The single best indicator of valuable content


What’s the single best indicator of valuable content? What shows that your content is worthwhile?

It’s not social media influence scores or shares.

It’s not even website traffic or conversions.

It’s when someone else thinks your content is valuable enough to steal and repost on software piracy sites. (as shown above)

Certainly, having your intellectual property rights violated can be upsetting, especially if it’s one of the ways you’re driving revenue for your company, but the implicit message is also that your content merits being stolen. Someone took the time and effort to share it in the most illicit venues on the Internet because they thought it was worthwhile and didn’t feel like paying for it.

Obviously, while this metric is certainly a valuable one, it’s neither a reliable one nor one you should build a strategy around. So in the absence of a serious strategy for having your content stolen, what’s the next best, most rational option? Put your content up for sale and see how many people purchase it.


If your content is worthwhile, there will be people who buy it, like it, and talk about it. On the other hand, if you put your latest eBook/white paper/download up for sale and there’s absolutely no interest in it at all, then it might not be as compelling or as valuable to your audiences as you’d want. Rework it, sharpen it, until your audience believes it’s worth paying money for.

You have great content when you have content worth paying for.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology

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Posted on June 9, 2014 in Content Marketing, Marketing, Metrics

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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