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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : August 13, 2019

Time for a content edit? Here's how to proceed

Content is a huge part of a brand's identity, especially in the online space, but with the flood of social media content, new product content, and even revised product content it can be hard to ensure all of those pieces accurately reflect the brand, its values, and identity. If your brand hasn't conducted a content audit recently - or ever - it could be time. Here's how to do it.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is a content audit?

Nate Holmes, Content Marketing Manager, Widen: A content audit is a systematic review of your brand's written and visual media. It helps you understand what content you have, what to do with it, and what's needed in the future.
 Content audits come in different shapes and sizes but generally follow four steps.
1.     Form a question. What do you want to learn from this process? Use this question to define the scope of your audit.
2.     List your content. Collect and organize your content data -- crawling tools and CSV exports will be your friend at this stage. Remember to include where each piece of content lives.
3.     Evaluate your content. Identify the criteria and rating scale for your content before you start evaluating. For example, you could assess the business value,  brand compliance, accuracy of information, or the value it provides a reader.
4.     Inform your team and take action. Share your findings with those affected by the audit, and give them an opportunity to understand the process and reasoning behind any resulting changes.
Kristina: Why is this important for online brands?

Nate: New content is often created in response to a problem. Not ranking for a keyword? Let's write a blog that defines it. Customers aren't buying a new product? Let's create a video. Content audits force you to take a step back from creating content to evaluate what you already have.

An audit of digital content can help you uncover errors, maximize online visibility, revisit keyword opportunities, increase conversions, and optimize audience engagement. 
Kristina: How often should brands consider freshening up their content and/or looking at the content they're providing?
Nate: I try to treat our brand's content like I do my kitchen.  I have daily activities that keep things welcoming and usable, like washing dishes, wiping the countertops, and keeping food stored properly. There are weekly activities like taking out the trash and sweeping the floors. Then there's the big, deep clean that happens every 6 to 12 months. And if I'm going to cook chili, I check what ingredients I have before buying new ones.
Providing fresh, useful content is pretty similar. You may only do a full-blown content audit every 12 months. But evaluating and updating existing content should be done regularly to the point of habit. You only need to purchase cayenne pepper when you don't have it, not every time you make chili. Similarly, you should know what content you have on a topic before investing in something new.
Kristina: Should they look off-site, i.e. to their social media content, as well as on-site content?
Nate: The scope of content reviewed in your audit should reflect its purpose, or the question you seek to answer with your audit. For example, if you've gone through a rebrand and need to make sure your content is consistent across all channels, then include your social media, print, and email content. 
Kristina: What are your top three tips for brands doing a content audit?

Nate: Determine the criteria and rating scale before you start evaluating your content. List all the people that could benefit from your findings and share the results that impact them. Be consistent in your approach to data collection.

Tags: advertising, branded content, content audit, content marketing, content marketing tips, ecommerce, ecommerce content, social marketing, Widen

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