Whether you are gearing up for a new business pitch or looking to give your communication or marketing team helpful guidance, taking a deep dive into your content mix is crucial. Understanding the messages that your company’s earned, owned and social content is actually portraying will guide your future content strategy and ensure you are on the right path.

You may run into multiple instances where your communication team gets excited about making a quick content change. This could result in creating new content, beginning a new campaign, changing up social scheduling or editing web copy. In times like these, it is important to properly guide your content strategy. Here are three questions you should ask before making a major content marketing change:   

  1. Have we used our current assets to their fullest potential?

This goes for blogs, social video content, bylines and more. It can be easy to develop new content, use it a couple times and move to the next. Before jumping to something new, think about what relevant, helpful content you may still have in your back pocket.

2. What are our competitors doing across owned, earned and social media?

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by other content that comes through the news or social media. Before going on the defense with new tactics and content, take a look at what your competitors are actually developing, rather than going with the flow of what you may have heard.

3. Do our messages align across all platforms?

It’s important to convey unified messages across owned, earned and social media platforms. Having a website that conveys something completely different than your social accounts will cause confusion and reduce the effectiveness of your efforts. Before making a big change, look at your messages. If they line up well and are effective, you may want to stay the course.

It’s important to convey unified messages across owned, earned and social media platforms. Having a website that conveys something completely different than your social accounts will cause confusion and reduce the effectiveness of your efforts. Before making a big change, look at your messages. If they line up well and are effective, you may want to stay the course.

If you are feeling unsure about the above questions, it may be time to dig a little deeper and think about performing an in-depth content audit across social, earned and owned media. This can help you better understand your place among the competitive landscape and what your next steps should be. Below are some basic questions to ask when performing a content audit:

What content do our competitors prioritize? Are they consistent on social media or their blog? Looking into the content you and your competition produce most will help you effectively prioritize which content should be created in the future.

Where are audiences being driven? This could be a landing page or a piece of earned content, but make sure that you are directing them to priority content. This can also tell you a lot about what your competition sees as their strength.

What are the key messages across platforms? Are they consistent? If you are able to jot down some main messages from each outlet, you may be in good shape. If you find yourself struggling to identify any similar messages, you may have found the weak spot of your own or your competition’s content strategy.