When it comes to content marketing, you might find yourself asking “How do I know what topics will drive the best results?”
Of course, there’s no one-size fits all answer to this question. There is, however, a technique to determine what topics, and more importantly, which specific channels you should cover in your niche to effectively pull in new leads and customers and rise above the noise of your competition.
Conduct a content gap analysis.
The content marketing channel has been crowded for years, with the race to reach the top of the rankings page more competitive than ever. To ensure your content is performing at its best, you need to take time to plan out your content strategies and topics.
Let’s walk through how to perform a successful content gap analysis – and what key benefits you’ll miss out on if you don’t.
Performing a Content Gap Analysis
First things first, let’s understand how to conduct a content gap analysis. Our approach covers these bases:
- Identify Primary Goals: Your goals should focus on traffic, leads, search engine rankings and anything else that will help you improve your content marketing strategy and achieve better results. You can start by asking yourself why are you analyzing your content? What are you hoping to achieve through this process? What do you want to improve?
- Map Your Buyer’s Journey: Understand your buyer personas by identifying things like demographics, interests, needs, etc. Then identify all the steps someone will take to get from the awareness stage to the loyalty stage. Come up with key questions the same person will likely ask at each step of their journey and create content that answers these questions.
- Conduct Market Research: Interview potential clients, current clients and industry experts directly or by sending out surveys. The feedback will help you better understand how people find your products/services online, why they’re looking in the first place and how you can better address their concerns through developing new content. It’s also a best practice to scope out your buyer persona’s watering holes to understand where your ideal customers hang out and what kind of content they’re already getting from those trusted sources.
- Analyze Competitor Content: Poke around top competitor websites to see how they move people through the buyer’s journey. Identify what they do better than you, where they’re missing the mark and take note of their top-performing pages and keywords. (Check out our blog for tips on different types of competitor research.)
- Fill in the Gaps: Create new content that’s thorough, compelling, useful and 10x better than your competitors’.
If done right, you’ll understand what opportunities you’re missing, where you can cut back or bulk up and how to provide the best value possible to your target audience. If you skip this step, here’s what you’ll miss.
Increasing Audience Engagement
We all want to be effective communicators with our customers, and content is one of the best ways to do that. So, auditing your content to determine what you don’t have that would resonate with your audience should be a no brainer.
What pain points do your potential customers experience? If you don’t know this answer, you have no way to understand how you could help them. A content gap analysis helps you uncover where your content is lacking in addressing the four main pain point categories:
- Financial: Your prospective customers are spending a lot of money on their existing products/solution and want to decrease their spending.
- Process:Your prospects want to improve internal processes.
- Productivity: Your prospects are wasting too much time using their current solution/products or want to use their time more efficiently.
- Support:Your prospects aren’t receiving the support they need at critical stages of the customer journey or sales process.
Using the information from your content gap analysis, you can create content that positions your product or company as a solution to their problems. If you do not provide your customers with all the information they are looking for, be prepared – they will look elsewhere until they find a company that does solve their doubts.
A content gap analysis is about developing content ideas and topics to drive valuable traffic. But because today’s industries have more than one player, you’ll see overlap between your content and your competitors’ content.
That’s why it’s important to do keyword research to help you identify where gaps exist. Researching what keywords you currently use (if any) and what keywords you should optimize for will show you what drives traffic to your website.
Taking it one step further and learning what keywords your competitors are using can be a real game changer. A content gap analysis helps you answer these three questions:
- Which keywords are your competitors ranking for that you are not?
- How can you steer traffic and search share away from your competitors?
- What content do you need to create to beat your competition in the SERPs?
Implementing keywords and phrases into your digital marketing strategy will improve your Google search rank, increase traffic to your site and help you better understand your customers’ journey. Without this step, you leave the lane wide open for your competitors to capture the available opportunities.
Growing Your Business
The results of a content gap analysis don’t just allow you to create content that enhances the user experience. It also helps your buyers do business with you.
For example, if you manufacture a product that has applications for a vast universe of buyers, without appropriate analysis, you might struggle to gain traction with content that’s up against competitors from several industries. However, when you understand where the gaps are, you can create content specifically for the decision stage (with relevant CTAs) to narrow down and attract a more targeted audience that are much more likely to buy.
Going beyond guiding your existing leads and prospects, content can also help you target new audiences unfamiliar with your brand with unique awareness stage content. When you can reach those groups by capitalizing on an unoccupied space, they can become part of your pipeline. If you don’t, someone else will grab their attention.
Leading with Your Content Strategy
Creating a successful content strategy doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistent monitoring and research to know what’s working, what isn’t and what’s being missed. Conducting a content gap analysis will level up your content strategy and help you achieve your company goals. Without it, you risk missing out on a surge of new opportunity.
Ready to get your content strategy up and running, but short on time to take the necessary steps? Our team of marketing experts can help! Contact us today to conduct a content gap analysis and launch your content game plan.