The internet’s love affair with the delightful organizational guru Marie Kondo is back following the launch of Netflix’s eight-episode series Tidying Up. Throughout the series, Kondo visits various families and helps them to cut clutter in a way that’s meaningful and mindful.
It’s impossible to watch the show and not get inspired; whether you’re a little disorganized or drowning in clutter, the feelings of satisfaction and calm after your whole house is organized are undeniable.
Now it’s time we get those same feelings of accomplishment when it comes to your content.
Do I Need to Tidy My Content Now?
Content marketing is the strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to your defined target audience. Your content’s purpose should be to attract and convert this audience by sharing knowledge, solving challenges and building trust – not pushing products. Content should be a major pillar of your marketing strategy. There’s no better time than right now to set or reaffirm your content marketing goals and put yourself in the position to achieve those goals.
Do any of these sentences sound familiar?
- My content is all over the place and I can’t regulate who is using which version.
- My team doesn’t know what content is available and are always asking to create new pieces that already exist.
- My creative team members have become content order takers, reacting to requests instead of being strategic in what content we create and promote.
- We have plenty of content – data sheets, blog posts, etc. – but it’s not very useful and doesn’t move prospects to a sale.
- We have plenty of good content, but it’s old and outdated so no one uses it or trusts its validity anymore.
Don’t worry – we’ll get this tidied up.
Sparking Joy and Content Audits in 5 Steps
Performing a content audit is a lot like cleaning out your closet. Both things seem overwhelming to begin, but at the same time also seem like they’ll only take about an hour to accomplish (which couldn’t be further from the truth).
Marie Kondo’s approach to tidying a closet (or a junk drawer, or a garage) is nearly identical to my (patent pending) approach to tidying your content.
1. Start by taking everything out and put it in one place.
Scour your blogs, website, shared drive, social media sites, etc. and find all the content you’ve created over time. Use this free content audit template to get going.
Performing a content audit does not need to fall on just one person’s shoulders. If different members of your team manage different departments or are the custodians of different segments of content, they should also contribute to the audit so that their content isn’t overlooked during this process.
2. Take stock of what you have.
Using your content audit template, sort your content by type, date, campaign and stage of the buyer’s journey. When everything is all together, it’s easy to see what you should keep and what needs to be thrown away. It’s also easier to see what’s missing in your content strategy so you can prioritize the creation of new assets in the short-term future.
3. Discard content that doesn’t spark joy.
If you have outdated or obsolete pieces of content that don’t inspire customers to act, now is the time to get rid of them. It’s better to remove this older content now than risk sales reps spreading an old, inaccurate or ineffective message. However…
4. Show appreciation for what’s not in the “keep” pile.
Things that are outdated don’t necessarily need to be thrown away – they can and should be repurposed when possible. If you have content that’s a few years old but the only thing that’s outdated are the visuals, have your designer spend a little time updating those visuals. Before you know it, your old content pieces will be sparking joy as much as your new pieces.
5. Put everything you’re keeping back where you can easily see it.
Marie Kondo has this incredible method of folding clothes and standing them upright so that their owners can see everything they have in their drawers at a quick glance. This helps to constantly remind them what they have and acts as a deterrent to falling back into old, cluttered habits.
Now that you’ve taken the time to decide what pieces of content you’re keeping and have a plan to create the pieces you need, it would be counterintuitive to chuck it all back in the same metaphorical pile as it was before. Create a catalogue, shared drive or other file sharing system that works for you and your team so that everyone who needs to access your content can see it in one place, eliminating confusion as to what’s available and which version is the most recent.
Get the Content Marketing Guide
If you’re looking to boost your content marketing efforts this year, a content audit is a great place to start. But, where do you go from there?
Download our free Field Guide to Content Marketing for more steps and strategies that can elevate your next campaigns.