More Content Than Ever
2015 is the year marketers have finally come to realize the value of content marketing and the role it plays in an overall marketing strategy.
The content of content marketing comes in many shapes and sizes:
|Social media content||Whitepapers||Print Magazines|
|Articles on your website||Infographics||Mobile Apps|
|In person events||Research Reports||Virtual Conferences|
|Videos||Branded content tools||Print Newsletters|
Which content should be retired, archived, or remain unpublished?To hit the sweet spot of demand creation, marketers need to find the right answers to these three questions:
- Which content should be reused, and in which formats?
- What new content is needed, in which format, and for which channels?
Why Is A Content Audit Necessary?
- To find content gaps that lead to new content ideation
- To understand which content and channels give results
- To update relevant content assets
- To retire irrelevant content
- To upgrade SEO in the face of Google Panda
- To better calibrate keyword and ranking strategies
Step #1: Objectives For The Content Audit
Set clear, well defined objectives for your content audit before beginning. A content audit can be executed with different objectives that focus and define the outcome.
Step #2: Content Inventory
What you see is what you have. Whether web pages, assets in form of white papers, eBooks, case studies, guides, PR articles, social content, etc., enter all your URLs and Content ‘Names’ into an Excel or Google Spreadsheet. This gives you a rough index to the content you have on hand.
Step #3: Pruning Content
If your digital content is like a pampered rose bush, you have to dead-head the aging, withered blooms to encourage new flowerings or, in this case, new site users. Redundant, out-dated and trivial pieces of content must be removed and archived. Content pieces with time-based data or information should be updated. In this step the existing content needs to be modified as per current and future marketing requirements. Content pieces with time-based data or information need updating.
Step #4: Content Audit Framework
Establish a content audit framework based on these criteria and map content to audience segments.
Quality of content
Production quality can make or break demand generation and the way a brand is perceived. Be sure to follow brand and style standards.
Relevance of content
Your content and the buyer’s information needs should match at that point in the buyer’s journey when he reaches for his smartphone. Pay attention to tone, language, messaging and positioning for each content piece and map it to the relevant milestones in the buyer’s journey.
This plays an important role in the distribution and consumption of content across multiple digital channels. What works best for you? Infographic? Video? PPT? Think about repurposing an existing whitepaper into an infographic, a short video with voice over and a 10 slide Power Point presentation.
Step #5: Content Analysis
Examine your relevant (post-audit) content for what works, in which channel, and how the content aligns with the overall marketing strategy.
For example: An expansion of a product or service to a new geography is not progressing as per the project plan. A content analysis may reveal that sufficient content for the new market doesn’t exist. Or, the content exists, but is waiting for appropriate budget allocations to meet localization and translation demands. You may uncover other issues such as inbound marketing sluggishness or social media gaps.
Step #6: Plug The Gaps
Analysis will reveal one or more gaps. Revisit the content strategy and content calendar to plug these gaps. They may be in the quality of content, the processes around content management, production of the content, format or content distribution channels.
Address gaps by:
- reviewing the content marketing strategy and processes
- assesing content marketing team skills vis a vis content creation and asset production
- assesing content marketing team skills vis a vis content distribution and measurement of content marketing efforts
Step #7: Maintenance
After all the content analysis, problem identification, gap plugging, optimizing of content creation processes, upgrading team skills, etc. don’t slip back into the dark abyss of disorganized content within a few weeks.
Periodic maintenance of content assets, continuous measurement of content performance and proactive modification and updating of content is the only way to stay relevant in the digital content game.
Let us know about the challenges you face with content marketing, and the best practices you have implemented to overcome the hurdles.