“I can’t wait to go to my annual physical appointment,” said no one ever.
“I wish I could get lab work done every day,” said no one ever.
“Outta my way, let me onto that scale!” said probably not many people.
You see where I’m going with this. For the most part, we cringe a little bit when it’s our turn for a health check-up. But, why? Maybe it’s the inconvenience of the appointment altogether. Maybe it’s that the medical accoutrements freak you out and get you worrying about possible pain or discomfort. Maybe it’s a fear of being told something you don’t want to hear. Maybe it’s the gown. OK, it’s definitely the gown, at least in part.
Despite the discomfort or inconvenience, most of us still make the effort to get to that appointment, though, because we know that it will help us in the long run. We may learn something about our health that changes the way we need to live our lives. We may realize we weren’t doing so bad and there wasn’t much to worry about. That knowledge is empowering either way.
Now you’re saying, “I thought this was a content marketing blog.” And you are correct.
The thing is, the idea of a content marketing health check — or what we usually refer to as content inventories and audits — can bring up similar qualms as you have going into your annual physical.
Is it inconvenient? Maybe. You’d be hard-pressed to find a marketer who isn’t busy or stressed or both, and it’s always hard to take a pause when you have objectives to meet and stakeholders to impress.
Is it scary or painful? Hopefully not. It can be uncomfortable to feel out of your element or overwhelming to sign up for a barrage of tests on your content. During a content health check, your inventory of marketing content will get figuratively poked and prodded to determine what’s working and what’s not, but it’s probably not going to be as painful as you think.
Will the tests reveal something you don’t want to hear? Maybe. We know that billions of dollars are spent on content and that anywhere from 60-90% of it goes unused. So, it’s likely that your content check-up could uncover some things that may surprise you. For instance, we were recently working with a client who thought they had a few dozen pages on their website to wade through and re-imagine, and in the early phase of our inventory exercise as part of a web migration project, we told them that their number of web pages was closer to a few hundred.
And… the gown? The reason we hate the gown is that we feel (and let’s be real, we are) exposed. Running a marketing content health check will likely surface this same feeling. All your content — the good, the bad, and the ugly — is on display and open to critique.
But in the end, it’s all worth it. In either case, you should come away feeling empowered and that you have a clear idea on what to do next. For some, it’s because you’re healthier than you thought, so you know which good habits to keep up. For others, you’ll come away with some answers or direction on something that your intuition said was off. For others, maybe you’ll learn some unexpected information that will lead to a healthier change or a new approach.
And we all want healthy content, right?