Marketing comms - the best place to start is the beginning!
Whether you’re kicking off your planning, setting marketing communication goals or starting some brand work you should always start with where you are now. It seems obvious, but in the haste to get stuff done, taking stock is frequently overlooked. Depending on what you are about to work on, you might want to do a full marketing audit – but we’re looking at a marketing communications audit here.
An audit of all your communications (marketing assets) gives you a solid starting point. A baseline to work from. It’s the best place to start when you’re looking holistically at your communications.
What to include in your comms audit?
You’re essentially creating an inventory, so you’ll be looking at:
- Product brochures
- Web pages
- Blogs & articles
- Case studies
- Promotional flyers
- Social media posts
- White papers & reports
- Operational communications
You basically need to gather everything you’ve ever created to send to your customers.
Once you’ve gathered all your comms together…
It may have taken longer than expected to get all that information together. But the audit isn’t over yet – you now need to evaluate what you have.
If your list of communications is unmanageably huge you can scale it back. There are two main ways to do this:
- by most recent – pick a reasonable timeframe, ideally no less than two years.
- by most relevant – if you have core content focus areas for the next year, you can evaluate the communications that are only directly related.
Of course, the ideal is to do as much as you can. You never know what sort of content gold you might be sitting on!
Here’s a template for you to use and adapt when carrying out your evaluation:
Which target audience is the communication aimed at?
If you want to be incredibly thorough also look at:
- Which previous message(s) have they received – this will help with journey planning
- Most common pain point for this audience
- Highest perceived value you offer to this audience
Every content item you have impacts the decision making process in a different way. It’s down to you to get the right information in the right place, at the right time, to the right person…
This content marketing matrix illustrates how different content works towards different stages of your customers buying journey. Making sure you have content that appeals to each element of decision making process is key to success.
Content marketing matrix
Once you have all the information you’ll have a much better understanding of what’s working and what’s not. Then you can work on creating efficiencies and results.
- Start with setting a baseline of measures – what does good look like. If you have content that isn’t performing can it be improved or removed?
- Set overall content goals, and make sure each piece is contributing towards them.
- Understand your channels – how are they working now, are there any trends? Make sure new content is using the most relevant and effective channel.
- Measure and adjust – find out what new content is doing, can it be improved? Is it hitting its target? Tweak where you need to.