3 ways content audits discover hidden gems
You’re probably blissfully unaware of how much content treasure you’ve amassed. But with a content audit, you can discover what you’ve done well—and identify assets you can update or repurpose. What’s more, a content audit can help you construct an efficient plan for producing future content that will resonate with the audiences you need to reach.
If done correctly, a content audit can help your company answer three key questions.
1. What do you have?
Let’s face it—you churn out a lot of content every year. As your team members change and your content delivery channels evolve, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you have.
That white paper you created five years ago? There’s no link to it from your home page anymore, but if your customers Google the topic, they can still find it on a page you no longer maintain.
And did you know the person who had your job before you produced a great case study with a Fortune 500 company? She took it down a few years ago when your company changed a product name, but the case study still has some great, quantifiable benefits that could help tell your story.
The first task of a content audit is to figure out what content you have and where it is. That process might involve not only perusing your website and social media platforms, but also scouring your server and cloud-based archives for completed assets that are no longer live.
2. What can you still use?
Good marketing content can take a fair amount of time, effort, and money to produce. A content audit can help you maximize your content marketing investments by enabling you to pinpoint content you can keep using.
In some cases, you might need only minor refreshes to reintegrate assets into your current collection. Maybe you stopped sharing an ebook last year when you redesigned your company’s logo and selected new colors for your brand. Having a designer update the graphics would be much faster and more cost-effective than starting from scratch.
On the other hand, some assets will need to go. Those decade-old data sheets for services you no longer offer? It’s time to retire them. The video about a previous-generation solution? Take it down from the website. Making sure you have only fresh content available will help reduce confusion and frustration among customers.
As part of your content audit, you might decide to score assets according to particular criteria. For example, does this solution brief sufficiently highlight competitive differentiators? Is this infographic exciting and engaging enough? How many times have prospects downloaded this ebook? You can establish baselines for keeping, refreshing, or retiring material to support your decision-making process.
3. What should you create next?
Once you know what you have and what you can continue to use (even if some assets require a refresh), you get a clearer picture about what you need to do next. You can plan to fill gaps and set aside projects that duplicate existing content.
You might realize you have plenty of infographics and blogs but not many recent success stories. If so, it’s time to start identifying satisfied customers. Or, you might discover that your current content is geared too much toward technical materials and you need some thought-leadership pieces. Time to schedule a call with a few executives to collect their insights.
You don’t have to do this alone
Still have some audit anxiety? A content audit can seem like a daunting project, but you don’t have to do it alone. An outside agency can help you find and catalog your assets, and then provide an objective view of which assets should stay or go.
As part of your content audit, an experienced agency should be able to score content items according to multiple criteria, such as:
- Buyer personas: Does the asset target the right audience segments?
- Competitive positioning: Does it reinforce your business’s strategic messaging?
- Stage in the buyer’s journey: What stage is the content designed for? Initial discovery, information-gathering, or decision-making?
- Product groups and industry verticals: Are there gaps that current assets don’t cover?
- Relevance: Is the messaging current and the information up to date?
- Popularity: What are the usage metrics for the particular asset?
- Readability/viewability/effectiveness: Does it attract an audience’s attention and hold it?
And of course, the right outside agency can help you efficiently refresh existing content and produce the new content you need to keep your entire collection relevant.
Ready to discuss your specific content audit needs? Let’s talk.