Creating good content takes time, energy, and ultimately money. If you’re putting resources into it, you want to make sure you are creating high-quality content that has the best chance of bringing in ROI.
The tricky part comes with understanding precisely what you have, and exactly what you are missing. This is where the Content Gap Analysis comes into the equation.
Before you take the leap, it’s important to run a check of your existing content – you probably have more content in your library than you think.
Every piece of content can be repurposed and distributed over different channels, so it can save you a huge amount of time if you do this, instead of creating new content from scratch, and at random.
What is the Content Gap Analysis?
Content Gap Analysis is the process of auditing and evaluating your existing content against your buyer’s journey, and afterwards identifying content ‘gaps’ that you need to fill in.
Think of it as making an inventory of all of the content that you have, as a way to identify what you’re missing.
The analysis will help you to understand what pieces of information you are missing.
This is an important part of content marketing, as the content may be relevant and important in helping your customers move from one stage of the buyer’s journey to another. The right content will help them move from awareness to engagement, consideration and, finally, purchase.
Why do you need a content gap analysis?
Repurposing your existing content is far less time consuming – and much less expensive than creating content from scratch.
With the Content Gap Analysis, you will generate a clear vision of how your actual existing content is aligned with your content strategy (if you don’t have one go here first) – and how can you make the most of it.
You will also learn what content you should create next, to carry out your strategy and achieve results.
Without the analysis, it’s easy to end up wasting your resources in doubling up on work.
It’s pointless wasting time creating content that already exists and which could have been re-used. Equally, we want to avoid creating content that has no clear purpose, value, or which is not serving your specific audience.
How to do a Content Gap Analysis
Before we go through the process, I would suggest that you make a copy of our free content gap analysis template.
Open it up, and have a good look at it. It will help you to complete the process in an organised and easy way.
Be sure to keep it open in the background as you keep reading, so that you can move along with the steps as we go.
We have created the template to make the analysis as comprehensive and easy to understand and perform as possible – we hope it will be helpful to you. You can also easily modify it if needed.
Refer to your content strategy
It’s important to know why you’re creating each piece of content. You have to know your content’s objectives and targets, what goal are you trying to reach?
Have your customer persona profiles in front of you too.
Map out their buying journey – awareness, engagement, consideration, purchase – and identify the pain points, struggles, concerns or questions they are facing in each stage.
Now let’s get started – here are the steps you need to take:
Audit existing content
Be thorough and list all of the content that you currently have out there. List the name, the content, the topics and whether it has a defined goal or objective. Does it fit into the buyers’ journey? If so, where?
Now we will begin to connect the dots between your content strategy and your existing content.
Mark which pieces of content align with the strategy, which could use some improvement, and which don’t fit. You can then take a closer look.
Identify how you can repurpose the good content into other forms – for example, if it’s a blog post, can you repurpose it as an email sequence, a freebie, social media posts or other promotional material where it can be a good fit?
For the content that needs improvements, research all of the ways that you can optimise it. Finally, analyse the content that you have marked as unfitting, and see if you can alter it to be more suitable or re-use some parts of it.
If there is no way you can repurpose it, just leave it and go to the next step.
Define missing pieces
If you have done the previous step correctly, the gaps will likely have started showing themselves already.
Identify topics you need to cover and other forms of content that you need to create.
If possible, include market data like the search volume for keywords relevant to those topics, or related searches results.
This will help you to prioritise and cover questions that your audience is actively searching for.
Analyse your competitors
Take a look at two or three of your biggest competitors.
Go through their content, see what they are covering and where they are a bit thin.
Covering topics that are relevant to your target audience, but that your competitors haven’t covered yet, is a gap that you won’t want to miss.
And if they are covering it, see in what ways and come up with a better one – some things are better explained in specific forms.
Whether you are hearing about the Content Gap Analysis for the first time now, or you were already familiar with it, I hope that I have been able to explain why the analysis is important and that I have given you some actionable takeaways and advice.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or struggles related to the analysis that we haven’t covered and we’ll answer them as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to get a copy of the free content gap analysis template that can help you tremendously, especially if you have never done the analysis before.
Until next time!