In a recent SiriusDecisions blog, research director Christine Polewarczyk’s comment on content audits reminded me of what my doctor recently said about a procedure I’ve been postponing.
“As painful as content audits are,” Polewarcyk wrote, “do not skip this exercise.”
Content audits were not the focus of Polewarczyk’s missive — she was writing about the importance of prioritizing audiences. But she noted that a “thorough content inventory and audit” is necessary to determine if you have the assets you need to support specific campaigns or overall marketing strategies.
As Polewarcyk explained, content audits help marketers understand what existing material they can use as-is, what can be refreshed or repackaged, and “what is just completely missing from your messaging arsenal to support the buyer’s journey.”
Content audits can also help you determine if your anticipated content creation needs are “realistically aligned with budget and resources set aside for supporting your priority audiences,” Polewarczyk added. Audits can be “eye openers” into how well you’re planning your content marketing activities.
Extending Content Value
Regularly scheduled reviews of your content library really are time well spent. Audits can remind you of well-performing assets that could be the subject of a new campaign. You might discover documents that could add value to an ongoing promotion.
After conducting an audit, you may identify a variety of assets that touch on similar topics or best practices that can be bundled together for a highly effective toolkit or package. More than half of the respondents to Demand Gen Report’s 2015 Content Preferences Survey strongly recommend that marketers package related content together. Another 44% somewhat agreed.
Audits can also help you uncover assets that are no longer aligned with your go-to-market messaging. Documents featuring retired brand elements, old product names or out-of-date information can confuse buyers, especially if multiple decision-makers are referring to misaligned assets. Materials that reference old data or outdated news events suggest to buyers that your company is behind the times, or worse, not knowledgeable of current business issues.
Perhaps more detrimental is if the assets in your content arsenal no longer align with target buyers and their pain points. Buyer behaviors are constantly changing, so your content needs to constantly evolve, too.
A No-Pain Audit Option
Many companies conduct standard content audits to analyze the content they have in-house and determine which pieces need to be updated or refreshed. But Content4Demand conducts thorough audits that are more granular and dive deeper into the buyer’s journey.
Content4Demand scores content based on topic, age and buyer’s stage, helping organizations identify issues such as:
- Too much product- or brand-focused content
- A lack of content addressing key buyer challenges
- An oversaturation of certain content formats, such as webinars or white papers
- Content misaligned to the buyer’s journey
We then conduct a gap analysis, which helps organizations identify holes in resource libraries, and offer recommendations regarding new content topics and formats.
If you want to make sure you have the materials you need to support your next content marketing initiative by conducting a thorough content audit, we can help.