Just like we discussed the need to define and build an audience, one cardinal rule of social media is that you are only as good as the content you own or can develop. Think about this scenario, you want to create a scrapbook for your best friend about your relationship over the years. Your thought process would probably go like this:
1. What content do I have?
2. What content can I get?
3. What content do I need to make or develop?
Well, a business is no different. The very same process that goes into developing the story of your best friend’s relationship is the same process that you are going to use to develop your business’s online story. The fancy way of developing this story is called a “content audit.”
How Do I Conduct A Content Audit?
This article from the Content Marketing Institute lists the top 5 issues you’ll need to address when you conduct your content audit:
1. Creating an audit spreadsheet
2. Defining your target audience and key marketing objectives (remember that?)
3. Being aware of your existing place in the social-sphere
4. Identifying your resources (ie: people power for social management)
5. Understanding each content channel, and maximizing their value
Content audits are executed after goals are defined. Don’t forget that first step, goals have to be clearly defined before you can assess whether or not you have a piece of content at your disposal, have to set out on a journey to find the content, or start from scratch to make the content.
Out of those three content questions, the easiest is always to recycle something you already have. It takes the least amount of time, most likely requires no more approval since you already had approval once, and is familiar. There is nothing wrong with recycled content but you must make sure it fits into the tone, style, and look/feel of what you are trying to accomplish.
How Should Content Look?
The fancy word for “tone, style, and look/feel” is often referred to as brand guidelines. If you don’t have them, you need them. Brand guidelines do not need to be a long, drawn out process but a one pager that sets a baseline on how your business is going to go about communicating with customers.
Once you have your content audit completed, and align your existing content and needed-content with your brand guidelines, you’re ready to go. The more in line your content is with your business goals and your target audience’s interests, the more engagement you’ll have on all of these platforms.