An introduction to content equity and virtual assets.
How are websites and blogs capable of creating revenue? The answer lies in content and the value of a brand. The future of content is the future of brand equity. In today’s information age and digital lifestyles, virtual assets are way more valuable than many physical things.
What Is Brand Equity?
“...a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name and symbol that add to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a company.”
This is Lund University in Sweden providing the most frequently used definition of brand equity. Before the internet, brand assets and liabilities were physical. But thanks to the rise of the global knowledge economy, virtual digital assets are even more important than anything physical.
In everyday life, brand equity is what adds the “added value” to a product. Brand equity is why a Hermes scarf is worth way more than a scarf from Target.
Why Do Virtual Assets Matter?
Virtual assets are important because they are what adds value to a brand. MediaLab provides excellent content outlining why virtual assets are so important. We summarize it here for you:
Your Online Content Defines You. All content you post online is a direct representation of you. Online, your content IS your voice.
First Impressions Are Online. People frequently discover new businesses through social networks, review platforms like Yelp, and search engine results.
Invaluable Trust. Relevant, helpful, compelling content creates trust between your brand and your audience.
Global Reach. No one is confined to their physical location anymore. Anyone can discover your brand anywhere in the world.
Online Buyers Are Here To Stay. Shopping online is a beloved activity and there’s no sign of it slowing down.
Content Is Consumed Online. People go online to consume every type of content imaginable from watching videos to messaging with friends.
Additionally, there are assets you own and assets you earn:
Owned media assets are those you have created or built:
- Social Media Networks (i.e. Facebook pages)
- Content that you create
- Mobile optimized websites
Earned media assets cannot be bought or owned and are earned organically.
- Conversations about you (i.e. social network engagement)
- Content created about you ( i.e. un-boxing video reviews)
- Search engine rankings
- Partnerships - proof of built and earned online authority. Includes reach, trust, and social proof.
Value Starts With Your Content
Content is valuable because it successfully guides the user through the next stage of the content marketing journey or transaction. Or content is valuable as an effective piece of advertising by increasing sales directly, for example, through use of a direct link.
The other “soft” values of content are not hard-defined by numbers. For example, to build trust with an audience. If content is relevant and compelling for your audience, they will come to trust your brand which, in turn, raises your brand’s equity and that brand equity includes you!
Eventually, valuable content can translate into a valuable website. WPCurve provides a very comprehensive article about how to evaluate the value of a website. Here are a few main takeaways for sizing up a website’s value:
- Solid, consistent earnings
- Increasing growth
- Automated systems in place
- Multiple revenue streams
- Diverse traffic sources
- A unique selling proposition (USP)
- Market leadership and branding
Content has many facets including IoT. Yes the internet of things. You are connected in many ways to content. You are content and sometimes having a digital twin of those devices and content can be useful and frightening. Much of this is still evolving. We can only imagine the future when we have an idea of what is possible.
Valuable content is the stepping stone to having a highly valued brand equity. What does value content look like? At the end of the day, it’s all about people. The people decide what content is valuable. So simply give your audience content they will find helpful, relevant, and compelling.
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This article is part of our “Automation Brand” series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Automation Brand” finds all the ways automation benefits marketing.
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