As a long-term digital marketing strategy, content marketing helps businesses to drive lead generation and conversion activities through the creation and distribution of valuable, relevant, and consistent content. But a business can boost digital marketing campaigns only by creating and publishing content that potential and existing customers are seeking out on the web.
Digital marketers use content gap analysis as a strategic method to identify the gap between the content published by an organization and the content desired by the audience. In addition to identifying new keyword opportunities, content gap analysis focuses on mapping digital content to various stages in a buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, and decision.
According to SpyFu.com, “Content gap analysis is the process of anticipating what content your audience needs, determining how well your own content currently meets those needs, and then working to fill in any gaps that exist between those two realities.”
While analyzing the content gap, digital marketers evaluate the performance of a variety of existing content – web pages, landing pages, articles, blogs, ebooks, and social media posts. Also, they bridge the gap by creating fresh content as well as optimizing existing content. Digital marketers identify and analyze content gaps using multiple techniques:
While conducting content gap analysis, digital marketers focus on evaluating the freshness, readability, understandability, thoroughness, and impressiveness of the content. But they evaluate and analyze the existing content through a series of steps.
Digital marketers conduct a content gap analysis to achieve a variety of goals – increasing website traffic, generating more leads, or boosting the website’s search visibility. They must clearly define the objectives to boost the digital marketing strategies by identifying the content gap accurately. Also, they need to define the target audience precisely to understand the customer’s lifecycle.
Digital marketers often define target audiences using existing buyer personas. As a semi-fictional representation of ideal customers, buyer personas depict important aspects of the target audience – interests, needs, behavior, pain points, challenges, and demographics. Digital marketers can define the target audience precisely by mapping out buyer personas.
Most organizations these days generate and nurture leads by aligning digital content to three important stages in a buyer’s journey. They publish content to provide relevant information to the customer during the awareness, consideration, and decision stages. For instance, they influence the lead during the awareness stage through the awareness stage using informative blogs, ebooks, emails, and social media posts.
But they share product reviews, pricing information, comparison guides, and demonstrations to influence the lead during the decision stage. That is why; digital marketers need to map out the buyer’s journey clearly, after defining the goals and target audience. The mapping will help them to understand the content desired by a lead at each stage in her buyer’s journey while conducting content gap analysis.
Digital marketers identify the content desired by the target audience by conducting market research. While conducting market research, they gather feedback and suggestions from industry experts as well as existing and potential customers. They interview some of these industry experts and customers directly while gathering feedback from others by conducting online surveys.
Digital marketers can understand needs and expectations only by gathering information from leads at various stages in the buyer’s journey. They divide the customers and leads into various segments according to their current position on the buyer’s journey. Also, they frame and align the interview questions to each segment of customers.
The information collected helps digital marketers understand how the target audience searches for information, what kind of digital content they prefer, and what information they need. Digital marketers leverage the information to assess the content published by the organization as well as get fresh content ideas.
Digital marketers evaluate the performance of existing or published digital content by conducting content audits regularly. They can make content audit an important step in content gap analysis to identify the content gap. Digital marketers often start content audits by evaluating and comparing the performance of website content.
But they must map the website content to the buyer’s journey to evaluate their performance accurately. They can evaluate the performance of each piece of content using multiple KPIs – search engine position, monthly traffic, click-through rate, and the number of leads generated.
Based on the content audit results, the website content can be divided into three broad categories – keep, remove, and optimize. They must keep the high-performing content and remove the low-quality or outdated content. At the same time, they must focus on bridging the content gap by updating, revising, or optimizing the average-performing content.
After analyzing and categorizing the content published by the business, digital marketers need to analyze the content created and published by competitors. The analysis will help them identify opportunities to outperform competitors by publishing better content. Also, the results will help them to understand what type of content competitors publish and how they move leads to the next stage in the buyer’s journey.
While conducting competitor content analysis, digital marketers often evaluate the performance of content appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). They further evaluate the content’s search performance using both topic and keywords as key metrics. Also, digital marketers use a slew of keyword research tools to find and evaluate content based on keywords relevant to the business.
Finally, digital marketers bridge the content gap by revamping the existing digital marketing strategies. They share the content gap analysis results through various stakeholders in various forms – documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. In addition to highlighting the performance of different types of digital content published by the business, the results suggest opportunities to boost content performance.
As a multistep process, content gap analysis focuses on strengthening digital marketing campaigns through the creation and distribution of content desired by the target audience. Digital marketers can conduct content gap analysis using a variety of techniques. But they must bridge the content gap early to meet the needs and expectations of the target audience and influence their purchase decisions.