You’ve embraced content marketing. Depending on your business size and strategy you may have an array of eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, case studies, podcasts, videos, and blog articles. All of these tactics are designed to build relationships with customers and generate more qualified leads. But, are you sure you’re guiding your potential customers down the right path?
A beneficial way to evaluate your content marketing assets is to create a gap analysis. A gap analysis shows you how your content stacks up against your sales funnel and buyer personas to ensure you don’t have any, well, gaps. Creating a simple spreadsheet that evaluates your content gives you visual insights into where you’re spending too much, or not enough, time creating content. Regardless of how you’ve structured your content creation process, creating a basic gap analysis can be done in three easy steps.
Step 1: Create a Content Marketing Assets List.
Between production timelines, promotion schedules, and a multitude of distribution platforms it’s hard to keep your content organized in one document. Regardless of how you organize content during production, make sure you have a comprehensive list of released content. Your list should include ALL of your content assets (eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, podcasts, videos, etc.). You may even decide to include some third-party content featuring significant insights from your company (an especially good interview or guest article). Having one location for all of your assets not only ensures your marketing team has equal access to the correct version of the content, but also makes it easy to share content internally with sales teams or the executive leadership.
Step 2: Establish Your Buyer Personas and Sales Funnel.
Content marketing’s purpose is to drive your audience to a sale through the distribution of quality content. So, to ensure your audience is following the right path, you’ll want to map your content to your sales funnel. Set up your gap analysis by creating a spreadsheet with the stages of your sales funnel across the top and your buyer personas down the left side. Again, depending on the size of your business and the customers you’re targeting, you may have a larger, or smaller funnel, with a different number of personas. The key is to try to make this as comprehensive as possible.
Step 3: Map Your Content!
Now the fun begins. For those of you with an established content marketing practice, you may have created your content with buyer personas and your sales funnel in mind. If not, take some time and think about what each audience member needs or cares about at each stage of the funnel. You can then start placing your content in the areas that are most beneficial. When you come across an empty box, think about what your audience needs to know at that point in order to move farther down the sales funnel. You can then create the content that will help bridge those gaps.
There you have it. A simple gap analysis provides a visualization of how and where you content should be used. Once you’ve created your initial gap analysis, it’s easy to apply this strategy to a marketing automation plan or sales follow up funnel. With a comprehensive content asset database there are no limits to your content planning!