Recently, our local petrol station has been embroiled in online criticism about its prices.
While wholesale costs are surging due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this small, independent business occasionally displays prices higher than nearby competitors.
The business has done a brilliant job, in my opinion, of explaining the occasional price discrepancy.
While others are priced based on a weekly average wholesale price, the supplier contract for this petrol station uses a more volatile daily pricing mechanism.
Despite a reasonable explanation for the sometimes higher (and sometimes lower!) prices, a handful of the local community struggles to comprehend.
Those who are vocal critics of the pricing (I moderate our local community Facebook group, and some of the now-deleted comments are atrocious!) also ignore the difference between price and value.
As Warren Buffet once said, “Price is what you pay, and value is what you get!!”
After all, this small business remained open throughout the pandemic, serving key workers and villagers who had limited options for their shopping.
It’s now the only petrol station in town, and its loss would represent a significant blow to the convenience of those who live here.
Mixing up price and value
We see examples of price and value getting mixed up regularly.
Over the weekend, thousands of holidaymakers were stuck at airports in the UK and overseas following flight cancellations by Easyjet.
Easyjet is well known as a low-cost carrier and seems (on this occasion, at least) to be disproportionately affected by staff shortages and flight cancellations.
Getting a cheap ticket is fine if you’re prepared to put up with the risk of not getting to your holiday destination at all or (in the case of one friend) spending a very long day travelling home from the South of France by train and ferry.
Value is far more important than price when it comes to content marketing.
Buy cheap, buy twice
Most people are familiar with ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ – in other words, cheap products or services are likely to break or fail to get the desired results.
When you buy cheap, you’re likely to need to buy again, probably at a higher price, to get what you originally wanted.
This concept of ‘price versus value’ led Stella Artois to coin the advertising slogan ‘Reassuringly Expensive’ between 1982 and 2007.
Sure, we all love to get a bargain, but a genuine deal is hard to find. We’re more likely to feel like we’ve had a bargain when we pay the right price for a quality service.
In content marketing, paying the right price is directly correlated with getting the right results.
I’ve seen examples of ‘cheap’ photographers who display inevitably cheap results; poor framing, unsharp subjects, garish colouring, etc.
That’s not to say that paying for the most expensive content marketing solution guarantees results.
Shopping around is a must, understanding what you will get in return for your investment.
Look at examples of their recent work and make sure you appreciate their style. After all, content creation is a form of art, and art is invariably subjective.
It’s important to remember that price is not always an indication of quality when it comes to content.
Often, you get what you pay for – and in online marketing, that can be a terrible thing.
If you want your website or blog to succeed, don’t be afraid to invest in quality content.
It may seem like a more expensive option at first glance, but it will almost always pay off in the long run.
Before you rush into hiring the cheapest content creator or production agency you can find, stop and ask yourself if that’s really what you want for your business.
Is value more important to you than price? We hope so!