Content inventories. Content audits. Words alone can strike fear into the phone number list heart of any marketer. Many of us don't know what these inventories and audits look like or why, exactly, they exist. We vaguely feel that they are big and messy, like monsters hiding in the closet. We avoid thinking about them, thinking that if they are important, someone will do something about them someday. Meanwhile, we're keeping our heads down and creating more phone number list content.
I say this with confidence because I recently sent an email survey to about 50 professionals asking them which content strategy tools they found the phone number list most useful. The phone number list tool they cite most often is essentially two tools in one – Content Inventory and Audit: “The resulting insights enable you to deliver a more consistent and connected content experience that drives desired business results.
How do you define “content inventory”?
Paula: A content inventory is a collection of data about your content. Unlike the phone number list content audit, which is qualitative, the inventory is quantitative. It's a comprehensive list - usually a spreadsheet - of all phone number list content assets, ideally across all content types, channels, and distribution formats.
How do you define “content audit”?
Paula: The phone number list content audit is a qualitative assessment of inventoried content. You evaluate your existing content against the needs of your customers and your business goals. Marketers are dedicated to selling - products, services, ideas, brands. Content is an important tool for phone number list reaching customers and achieving business goals. A content audit can help you understand what content gets people to engage with your brand, what content gets them to buy or donate , what content keeps them engaged – in short, what content works well (and what doesn't) is not).
Why should marketers care about content inventories and audits?
A content audit allows you to understand the phone number list strengths and weaknesses of your content. It helps you make decisions about what to keep, what to archive, and what to do more to help the organization achieve its goals.
Audits and inventories cover all channels. Marketing activities are often cross-organizational, which makes it even more important to have a horizontal view of all published content . That means your print materials, your social channels, and your website — all of it.
Inventories and audits help identify inconsistent content. A cross-sectional view helps the phone number list organization maintain a consistent message because, in a decentralized content development environment, it's easy for each team to lose track of what other teams are doing. An inventory and audit that assesses all content against the same set phone number list of goals and guidelines shows where messages are presented inconsistently.
Audits help content producers know what they have so they can make smart use of existing content in their plans . It's a great way to reduce inefficiency and conserve resources.