Why content audits sort the wheat from the chaff

Content audits - sorting the wheat from the chaff

Yes, we’ve all heard the expression that content is king, and that it plays a major role in influencing and even accelerating purchase decisions – especially in technology. A strategic thought leadership piece, a well-timed blog article or a disruptive webcast can all open doors to decision makers outside of IT. But how can you be sure that that the content you are syndicating really has the cut-through you require?

The starting point for any marketer should be to conduct a content audit of their existing collateral to make sure that it ticks the boxes of the following 4 areas. Failure to do so leaves you open to scrutiny, missing the mark or publishing vanilla content that doesn’t cut-through at all, leaving both your Marketing Qualified Leads database and budget pot looking decidedly empty.

MESSAGING & PITCH

The first question, which is usually governed by budget, time and resource, is whether to create or curate. Curation is the easier option, but the real question is does this satisfy your marketing objectives? Is the pitch of the content right? Does it talk to the audience in the language they are accustomed to?

Yes, the subject matter may be relevant, but if the message and pitch are ‘off base’ then there is absolutely no point in dusting off content from the marketing cupboards and sending it out more in hope than expectation.

MEANING AND AUDIENCE RELEVANCE

The next consideration should really be relevance to the audience. Distributing a deep-dive white paper on network architectures is absolutely fine if that’s what the audience usually consumes, but if the desired outcome is to stimulate conversation with a more business-oriented individual then you’ve missed the mark by a country mile.

CREATING MARKETING MOJO

Making sure that the pitch and relevance is on-point is a must. Ensuring your audience digs deeper than just the executive summary is imperative. However it’s not time to rest on your laurels just yet. Getting their attention is one thing, keeping it is another. Yes, the content may be right on the money but if it’s not engaging, entertaining or is just plain bland then the consumer is likely to hit the snooze button.

MANIFESTATION & APPLICATION FLEX

Being able to flex your message really depends upon the foundations you’ve built your content on. Having a robust message platform from the start really dictates how the content can be evolved over time. Dissecting the core proposition ready for social syndication, providing a linear customer journey dependent upon buyer maturity and being able to take on chameleon-like properties (I.e. adapting to different audiences and formats), ultimately determines if your approach has marketing stretch. Without proper planning you could inadvertently limit the scope of your conversation and result in your content being driven down a creative cul-de-sac.

Above are 4 ‘watch-outs’ that content marketers should be mindful of before any content syndication takes place. Taking a ‘suck it and see’ approach to content could result in low balling your proposition or turning off potential suitors altogether. Implementing a robust content strategy at the start of the campaign certainly alleviates uncomfortable wash-up meetings where the objectives have been missed.

To understand if your content could do with a shot in the arm, register for our unique M4 content audit

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