Why you need a content audit to make this year successful
The pace of change in today’s business world can be breathtaking. Technology advancements and new market requirements are continually emerging. What worked well last year may not serve your interests this year. That’s why many companies regularly audit their IT applications to see if they’re still useful—and why a content audit of your marketing assets is also a business imperative.
Get more impact from past investments and this year’s budget
You’ve spent good money to develop marketing content and assets ranging from ads to white papers and from videos to social content. You want to build on past investments and get the biggest bang from your current budget. So how much of your existing content can still be used or updated to support upcoming campaigns and events? How much is no longer relevant and should be dropped?
To find out, you must first know what you have. But considering that your current marketing assets may have been developed over several years for a variety of different business units, finding and evaluating them can be difficult. Chasing them all down can be much too time-consuming for in-house resources already under pressure from day-to-day tasks.
There is a better way. A systematic content audit by a marketing professional or agency can help you identify what works and discover ways to streamline future content production. You’ll be able to determine if you have to retire some assets, update others, or create new assets to fill important gaps.
Know what to expect from a content audit
As part of your content audit, an experienced agency can 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 audience attention and hold it?
Expect the agency to use a spreadsheet to categorize, score, and evaluate your content with these and other attributes. Audits can cover a full range of assets, including blogs, case studies, brochures, ads, e-books, white papers, videos, data sheets, tweets, social content, webinars, presentations, solution briefs, demos, and more. Auditing your website content is increasingly important, especially if you have a large, active site with many contributors. Consider including any content used to attract customers, inform stakeholders, and help partners.
Make sure you get a full written report once the agency concludes your content audit. That report should help you get the most impact from your content by providing guidelines for repurposing, updating, or in some cases, retiring assets. The report should also have a road map that details next steps for improving content distribution and optimizing marketing spend.
Effectively communicate results to others
If you are an in-house marketer and need to present your audit findings to the C-suite or other executives or departments, an experienced agency can help with that effort as well. For best impact, have the agency create a compelling PowerPoint presentation that summarizes key findings and next steps. Go visual with an example or two of how existing assets can be repurposed to fill gaps. Or include a competitive content analysis—for example, comparing your website to those of top competitors.
Ultimately, a content audit is about ensuring your marketing assets are serving your organization’s goals and moving content users to action. Once you have completed the audit, you have a clear path forward. With a thorough initial audit and baseline, you can use shorter audits focusing on one product group or asset type at a time to more easily and quickly manage your marketing assets in the future.
Want to discuss your specific content audit needs? We’re ready to talk—let us know!