If you’re serious about creating content on a regular basis, one of the most important activities to keep you on track is conducting a content audit. What exactly IS a content audit and how do you perform one? That’s what I’ll be covering in this post!
What is a content audit?
A content audit is the process of going through and cataloguing your content library. It allows you to have everything you’ve done to date handy in one single document.
Why should you conduct a content audit?
I’ll admit it, this process can be a bit tedious—especially if you’ve been creating content for a looooong time and have never done an audit—but it’s really important. Why? Because it helps you gain a clear picture of what type of content you currently have, which stage of the funnel and goals it maps to, and where you have gaps. This information is all essential to help you plan out your content strategy.
When should you conduct a content audit?
You can really conduct a content audit at any time, but you’ll probably find it most beneficial when you already have an existing library of content (but not TOO much). This doesn’t mean that you HAVE to do it when you already have an existing library. If you’d like, you can do it before you start creating and basically add to it as you go. Or you can set periodic times when you do it (e.g. the beginning or end of each quarter). Whenever I start working at a new company or with a new client who wants me to oversee their editorial calendar, this is one of the first activities I do. I find it helpful to see what they’ve already done in order to think about what we can do moving forward.
How do you go about it?
I generally just use a simple spreadsheet and create rows for each relevant detail. Note that some of these details are specific to blog posts (since that’s the medium I generally work in), but you could make some slight changes and adapt this for podcasts, videos, or content in any other format:
- Date of publication
- Stage of funnel/buyer’s journey (I divide things into three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. “Awareness” is generally a thought leadership/audience attraction type of post that covers a high-level problem or question. “Consideration” refers to content that more specifically describes your product or service, and “Decision” refers to content that helps people decide to purchase something from you.)
- Call to action (also known as a CTA—this refers to whether the post is directing people to download an eBook, register for a webinar, or do any other specific action)
- Notes (Adding in space for notes is especially important when you’re reviewing a lot of old content or content you did not create yourself. You’ll want to make note of anything that should be updated (e.g. images, CTA, references to upcoming events, links)
I’ve created a basic template as a Google doc that you can access here. Please note that this file is “view only.” If you’d like to actually use the template, choose “Make a copy” from the drop down menu under “File.”
After you complete the content audit, you should now have a better idea of where you have a lot of existing content and where there are gaps. For example, you may notice that you have tons of blog posts that are directing people to an older webinar but none that are directing people to a newer one. Or you might realize that you have a lot of content for the consideration stage, but not much for the awareness stage. Use your observations to plan out the next phase of your editorial calendar.
Good luck and let me know how it goes!