Conducting a digital marketing content audit. Matthew Johnson - Content Strategist by Matthew Johnson, Content Strategist

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A content audit allows you to step back from creating content for the sake of it and start thinking strategically again. When you’re in charge of creating digital content consistently, you can lose sight of the long-term plan and how every piece fits into the wider marketing strategy to attract and ultimately convert leads into customers. Every 3-6 months you should take a holistic view of your content strategy and make sure it’s working to achieve your goals and isn’t working against them. Stick around until the end of this article for a free content audit template.

What is a content audit?

A content audit is a process of evaluating the quality and quantity of your content. This is done by creating a list of all your content assets and analysing their performance to identify gaps, quick wins, and a plan to improve your content marketing. Conducting an SEO content audit will show you why content is so important to attracting new visitors and converting leads and how you can get even better results.

The reason we like to conduct a website content audit every 3-6 months is it actually makes our lives easier in the long run. For example, if we uncover an underperforming piece of content, we can quickly identify ways to improve it using the keyword tool Ubersuggest by Neil Patel or SEMrush for example. While we’re analysing the post’s performance using Google Analytics & Hubspot we usually come up with a few ideas around sharing/promoting the content, so we can schedule it in the content calendar. 

How long does it take to do a content audit?

The time it takes to conduct a comprehensive content audit simply depends on how much content you have. If you only have 5 blog posts, 2 videos and some sales collateral, it should only take a couple of hours. A larger company with lots of content may take several hours to a few days to do this, but it doesn’t all have to be done at once. You can break it down into bite-size chunks i.e. by the year or by the content type.

Categorising and analysing performance may uncover the fact that you’re not producing enough awareness-building content for your primary buyer persona, in which case your traffic has probably suffered.

A quick win in this sense is taking content you already have and changing its format, using it to convert unknown visitors into leads. A longer piece of content, like a white paper, could be repurposed into a series of related blog posts and linked to the core topic of the white paper. E.g. your existing white paper is called: “The state of inbound marketing 2020”. From this you create 3 blog posts; “How X company doubled their revenue using inbound marketing”, “3 things you must avoid when adopting inbound marketing” and “Professor X’s top tips for inbound marketing”. Here, if organised correctly into pillar pages and topic clusters, the 3 blog posts all help you rank in search engines for the core topic (the state of inbound marketing).

Top tip: creating content can be costly, so try to identify content you can repurpose into another form of content. For example, turn a case study into a blog post and send it to your contacts in the same industry as your case study client.

How to do a content audit effectively.

To successfully complete a content audit for your business, you need to perform a simple four-step process. Here’s an outline of what you need to do to get under the skin of your content marketing strategy to see if it’s working and a free content audit template to help you get started.

1. Identifying existing content

What do you have already? At this stage, you need to list all of the content you own. This is a tick-boxing exercise. Got blogs? Tick. Got video? Tick. And so on. 

You shouldn’t just list blog content, but everything is used from teams across the company; marketing, sales, customer success, etc and also the website. To give you an idea of what you need to find at this stage:

Website: Website copy, blogs, videos, multimedia content
Marketing: Reports, testimonials, newsletters, infographics, internal comms
Sales: Brochures, proposals, quotes, price-lists

2. Categorise the content

You will need to perform a full rundown of the content. How old is it, who is it for? Is it up-to-date? Who’s actually using it? Where does it fit in the buyer’s journey? You may find that certain pieces of content are being used far more than others in which case you should consider whether or not to put it behind a form and hand it over in exchange for someone’s contact information. You can also ask your colleagues from different teams what they use, how they use it and what they share with people most often. 

3. Evaluate the performance

You should set up some analytical tools to track the impact of your content and report on a monthly basis. You can use tools like Google Analytics, Hubspot or KISSmetrics and make use of the insight you can gather from social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. We mark performance as either: “poor”, “okay”, “good” or “excellent” but you can use a scale from 1 to 5 or colours to represent a piece of content’s performance.

4. Note ideas and recommendations for what to do next.

This is where you have the chance to make good content great. You can choose to update the information if the post is old, rework successful eBooks into blog posts or infographics, and make videos. Only after you have analysed the content will you be able to come up with a reasonable set of actionable steps. Your focus should be on improving the customer experience using content resources to help them with their problem. 

Here are a few questions to think about:

  • Can I combine two pieces of content?
  • Could I create an FAQ page on my website based on the questions people ask most often?
  • Have I shared this on social media yet? Have I worked it into an email?
  • Should I condense the content? Should it be cut?
  • What distribution channels aren’t being utilised?
  • Where in the buyer’s journey does this belong?
  • Have we got enough awareness/consideration/decision content?
  • Should I move the CTA?

The summary.

Effective content is the backbone of a successful inbound marketing strategy and any inbound campaign. To be effective you must understand the importance of high-quality content, understand the purpose, and analyse how visitors, leads and customers are consuming it to create actionable insight. 

Matthew Johnson - Content Strategist by Matthew Johnson, Content Strategist
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