One thing most enterprise marketing teams have in common is a large repository of past content. Finding – and repurposing – the hidden gems you’ve long forgotten about can provide your team with a rich source of future content. A thorough content inventory can help you find those hidden treasures.
Today’s marketing teams don’t need to go through a manual checklist, categorizing every piece of content like a Kondo-obsessed organizer. A content inventory template can simplify your task.
Therefore, for larger marketing teams, prudent content management need not rely on the teams’ collective memories. Conducting a content inventory – listing all the content assets housed within your owned digital properties – can provide your teams with springboards to inspire future content, images that you can reuse in different articles, and (of course) content that your teams can repurpose.
We’re a big believer in repurposing content here. It saves time, and it can even help you reach a broader segment of your target audience.
For example, a blog post might not reach those in your target audience who learn best through visuals and audio. Repurposing a high-performing post into a video can engage and convert them. In addition, repurposing older content to refresh its relevance or optimize it for today’s SEO standards can help your content appeal to a new audience. And, taking a new direction on a topic you’ve already written on can attract the attention of prospects whose main concern is the focus of your new content.
Let’s take a look at how to inventory your content for future use.
As Usability.gov points out, it’s important to lay out your goals before you start. Doing so can help you organize your template to meet your teams’ goals. Secondly, you need to decide if you want to limit your inventory to specific date ranges or types of content. For example, if your goal is to do an inventory only on your marketing campaigns, you might want to include your blog posts and videos in your inventory, but not your static webpages.
Creating a Content Inventory Template
Once you’ve decided on the scope of your inventory, you need to create a template customized to your teams’ needs. For example, if you want to have separate lists of various types of content, such as videos, blog posts, email marketing messages, images, etc., you can duplicate the template for each type of content, and then create one master list with all your content on it.
Here’s a template that we use for our content inventory. Feel free to use it for your own content inventory. Add or subtract categories to customize it to your teams’ needs.
At the top of a spreadsheet, list the following categories:
- Content type/format
- Target audience(s)
- Author or source
- Created Date
- Last Modified Date
- Meta description
- Focus keyword
- Meta keywords/tags
- Location (i.e. content management system (CMS), your server, or in Word or Google Sheets as a draft)
- Audit Status (good as is, needs review, out-of-date, archived, etc.)
- Published URL
- Unique content ID
- Performance metrics according to your key performance indicators (KPIs), which might include clickthrough rates, time on page, bounce rate, on-page conversions, social likes, social shares, etc.
Conduct the Content Inventory
Next, have your content teams or administrative assistants locate every piece of content and fill in the details under each category. This search can also turn up any broken links in your content inventory, an essential detail in content management, especially as it relates to SEO.
Assess Your Content
To decide whether previous content is worthwhile as it is, or whether you need to remove it, repurpose it, or revive it with updated information and better SEO optimization, you and your teams need to look carefully at each piece, evaluating it objectively without emotion.
An excellent content strategy for identifying potential “diamonds in the rough” is to do a content drilldown. Using Google’s drilldown feature, you can begin with a page or directory, going down through the metrics until you can see each piece and how it performs.
Act on Your Assessment
Once you’ve assessed each piece of content, you need to act on your assessments. You know it’s coming. You have to remove some of your content. Whether it’s a cringeworthy piece you wrote at the beginning of your company’s venture into content marketing or something that doesn’t fit your current brand direction, you have to let some of your content go.
We get it. It’s not fun. But sometimes, you must kill your darlings, as Stephen King and William Faulkner wisely advised. Even if it’s a piece you poured hours into. Even if you stayed up all night to write.
You know which pages have outlived their usefulness. Of course, if you can repurpose them, go for it. However, some pages might be irredeemable. Press “delete.” Even if it kills you.
Then there are those pieces that you can revise or repurpose. Put them in your content calendar, assign them to a writer or other content creator, and get them back out there, earning some engagement love for your content.
Since studies show that 80 percent of your blog’s traffic are first-timers, it’s well worth your time to engage them with content that can help them solve some of their most pressing problems.
Provide your team details about the direction you want the repurposed or revised content to take.
- Are there gaps in the facts it cites? Ask your best researchers to dig into it.
- Is it dated? Assign content writers or video producers to update it.
- Are the images of a low quality? Ask your staff photographers or graphic designers to create high-quality images, or find better ones in your inventory or online.
- Does it need a good going-over by an editor? Put your team’s grammar police to work on it.
- Is it performing poorly due to outdated SEO? Let your content producers collaborate with your SEO teams to optimize it.
- Did it once perform well but has now dropped off in engagement? If it’s still relevant, amplify it to new audiences through your email newsletters and social media posts.
Does all that sound like too much work?
You and your team don’t need to burn the midnight oil on your content inventory if you have a comprehensive content marketing platform on which you can plan, collaborate on, create, revise, publish, analyze, and catalog your entire inventory. When you use such a platform, you’re creating your inventory in real-time because all that key data is part of the content creation process.
But don’t take our word for it. Give our platform – DivvyHQ – a 14-day trial with your own content. Get started today.