Live Webinar: How to Conduct a Content Audit

June 1, 2016

How to Conduct a Content Audit

The words “audit” and “fast” are rarely used in the same breath. Many marketers realize they need to conduct a content audit, but there is little time for this process. An exhaustive audit can include tons of data from SEO indexing and page performance to engagement, inquiry, and lead volumes. This is often overkill.

To make life easier, we created a shortcut template so marketers can quickly audit their content – and make more time for other productive projects.

A Basic Process: Four Simple Steps

If you’re limited on time, it’s paramount to avoid boiling the ocean. Regardless of the objective for the content audit, follow this simple process: Define Objectives, Examine Content, Collect and Analyze Data, and Take Action.

Define Objectives: Why do a content audit?

Your objectives for doing an audit will dictate the entire process. There are numerous reasons to review existing content – such as a new product launch, rebranding, adding a new persona to your target audience, or annual planning. For marketers responsible for international regions, a content audit can help determine whether localization is required or if global content is relevant in your market.

Take Inventory: What is your existing content?

If you don’t already have an internal content repository, finding your content can feel like a game of hide and seek. Your content could be hiding where you least expect to find it. In addition to your website, don’t forget to check your blog, resource center, e-newsletters, press releases, and social platforms (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Slideshare, Instagram, etc.).

What constitutes as a content piece you want to track should match back to your objectives. For example, if you’re releasing a new product feature then it makes sense to look for case studies, video tutorials, and product data sheets. But if the goal is around rebranding, then these could be outside the scope of the project.

Collect and Analyze the Data: Focus on relevant metrics

Relevant data will vary depending on the goal of the audit. Laser-focus on metrics that will help you identify actions. For example, if you’re simply pruning outdated material, then you don’t need to labor over performance data. Conversely, if you’re planning where to invest budget in future content, then you will want to look performance data, such as downloads or leads, to see what drove the best results. These are the pieces of content you’ll likely want to invest in for the future.

If you are measuring performance, remember that not all content is equal. Results are influenced by the content type, where it fits in the funnel, and the target persona. Generally, top-of-funnel content, such as thought leadership, drives a higher volume of leads than bottom-of-funnel content, such as case studies. Prospects need both types to make a purchase decision. During your audit, consider categorizing content by type and place in the funnel. This helps accurately judge performance and identify if you have content gaps in the buyer’s journey.

Take Action: The Most Important Step

Audits should enable the marketing team to quickly ascertain if the content is current, if any changes are needed, or if it should be retired. If a particular content asset is performing well, the process can surface ways repurpose it. At LinkedIn, we do this with all of our major assets. For example, themes from an ebook are leveraged and repurposed across webinars, blog posts, podcasts, and infographics.

Resources: Your Shortcut Template

Now it’s time for you to start your own content audit. You can download our FREE Content Audit Template. We created an Excel template that you can customize to meet your objectives. You may want to add different categories, such as content creator, or remove some of the suggested metrics. Remember, use only what you need and don’t over-complicate the process.

We will cover this topic in more detail in our webcast: How to Conduct a Content Audit. Our host is Kristin Kunasingam, Senior Product Consultant at LinkedIn. She will share proven tactics in more detail so that you can get the most out of the process. The webcast is live from Sydney on Wednesday, June 8th at 3pm AEST | 1pm SGT | 10:30am IST and will be recorded.