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How To Run A Content Audit

Katelyn Ahern Digital Project Manager
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing
Published on December 30, 2013

Prepare your content strategy for 2014 with this easy method for a content audit.

Happy New Year ImageHappy New Year! 2014 is right around the corner, who’s ready for a brand new quarter? We have a fresh new slate to work on. It’s somewhat like that feeling in college when you would start a new semester with a new set of teachers and new objectives to fulfill. Here comes everyone’s opportunity to forget the guilt that came with unmet 2013 goals and set out new goals for a new year.

But before you get ahead of yourself and just start making random 2014 marketing goals, we at WSOL highly recommend you perform a content audit. I am sure you have created a ton of informational content for your audience throughout 2013. Performing an audit of this content will help you see the bigger picture of where your content may be falling short (or maybe that you’re right on track!). Here is a step by-step guide to performing a content audit to help guide your 2014 content strategy:

Organizing Your Current Content

Now’s the time to roll up your sleeves and dive in to organizing your content. No matter how much content you have, this task may seem dreadful, but the insight you can gain from this process is priceless. The foundation you can build for future content planning is vital to creating a complete experience for your consumers. Here are some of the ways you can look at how your content is organized:

Content based on Buyer’s Cycle Stages

If you are unfamiliar with the Buyer’s Journey, start here, then organize your content by which stage each piece is best for. For example, does this content cater to someone in the Awareness Stage because it focuses on their symptoms and helps educate them on the problem they are having? When we did our last content audit a few months ago, we had much more content for the Consideration and Decision Stage than the Awareness Stage. This really helped us to realize and readjust our content strategy moving forward.

Content Based on Personas

After sorting your content pieces based on the stages of the Buyer’s Cycle, I recommend sorting your content based on personas. You have those, right? If not, you can read more on creating personas here. Some organizations have many personas and some only have a few. No matter how many you have, you want to make sure you have a balance of content for all your personas, since this will help you ensure that your content not only fulfills all the stages of the Buyer’s Journey, but that you are also catering to the journey of each persona.

Content Based on Topic

Next is topic! Each persona should have several topics that cater to them for which you can demonstrate your expertise. By sorting by topic you can make sure your content isn’t getting stale and only covering one topic. This is important, because you want your visitors to see you as thoughtful, not boring. Why would I come back to read more if your content was always talking about the same thing?

Content Based on Format

This category can be a fun one, since sometimes you don’t realize how many pieces of content you have that are the same format until doing a content audit. At WSOL, we found out we had a lot of eBooks and not a lot of quicker-to-consume pieces of content. This will help you to realize whether you have mostly one format or another as well. When gaining this insight into your content, you can see the gaps in content format and help fill in those gaps or even out the types of content you are providing for visitors.

Remember, everyone consumes content differently and finds you at a different point along their journey. It is important to make sure you have a healthy balance of each content format, unless you have significant evidence that suggests otherwise. You may believe that your consumers love videos and not eBooks, but then find that you aren’t providing an eBook for the Awareness Stage. If you’re not offering it, then you can’t know whether your consumers will want that content or not. Offer it and analyze whether it would be beneficial for you to offer more content in that format.

Where Are The Missing Pieces?

Based on what you have found, it is important to not get overwhelmed by what you may be missing out on. A great way to fill in the missing pieces of content would be to create short-term content goals that align with your new 2014 marketing goals. Also, create long-term content goals that can be tackled later but are not necessary right away. If a single category is entirely empty (such as the Consideration Stage), I recommend making that a short-term goal to fulfill. You should at least create a few pieces of content for that stage for each of your personas, and a long-term goal could be to continually measure that new content’s success and plan future content based on your findings.

Do you have any questions about auditing content, or tips about how you’ve handled the organization of your content? Please let us know in the comments, or contact us for more information.