The complete guide to performing a content gap analysis 2023
It is said that content is king. You have probably heard this many times before, but now more than ever, when it comes to marketing this is absolutely true and vital to the successful promotion of a business.
Content can come in many different forms such as blogs (like this!), videos, short demonstrations of products or Software as a Solution (SaaS), webinars, stories on social media and so on. Having a lot of variety and high-quality content will help you to stand out from the crowd, and is particularly great for attracting new customers as well as retaining customers and remarketing.
There is no point in having great marketing skills if you do not have anything to show potential clients and businesses. However, many businesses are missing out on providing content across all channels. This is why it is important to perform a content gap analysis on your business.
What is a content gap analysis?
It can be a little confusing to define exactly what a content gap analysis is.
To some people, a content gap analysis is the difference between what people are searching for and what people find online.To others, a content gap is basically a competitor analysis where you look at your competitor’s content structure to identify topics and keywords they are currently ranking better for so that you could also target them with your new content. (Wagaba, 2018)
But simply put, a content gap analysis is a strategy of analysis to find gaps or optimise content across your website and social media platforms. It is a focus on your business and what more you can offer your clients in the way of quality content that you might be currently lacking across:
- Website copy
- Blog posts
- Online courses
- Landing pages
- Social media
- Any other marketing channels
It is important to take the time to do a content inventory and audit your content to help increase engagement from customers and clients.
How do you find the content gap?
Performing a content gap analysis requires time and effort but in the long term is worth it. There should be two main things to consider before you begin.
1. Your goals. What do you want to achieve by the end of this analysis? An increase in engagement? More feedback or positive reviews? An increase in click-through-rates (CTRs)? Higher ranking on search engines? Without any clear goals it will be difficult to measure the success of your content gap analysis.
2. Your target audience. What does your audience want that you lack currently? What type of content is going to be most effective. What is your current customer journey? How do your customers currently engage with existing content on your site? It is important to consider if you are aiming to generate new leads or retain existing ones, as this may shape the content that you wish to roll out.
With these in mind, how do you go about the analysis? Where do you start?
The current customer journey
As mentioned above, looking at your customer journey is vital to finding gaps in probably the most important area, which is drive conversions. The customer journey usually begins with awareness of your brand. What content is being used to get your brand out there? What about the next stage, when a lead is considering a purchase. This can be someone that goes to a landing page and leaves. Do you have content that helps to bring them back and move them onto the next stage? Then at the final step of conversion, is there content that will help the lead make a purchase? Bear in mind that you want to make a conversion as easy as possible, so some content, like videos, may not suit this late stage of the customer journey.
Your existing clients and leads
When considering retention and creating brand loyalty, content is key to add value and engage those that have already converted. This is one way in which to add lifetime value for your customer, as well as offering exclusive content and deals to your best customers. Do not neglect this area in your analysis.
Look at the market
Conduct some market research. This can involve interviewing potential clients, current clients, and industry experts directly or by sending out surveys for feedback.
Offering rewards or incentives for completing surveys will help boost your chances of getting replies. It is also a good idea to not only survey potential clients or existing ones, but those that dropped out of making a purchase or decided to end a membership or subscription. This can actually offer you more insight into what you are lacking in content.
Explore competitors' content
While the focus should be primarily on your own content, it is still worthwhile to look at what other competitors in your industry are doing with their own content. You do not want to outright copy the content, you have no way of knowing whether it is working (except for maybe identifying views on a video, but even then, that doesn’t equal conversions) but it can still inform you as to what you are missing, or just as valuable, identify the quality of the content and its production compared to what you are currently outputting. It might also be worth looking into some areas that are not directly related to your own industry but you might find some ideas on how to present content that you can adapt to your own purposes. Not every type of content is going to fit every type of business, for example a Tiktok video probably won’t suit a business aimed at an older demographic, but it can still inform you of what is going on out there that is engaging people. With that in mind…
Look at current trends
How we consume content changes rapidly. Think about the last decade and how much has changed in terms of social media, blogs, website design, email marketing and so on. You might have a wealth of content at your fingertips but if it is not distributed correctly and in a way that suits your target audience, it will be wasted. For example, all your content should be mobile friendly as the overwhelming majority of people will consume it this way. In the case of video, you want to make sure that it has captions and high definition options. People get frustrated when they have to watch a video with sound, or if it is very long. So remember to look at trends and tailor your content accordingly.
Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to help find gaps
Known as competitive keyword gap analysis, this form of gap analysis aids websites in discovering which keywords their competitors are ranking for, which they are not. It enables the website to then uncover what kind of content they need to create in order to rank higher for certain words, and beat their competitors. (Growhackscale.com, 2021)
There are tools out there to assist with this, such as Semrush. Tools like this will help to: discover which keywords your competitors rank for, but you do not. This data will give you great examples of potential keywords that could be valuable to your business and the types of content your competitors are using to rank for those keywords. (Semrush Blog, 2017)
Update your content
When you have conducted your analysis, the next step is to update your existing content and add new content to where you found the gaps. If possible and you have the budget, use it to improve the production quality of your content. That is looking at the user experience (UX) of your website or investing in equipment to make original video content rather than relying on stock imagery and footage. For smaller businesses this may not be an option. In that case you might want to take a short course to improve your video or photography skills, or even your creative writing skills, whatever it is that you need to help fill the gap.
Keep your marketing skills up to date
As mentioned at the outset, content is king. But without the skills and understanding of the market and how it changes your content, you will not get very far. You need to always be upskilling and learning about the new ways to get content out there to potential and existing customers. There are continuous industry changes and content consumption changes; SEO changes, how we consume video changes, our attention spans and even our reactions to too many emails. As these challenges appear, marketing adapts to stay on top of it and you and your business need to adapt too. The easiest way to do this is to keep upskilling yourself with courses and new strategies to give yourself an edge in an already overcrowded space.