Be honest. When’s the last time you cleaned out your closet?
If you’re like most people, it’s something you say you’re going to do every year (or every season if you’re way more aspirational than I am), but it’s one of those things that never seems to get done.
Most B2B organizations treat their content assets the same way.
If you don’t clean out your closet, the worst that can happen is you end up with an overflow of clothes that no longer fit or no longer fit in with current trends. If you don’t audit your content, though, it can have a quantifiable negative impact on your business.
What exactly is a content audit?
It’s a deep dive into each of your content assets that looks at performance, tone, quality, and more. A content audit is the only way to determine which formats, subjects, and campaigns resonate best with your target audience. Without this information, your team will merely create content for content’s sake — which can be a massive waste of time, money, and resources.
Here at SalientMG, we audit clients’ content all the time, and in virtually every case, the client learns something big.
For example, one client thought their organization had awesome content, and they weren’t wrong. However, all of that awesome content was at the top of the funnel, so people had no opportunity to advance through the buyer’s journey after consuming all of that awesomeness.
Another client learned that the podcasts they spent so much time creating weren’t resonating. We discovered that people were watching less than two minutes of each 30-minute podcast, and the podcast episode pages represented a significant chunk of the website’s total exit pages — meaning that’s where visitors were dropping off. Suddenly, all of that prep time, all that time sourcing guests, and all of that money spent on a video editor were a waste. Had they audited their content metrics sooner, they could have put that time and money to better use sooner.
So what goes into a successful content audit?
- Your data
Forget your gut; the data always tells the story. Website visitors, email recipients, paid media traffic, and organic social referrals leave a trail of data that tells you exactly what’s resonating and what’s not. How does the performance of each content asset compare to industry benchmarks? What about your own internal benchmarks? Follow the data and find out what your target audience likes so you can create more of it.
- Your expertise
No matter what industry you’re in, every buyer is looking for a solution to a problem. If you have answers to their questions — and can present them in well-executed comprehensive content campaigns — you will stand ahead of the competition. A good content audit will determine if you’re showcasing your subject matter expertise properly or if you need to make improvements.
- Your brand voice
Each brand should have its own distinct voice so that prospects and customers can get a sense of familiarity. For example, if you’re playfully sarcastic in one piece of content and very formal in another, there will be a disconnect that puts a serious wrinkle in the relationship you’re trying to build.
Even worse, if you don’t use the same type of language across your content, your brand’s value will be hard to decipher. And let’s face it, no one spends money when they’re confused. Recent research from LucidPress says a consistent brand presentation across all platforms has been shown to increase revenue by 23%. A good content audit can alert you to any brand voice inconsistencies — or even help you create one if you haven’t done so already.
- Your distribution
This is not Field of Dreams. Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. Without the right distribution strategy, even the best content sits in a vacuum. A good content audit will determine which distribution channels are working and which could be working better.
When your content audit is finished, you should have actionable insights into what your content marketing roadmap should look like. As a result, you can execute a data-driven strategy rather than just “do content.” In the end, your time will be spent more efficiently, your resources will be maximized, and your budget won’t go to waste.
Finally, a content audit isn’t a one-time thing. You can’t take the learnings and apply them forever. Instead, you need to be in the habit of auditing — or having someone audit — your content at least once a year. There is always something new to learn, and all of that knowledge can translate into major successes for your business.