measurement is reliant on vanity metrics such as open and click through rates rather than structured journeys that can lead a customer through to purchase. If the point of content is to simply be engaging, then opportunities are consistently wasted. However, it’s not possible to overcome this challenge when content is created chaotically across the organisation. Only by putting structure and centralised planning in place can businesses get a grip on wasted engagement.
3. Customer confusion & frustration
Put yourselves in the shoes of your customer, receiving different content from different parts of your business with no context about you as the customer, and it is easy to see the impact of content chaos. Every organisation should be striving to create an amazing customer experience where you are responding to the needs of the customer and creating relationships that will guarantee business success. Content chaos will always be a hindrance to meeting that goal.
4. Siloed metrics
If different parts of the business are creating content and, presumably, measuring its effectiveness, then it will be an incredibly hard task to understand the true effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of content at an organisational level.
So the price of content chaos is undoubtedly high. The question is whether the structural and cultural investment required to turn chaos into calm is worth it? Our diagnostic tool will help you understand what the cost might be but, ultimately, if content chaos is damaging the customer experience and wasting potential sales then one thing is sure, understanding the true cost of content chaos and the price of fixing it has to be worthwhile.