Through our (literal) thousands of interactions with marketers, we often ask, “What keeps you up at night?” What’s at the top of that list? Content audits. Nevertheless, an audit is an essential piece of a successful content operation. Building an inventory of content that allows you to find the right content to deliver to the right customer at the right time begins with understanding what you already have.
Here at Kapost, we know that having insights into your current inventory of content is not an easy thing to develop. Conducting a thorough content audit is challenging, to say the least, but with the right approach and organization, you can find success.
Before you even start combing through your content, there are a couple of core processes you ought to have in place.
#1: A Purpose and Strategy
Does everyone on your team recognize why a healthy content inventory is so important? Do you have a strategic taxonomy in place? Ensuring that your entire team has a clear understanding of the purpose of a content inventory and how it will drive your marketing organization ensures you’ll get the buy-in and support you need.
#2: Team Alignment
Has your team fully adopted a standard taxonomy (product lines, segments, buying stages, etc.) for content? Does everyone on the team understand what each data point means?
We find this is often the most challenge step. Across organizations, different teams and team members often use the same terminology differently. Managing your team to change their language and way of categorizing is a step that requires careful execution—yet is foundational to an organized content inventory. This post can guide you in developing a strategy for managing this change.
#3: Centralize Your Content
Is your content stored centrally? We, of course, suggest Kapost as your single source of truth, but making sure you have all your content gathered to one place is the only way to audit your content appropriately.
Why? Because without centralized content, you can have outdated, off-brand, or just plain different versions of content floating around the digital universe. From shared drives to spreadsheets, even those pesky folders on a regional sales managers desktop—it all needs to be brought together. Did we mention Kapost makes this a lot easier?
Once you have a strong vision for why the project is so important, a kick-butt strategic taxonomy in place, a team fully aligned and onboard, and centrally-located content, you’re ready.
Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far, you’ve overcome most of the challenges that cause content audits to fail before they even start.
Now that we’re ready to conduct our audit, how do we make this process more manageable? The key is to break the process up into smaller tasks and to enlist as many people as possible.
How to Strategically Manage a Content Audit
Break Up Your Audit
There are many ways to break up your audit. Here are a few:
- Organize within teams. Break up your content, and assign themed categories to various members of your team. You may even consider auditing content based on team. Of course, your blog team knows blogs best, and your product team knows battle cards. Whatever content people are most intimately familiar with is the content they should be responsible for tagging (i.e. auditing).
- Work chronologically. You may also consider starting with recently created content and then work backward. The assets you’ve created most recently are less likely to need a refresh and will be of value to you today.
- Invest time wisely. Start with your larger, higher-value assets; you know, the ones you spent $$$ to produce. Maybe you even licensed content from other vendors. Start there and get the most use out of your more costly assets.
Make a Plan and Ensure Accountability
Don’t underestimate the need for a thorough project plan. What content is going to be tagged and by when? Establish milestones with owners.
Accountability is essential here. Each person on your team should know what content they’re responsible for associating with the right data points. They should also be held accountable to have the work completed on time, just as they would be for any other marketing deliverable.
As the project lead, you’ll also want to check work and provide feedback. You’re the resource your team will lean on when they don’t understand the data structure, have questions about their responsibilities, or have feedback on your taxonomy.
Having your content organized and centralized as a result of a content audit can pay dividends in preventing your team from duplicating content efforts and ensuring your assets can be reused and regularly repurposed across customer contexts.
Looking for extra help? Kapost customers can contact their CSM for best practices, help in establishing a strategic plan to build their content inventory, or more information about our services, such as a Strategic Taxonomy Workshop.