Marketing How Tos

The Key Step You're Missing When Content Planning

Photo of Jasmine LeBlanc Jasmine LeBlanc - July 6, 2018

While the task of buckling down and generating content ideas sounds daunting, that may not be the case if you conduct a content audit before you begin. Your audit could reveal that you won’t have to start from scratch and can easily tweak existing assets and repurpose them. We are going to take you through how to perform a thorough audit on your current content so that you can identify opportunities in your content strategy.

Content Audit

Man-Auditing-ContentThe whole reason we recommend doing a content audit is because you want to be as strategic as possible with your organization’s content. This means that when you are going through and inspecting your content that you should take your current target audience into consideration to ensure that you will have the right engagement with your site.

Why Content Audits Are Important

The two main reasons you should perform a content audit prior are to save money and identify gaps and opportunities in your content strategy.

Saving Money

Creating new content will cost money. Whether it’s paying someone to write blogs or buying equipment and software to make videos, new content is an investment. By auditing your content, you can rediscover forgotten assets that are reusable after they are refined to fit in with your new content strategy. Reusing and repurposing your old content can save your organization money in the long run.

Identifying Opportunities

After going through your current content and identifying your target persona, you may notice that you don’t have any content about a relevant topic to your audience. By doing a content audit, you are identifying the marketing assets you do have, and discovering what you are missing. Now that you know the gaps in your content strategy, you have an opportunity to create compelling content for your target audience.

How to Audit Your Content

We recommend keeping track of your content details in an Excel spreadsheet, like this one. For each piece of content you will record:

  • Content Title
  • Content Format - Blog, video, slideshow, etc.
  • Buyer Persona - Who is the content targeted to?
  • Performance - How it did on social media, page views, etc.

Content Audit Tips

  • If you have a lot of content, then start by auditing your highest performing pieces of content. This way, you can identify what type of topics did well with your audience.
  • While blogs are a popular form of content, remember that videos, event photos, and news articles count as content, too! Be sure to include these in your content audit and plan because they could cover relevant topics for your audience.

When to Audit Your Content

You should audit your content before generating content ideas so that you know what you have to work with. After your initial audit, aim to do it annually to make sure your content stays relevant.

If you have a lot of content, don’t overwhelm yourself and try to do it all at once before moving on to topic generation. Instead, have an ongoing monthly process of auditing content, starting with the highest performing pieces.

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve done a content audit, here’s what you can do next:

  • Post and share all finished assets

Schedule to post any slides, videos, or blog drafts that you found in your audit that require little to no tweaking. This can help jumpstart more ideas for content generation.

  • Identify gaps in your buyer’s journey

The reason we recommend notating which buyer journey stage your content is in is because you want to ensure that your content hits all three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.

If you notice that most of your content focuses on the awareness stage, then work on adding new material based on the other two stages in your content plan.

  • Determine which pieces of content did better than the rest

By auditing your content, you can see which topics and types of content your audience engaged with the most. You can create new, similar content around the same topics so that your audience continues to see your organization as relevant to them.

  • Pinpoint repurposing and recycling opportunities

You can create new content by repurposing your old, high performing content. For example, if you had a popular blog post, then you can easily recreate an infographic or slideshow with the same content. Using a different format can be refreshing for your audience while still being relevant to topics that interest them.

Creating compelling, relevant content is an essential part of your marketing strategy. To make the process as smooth as possible, you have to start out with a strategic content plan. Auditing is a key step to content planning because it allows you to see what assets you already have, what topics your audience is interested in, and what your content strategy is missing.

Ready to audit your content and create a smarter content strategy?

Then download our free workbook guide, Content Marketing Made Easy. There's room for you to audit your content, brainstorm repurposing opportunities and content ideas, and much more! In addition to walking you through each step of content marketing, there are time-saving tips sprinkled throughout the guide. Click below to get more details and download it today!