Evaluate your content in 5 steps

If you’ve been doing content marketing, you'll probably want to clearly identify and evaluate its effects. If you do, this blog post is a must-read. Follow these 5 essential steps for a successful and efficient content audit.

Content marketing is bang on-trend. Tips, webinars, conferences and buzzwords are constantly on offer, and many brands are taking advantage of new opportunities. But what are the results? Your colleagues, stakeholders and managers want to understand the effects of the content approach, so how can you help them?

An assessment of the quantity and quality of your content is essential here. The 5 steps outlined below will guarantee a successful content audit. Taking them is vital if you’re looking for an analysis that will give you correct insights and show you how to create a successfully persuasive presentation.

Step 1: Prepare your content evaluation

First, think about the purpose of your audit. Its extent will depend more or less on that. For example, would you like to focus on a specific aspect of your publications or do you want to put everything under the microscope? Would this involve a continuous process or an ad hoc evaluation? If you simply want to find answers to specific questions, you’ll evaluate different things than if you want to gain insight into all that you have to offer.

Step 2: Make an inventory of your content

By creating a content inventory, you’ll identify each piece of content you have on all or part of your website – that is, the quantity of your content – plus its location, format and language. Complete this information with statistics relevant to each item, such as:

  • number of visitors
  • time visitors spend on a web page
  • number of ‘Shares’
  • conversion
  • flow of visitors.

Then assess the quality of the content by giving every item a score that indicates how it's tailored to your target audience, how well it invites interaction and how well it’s structured.

Step 3: Identify weak and strong content

Now you can start your actual analysis by looking for patterns, correlations and explanations of why certain content achieves good or poor scores. A SWOT analysis is the perfect tool to identify any missed opportunities and will also show you which content is now (almost) out-dated or irrelevant.

Your approach could include all or some of the following:

  • Discover whether your content and the interests of your personas match. List your content topics and examine how much they appeal to your personas and meet their concerns. If your subjects are too far removed from the world of your target audience, you must adjust them to better engage their interest.

  • Find your best content. Your assessment of content as good or poor depends on your objectives. 


    If you’re aiming for more brand awareness, visibility is important. You should pay particular attention to content that attracts the most visitors and is shared a lot on social media. 


    If you’re focusing more on generating sales leads, your priority will be content that converts well – for example, e-book downloads and completed response forms. Having a great reach will be a less decisive factor.

  • Detect patterns. Which characteristics do your most popular content pieces have in common? Make connections between different publications. 

  • Identify your least popular content and its characteristics. It’s not just your most popular pieces that can offer valuable information. You should also decide whether you should remove or rewrite/republish content that isn’t doing so well.

Step 4: Present your findings to your colleagues

Analysing your content is one thing – presenting your conclusions is another.

An illuminating presentation is the ideal tool for getting your stakeholders on board quickly, to ensure you’re all moving in the same direction and to create goodwill for the future.

Be very careful not to overwhelm your audience with too many details, complex mathematics or difficult jargon.

The content under scrutiny may differ depending on which audience you're presenting it to, and you’ll focus more on specific details. If you’re presenting to project managers, for instance, you’ll discuss certain aspects of content workflow, such as authorship, approval and updates. If you are presenting to information architects, you’ll concentrate more on structure. Marketers will be specifically interested in conversion.

A clear, persuasive presentation will focus on these 4 areas:

  • Purpose and scope
    
Explain why you carried out the content audit and why you’ve restricted its scope or made it more comprehensive.

  • Volume and nature of your content
    
Discuss how much content you have, which topics are covered, in which formats it’s shared, when the content was created and where it’s been published. 

  • Main results

    Show how well your content scores in different ways by sharing the most important results. The ones you focus on will depend on your objectives and your audience.

  • Conclusions
    Discuss which content is most important and explain why it’s so valuable. Also indicate which parts of your content should be thoroughly reviewed to improve their scores, and mention specific priorities in this regard. Conclude by revealing which content should be removed and explain why.

Step 5: Regularly repeat content evaluation

Your content evaluation is now complete. You know which content you should be creating, so you can brief your colleagues and those in charge.

Now it’s time for action.

List your priorities and the activities you'll be carrying out next to achieve them. Create and publish the required content. Indicate when the next content audit will take place, how you’ll approach it and which key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll evaluate. This will enable you to continually assess and adjust your approach to your content.

Good luck!