Over the years, companies accrue massive amounts of content. Every so often, it’s a good idea to inventory and assess what you’ve got, so you can determine where your content gaps are and whether your existing content needs updating.
What’s a Content Audit and Why Should I Care?
A Walker Sands Content Audit takes a look at your existing content and evaluates it against a number of important criteria:
- What’s the content type? Is it a PDF, web page, blog post, sell sheet, white paper, how-to document, video, e-newsletters, podcasts, webinar recording, etc.?
- Does it promote important company and audience messages? If so, which ones?
- What “Calls to Action” are on the content?
- Which product lines or solutions are featured?
- Has it been repurposed? Which marketing channels has it been deployed to? Has it been promoted in social channels?
- What stage of the marketing funnel is the content designed for?
- Is it current or is it out of date?
- Which target audiences is the content designed for?
- What customer pain points does the content address, if any?
- How wide is the distribution of the content piece? How many people have seen it?
- What is the quality score for the content?
You may have other things you want us to look at during the Content Audit. For example, you might want us to assess whether each of your content deserves a “Yes” for any of these questions: Does It Inform? Does it educate? Does it inspire?
It’s your Content Audit, so we tailor it based on the questions you’re trying to answer and the problems you’re trying to solve.
What Can I Learn From a Content Audit
Creating this Content Audit spreadsheet is a simple exercise that pays big dividends.
Envision a big spreadsheet that inventories all of your content with one row per content asset. Across the top of the spreadsheet, you’ve got the criteria attributes we’ve mentioned above.
With that content inventory data in hand — we create it for you as part of the Content Audit project — there are a number of questions that can be answered (we answer them for you — don’t worry):
- Do we have sufficient content to cater to each of our audiences? Do we have any material content gaps relative to the audiences we target?
- Are there important marketing messages for the company that are underrepresented in our content mix?
- What percentage of our content is out-of-date and no longer current?
- Are there customer pain points that we do not address in any of our content?
- Is our content weighted more heavily to high-quality, rich content or to shorter, lighter content?
- What percentage of our white papers have we promoted to social channels? To LinkedIn? To Twitter?
- Do we have the right amount of content for each stage of the marketing funnel?
There are dozens of other analyses we can do with this Content Audit data — many more important questions we can answer.
Think about it. Let’s say, for example, that you have 4 target audiences each with 3 distinct pain points. That’s 12 (3×4) sets of content you need. But it gets more complicated. You’ve also got 4 marketing funnel stages to cover — Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. As a result, you’ve really got 48 distinct areas that each should have content that informs, educates, compels and motivates. The Content Audit lets you know which of these 48 you’ve adequately addressed and where your content gaps are.
These are great insights that can drive your content marketing programs and all of your digital marketing initiatives. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn from the Content Audit.
Getting Started with a Content Audit
A remarkably useful and surprisingly affordable program, a Content Audit is an investment worth making. If you like the concept and want expert assistance in performing a content audit for your organization, give us a call at (312) 267-0066.