What are Digital Assets?
A digital asset is any digital file that has value. Within the realms of content marketing and content creation, a digital asset is a quality piece of content that provides information, or value, to clients or potential clients.
In this context, examples of digital assets include blogposts, articles, podcasts and other audio files, videos, images and so on. Essentially, any piece of digital content.
What are the Advantages of Digital Assets?
Digital Assets boast many advantages over other forms of more traditional content (such as a physical brochure or a magazine). Here are some of them:
Because digital assets are posted online, they usually have significant SEO value. For example, in the case of an article posted online with the appropriate keywords, visitors will be able to find that article by performing a search for certain keywords. If the article is valuable, provides useful information, and is well-written, then it will rank in the search engine results and help to drive traffic to the website.
What I find especially interesting about digital assets, and something that contributes significantly to their value, is their longevity. An article posted today, can still be relevant in years’ time (especially if if is “evergreen content”).
When you think about the value of a company based on its future revenue stream, it’s easy to think about the value of a piece of content (a digital asset) based on how much traffic it is going to attract, and how much business that is going to lead to, in the years ahead.
Easy to Produce
Digital content is relatively easy to produce. Of course, it depends on the complexity and the type of content. Video is more time consuming to produce when compared to a simple blogpost, but it is usually easier to produce than equivalent traditional content.
Cheap to Produce
Digital content is often cheaper to produce than physical content (as there are no printing or manufacturing costs). This offers a huge advantage in terms of sharing and distribution (see below).
Easy to Update
Because it’s digital, it’s easy to update and amend digital assets.
Let’s suppose you have a blogpost from 2 years ago that you wish to update. It’s easy to add extra text, change the images and re-post the blog with a new date.
Low Storage Costs
It is very cheap to store digital assets. WordPress sites can use a host such as SiteGround, audio can be hosted with a company such as Libsyn, and video with Vimeo.com, just to give you a few options. Of course there are many different options in the market, and you should choose the one that works for you in terms of budget and features.
One of the amazing things about digital assets is just how easy it is to share them. And with all of the social media platforms at our disposal, this is easier and quicker than ever. You can tell the world about your new blogpost or podcast, share the link with your audience, and use hashtags to attract an even wider following. If your digital asset is available on your website and the link directs there, you are also going to increase traffic to your site.
Easy to Link To
Whereas a traditional, physical, brochure would need to be mailed to a potential client, with digital assets you can simply share a link.
I find this particularly useful when emailing potential clients. I can include a link to one of my previously-prepared digital assets. It might be a link to a brochure, to testimonials on your website, or to a blogpost that talks about an issue that is particularly relevant to the potential buyer.
They Facilitate Interaction
When you send a physical brochure or hand out a flyer to a potential client, it’s difficult for them to comment on it. They might call you, or they might not, but it doesn’t generate interaction in the same way that digital assets do.
With digital assets, it’s usually easy for the consumer to post comments, ask questions, and even share the digital asset with their own audience. This is one of the key advantages of digital assets. It helps to create interaction, or increase engagement with potential customers, and this can bring the potential customer and the brand closer together in a very comfortable way – there is no immediate selling pressure.
Why Should you be Creating Digital Assets?
So, why should you be creating digital assets?
If you wish to provide value to your potential clients (which is the best type of content – one that offers value first), then producing digital assets on a regular basis will help you to do this.
If you are creating content on a regular basis, you will also build up a surprisingly large bank of digital assets over time. For example, posting a blog once per week will get you to more than 50 blogposts in a year. You can even create internal links between your digital assets that will help you to get even more traffic.
So, it’s a long-term snowball effect. Start today if you haven’t already and you can enjoy the benefits for years to come!
How Can You Create Digital Assets?
There are many different types of digital asset, and many different approaches to producing them.
I am not going to go into that detail here, but I am going to focus on perhaps a more fundamental question: are you going to produce the content yourself or are you going to outsource it?
Both approaches have their advantages, and there is no right answer.
Producing your own content often works if you have the time, know-how and interest. For example, if you have the time to write a blogpost each week and then upload it to your site, take care of the images and the tags etc. then you can do it yourself. It’s also important that you actually like producing the particular type of content – for example, it’s no good planning to do a weekly blog if you hate writing!
Outsourcing is a great solution for those who know that they wish to create content and build up their bank of digital assets, but who don’t have the time or the expertise to do so. Many professionals and companies already have a ton of things to do and adding an extra task such as maintaining a blog, or producing a weekly podcast, can prove to be an unwelcome distraction, taking away from the core business focus.
Whichever route you choose, I think it’s important to produce quality content on a regular basis. That is what is going to deliver results in the long term.
Throughout history there have been a host of things that have been worth more than their weight in gold. At one point, tea was. Saffron still is.
And I think we can add digital assets to that list. After all, they don’t really weigh anything, but they can be incredibly valuable over a long period of time.
Thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think!