Question: When was the last time you did an audit of your marketing assets? You have done one—right?

If you haven’t, or if it’s been a while, it’s important that you know what marketing assets your organization has so that you can truly leverage what’s already in your back pocket. Maybe you have old assets that just need to updated in order to be relevant, or you have assets that could be more effective with a few minor tweaks.

In any social media program it’s important to create digital assets to help support sales and marketing activities—but you can’t stop there. It’s also crucial for digital assets to be organized in a manner that makes them easily accessible to allow for mass personalization or to respond to changing markets. Also important—the metadata about the assets that describes to the user what the content was created for, its intended purpose and how it can be used.

Remember, web-hosted social media isn’t easily archived. Unlike private web and blog installs, files aren’t created or stored locally.

Everyone is looking for assets to share and more importantly, information to digest. Here are four steps I’d take in order to pull the right assets and organize them for marketing success.

1. Start with analytics. History is king here. You need to determine which assets have historically worked better than others. Over time, your analytics should be doing the heaving lifting to tell you which landing pages work better, which message resonates and how many downloads you have. If you don’t have this information, skip to the second step. But it might be time to setup your marketing automation. (We’ll save that for another blog.)

2. Create your “Asset Library.” I’m a visual person, so having access to all of our assets in a visual flow is important to me. However you’d like to organize them, you should end up with a spreadsheet identifying and categorizing all the assets you currently have, making note of the one that were particularly successful. You can also use an online service to store all your assets. Whatever you do, create a library so that you can see what you have according to category. Organizing and categorizing a visual representation of your assets is half the battle.

3. Rate them. Which assets performed well and which seemed less effective? Rate your assets and don’t be afraid to classify them according to areas that make sense for where they should be used.

4. Identify your “golden assets.” These are the assets that really shine. The ones that stand out from the rest as being the most successful. As you audit your assets, you’ll discover that not everything perfect was created from the get go. Some assets may need new iterations, others may need to completely reinvented. Or perhaps you’ll see a missing hole in your assets. But you’ll also find the golden nuggets—the ones that just seemed to have “it,” the ones that resonated with your audience and communicated a clear and compelling message.

When you conduct this audit, the most important thing is that you create a visual representation of assets able to serve all the areas that are important to your potential customers. In other words, you should find a diverse set of assets to meet a variety of needs.

Here’s how we have organized our golden assets, check it out here: http://www.purematter.com/resources/

Key Takeaway: Protect your assets. Conduct an audit, organize and categorize, see what you have and let the most effective—the “golden” ones—rise to the top.