Fed up with random acts of content that raise internal costs and lower external audience experiences? Start with the basics: Take stock of your existing content. All of it. Next, audit the performance of that content. Finally, execute a keep/revise/delete plan based on performance. This presentation focuses on the benefits of content inventories and audits as fundamental building blocks to developing a content lifecycle from discovery to deletion. No ibuprofen required.
Three Keys to Successful Content Inventories and Audits
Three Keys to
Bay Area Content Marketing Meetup
March 19, 2019
Rich Schwerin photo
Welcome and thanks for the dialog
▪ Introductions: Sharing collective knowledge
▪ Eight reasons to inventory & audit content
▪ Step 1: Inventory—What do you have?
▪ Step 2: Audit—How is it performing?
▪ Step 3: Execute—Does it spark joy?
▪ Buyer’s journey meets content lifecycle
▪ Content inventory & audit resources
• Autodesk content strategy
• VMware digital strategy
• Oracle social media
marketing, brand &
creative, video, product
events, live broadcasting
• Two dot-bomb startups
• Ziff-Davis tech magazines
editorial (back in the day)
Husband, dad, mountain biker,
Grinduro/Dirt Fondo racer,
Creative Commons, Pinwheel Galaxy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:M101_hires_STScI-PRC2006-10a.jpg
Who are you?
Why are you here?
Eight reasons to inventory & audit your content
1. SWOT: Understand your content strengths and weaknesses
2. Gain a horizontal view across all channels (transcend silos)
3. Help align goals, guidelines > Identify inconsistent content
4. Improve internal efficiency, effective reuse; mitigate duplication
5. Improve external efficacy, accelerate audience journey
6. Raise content quality, performance; fill content gaps
7. Help create/reinforce a content lifecycle and overall strategy
8. Move from reactive, random acts of content to a purposeful publishing plan that
drives business outcomes through a consistent content experience
Start with Why, Simon Sinek https://startwithwhy.com/
First inventory, then audit
▪ Start with a content inventory
▪ Understand what content you have
▪ Quantitative, comprehensive spreadsheet
▪ Consolidated collection of content data
▪ Assets, types, formats, channels, audiences
▪ Then, based on that inventory, do a content audit
▪ Understand how your content is performing
▪ Qualitative evaluation; analytical assessment
▪ Delivering audience needs/business goals?
▪ Weigh against content KPIs, quality criteria, editorial standards, lifecycle
▪ Scope and cadence? Depends on content volume, velocity, your situation, and SMART goals
▪ Full vs. sample vs. partial (date range, directories, types, formats, channels, audience)
▪ Annual overhauls; quarterly cleanings; situational (anomalies, GTM/new initiatives, new client)
Two different, complementary, sequential, perpetual efforts go hand-in-hand
Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, Pixabay https://www.pexels.com/photo/pile-of-covered-books-159751/
Step 1: Inventory—What do you have?
▪ Think like a retailer: Take stock of what you’ve got
▪ Collect and consolidate data about your content, usually in
spreadsheets, capturing data you deem critical such as:
▪ Your mileage will vary: Data depends on goals/objectives
▪ Only capture data that offers insights which lead to action
REI.com #OptOutside; Rich Schwerin .xls screenshots
Step 2: Audit—How is it performing?
Effective content addresses audience needs and meets business objectives
▪ Collect and consolidate qualitative performance data
you deem critical such as:
▪ Attention > Engagement > Action
Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, Pixabay https://www.pexels.com/photo/abstract-bright-close-up-color-268460/
Step 3: Execute—Does it spark (audience) joy?
Analyze results, assess performance, and assign content grades based on your goals:
▪ Keep (Grade A)
▪ Sparks audience joy, meets business goals
▪ How might we amplify, boost, reuse, syndicate?
▪ Revise (Grades B and C)
▪ Might need a refresh/update/consolidation
▪ What does the “comeback” tour look like?
▪ Delete (Grades D and F)
▪ Remove the ROT (Redundant, Outdated, Trivial) to reduce internal/external costs
▪ “Born on” dating and expiration dates | technical/factual accuracy/currency
▪ Annual amnesty day for content hoarders, curmudgeons, deniers
▪ Deletion compliance issues? Partner with Legal; archive and hide from search?
▪ Extra Credit: Fill the Gaps Identify, prioritize new content (persona, stage, topic, type)
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Netflix https://www.netflix.com/title/80209379
Buyer’s journey meets content lifecycle
▪ Content inventories and
audits help inform content
lifecycle from discovery to
▪ Audience-centric content,
the KPIs to measure content
performance, and content
lifecycle vary by journey
▪ Map your content and its’
lifecycle to your buyer’s
▪ It’s an infinite loop, not a
Renew / Expand
Content inventory and audit resources
▪ How to Conduct a Content Audit | Melissa Harrison, Allee Creative | #CMWorld chat 1.15.19
▪ Content Audits and Inventories | CAT | Paula Land, Strategic Content
▪ 33 Amazing Content Audit Tools for Easy Content Analysis | DynoMapper
▪ How to Stop Worrying and Love Content Inventories and Audits | Marcia Riefer Johnston
(Paula Land Q&A)
▪ How to Audit Big Websites | Brain Traffic blog (Kristina Halvorson)
▪ URL Profiler | Tool audits links, content, social data