Every year, your company conducts an audit of its financial assets and liabilities to assess its financial health. Although the auditors don’t count your past content in their assessment, a content marketing audit is every bit as essential as your financial one. Learn how to perform a comprehensive content audit that will give you an accurate picture of where you are and where you’re going.
Here’s the objective, your content marketing audit needs to:
- Define your content marketing goals
- Assess whether your content strategy is on target to hit your goals
- Identify high-performing content that you can update or repurpose
- Flush out low-performing content that you need to kill or revise
- Discover high-value content that isn’t performing, so you can optimize it to drive results
With an accurate, incisive audit, you’ll have more than a wish and a prayer the next time you meet with the suits in the C-suite to discuss next year’s budget. You’ll have a roadmap for the future and the numbers to support it.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
Before you define the goals for your content team, research your company’s goals, as SEMRush’s Alina Petrova points out. It wouldn’t hurt to meet with your corporate leadership to get clarity on these objectives.
Meeting with key stakeholders before you start does two things: 1) Focus your attention on how your content strategy can help the corporation meet its overall goals and 2) Demonstrate that you and your team have the company’s best interest in mind. That can come in handy during the next budget meeting.
Let’s say that your corporate leadership’s main goals for the coming year are to increase ROI, expand into more markets both in the US and worldwide, and increase lifetime customer value. How can you help your company meet those goals through more effective content marketing?
Break down each of those goals into what you and your team can do as content marketers to help your company reach them.
To increase the return on your company’s investment in content marketing, you need to show that your content drives bottom-line results. Show that you can increase revenue and cut costs, and you’ll help your company meet its main financial goal.
- To boost revenue, you need to first attract the right prospects, engage them with your content, and finally, convert them into paying customers.
- To cut costs – the other half of the ROI equation – you need to maximize the potential of every piece of content you produce.
Expanding into More Domestic and Foreign Markets
Building brand and product awareness through content that meets potential customers’ needs, is an essential ingredient in driving market expansion.
- Leverage analytics to create valuable content: Use social media and content analytics to identify likely prospects. Then, create content that meets those needs, publish it where and when prospects are online, and test it for effectiveness. Tweak and repeat.
- Use SEO to your advantage: Optimize every post for local search, voice search, and mobile.
Increasing Lifetime Customer Value
Listening on social and blog post comments can help you identify all the questions and objections that your target customers have. Create content around those concerns. Engage customers in the content creation process through reviews, customer spotlight videos, and customer-created photos to build loyalty.
Step 2: Assess Your Current Strategy Against Your Company’s Goals
The heart of effective content management is aligning your content strategy with your corporate goals. If your current strategy doesn’t align with these goals, take a magnifying glass to those areas that fall short, looking for ways to bring it in line with your objectives.
Step 3: Identify Content That You Can Repurpose to Meet Corporate Goals
For Better ROI
Categorize each piece of your best-performing content by its appropriateness for one or more of the steps in the buyer’s journey. Update it if necessary, and then optimize it for both SEO and effectiveness at that stage of the customer journey. Repurposing your best performers saves both time and money, helping your company increase its ROI.
For New Market Penetration
Look at content that you can use to attract, engage, and convert customers in the new markets your company wants to enter. Find ways to localize it without going back to the “best accounting software NYC” days.
If the foreign markets you want to attract are English-speaking, optimize appropriate pieces for the type of English spoken there.
If your prospective markets aren’t English-speaking, consider using a translation and localization service, or find a native-speaking translator to put your content into native-sounding foreign-language copy. Don’t even consider Google Translate. Although it’s getting better, it still misses the mark on the occasional idiom.
Native speakers know the style and nuanced expressions that make your prospects comfortable while reading or listening to them. Even large corporations take occasional linguistic shortcuts. On their dining options page, Turkish Airlines has the following sentence: “Get ready to taste our incomparable dishes have earned us numerous awards.” Ouch. A native English speaker would have caught that grammatical faux pas.
For Building Greater Lifetime Value
Read the comments on your past blog posts (and the social pages that linked to them). Use them as springboards for new content. Interact with more recent comments to position your company as one that prioritizes customer service.
Step 4: Repair (or Kill) Low-Performing Content
After you’ve identified your best performers to repurpose and update to meet your company’s current needs, look at your low-performing content and come up with a maintenance plan. If the content is evergreen and performed well at the outset, you might need to re-optimize it for current SEO algorithms.
If the content is still relevant but just dated, see how you can update it to meet today’s needs. If it referenced a specific past event that is no longer relevant, transform it into more general terms to turn it into evergreen content. For example, a recent piece on “doing business in the era of COVID-19” will likely need a fresh coat of paint once a safe vaccine comes along. Then, you can change the coronavirus-specific passages to insights on meeting the challenges the future might bring.
Lastly, you may uncover past content that is not only low performing, it’s flat-out inaccurate and may get your company in hot water. For example, it’s common for companies to create landing pages and blog content promoting special offers for holidays or special events. It’s also common that marketers forget to kill these promos after they’ve reached the end of the campaign. The last thing you want is a potential customer to find a past offer and demand the discount.
Step 5: Find and Optimize High-Value Content that Doesn’t Live Up to Its Potential
During your content marketing audit, you might find a few hidden gems among the low performers. In our experience, the usual suspects are generally:
- Highly technical articles that are hard for laypeople to read
- Posts with rows and rows of unbroken text without a bullet list, image, video, or infographic in sight
- Posts that have great value but aren’t SEO-optimized to find their way to the top of searches
Once you find them and figure out what went wrong, they’re usually a quick fix. Since they’ll bring value to your potential customers, they’re well worth the time you spend bringing them up to par.
So long as you follow these steps, content marketing audits need not be complicated affairs. Sure, it might take some grunt work to get through the inventory and analysis process, but the list of content updates that result from it have the potential to significantly improve the overall health of your content. Now if only there were a system or platform that could help you schedule and manage all the content updates need to make…
Having a comprehensive content marketing platform that helps you with content governance, performing these audits and executing all the updates is like clicking the “easy button”. The best part? You can try one for 14 days on us. Sign up for your free DivvyHQ trial today.