In marketing terms when we talk about gap analysis we’re normally discussing the difference between our revenue target at the beginning of the year and where we’re now forecasting we’ll finish as we progress throughout the year. So if our revenue target is £10 million and we forecast reaching £8 million then we have a gap of £2 million to fill.
But there is now another gap analyses measurement that we should all be interested in and that’s the gap in our content marketing strategy. This is important because we need to consider creating content targeted at our buyer personas as they navigate the various stages of the buyers journey.
It’s easy to concentrate on generating content to drive visitors to the top of the sales funnel, count the number of visits and congratulate ourselves on a job well done when what we should really be interested in is our conversion rate. Having content available for those visitors who are at a more advanced stage in the buying process can help answer their specific questions and move them towards a decision.
For example if you have recognised that the key buyer personas you are targeting include a project manager and a financial director, your content has to answer the different issues each of these people face. Similarly if a prospect is at a stage in the buying process where they are looking to engage with a number of companies before making a final decision, you need to ensure you have created a number of case studies, recommendations and endorsements from existing clients to minimise any perceived risk and help validate a decision.
So where do you start?
- The first step is to to carry out a content audit, this is an audit of all of your existing marketing collateral including web pages, blogs, articles, brochures, powerpoint decks, emails and anything else you can lay your hands on. Talk to your sales team to see what they’ve got hidden away in folders or desk drawers.
- List all of this content into an .xls spreadsheet and map it to the stages of the buying process e.g. Awareness, Consideration, Decision. This will highlight if you have a good spread of content or whether it’s all skewed towards e.g. the awareness stage.
- Identify any content that’s suitable for reuse or repurposing.
- Work with your sales team and customer facing staff to brainstorm content ideas to fill the gaps, create titles or headlines and identify the best medium for each content type.
- Create an editorial calendar to include content type, when it’s required, brief content details, headline, buying stage targeted, audience pain points covered, the Call to Action, where/how this content can be repurposed and who is responsible for it’s creation.
The content audit takes time and effort and that’s why it’s rarely implemented by time starved marketers but it can have a massive impact on your results. If you’re allocating marketing budget to the creation of content then it surely makes sense to ensure that content is suited to your prospects and clients, at all stages of the buyers journey.
Found yourself in a similar situation? Let me know what you did to resolve your problems.
You can get more in-depth information in my FREE ebook, 6 stages to inbound marketing success.