Four steps to reclaim your content marketing strategy

It’s time you did a content marketing audit.

The word “audit” makes it sound scary. What’s even more frightening is what you might find.

In the past year, have you asked yourself the following questions and been stumped to find an answer?
Am I posting the right kinds of content? Am I using the right tools? Am I on the right platforms and channels? What are my competitors posting?Am I posting frequently enough?

I won’t sugar coat it. Conducting a content audit on your website is a time-consuming and involved process, but when done correctly, but will provide tons of value and insight into the types of content you should be creating and how to effectively market that content to meet your goals.

Consider this is your step-by-step guide to conducting a content marketing audit. Download the full guide here.

1) Identify your marketing goals

Determining your overall business goals will tell you how to align the content you create to benefit your overall bottom line. Do you want to increase traffic to your site? Are your goals sales-oriented? Are you interested in gaining more media placements?

Each of these things requires different deliverables and strategies, and once you determine what your overall marketing goals are, it will be much easier to identify gaps in your marketing strategy.

2) Compile content and analytics

For this content audit, we’ll focus on all of the data you’ve published to your website and pushed out to your audience over a significant period (it works best with at least six months worth of content). If you haven’t been tracking and saving your website analytics, begin doing that immediately.

For a list of marketing analytics tools to help track and compile this information, download the complete content marketing audit guide.

Using the goal you set in step 1, determine what types of content are going to contribute to your goal directly. They can include anything from blog posts to graphics to downloadable content. Anything you put out on your site with the purpose of achieving your goal is fair game.

If this is your first content audit, I recommend starting small(er) and only auditing one channel at a time. For example, begin by reviewing your blog posts from the last six months rather than every piece of content you’ve put out across various channels. Attempting to tackle all posts on your website and social channels can get overwhelming and dilute your results if you don’t pay close attention.

3) Analyze the data

So you compiled the data you want to audit. Now what? Here’s where most people get overwhelmed. Again, what you choose to look at should correlate directly to overall marketing goals. If your goal is to increase leads through website conversions, you may want to take a close look at your downloadable content. If you want to improve SEO and traffic, then focus your attention on how blog posts and articles are performing.

You can look at this content in different ways.

Identify your highest performing content. How you define “highest performing” should relate directly back to your goal from step 1. If your goal is to increase conversions from subscribers, then identify which content generated more email subscribers. It’s easy to look at things like clicks, engagement rates, and likes and think that those make a piece “high performing.” Subsequently, if you do identify content that got tons of engagement, but didn’t contribute to your bottom line, that is still valuable information because you’re learning what your audience likes.

Download this free step-by-step guide, which includes helpful links, templates and additional insight to make your life easier during this process.

You need to look at this data holistically and find trends. If you’re stuck, ask yourself these questions.

Does your audience gravitate towards posts regarding a particular niche? Do photos and stories about people in your organization generate more attention? Do you get more website traffic when posting high-resolution images rather than long-form copy? What day(s) of the week did I push it out? What time of day? What platforms did I use to promote it? (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Which platform generated the most engagement around the content?

4) Create an action plan

You’ve identified the types of content you created. You’ve identified how different types of content performs. Now it’s time to get to work and think of ways to capitalize on the information you’ve found to make sure it is directly contributing to your goals. In other words, It’s time to create your new content marketing strategy.

Don’t have time? I’m here to help. I’ve helped organizations of all sizes conduct marketing audits to create strategic plans and identify new marketing initiatives to achieve their business goals.

A brief disclaimer: There are SO many ways to conduct a content audit, and the steps listed above are in no way a “one-size-fits-all solution.” A simple Google search will reveal a lot of alternatives to the method I’ve outlined. It all depends on your goals, the types of content you create, and the emphasis your company places on content marketing. I’d love to know any thoughts or feedback you have on the process I’ve described 🙂