Content audits offer an excellent focus
Content is ‘King’, social media is ‘Queen’ and together they rule the customer world of the modern marketplace. With this in mind, content audits need to be higher on your priority list of things to do as a result you will improve your marketing.
Are you looking for ways to improve the way you do business? Content audits help to produce better content and could well be your answer. You don’t have to keep inventing something new in order grow your business. It might only be a matter of improving what you already have in the way of content.
Content audits help you to evaluate your content and the effectiveness of its use. It helps you to evaluate the performance of your efforts because without evaluation nothing much changes. You don’t have to be a trailblazer, you just need to do it better than your competitors. You begin by conducting content audits on various aspects of your business.
Your content should focus your messages on whatever channel your potential customers use, (website, social media blogs, seminars, newsletters, etc). The consistency reminds customers why they have been dealing with you and it helps to provide a more seamless customer experience.
You may be struggling with the fact that there are so many others involved in content marketing. However, none of them can tell your story because your story is yours and it is unique. Your unique content is the very thing that will set you apart from the rest. So your content needs to be identified and used well and as a result, you can improve your customer experience.
Content audits help focus each aspect of your business
Content audits take your current content and make assessments of how it aligns with your business objectives and strategies and the buying process of your market segments. It should take into account content that will be used both internally and externally because communication internally is also important.
It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to create content about the next big thing, but most of all it should be focused on your customers. Leave that until you have more experience with content and content marketing. Instead, focus your writing on customer problems, frustrations, wants and needs. Don’t make assumptions, ask questions and hone in on the real issues because that is what will keep customers coming back.
Authenticity is still the killer differentiator and your content audits should bring this out. How many times have you regretted saying something, or even worse, not saying anything at all, about your real thoughts and feelings?
It is easy to address the whole content marketing with platitudes limited to your experience and what people are saying in your community. This is why you have to conduct a content audit. But where do you begin? Here are some more details about content audits, https://goo.gl/yi5Ho4.
What are your business and content objectives?
Both your business objectives and content objectives are closely interlinked, you can’t have one without the other. Setting the objectives is a good place to start and the following are some good thought starters:
- Create more sales and build a better customer base because if you grow your customer base it will grow you.
- Improve lead generation so your business is continually refreshed?
- Growing the business and its profits should help you to keep your content focused.
- Focus on customer retention because it’s no good creating new customers if you are losing old ones.
- Build brand awareness, look carefully at the consistency of your messages.
- Gauge the effectiveness of your content marketing mix because the same old ‘stuff’ will turn customers off.
- Improve your engagement practices and customer experiences with more relevant content.
- Showcase your thought leadership because most customers like new initiatives.
- Put a balance in your marketing and relationship management.
- Attract partnerships and excite them to help.
- Make you and your business irresistible to the media because they will often promote a good business for nothing.
- You’re on top of your content marketing game and want to stay there.
What is your content to be used for?
An obvious question to this answer is to attract interest from the media. But, have you ever wondered why some businesses are
Stop right there and look at where your content will be best used to advantage. How will the content best be placed in the hands of those intended to receive it?
- Social media.
- Email marketing.
- Education in workshops, seminars and conferences.
- Support for customers in the field.
- Internal communications.
- Exciting the media with editorial material.
- Other marketing methods.
Categorise the content before starting the audits
Establish what each piece of content will be used for, remember it can be adapted to multiple situations:
- Customer education.
- Production and business operations.
- Planning purposes.
- Health and well-being.
- Trends and issues.
- Problems, frustrations, wants and needs.
- Helpdesk operations.
What types of content will you use?
Understand what you have to offer and make sure to emphasise your value proposition clearly in your own words and choose its distribution method. Keep in mind the same piece of content can be reused over and over. The key is to be consistent in your messages.
- Articles and blogs.
- Emails and email marketing.
- Editorials for the media.
- Tools and processes.
- Case studies and stories.
- Books and eBooks.
- Policies and procedures, benchmarking and best practice.
What base information do you need?
Find the content that already sells your products and services so you can make it even better. Many people refer to their content as their ‘secret sauce’. What will make you and your content different and attractive to your audience? If you could write anything on a billboard, where would it be and what would it say to your chosen market segments?
Standing out from the crowd is no longer optional. Too many believe that if they keep their heads down and work hard, they’ll be recognised for the value of their work. To make a name for yourself, to create true sustainability, you have to share your unique perspective and inspire others to take action.
“What’s in it for me (WIIFM)”? This will likely be the first questions people have about seeing and reading your content. That’s why it’s critical to make it easy for them to understand the value and benefit your business has to offer. Clarity and consistency in messaging and positioning it are critical before you create content across all artefacts or formats.
It is important to know and understand your ideal customers and their buying process. This allows you to better target your content to where is most likely to be found. Different benefits will resonate with different audiences. Test different messages to see what drives more people to your business. If you do this well, your content will please the right people all of the time.
A process for applying the content audits
First impressions are crucial; which is why your content audits need to be first-rate. Here are some ways to optimise your content audits so the first impression turns your content into brand loyalty.
- Decide who you want to read your content?
- Gather your existing content.
- Categories and score your content.
- Identify new content you need.
- Develop new headings for each piece of content.
- Develop a structure for each type of content to be written or rewritten.
- Identify the value of each piece of content for the reader.
- What is the key takeaway for the reader?
- Decide on the distribution of the content.
- Identify what content you’re going to measure and what metrics you will use.
Adjust your business and marketing strategies to the findings
Content audits are worthless if they don’t feed into the specific strategies of the business, but more specifically into the marketing strategies. Even if you have nothing published you probably have ideas for content that can be packaged for your content marketing program. It’s okay to start simply, the important thing is to actually make a start.
Use the content audits to identify and plan your future content production and how it will be utilised. Perhaps most importantly, use it to identify the gaps in your content that need to be filled as soon as possible.
If you know it’s time for the big impact and big money with your content expertise, then you definitely need to start with existing content and start the audit process. There is no point waiting before you adjust your strategies in line with the market you are seeking to serve.
Outsourcing your content creation and content audits
The big question is. Do you have the right skills and resources to start to navigate through your content creation and content audits journey? Who should conduct your audit and/or do final editing and approval?
You might have a great life story or message to tell but you find it difficult to get started because you have never written a story before. The biggest obstacle most people have in producing content is overcoming their fear, or ability to write well, while others simply don’t have the inclination or the time.
If you are tired of the obstacles in your way of creating a better business, then now might be the right time to outsource your content creation and content audits. Sure it will cost some money while a cost/benefit analysis will help you to know if it’s worth it. You may be surprised at what you will find and it will probably be good news.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen”. John Wooden
“General access to data and content creation with no audit or oversight does nothing to enhance your customer experiences”. Peter Sergeant