With 2015 almost behind us and 2016 already offering some interesting twists and turns in the content marketing game, now’s the perfect time to run a content audit and see where your brand stacks up. Even the best-laid content plans can go awry, especially if you haven’t touched base with your original vision from the beginning of the year, but it’s not a problem unless you allow it to keep getting worse. This is your chance to evaluate your performance, take note of possibilities for improvement, and start the new year off with a bold new approach.
The problem for most people is scale—“content marketing” refers to a lot of different moving parts, so how can you run an audit of everything all at once? That’s why I came up with this checklist. It’s not perfect, but it will help you touch on the most important points of your campaign and figure out exactly what you need to do to improve in the coming year:
First, you’ll want to get a good idea of where you were at the start of the year, as a basis for comparison.
Next, take a look at the efforts you made to achieve those goals.
With the efforts behind you, take a look at how well your campaign performed overall.
Now, take out the microscope. Take a piece—or several pieces—of content you’ve written recently, and evaluate them for quality.
You now have a solid understanding of what you wanted to do, the effort you put forth, and the results of those efforts. Hopefully, you’ve uncovered some weaknesses to improve and some successful areas to replicate, so let’s formalize those with some questions:
Now that you’ve answered every question in this list and come up with at least a few new conclusions about your content marketing campaign, you should be in a good position to start the new year off right. Remember, year-end audits are nice, but if you want to enjoy continually growing success in any way, you’ll need to monitor your performance and make adjustments throughout the year. Trends, technologies, and user behaviors change too quickly to be ignored, so prioritize your attention to detail and flexibility.