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If there was an influencer handbook, rule number one would be: Everything Is Content. Whilst that means something different to a TikTok star than it does to say, an insurance company, the rule still applies when you have to audit your intranet content: being smart about how it works for you and communicates to your network is the key to success.
Content forms the basis of all effective intranets. Without it, you’d have the digital equivalent of a tumbleweed rolling through your site. Pages, documents, files, spreadsheets, contracts … from the crucial to the mundane, all of these pieces of content contribute to the smooth running of your intranet and ongoing success of your business.
But as time goes by, and the types and quantities of content stored in your intranet evolve, your employees may be discovering that their day-to-day duties are being hindered by clunky content practices; it’s becoming more difficult to track down the content they need, or historical content doesn’t line up with new styles or have relevant tags.
In conclusion, it’s time for a content audit.
If you’ve come to the realisation that you have to audit your intranet content, your first reaction might be – understandably – one long sigh. Content audits can be mammoth undertaking and depending on how long your business has been running, you could have years of content to sift through. But don’t let that spook you into putting it off; like a toothache, it’s a problem you need to nip in the bud.
But before you roll up your sleeves and get stuck into the archives, you’re better off hitting pause on the audit and coming up with a game plan. This not only includes who in your team is responsible for reviewing the content, but more importantly agreeing on how your content can be better managed moving forward.
As soon as decide what your new content strategy will be, your teams will be able to conduct the audit through the lens of that strategy, your company’s goals, and desired outcomes. As you work through the audit, you will be able to identify what is causing confusion and congestion across your intranet and put processes in place with your teams to ensure that space remains clutter-free in the future.
Once you have a plan, it’s time to make a master list of all the content that currently lives on your intranet. This will make it easier to grasp the scale of the project, label each with an action (keep/edit/delete), and how to divide up the tasks amongst team members.
Once that’s done, rally the troops. Depending on the amount of content there is to investigate, this might be a task small enough for one team to handle. However, many hands make light work, and assigning the content to their corresponding department will not only speed up the process, but will ensure that when it comes to deleting, reassigning, or condensing pages, the right people are making the final decisions.
For large undertakings, it may be necessary to bring on a project manager to oversee the process and make sure your teams have the support they need to get the job done. Whether that’s someone inhouse or you connect with an external partner, it’s helpful to have someone claiming ownership of the project from beginning to end.
Once the audit begins, it won’t take long for you to stumble across content that gives you pause. This could be for a variety of reasons:
Now, some of these have simple answers. If it’s not worth the hours to rewrite or edit the piece, then either leave it be or send it to the archives. If it’s duplicate content, either delete the spare or merge it with the other piece. As long as each piece is appropriately tagged, or its new location (even if that’s the bin) is updated on your master list, your teams should be able to make these decisions with authority.
Whilst you’re in the planning stage of your content audit, you can set yourself up for a successful project by avoiding these common auditing mistakes:
This is especially important if your audit is being handled inhouse. Don’t forget that this audit is an additional project on top of their daily activities, and that comes with extra stress and tighter timeframes on everything they’re responsible for. Adding in a tight or immovable deadline can quickly turn this additional task into a nightmare, and the last thing you want is for your employees to dread coming into work.
The point of a content audit is to look at everything – that includes the stuff you think is boring, unnecessary, outdated, or irrelevant. There’s no point building a new intranet system to accommodate your revamped content if that old content is still there causing obstacles and sluggish searches. Be painstaking now so you’re not hit with more pain later.
If you kick off this project with speed in mind, you might find yourself hitting a few hurdles along the way by not communicating with the relevant content owners. That’s why we recommend assigning content to the department who is responsible for them – that way you know that they can appraise the importance of the pieces with an expert eye and have more knowledge about what to keep/edit/delete.
Once you’ve completed your audit, you need to implement the strategy that works for your organisation moving forward. The last thing you want is to be undertaking a major audit every 12 months because you backslide into old habits. Having an effective and user-friendly intranet platform will go a long way to help your employees keep track of their documents and will ensure new workers can grasp how things are organised from the get-go.
For upkeep and general maintenance, it may be worthwhile to have your teams schedule a quarterly content review, ensuring their documents are all in order, and keeping your intranet running smoothly.
Not only does an audit reveal issues with your content, it can also shine a spotlight on areas where your current intranet platform is letting you down. At Propelle, we specialise in building user-friendly intranet platforms that will help you stay on top of your content well into the future, no matter how your business may change. Our expert consultants are here to help – let’s have a chat today!