Welcome to part three of our 4-part series about content auditing. You can catch up on last week’s post on “What usually surprises people about audits? (What side benefits can you expect?)”
What am I supposed to do with an audit once I’ve done one? How do I make it matter within my organization?
Socialize, socialize, socialize. Share your process, and share your success with anyone who will listen. Early on, identify the people who care about your content – even the ones who “care” by complaining about it all the time! Then pull them in to the audit planning phase, if they’re willing. Ask them what they want to discover and hope you find.
To a degree, you need to structure the audit to incorporate what’s important to them, so they’ll stick with you throughout the journey. Explain to them how an audit will make your content better and therefore deliver on your organization’s mission or bottom line. Then, once you’ve begun, give stakeholders a task so they’ll feel connected and engaged. If they’re too busy for this (and some will be), be proactive about showing them frequent progress reports. As much as possible, tailor the reports to speak to the issues/areas of content they care about. Then finish the job on time, and quickly connect your findings to actionable next steps.
Wrap up the findings and distill them down into a short yet impactful brief. Be sure to consistently answer, “Why does this matter?” It can be easy to start listing stats and facts, but reframing findings as opportunities or to-dos can really make someone listen. Also, audits shouldn’t just be about criticizing work, but it can be easy to slip into that mode. No one likes being criticized, so it’s important to frame everything properly.
Share your findings and allow people to digest the information. It’s a lot to take in at once. Once everyone has processed the information, allow them to brainstorm and provide feedback. By gathering comments and suggestions, you can come up with a plan of action that is goal-oriented.
Learn how Aha Media conducts content audits, assessments and competitive gap analyses.
Do you need to convince your team that it’s time to start a content audit, assessment or competitive gap analysis? Take this to your team.