On Superbowl weekend AOL purchased The Huffington Post blog for $315 million. What they got for their money was:
- 25 million unique visitors PER DAY
- Arianna Huffington to lead the new digital-media powerhouse
- 6000 unpaid bloggers (past notable bloggers include President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Diane Sawyer and a long line of celebrities and political heavy-weights)
If this doesn’t confirm what we’ve long suspected – that digital assets are the trend for the future, I don’t know what does.
How does this shape the way we think about business blogs?
A business blog (which is where most original content resides) is the single most important digital asset an organization owns. It embodies the idea of content and community – that valuable content attracts and retains a community of brand-believers, prospects and customers.
Your blog content is a digital asset whose value (though currently unknown) has a future potential that is mind-boggling. If you’re actively blogging then you’re creating content that will bring enormous value to your organization in the long run.
With the right kind of content your organization can (and will) develop a strong online reputation. As your content continues to attract new readers, it will gradually build around itself, a community that is passionate about your company, its people and its products.
How can my business build a valuable blog?
- Start blogging – it’s not too late to start building up a stock-pile of digital content.
- Deliver valuable content on a consistent basis – daily, once or twice a week. A common mistake would be to avoid creating content altogether because of limited time or resources. The important thing is to start with whatever resources you have right now and gradually increase your content production as resources become available.
- Use content to interact with your community – monitor the feedback and comments that you get on your blog (and social media channels) and use them to start conversations, respond to concerns or questions, and influence people’s perception of your brand.
So how do I know the current value of my business blog?
You probably don’t have 25 million unique visitors per day and I’m pretty sure that Arianna Huffington doesn’t lead your content production efforts. But even though your blog’s monetary value is not immediately apparent, its potential value may be more than you think.
The potential value of your blog is a function of:
- perceived value of content
- perceived thought-leadership or expertise in a particular subject
- engagement with customers
- interaction with industry influencers
- interaction with reputable bloggers
- growing appeal to a specific target market
- growing appeal to advertisers and future investors
This is what Arianna Huffington said of the acquisition:
“By uniting AOL and the Huffington Post, we are creating one of the largest destinations for smart content and community on the internet. And we intend to keep making it better and better.”
The challenge for us is not necessarily to create a $300 million blog but to create a ‘destination for smart content and community’ and to keep improving.
Content is truly the future of smart business. I will dare to say that organizations that haven’t caught the wave will be struggling to stay afloat.
When the next big deal is brokered how much will your blog be worth?