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The Digital Marketing Audit: What Is It and Why Is It Helpful?

A marketing audit is much more exciting than a financial audit.

Audits can be divisive. Indeed, just hearing the word, “audit” divides us into two camps: those who run screaming and those who light up at the very notion.

If you’re in the former camp, fear not! A marketing audit is much more exciting than a financial audit. It’s for organizations that are looking for an idea of how their marketing efforts are doing and where they should be focusing their limited time and energy.

Why do a digital marketing audit?

Without an audit, just knowing where to start with digital marketing can feel overwhelming and perhaps impossible. With an audit, your organization has some data to direct you to a starting point.

Here’s another way I’ve heard from nonprofit clients how a digital marketing audit has been useful to them.

It starts a conversation.

For nonprofits making the case to their boards or leadership to invest in marketing, it’s helpful to have a document outlining all the ways your current digital marketing efforts are falling short—and exciting opportunities to improve them! It’s easy to get into a mindset of, “I assume we’re doing enough with marketing but I haven’t had the time to dedicate brain space to our efforts for several years.”

Having an external pair of eyes look over your marketing energizes your team around disrupting current marketing efforts. Marketing audits can be exciting, overwhelming, cathartic, and everything in between.

What does a digital marketing audit uncover?

First, there are many types of audits. A website developer might take you through an SEO Audit. A content marketer could take you through a Content Audit. Catharsis designed an audit specifically for nonprofits—to provide them with a high-level, easily digestible picture of their marketing efforts. It covers six different areas.

1. Visual Identity

The digital marketing audit takes a look at your nonprofit’s visual identity and asks: how does this land with your target audience?

2. Messaging

Next, we look at the words you are using to talk about your work from the audience’s perspective.

3. Brand Cohesion

Then, we look at how those words and visual elements line up across channels. Does your website look like your Instagram look like your emails?

4. User Experience

We put ourselves in a website visitor’s shoes and navigate through your website and other elements of your online presence. We’ll uncover where things are confusing, clunky, or offputting.

5. Typos

Believe it or not, In this detailed process, I almost always discover a typo or two on your website.

6. Data

Last, we look at the data that you have available: Google Analytics to understand your website’s performance, social media insights, and email metrics. Marketing data always reveals surprising insights that we can use to guide your marketing strategy.

What are the next steps after a digital marketing audit?

Auditing for auditing’s sake is never a good use of time. I only recommend the digital marketing audit to organizations who are ready to take the next step, no matter how small. Your nonprofit’s next step after conducting a digital marketing audit depends on your team, your goals, and the resources you’re willing to invest in marketing. Some next steps could include:

  • Presenting the audit and key recommendations to decision-makers at your organization to advocate for more marketing resources.

  • Creating a quick checklist of high-impact, easy-to-implement changes and running with it.

  • Creating a larger marketing plan that addresses the findings in the audit and takes your organization’s marketing to the next level.

Interested in doing a digital marketing audit?

I’d be happy to chat about how we can partner on this. Auditing is my lowest-cost service and one of my favorite ways to engage with nonprofits. Feel free to add a time to my calendar or send me a message.


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