One of the challenges marketing your business online is publishing regular, high-quality content that your ideal customer loves.
Previously, we’ve seen how the magazine industry keeps content fresh week after week, and how answering common customer questions is a way to produce a stream of high-quality, valuable content.
You might also find that a content audit can reveal a goldmine of new marketing ideas.
What is a content audit?
A content audit is the simple process of going through previous content you have in your business. This might include external communication such as leaflets, adverts and blog posts, and also include internal communications such as customer profiles, or even memos and emails.
How does a content audit generate NEW marketing ideas?
It might seem strange looking into the past for future content marketing ideas, but there are a number of reasons why this works:
- You know more now than you did before – previous ideas can be revived with a fresh perspective
- Your industry has changed – information might need updating and dusting down to stay relevant today
- Good ideas can get overlooked – you may have had more ideas than you’ve been able to execute, so gems stay overlooked on the shelf
So, where do you start?
Looking through brochures, leaflets, posters or mail inserts that you’ve published for your business can spark inspiration for content-marketing ideas. Is there a promotion that worked well that you’re no longer running? Can you try a similar approach again? Or perhaps your experience shows you what you were missing in campaigns that seemed to miss the mark at the time.
If your sales team works primarily offline, or face to face with customers, ask them what literature or materials they use to support the sales process. Do they have presentations that outline the benefits of working with your business? Are there call scripts used by call centre representatives?
There are many ways you can repurpose this offline content online.
For example, you can modify customer presentations and upload them to SlideShare to spread the word about the benefits of working with your organisation, or send a simple link rather than a bulky pdf to prospective clients.
Or if your call centre employees use scripts to handle common objections, you can take this content and create a series of posts tackling each one.
Client work and customer enquiries
While some client work might be confidential, the skills and experience you’ve used and gained working with customers can be a great source of new ideas for example:
- Using previous clients as case studies (where possible)
- Providing real-life context when writing about the services you offer
- Sharing results of successful work
- Finding stories about why clients love to use your service
- Turning common customer enquiries into a “Frequently Asked Questions” section on your site
The intersection of your customer and product is a great place to look for marketing ideas. One of my first questions when working with a company is:
What do previous clients love about working with you?
Can you answer that with specific customer examples?
If so, you’ve got a great starting point for benefit-driven content-marketing topics.
Internal processes, communication and resources
If you work in a team, or in a large organisation, behind-the-scenes events can make fascinating content-marketing.
It’s easy to take for granted the different steps it takes to deliver your service, or how your team works together, you can use these in your content marketing, for example by…
- Explaining how you work – showing the effort you take to make your customers happy can increase perceived value, credibility and trust. All important ingredients of compelling content-marketing.
- Letting your online audience meet your team – Putting a friendly face to a service can make your marketing more personable and engaging
- Meeting notes – Were there some great ideas that didn’t make the final cut? Can they be revamped today?
Once you hit publish, it’s easy to forget about some of your archived posts but there could be gold in them thar hills.
Take some time out to review previous blog posts and ask yourself:
- Does the headline need updating? – As you get better at writing headlines, you might want to spruce up earlier ones to make sure they are specific and focused on benefits or solving a problem
- Does the information need updating? – Or can you link to a more updated post if there have been changes since you first wrote the article?
- Do you know more now? – Can you write a follow-up post since your skills and experience have increased?
- Can you collect them into an online resource? – Do you have a number of articles all around one subject? Consider making a separate section on your site for those articles so new visitors can find them easily
I found this section the most useful as last year was a busy time for corporate content training and consulting.
If you’ve done training or consulting, there’s a good chance you’ve got a stack of teaching notes. If you’ve delivered in-person training, can you package the teaching notes into an online guide or series of posts?
If you’ve conducted training webinars in the past, can you upload the recording and give it away as a free gift to your readers or use it as an incentive for sign-ups to your newsletter list?
What about you? Have you done a spring clean of your archived content? Breathed new life into old ideas? Let me know below