So you have a very beautiful, but very blank content schedule sitting in front of you. Minding the gaps in your content schedule can help your company generate fresher, more linkable content, while building your brand's authority. Not to mention keep Google from giving you the thumbs down.
At its core, performing a content gap analysis means taking an inventory of the content your website already has, reassessing your website's message and voice, and then listing the content that you need to fill in the gaps.
Here are some helpful tips on how to perform a content gap analysis, so you can begin generating ideas and get your content strategy really flowing.
10 Tips for creating a Content Gap Analysis and generating ideas for content
1. Plan 6-12 Months Ahead. I know…I shouldn’t have started with this one, but it’s true. The more content you plan on producing and the greater the number of contributors involved then the more specific you will want your content schedule to be.
2. Consider Seasons and Holidays. Think about the times of year and holidays that are most relevant to your company, or your clients.
3. Check The Archives. Look for dates and trends that are important and specific to your business.
4. Look Into The Past. Look back over the last year to see what you may have already covered. Try to avoid internal duplicate content while looking for content gaps.
5. Create An Idea Pool. Ask each of your contributors to submit 2-3 ideas for relevant articles each month. Curate these ideas in a prioritized spread sheet - adding the contributor’s name and the dates that any of the ideas are used.
6. Throw An Idea Party. Order some Thai food, pour some red wine…heck, play some Pictionary - whatever gets the creative juices flowing. Voila! That meeting about content is now an Idea Party. Make the goal of this get together is to come away with 12-24 great article ideas (1-2 per month) and as many helpful tips as you and your fellow contributors can muster.
Remember: quality trumps quantity. You don’t have to produce twenty boring pieces of content a month when two really engaging and linkable pieces will do just fine.
7. What’s Your Competition Doing? Take a look at some of your competitors’ websites. What kind of content are they producing?
8. Ask Your Clients/Customers. The people who visit your site regularly might be the best resource to mine for ideas. What would they like to know more about regarding your products and services?
9. Don’t Ignore Inspiration or Timely Topics. When you have a great idea for an article or fantastic piece of content write it down right away. If a current event is relevant to your industry make room in you content schedule for it.
10. Break Up That List. Lists like this one are great for delivering quick bites of useful information, but really each item on a solid list could be it's own article. Consider breaking up your list and creating an article or piece of content for each point that takes a deeper dive into the subject matter.
There are many ways to generate ideas for great content. Don't ignore what works for you and your team of contributors. Also, don't be afraid to get rid of what's not working.
What helps you get the wheels of content turning? Hot Yoga? Hot Wings? Both?
This article is the second in Edge's ongoing 2013 series on Content Marketing and Strategy.
What if it's your contributors that aren't working for you? You can't very well scrap them, but you can give them a makeover. We'll talk about that next time…