Why Technology Companies Should Conduct a Content Audit

Abby Gilmore Grant
Abby Gilmore Grant

Director, Client Consulting

content auditThe term “content audit” is used quite frequently in content marketing, and even on this blog. But what exactly is a content audit, and why do technology companies need one?

What is a content audit?

For starters, a content audit at its simplest form is a qualitative analysis of content published on a company’s web properties, including their website and blog. A content audit is typically built off a content inventory, which is purely a record of all content published along with the date created, URL, and other content meta data. While a content inventory includes lots of information on each content piece, it doesn’t speak to the quality of the content – and that’s what a content audit is for.

However, there are many different types of content audits, including:

  • Full content audit: A full audit is a comprehensive account of a company’s website content.
  • Partial content audit: Typically a partial content audit focuses on a subcategory of a content on a website. For example, you could perform a partial audit on solely product or service pages, a resource center or a blog. A partial content audit could even be performed on a certain set of assets being used in a specific campaign or with a certain media partner.
  • Rolling content audit: A rolling audit is monitored and maintained well past the initial go-through of content on some sort of a regular basis. A rolling audit is treated as a living and breathing document, updated weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.

A content audit typically involves looking into attributes like topic/pain points, buy cycle stage, accuracy, goals, and calls to action, as well as performance metrics – information that speaks to the quality of the asset at hand.

How a Content Audit Can Help Technology Companies

Now that we’re on the same page in terms of what a content audit is, let’s talk about how a content audit can be useful to technology companies.

Gauge and improve content performance

Obviously by recording content performance metrics (lead volume, conversion rate, traffic, click, etc. depending on the goal) you can easily identify top performers. But looking at the other attributes of top performing content can help you improve content performance across the board.

What stage of content is performing best? If early stage content is outperforming the rest of your assets, that may be an indication of the state of the market. For example, if you’re creating content around the Internet of Things, most likely early-stage, awareness content will outperform late-stage assets, as the market is still emerging and IT buyers still have lots of questions around the topic. This can dictate how to position existing and future content that speaks to similar pain points.

Similarly, looking at trends in content format can provide insight into the types of content your audience likes to consume. Do webcasts and videos outperform PDF assets? Are infographics driving lots of eyeballs? This insight could inspire content repurposing projects, as well as direct future content creation endeavors.

 Identify gaps and generate ideas

There are many different ways to identify content gaps, including looking at the market overall, as well as competitive offerings. But taking a deep dive into your own content library can also uncover content gaps that need to be filled.

For example, a content audit could help to uncover a gap in your persona coverage. As IT buying is a team sport, technology companies must have content that speaks directly to each buying team member. If all of your content is focused on messaging IT managers and directors, you’re alienating the rest of the team who influences the purchase decision.

Similarly, a content audit can poke holes in your buy cycle coverage. Technology companies should have content that speaks to researchers in all stages – from identifying a problem and finding solutions to vetting out vendors and making a shortlist. Skewing heavier on either side provides competitors the opportunity to influence – making full-coverage a necessity.

 Finally, auditing your content can help inspire new content projects. Once you know what topics and pain points your existing content addresses, you can easily recognize where you’re lacking.  Cross referencing your content audit with market trends and purchase intentions can also assist ideation for new content.

 Have you ever conducted a content audit? What was the outcome? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

Content audit and content performance images via Shutterstock.

content audit, content development, content gap analysis, content marketing

2 Responses to “Why Technology Companies Should Conduct a Content Audit”

  1. Avatar

    Hey Abby,

    Great post – and timely as well. I fully support your idea of a “rolling” audit – especially for companies with intensive publishing schedules, multiple buyer personas, or multi-channel programs. We recently conducted an extensive audit for a large client and the results were very well received. It’s one of our core offerings – you can read more about it here: http://demandspring.com/blog/three-core-elements-of-your-next-content-audit/

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