Template of the Week – The Content Inventory

By Paula Land

(This is part of a series of articles highlighting the templates from Content Strategy Alliance Tools & Templates: A Best Practices Handbook).

The content inventory is a quantitative accounting of content assets. Depending on the context of the project it is created for, it may be limited to web content or may span all of an organization’s content, including print and other digital sources.

Content inventories are often created at the start of a project such as a redesign, content management system migration, or brand overhaul. The goal of creating the inventory is to get a full assessment of the current content landscape to help with planning and scoping the project. Content inventories can also play an important role in ongoing content management and governance, by allowing teams to stay informed about what content exists and, when data such as analytics are included, about how content is performing.

Given the inventory’s role in setting the foundational understanding of a content set, it’s important that it include as much data as possible to set the stage for the next phases of the project and inform decision making about resources needed.

The template includes a list of all the content assets (pages, images, documents, audio and video), format, the metadata associated with them, as well as analytics data. These data can be gathered using an automated tool, such as the Content Analysis Tool.

In addition to the “hard” data which can be gathered automatically, an inventory also includes human-gathered information about the content. This can be whatever is relevant to the specific project, but often includes information about content ownership, content types, audience, and publication channel. While gathering all of this information can be a daunting task, once done, it allows the content strategist and other stakeholders to begin to assess patterns in the content, track review by owners, and identify where a deeper audit will focus. If the inventory is an ongoing process, versus a one-time project, it can be updated as content is added or removed and can become an easy reference for what content the organization has at any given moment and how it is performing.

Check out an example of a Content Inventory Template and a Content Inventory Example.

Posted in Content Strategy, UX