If you’re thinking about redesigning your website or significantly revising your content marketing strategy, there is only one place to start: Audit all of your existing marketing content from top to bottom, including social media accounts.
At Electric Lemonade, we feel so strongly about this step that we won’t take on new projects unless we can perform an in-depth audit.
The Benefits of a Content Marketing Audit
The word “audit” in any context is scary and it’s easy to see why. They’re time-consuming, often complex, and they may require specialized knowledge. In a word, they’re hard.
Content marketing audits are no exception.
What’s more, we tend to dread the results. Instead, we should be embracing them.
Why? If your content and strategy aren’t working, you need to know. Not knowing practically guarantees the same mistakes will be repeated over and over.
An audit is your opportunity to fix them. Here are some typical areas where a content audit can save you money:
- Discovery of excellent content that you didn’t know you have (and paid for) but aren’t using because it’s hard to find
- Finding and fixing content that isn’t achieving your marketing objectives because its redundant, outdated, or isn’t valuable to your clients. In fact, according to an annual survey by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 53% of business-to-customer (B2C) marketers say they’re discontinuing activities found to be ineffective.
- Identifying and filling critical gaps in content so your clients get the information they need
- Ensuring messaging and branding is consistent and accurate across all of the platforms you use to communicate with your customers
Not convinced? Consider this from the 2018 CMI survey:
- 75% of B2C marketers who say their organization’s content marketing is more successful this year compared to last year cite strategy development or adjustment as a reason
- 72% cited higher quality and more efficient content creation
Now consider trying to overhaul your strategy without understanding what you already have.
At Electric Lemonade, we believe the content marketing audit is the most valuable investment you can make to increase revenue and retain existing clients for years to come.
Marketing Content and Website Audits Require a Lot of Work
So, what do we mean by “content marketing audit,” exactly? Most experts agree on three basic phases:
Inventory. All marketing assets are identified and indexed, from point-of-sale signage down to every white paper or infographic on the website. Metrics are collected on each. This may be recorded in a spreadsheet with each item’s unique index number, URL if applicable, title, summary description, and content type.
Analysis and recommendations. Here, the auditors evaluate the collected data and add detailed recommendations (e.g., keep, revise, remove). No two audits will be exactly alike.
Summary and reporting. This is where the auditors condense massive amounts of qualitative and quantitative data into a digestible format that can be shared and understood by the client organization’s decision-makers, strategists and content creators.
There are technical tools to help with the steps in each phase.
“Crawlers” can give you each page’s URL and metrics, for example, including titles, word count, external links, traffic, and so forth.
There’s no getting around the fact, however, that a proper content audit takes work and time. How much and how long depends on the size of the project and on what you’re trying to achieve.
If you’re only trying to improve your search engine optimization or perform a periodic checkup on your current strategy, you may not need to evaluate every piece of content.
If you’re redesigning your website or overhauling your content strategy, Electric Lemonade recommends a full audit. This process can take several weeks.
Electric Lemonade offers clients the option of a full-service content marketing strategy that includes the content audit, monitoring, and maintenance on a monthly basis. Normally, the audit fee is waived for our monthly clients.
We also offer one-time content marketing audits, including the website, for a flat fee.
To learn more, send us your contact information below.