We know that good content is not good enough. Since brands are competing with media companies for mindshare, content really needs to be exceptional to work for you. So, how do you know if your content is really connecting with your audience? Sure you can look at metrics like time on a page and the effectiveness of calls to actions that are embedded or adjacent to your content, but that is only part of the picture. While you can look at page views, they will only tell you which content assets are doing better than others. However, metrics can’t tell you, for example, if your tone is right for your audience and if your content is adding (and not subtracting) from brand value. By evaluating your content strictly by the numbers, you may not be able to tell how well you are building trust with business owners.
If your assessment of content is missing these criteria, it may be time for a content review.
What is a content review?
A content review is an analysis of a sample of your content usually performed by a content expert who understands the target audience. In particular, a content review will typically include an analysis of:
- Relevance to audience
- Tone and voice
- Design as well as content experience
- Shelf life
Note that the above is evaluated for effectiveness and alignment with the strategy (including the goals) and the audience.
At RSL Media, we recently performed a review of an archive of content aimed at engaging SMBs for a client. By looking at the assets as a collection, we were able to identify how the client could improve tone and make that tone consistent across all types of content – articles, white papers, case studies and videos. In addition, we could see what types of content and topics were missing from the collection (given their strategy) and how the client could move forward to increase engagement.
This content review revealed the client was missing real world ideas and solutions from their stories and the content lacked applicable tips. We also found the client needed to elevate the conversation they were having with SMB readers. The existing library contained facts and figures, but discussed topics at a level that was far too basic.
Benefits of taking a step back
The primary benefit of a review is you will not only know whether or not you are “on track” with your content, but the feedback about existing content can create guides for the content you create going-forward. These guides can include everything from topic to tone.
In addition, a content review could include identifying content that could be re-used or re-purposed as well as knowing if content should be retired.
How do I know if we need one?
As more players (from brands to bloggers) have gone into the content business, the bar keeps rising. The question to ask yourself and your colleagues is, “how certain are we that our content is exceptional?” Also, consider these questions:
- Are we delivering the right content at the right time?
- Are metrics where we expect them to be?
- Is our content generating the actions (from engagement to sales) that we are looking for?
Taking that a step further, imagine receiving the results from a content review. Would you be willing to make changes to your approach and implementation of future content based on the feedback received? If the answer is no, a content review might not make much sense.
Should we go a step further with a content audit?
A content review, as described above, makes sense if you need an evaluation of your content assets. If you want an evaluation of your content strategy and/or workflow, a content audit can provide more holistic feedback that you need to up your content game.
Can we help?
RSL does content reviews and audits for companies that create content directed at SMBs. Give us a shout if we can help answer any questions about your content initiatives.