For an organization that has some content marketing efforts underway — whether it’s a scattered approach or a fully planned program — a detailed analysis of where you are is a great place to start the strategy process (and measure success after you’ve been running for a while).
I divide my analysis into three stages: Audit, Listen and Evaluate. Today, let’s talk about the Audit.
An audit is basically just an accounting of what you’ve done or currently have out there in terms of content marketing. I like to take the near look and the long look back (or What have we done this year? and What have we done this quarter?). It can be as simple as a laundry list:
- What topics did we have content for this year?
- What formats did we publish in? (Don’t just think of “permanent” content like papers, blogs or videos — include webcasts and presentations too.)
- Who were our target audiences?
- How did we distribute the content?
- Which “owners” and subject matter experts within our organization participated and produced content?
- What were our key messages?
- What were our desired outcomes?
- Where are the materials now? (Both the external facing homes and the location of any design or production files)
- What were the key publication dates or events?
- How much did we spend on production and distribution?
One thing to notice here, is that there isn’t a lot of measurement —yet! Right now we’re looking at the full scope of what’s out there and how things were developed and distributed. It’s important to be thorough, and try to look at all efforts with unbiased eyes. You might already know that such and such piece of content was a huge success and another was a failure, but if you don’t know the full range of what you’ve done, you can’t really do a great comparison to find out why, or look at how you can make changes to get better results.
Next, we’ll take a look at the feedback and measurement to get a better grasp on strengths and weaknesses of the content and the content marketing efforts as a whole.