Ever heard of “random acts of content”? It describes how some content marketers (or all of us, at one time for another) publish content willy-nilly.
Random acts of content happen a lot. It’s easy to get caught up in the “Just publish more! More!” mindset and forget about the larger strategy.
When content marketing first started, many of us were particularly susceptible to this. But as we’ve gotten smarter, we’re more likely to plan things out, and have reasons behind our content creation and promotion. We have defined personas. We map the buyer’s journey. And we build our content accordingly.
Despite all that work and sensible planning, gaps still happen. These “gaps” are steps along the buyer’s journey that we don’t have content for. Or, they’re steps along the journey where we don’t have content customized for a particular persona (“persona” = a particular type of buyer or user).
These gaps are like little disconnects in our messaging. They can crop up over time. It’s not a big deal, but when you’re planning content (like for 2017) it’s a good idea to prioritize filling these content gaps.
Finding and filling content gaps isn’t hard, but it’s got a couple of steps to it. Basically, we’re going to do a modified “content audit”. It’s a great way to assess what you have versus what you need.
Content audits are somewhat similar to social media audits and to SEO audits, except they focus… obviously… on content. And for this particular type of content audit – a content gap analysis – we’ll focus specifically on the buyer’s journey and how your existing content assets support that journey.
Make sense? So here are the steps:
- Define your buyer personas.
- Map your buyer’s journey.
- Assign existing content for each persona to each phase of their buyer’s journey.
- Look for places you’ve got a persona or a certain stage of the journey where there isn’t enough content. Or any content. Those are the gaps.
- Develop a creative brief for each one of those gaps.
- Assign and schedule the content creation.
- Fill those gaps!
Not so hard, right? Many of you have already done part of this work – you know who your buyer personas are, and you’ve written a description of them. If so, it’s time to bust that out.
If you haven’t defined your buyer personas, we have an ebook/workbook, “4 Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Plan Right Person, Right Message, Right Time” that will help.
Here’s an example of a properly fleshed-out buyer persona. This worksheet is from that same ebook I just mentioned: