6 steps to your first (and last!) video audit

You know you ought to do a video content audit right now, says this expert. Here’s how to do one that will remove the need to ever do this loathsome job again. Yes, really!

Nobody likes an audit. I know that. Audits sound dull and time-consuming, a lot of effort.

But audits can be good for you. Cleansing. Revitalizing.

If you’re a company with a video content library that attracts cobwebs, a video audit might be what you need to do successful video marketing.

Besides, it’s good to clean the slate every so often. An audit will weed out the videos done long before your time and let you get to grips with the videos you work with.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other good reasons to conduct a video audit:

  • To find weak videos that may be harming your brand
  • To discover diamonds in the rough that could easily be revised and improved
  • To pinpoint gaps and areas of potential in your video marketing

Here are the six steps to your (last) video audit:

1. Review your video goals and content marketing strategy

Let’s start with the big questions.

Why do you have video content? What are you doing it for? What are your goals? How do videos fit into your content marketing strategy, and how does that strategy fit into your business goals?

Maybe you want video to shepherd leads down the sales funnel. Maybe you want video presentations at events you attend, or to build trust in visitors to your site. Maybe it’s a mix of all these and more.

Unless you think about your aims for video, you’ll never be able to assess your current content and work out what you need.

Determine what you want from your video. Set out a standard for your videos and get sign-off to ensure everyone agrees. This will give you direction after the video audit is complete, and guide you to meaningful, lasting change.

2. Gather your complete video data

This is time-consuming. Uncover all the details of your video content and compile it in a single space.

Here’s the data you should include in your audit:

  • Title of your video (for easy identification)
  • URL of the video (where it’s hosted)
  • Date of release
  • Topic or subject
  • Type of video (brand film, educational video, advert, product video, case study video, etc.)
  • Keywords (if applicable)
  • Stage of the marketing funnel
  • Product / service the video is about
  • Buyer persona it’s tailored to
  • Aim of the video
  • How you use the video
  • Site pages the video is embedded on
  • Metrics like views, play rate, engagement rate, shares, click-through rate, conversion rate (read this post on the most important video metrics and why you should track them)

To track down your video content, start looking wherever you host it. That might be a video hosting platform like YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia. Or you might host videos on your servers. Start filling out your spreadsheet.

Next, check your social accounts to see if any stand-alone videos have been uploaded there. Look anywhere you syndicate or publish content.

Finally, if you have a lot of video content on your website, check your site pages to spot what slipped through the cracks. Apart from looking manually, the best way to find pages with video is to use Screaming Frog. Crawl your site with this tool and set a custom filter with a section of the embed code for whichever hosting services you use.

3. Assess (and watch) all your video content

You’ve got your data. But data doesn’t mean anything until you analyze it. You must view all your video content to review its quality and usefulness.

You can do this yourself, or ask a small team to do it. It’s often effective to have more eyes assess your content, particularly people from different departments who use your videos differently.

Review how you use each video and how it performs. Check to see that each video meets the standards you have set for quality, consistency and value.

(Don’t just rely on your spreadsheet. Numbers can’t tell you everything you need to know. For your most important, promising video content, make sure you watch it too.)

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this right for our target audience?
  • How does this make viewers feel? What does it encourage them to do?
  • How do we use this video content? How could we use it?
  • Is this video performing well?
  • Is it inspiring, useful or fun? Is it relevant?
  • Are we proud of this video? Are we happy to continue using it?

4. Decide which pot each video falls into

Once you start thinking critically about your videos, it’s time to get ruthless. You need to decide what to do with each piece of content.

We use a 4-pot system to help us narrow down actions to be taken for each video to improve video content. It looks like this:

The 4 pots in more detail:

Keep

For quality videos, tailored to the right target audience, highly relevant AND currently used for great results .

These are the unicorns of any video content marketing strategy, usually videos created with a goal and audience in mind, given enough time and investment in production, and marketed with a good distribution plan. They don’t need changing: Keep using them well.

These videos will not remain this way forever. In a few years you may find them outdated. But for now, well done and reap the benefits!

Reuse

For quality videos, tailored to the right target audience, highly relevant BUT currently not used.

This is good content underused. Most likely you’re not getting it in front of the right audience or aren’t integrating it into your marketing strategy. For example, you might have a fun promo video that sits on your “About Us” page but could be shared on social media. Or you may have commissioned case-study videos that the sales team has forgotten about.

To save this content, plan to start using it in new areas and campaigns. This can be as easy as embedding a video on a site page or reminding colleagues that the content exists.

Redo

For poor-quality videos, outdated or no longer on-brand, BUT currently used effectively— or you can imagine using them to get great results.

These videos are usually older pieces of content that need updating but still perform well enough for stasis to set in, e. g., a five-year-old recruitment video. On the other hand, they may be videos that desperately need a refresh but when updated will still have a place in your content marketing, e. g., a video series for an existing product range.

Recreate or recommission these if they are not consistent with your brand or have become an embarrassment.

Remove

For poor-quality videos, outdated or no longer on-brand AND that you cannot imagine using effectively.

They no longer have value or potential. A video of no worth is not very common but you may stumble on one if you have very old video content created before a rebrand or change of products and services.

Stop using these videos in marketing, or remove all traces of their existence. Very poor videos harm your brand and are better removed than left to linger.

5. Identify gaps in your video content marketing

A video audit isn’t just assessing your content. It’s also considering changes to do video content marketing more effectively.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there any obvious gaps in your video content?
  • Are there opportunities that you haven’t yet taken advantage of?
  • Can you identify a content gap in the market that you could fill?
  • Is what you’re working with everything you need to achieve your goals?
  • Could you reach goals more effectively with new content?

Segment your video content by topic, type, the product or service it mentions, your buyer persona, and the stage of the marketing funnel it supports (as you can do in a Video Audit Template spreadsheet). See whether you’ve missed content for personas at certain stages of the funnel. Check to see if you support by different video content all your products and services. Have your videos covered all the topics relevant to your audiences?

You might find you have lots of top-of-funnel video content, like short pieces of social content or fun brand videos, but fewer types of content further down the funnel to persuade leads to buy, such as detailed product videos or case studies.

Or you may discover that you haven’t created educational videos about digital marketing, and your existing videos aren’t great. This is perfect opportunity to beat the competition with video.

6. Refresh your strategy to create new, better content

There’s only one thing left to do: Bring it together in an updated video content marketing strategy supporting the goals identified in step one.

Whatever changes you make, ensure they’re integrated into your plan. Maybe you’ve noticed that the educational video content on your blog generates high engagement and conversion rates. So you switch tactics to more educational video. Just make sure you note that change wherever you log your strategy.

Then it’s time to build a plan for creating new videos and updating old ones. If you work with a video agency, pass this work to them (the good agencies might do your entire video audit!).

Round-up: Create even better content

That’s it. You’ve successfully run a video audit.

It’s tricky and time-consuming, but the information you get makes it worthwhile. The data and insights from this task will give you the push you need to create better, more targeted videos. Without assessing your performance, you’ll never create better video content marketing.

An extra tip: Continue to use your spreadsheet after the audit to track the performance of all past and future video content. You won’t ever need to run another video audit again (hooray!).

A version of this article first appeared on the blog of Skeleton Productions, video agency and full-service video partner.

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