It’s difficult to know where to go when you don’t know where you’ve been. Although marketers understand the importance of having a content strategy, often they don’t know where to start. This is precisely why a comprehensive content audit is so valuable.
What Exactly Is a Content Audit?
A content audit is the brand’s looking glass. It provides a data-driven way to identify what’s working and what’s not. It also helps marketers see opportunities for additional content impact. The learnings that come out of an audit provide a detailed road map marketers can use to increase engagement across channels and better meet business goals.
Say you want to ramp up a loyalty program, drive interest in a new product or service line, or promote the expertise of your leadership. If your content is performing as you expected in relationship to that goal, you might give your team a pat on the back and call it a day.
But your content can — and should — work harder to help reach goals. Rather than assuming customers want to know about a specific topic or prefer information about the topic in a specific way (blog vs. infographic, for example), the audit reveals how and when the content is consumed — and what else your customers have an appetite for. The audit may also include an analysis of your competitor’s content or best-in-class content in order to benchmark.
Improving the Online Experience
A content audit is more than just an inventory of the work. It’s a business tool that informs the brand’s content marketing strategy, from website taxonomy to email templates.
For example, a content audit conducted for a global beverage brand revealed that the existing website content categorization and navigation didn’t make sense to visitors. Valuable content was being missed simply because visitors couldn’t find it or failed to identify it within the existing structure. By looking at data such as on-site search phrases and volume, Ansira content strategists were able to determine what content visitors wanted and reorganized the site accordingly to ensure that content was discoverable.
An audit can also provide insight into user experience issues. An important piece of content could be on the wrong page, or in the wrong place (the bottom of the page, for example), and therefore not get the traction it should. The audit can also reveal issues related to radio buttons, subject lines, downloads, navigation, and other calls-to-action.
In the case of a website for a leading pet food company, Ansira discovered several key content opportunities by conducting an email content audit. After analyzing content performance by topic and zone, as well as frequency, the data revealed that the content topic with the highest engagement rate was featured in only 13% of emails and in zones readers must scroll to find. In addition, the content topic with the lowest click-through rate was featured regularly in the highest zone.
The information gleaned from a content audit can help brands optimize their websites for visits, time on site, downloads, and more, leading to increased engagement and sales.
Measuring Content Impact
As business goals change, the role of content must bend accordingly. A content audit is the brand’s quantitative proof that what’s being produced is — or is not — having an impact.
A content audit can do the following:
An audit will direct marketers to the next step, whether it’s to ramp up the content that best drives action, refine the strategy, or leverage new opportunities to capture leads or drive sales.
How It Happens
A content audit is conducted by using key metrics to determine the effectiveness of each piece of content individually, as well as within campaigns. An audit typically happens annually, but marketers may decide that a condensed audit based on fewer business metrics is enough to demonstrate the effectiveness and performance of a particular campaign or strategy.
A content audit is designed to give marketers a drilled-down view into the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts. Because a content audit is based on data, marketers can show stakeholders what’s working without assumptions. Gut instincts may inform, but a comprehensive content audit reveals the real story.