A critical early step in developing a content strategy and calendar is auditing your existing content. Typically organizations have way more content than they realize in the form of web pages, social media posts, white papers, blog posts, webinars, videos, and so forth. And much that they’re aware of may not be being used to its fullest; it’s estimated that 70-80% of content developed by marketing for sales is unused.
It’s good to first create your marketing personas before doing the audit, as connecting content to personas is part of the audit.
Then create a grading system and use a spreadsheet to track your audit results.
In the spreadsheet you might have columns such as:
- Location (URL, content repository, etc.)
- Appropriate personas
- Buying stage targeted
- Grade, such as A (perfect) to F (toss it and start over)
- Detailed notes (Does it need updating? Maybe just the images do?)
- Who can use it? (Marketing, sales, HR, etc.)
- Metadata of web pages; do they need SEO attention?
- Traffic to web pages
As a result of your audit you may discover…
- You have a ton of great content for certain personas and buying stages and very little for others
- Your sales people have lots of assets but they don’t know how to use them
- Certain parts of your website are woefully out of date
- You have excellent content that could be aggregated or disaggregated and used again. While disaggregating is more common these days – re-using and re-posting parts of pieces of content, down to the tweet level – I realized that after conducting a series of discreet interviews with sales and marketing leaders over the course of a year that I had the assets for a great ebook. So I pulled them all together and created it. You can get it for free here.
A content audit takes time, but an intelligent content strategy starts with knowing what you already have.