How to Conduct a Content Audit to Refine Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
When preparing for a marathon, you focus on building stamina by training over a period of time. You don’t make an arbitrary decision to run 40 miles on the day you register, or worse, on the day of the marathon. You begin by running 5 miles a day and increase the distance gradually to eventually meet your goal of running 40 miles at a stretch.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will be your social media presence.
To create an impactful social media marketing presence, you have to begin with a minimally viable social media marketing strategy and refine it repeatedly, based on what you learn along the way.
Plus, social media is a rapidly evolving landscape. Even if you did create the best possible social media marketing strategy, you have to refine it from time to time in order to keep up with the frequent algorithm changes on different social networks. Before you revise your social media marketing strategy, you need a content audit to assess its performance.
A content audit doesn’t have to be complicated, but it requires some clarity and a definite, planned structure.
Step 1 – Define your goals for the content audit
If your goals are vague, your content audit could end up unnecessarily long and ineffective. So, it’s important to define and document what you expect to achieve from your content audit before you begin executing it.
The following are a few examples of goals typically set for a content audit —
Goal I. To improve social media engagement
- Identify top performing posts in terms of likes, shares and comments.
- Understand which elements are responsible for the success of the posts with the most social media engagement.
- Figure out the best time intervals and frequencies for posting on each social network.
Goal II. To increase website visits
- Identify top performing posts in terms of click-through rates (CTRs).
- Understand why those posts had the most click-through’s and plan to replicate that success on other posts.
- Assess which social networks are giving you the most referrals and the best quality of referrals by tracking conversions.
Goal III. To maximize content exposure
- Take note of the latest algorithm changes on the social networks that you use for marketing.
- Identify the posts with the most reach and understand the reason behind their success (timing, keywords or format?).
- Identify content assets that you have on your website/blog that are receiving the most social media referrals.
For any of the above goals to work, you need to be comfortable working with analytics tools, of which there are many. In the last year alone, the number of marketing solutions (many of which are analytics tools) has doubled and nearly $1 billion has been invested in marketing tech. Ensure that you explore options before investing in any analytics tool.
Step 2 – Catalogue your social media content assets
Irrespective of what your content audit goals are, this step will help you save a ton of time and money. Many times, social media marketers waste unnecessary resources creating more content, when they can use already existing content to meet their social media marketing goals. Take into account your content assets because they will help you further your goals while also cutting costs.
Here are a few examples of content assets –
- Evergreen guides (how to’s that assist readers in developing skills that are always in demand).
- Infographics, videos and GIFs.
- Entertaining, informal content — comics, inspirational quotes, funny videos, timeless memes and stories.
- Company and employee content — pictures of your office, employees, successful projects, events, ideals and memorabilia.
Content assets listed above can be used repeatedly as social media posts in differently worded versions or varied formats. You can also set these posts on an automatic publishing schedule to save time using DrumUp, a social media management tool. To do this, add your content assets to DrumUp’s libraries, choose a posting frequency and switch on the automatic posting feature.
Step 3 – Ensure brand consistency across social media platforms
When managing multiple social media accounts, it’s easy to ignore small discrepancies in branding across platforms and posts. It’s not a good idea to have inconsistent branding across social media platforms, because they affect brand recognition and how your audience perceives your brand. In fact, consistency can even be said to have an impact on the bottom line.
According to a study conducted by McKinsey and Company, businesses with strong and consistent branding outperform their competition on social media.
Does this surprise you? Imagine you walk into a restaurant and find a menu with half the dishes misspelled, and the tables are messy and uninviting. Would you trust that restaurant with your food? Probably not.
To ensure your audience trusts you, it’s necessary to maintain certain consistency across your social media presence and activities.
The following is a checklist of items to keep consistent across your social media presence —
+ The font styles, color schemes and quality of your graphics
+ Your brand personality and the tone of your marketing messages
+ The value and quality of your social media content
+ Your publishing schedule
Step 4 – Analyze your competitor’s social media posts
People have limited time in the day to spend on social media, and that time is split between following their friends and family, creating their own posts and consuming entertaining content. Engaging with brands is low on your target group’s list of priorities, which makes them very picky about the brands they decide to follow, if any.
Why should your target audience choose to follow you over other brands?
To answer that question, you first have to look up what other brands are doing on social media, so you can draw a comparison between your content and theirs. Competitive analysis is easier with engagement analysis tools, measuring the performance of any social media page, regardless of whether you own it or don’t.
Here’s how you can conduct a social media competitive analysis —
- Identify your competition — Note that the pool of companies you compete with for business is far smaller than the pool of companies that you compete with for attention on social media. You can even consider companies that are in your market but have non-competing products as competition on social media.
- Gather data on your competitors’ performance on social media — Use your competition’s best performing and worst performing posts as a reference for creating your own.
Use audience engagement metrics like numbers of likes, shares and comments to identify your competition’s best and worst performing posts.
- Analyze your competition’s website content and activity — Many brands have social share counters on their blogs and web pages that are indicative of their social media popularity.
To measure the performance of yours and your competitor’s social media content, you can use SEMRush’s social media metrics tracker.
Step 5 – Revise your social media marketing strategy
Content audits are an essential part of your social media marketing strategy because they can help you identify and address problem areas and improve your results.
Content audits are also an excuse to conduct research on the latest developments in your field and on social media, so you can be sure of executing the most effective strategy at any given point. Do more of what works and cut down on what doesn’t. Use your competition’s successes and failures as reference points in creating your social media strategy.
Since social media is a continually evolving landscape, what works today may not be the best strategy for tomorrow, and that’s why you need to schedule regular content audits to refine your social media marketing strategy. If you haven’t conducted one yet, use this guide as a reference to run one today.