Over the years, people have gone on…and on…and on about the role content marketing plays in digital business growth. “Content is king” and “SEO is dead” were all rubbish digital slogans regularly bandied around that made me feel a bit sick.
Regardless – one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that whenever the subject of content marketing is raised in polite company, it’s met with nods of approval, “yes, yes, let’s definitely do some content”
The implementation of what could be considered ‘clever content strategies’ has stalled – this is largely because of a lack of understanding around their importance and potential. When properly strategised and developed, the commercial value that content can represent to a business is immense. It’s just…no one seems to be doing it well.
So, we’re just going to put this out there and hope it sticks…
Content marketing should be talked about within the context of business growth and not just pigeon-holed as just another marketing tactic.
In The Bad Old Days Of SEO…
In the digital dark ages then, you’d have a go at some keyword research and use the data to churn out content without giving any thought to who would read it, other than Google’s crawlers. Man, those crawlers.
At that point, you’d sit and wait for your content to rank, build some links into it, and watch it slowly climb up the rankings. Job done.
You can’t do that anymore. Well, you could try, but it wouldn’t work. And why would you want to? You’ve just got something to rank highly organically, #1 for a killer keyword. But if it’s written for robots, nobody will do anything when they land. Yeah, they’ll click – you’re #1 FFS. But there’s nothing to keep them engaged or encourages them to take action – they’re bouncing and not returning. FFS.
What To Do Then?
The demand for brilliant content is greater than ever. Consumers have so much choice. So, they want to engage with a brand they trust.
The best way to achieve this lies in developing trustworthy content. That’s something that people will actually engage with. To achieve that, you just need to spend time understanding what people are searching for.
Once you’ve done that, hire a competent copywriter, videographer, animator, to deliver something that’s full of trust, engagement, empowerment, empathy, energy. All of the good stuff. This type of content will drive a return – from a human being – fact.
Through an audience research methodology called Gap Analysis.
Gap Analysis strives to uncover the discrepancies between what users want to know when they are searching and how well these needs are being met by the content they are delivering. Sometimes they’re being met well, but more often than not you’re met with content that’s just not great.
To cut out poor content, the gap looks at three things:
- Competitors- Place your business within a wider context by producing a thorough piece of analysis to understand just exactly how you stack up in a particular industry or market place. Who’s doing what better than you and why?
- Content- Looking at available content opportunities by collecting search data, utilising it by finding unmet needs and finding the gaps identified by competitor content to fill. Where is your niche? There’s always a niche
- Editorial- Using insights from the first two stages, editorial analysis can inform how quality, original content can be created by looking at persona, voice and editorial strategy.
From here, strategise where each piece of intent-driven content can be placed within a marketing funnel. Some of it will engage, some of it will sell – just make sure it’s in the right place. Doing this will not only ensure that the content aligns with your business’ values but your goals too.
That’s it. Yep
Gap analysis is not just a content marketing process that can help you sell. It’s a fundamental approach that can tie together multiple marketing channels into a comprehensive strategy that can grow your business continuously. It’s brilliant.