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Qualitative Strategic Content Audit Guidelines

When was the last time your team did a content audit on your marketing assets?

A qualitative assessment of your content is a best practice – it’ll help identify messaging that’s out of date, improve relevancy for new audiences as well as overall organization for your content.

What qualifies as content?

Everything from your website (and landing pages), blogs, social media channels/pages, posts, and third-party content/event is a good start for a content audit. Don’t stop there, there’s value in extending the audit to product briefs, whitepapers, use cases, customer success stories, ebooks, webinars, videos, and recorded live streams.

Do you know how your content measures up against your business goals? And why is that important? If you’ve never done a content audit, it can be overwhelming to get it started, try focusing and prioritizing on what content needs action, then start identifying low-quality content to clean up or remove.

Quick questions to ask when you’re considering an audit:

Does your content meet your audience’s needs?

Is your content findable?

Is your content easy to digest?

Is your content actionable?

Strategic Content Assessment Factors

Time to get started evaluating content quality and value:

Is the content relevant? Yes or No

What’s the purpose of the content? Is it Informative or Actionable? Does the content educate or influence the audience? Or is the content meant to move the reader to take action (fill out a form)?

What is the value of the content? Is it critical to the goals and strategy of the business and or does it support your brand?

How valuable is your content to your audience? In order to identify the value, you have to measure audience engagement (web visits, time on page, clicks). If you don’t measure engagement, you’re just speculating.

What’s the tone of your content? Does it support the brand voice, persona(s), and buyer’s journey? Does it represent the voice of the company or the product team?

How accurate is your content? Does it represent the current view of messaging or product information?

Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT)

One of the more important aspects of content/content marketing that you’ll have to address is EAT. It’ll be difficult to measure in your organization but it’s important to Google – since they represent a large part of US search – it’s also critical for your business.

Expertise in content is demonstrating that you (or your company) have the domain expertise. Being an Authority is the natural progression of that expertise. Trust, howsoever, is built over time – think of your favorite ‘trusted’ brands, they took years to build.

There’s no quick way to build up EAT, if you haven’t started – there’s no time like now to start.

Content Marketing checklist

Use this list as an audit checklist and a foundation of a scoring system.

Audience: Identify the relevant audience and match it to the right content asset. Your audiences will include customers, prospects, internal, press/media etc.

Industry: If your content is developed for a particular industry – be sure to identify it by industry. Some of your content will have broad appeal – list it as general or multi.

Service / Product: Your company could offer services, a product(s), or both – identify your content accordingly.

Key topic: When reviewing content that is editorial in nature (blogs, case studies, eBooks, etc) identify each asset for its key topic for easier categorization and access

Funnel: Is your sales and marketing content applicable to the stages of your prospect/customer journey? You’ll want to identify and categorize the content asset by TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU (top, middle, bottom of the funnel).

Objective: What’s this content purpose/objective? Brand awareness, sales, lead generation, etc.

Map Your Content

Map your content to your audience persona’s buyers’ journeys. (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU)
(use a comprehensive multi-touch attribution approach i.e. website, social, third-party)

  1. What is the current audience mindset?
  2. What do we want them to think and feel regarding our offering?
  3. What are our key message(s) and messaging frameworks?
  4. What are the appropriate content types(video, short-form, long-form?)
  5. What content is available and low effort/high effort?
  6. Determine the appropriate KPIs?
  7. Find your gaps? What is missing?
  8. Make appropriate content recommendations for net new.

Results

Once the audit is completed you’ll have the confidence that your content is positioned to perform, on-brand, current, and valuable to your audience.

  • Outdated content is refreshed and updated
  • The digital experience for customers and prospects is improved
  • Your brand message is clear and concise
  • Content is more relevant to the audiences it was developed for
  • Traffic and site stickiness improves
  • Redundant or outdated messaging is removed
  • You’ve de-cluttered the CMS
  • The client has actionable insights and next steps
Tristian Lacroix

July 18, 2022

By Tristian Lacroix