As much as 70% of B2B content is never used, according to research company SiriusDecisions. And it’s not just a rookie mistake. A Microsoft digital content audit discovered that 3 million out of 10 million of its content was never read.
Their content strategist Gerry McGovern said, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Poor quality content can be like weeds in a garden. Left unchecked it smothers the quality content.”[/perfectpullquote]
Maybe it’s time for a little weeding.
At the 2017 Intelligent Content Conference, digital marketing consultant Cathy McKnight spoke of the importance of content audits.
Nobody wants to do it — “it’s a lot like looking for dead bodies,” she quips – but the tedious task of logging every content you’ve created into a strategic spreadsheet is critical to your content marketing’s success.
Why should you do a digital content audit?
A digital content audit isn’t just a body count. It helps you analyze your content to weed out poorly performing pages and validate your SEO information.
Why is this page getting 50 times more traffic than everything else on your website?
What is relevant to your readers, and how can you fix your mediocre content to get the same attention?
“You’re able to focus on what you’re good at, and make the mediocre content better,” says McKnight.
She adds that an audit can help you update your information.
Take out products you’re no longer selling, or edit your company profile to reflect acquisitions.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Content marketing is all about telling the right story. The least you can do is make sure your story’s got the right facts.[/perfectpullquote]
When should you do a digital content audit?
McKnight names scenarios when a content audit is critical to your business and marketing objectives:
• You’ve never done it before.
• You’re implementing a new technology. “We get so focused on the functionality and then dump old content in, [providing] bad content in a better way.”
• You’ve changed your brand strategy or are doing a brand refresh
How to do a digital content audit
“Content audits will suck the life of your workday,” says McKnight.
Hundreds of files, scattered across different platforms and drives. Dead links. Orphan pages.
And just when you think you’re done, somebody will approach you and say, “Hey, so I found this folder and…”
McKnight recommends putting a method to the madness.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]
List all the places your content could be hiding.
• Content channels (check what is in production and archived)
• Marketing automation platforms
• User-generated content in blogs, Youtube and Slideshare [/perfectpullquote]
From there, lay the groundwork for your spreadsheet.
Set standards and a glossary, identify key fields, and the metadata that’s most useful for your purposes.
Fancy being sued for using am image or music beyond the contract terms? We thought so.
Digital content audits are time-consuming, but they can prevent very expensive mistakes.
Assemble the troops
While content audits are generally the job of content managers (lucky you!), you can and probably should enlist the help of other people in the organization.
Ask an intern or assistant can help plug in the data. If your content is used, created or distributed by other departments – sales, customer service, IT – then get them involved.
Make the digital content audit a clear part of their deliverables. “If it reflects on their year-end performance rating, then it will get done,” says McKnight.
She suggests selecting someone who has a stake in the success. Help them understand why this content audit matters, and how the end result – better, more strategic content – will make their jobs easier.
Manage your content with Mintent
Digital content audits are much easier when your content is already centralized and produced in one platform.
Mintent combines a powerful editorial calendar with abilities to tag your content according to date, contributor, customer persona, or any metadata.
Create content in one place, and find it in one place. Start a free trial of Mintent.