Most companies that have been doing content marketing for a while have plenty of content. But problems arise when it’s unclear what content is actually usable and where your gaps lie. Conducting a thorough content audit that includes a gap analysis can help you get as much value as possible out of existing content and help you create a plan to build out your library to meet every need at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Collect Quantitative Content Data
You can’t analyze data you don’t have. To know where your gaps are, you need to gather the content you have and conduct a content audit. There are different approaches you can take to your audit. If gathering all your content into one spreadsheet is too daunting because of sheer quantity, you can audit just one portion at time. For example, you could audit by geography, by industry, by product/solution or by audience.
Regardless of the approach, here is a checklist of the minimum criteria you should audit:
- Asset title
- Date created
- Content format
- Target audience
- Buying stage
- Evergreen score
- Quality score
Additional information to enrich your audit can include any number of criteria, such as industry/vertical, themes, campaign theme alignment score, repurposing score, file type, region (for global companies), and product/solution. See my earlier post, “How a Customized Content Audit Can Reveal Your Content Library’s Secrets.”
Organize Your Findings
Ideally, you now know from your audit where the preponderance of content falls in terms content formats, buying stage, audience and all the other great criteria you evaluated. Your next step is to compile all this information and create charts and tables to analyze it. You want to be able to see what you have, quickly and easily. Create charts for each major criterion individually.
Now you’re in a position to start analyzing.
Map Your Gaps
You can filter and sort all this information to see where your gaps lie. Identify patterns with simple spreadsheet filtering. Start cross-referencing criteria. For example, of all your early-stage content, how many assets are evergreen? What about middle and late stages? By adding more filters, you can get more granular. As a hypothetical case, you could look at your content for a particular target audience/role/persona and see how it aligns by buying stage, freshness (evergreen score) and content format.
Here’s an example of a gap analysis that shows how content for one geographic region aligns to marketing’s major themes, cross-referenced with the evergreen score and the buying stage. It clearly shows that this content library is heavily weighted toward late-stage content, and even there, plenty of gaps exist depending on the theme.
Develop Your Strategy
At this point, we’re still looking at quantitative information. The real strength of your gap analysis comes in when you develop a strategy to fill the gaps. Looking again at the matrix above, let’s say we also know that the content formats were mostly static white papers, e-books and case studies. Taking the financial theme, we might want to create early- and middle-stage content that takes the prospect through the buyer’s journey and to our existing late-stage content. A good strategy would be to create more short-form content, including interactive pieces.
Here are some potential assets we might consider:
- Thought leadership blog post series
- Influencer e-book
But content format is just one aspect to fill the gaps. What goes into each of the assets you create will come with ideation.
Hot Tip: Don’t forget to evaluate your existing content for repurposing and reversioning possibilities.
If your team has a time or talent gap, consider using an outside agency to conduct your content audit, analyze the findings and develop ideation to fill your gaps. Choose an agency with proven experience in conducting rich content audits.
Visit our Strategy & Insights page for an overview of Content4Demand’s foundational strategy capabilities.