The role of content gap analysis in building a content funnel

An effective and high-performing content funnel covers everything your target audience needs to convert. But how do you know you've covered all the bases? The answer is by running a content gap analysis.

How does a content gap analysis help your content funnel?

To answer this question, we need to establish both concepts separately. From there, we can see how they relate.

What is a content gap analysis?

A content gap analysis is an audit of your existing content with the aim of understanding what information is missing from your website, landing pages, blogs, social media content, and other marketing communications. It’s about finding out what keywords and topics your competitors cover to ensure your website continues to draw attention and visitors.

Or, to put it another way, a content gap analysis is a way to figure out what topics and concepts you need to write about.

What is a content funnel?

A content funnel is a framework for organizing your content to cover the various stages of the buyer’s journey. A well-oiled content funnel should take your target audience from their point of initial curiosity all the way to conversion. However, each stage of that journey requires a particular type of content.

What are the different stages of a content funnel?

There are several different ways to break down a content funnel. The most straightforward and common method is as follows:

  • Top of the funnel (ToF): Awareness
  • Middle of the funnel (MoF): Consideration
  • Bottom of the funnel (BoF): Decision

However, we should also note that subscription services should also think about content that goes beyond the initial decision. Reducing customer churn is a constant battle that requires content that helps your users get more out of your product. Therefore, onboarding content that educates your users and shows them how to get the maximum from your solution is an additional thing to consider.

How to perform a content gap analysis for your content funnel

Now that we have the definitions out of the way, it’s time to go deeper and see how you can identify the gaps in your content.

Follow these steps to see how to build a comprehensive content funnel that converts.

#1. Understand your buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey describes the steps that your target audience takes, from hearing about your product to deciding to buy. It’s very rare that someone just dives into a purchase. Instead, they tend to realize they have a problem, become aware of solutions, evaluate a few products based on their relative merits, and then pull the trigger.

As we covered above, the content funnel satisfies each of these steps by producing material that helps with Awareness, Consideration, and Decision making. So, the first thing you should do is list out all of your content and categorize it along these lines. This process alone can alert you to major gaps in your marketing materials. For example, if you have a large amount of material that focuses on the decision-making stage but very little that helps bring awareness to your prospects, then your content funnel is not working.

Another important technique is to list out the typical questions or concerns your prospects have at each stage of the content funnel. Think about the problems that your product solves and build a list of questions and subjects that are important to them. This process should generate a lot of content ideas for you to try.

#2. Dive into customer research

One of the best ways to find out what content your users want is through customer research. You can create surveys that target your target audience or existing customers and find out what is important to them when choosing your product. These surveys can help you understand which marketing channels are effective, too.

Some areas you can target include:

  • How did you hear about us?
  • What are your pain points?
  • Which solutions did you try before ours?
  • What do you use our product to achieve?
  • Which features of our product are most important to you?

By focusing on questions like this, you can build out your content to address each issue and find a place for each within your funnel.

#3. See what your competitors are covering

Next up, it’s time to see what your rivals are talking about. After all, these are the companies that you will be competing against for your target audience’s attention. There are a few different ways that you can do competitor analysis.

SEO tools

You can use SEO tools like Moz, Semrush, or Ahrefs to see which keywords and phrases your competitors rank for. This process alone can be a fountain of new content ideas. Note down these keywords — particularly those that generate a lot of traffic — and compare them with the keywords that your site targets. Anything you’re missing out on is a content gap that you can add to the relevant stage of your content funnel.

Explore your competitor’s content

You should also explore your competitor’s website, blog, and social media content. From there, you’ll be able to see what subjects they talk about, how they set up their landing pages, what lead magnets they use, and so on. Great content is a proven way to establish your authority. So, identify areas where you can go above and beyond what your rivals offer.

#4. Analyze your existing content

Taking a look at your existing content is the final step. Take everything you’ve uncovered in steps 1 to 3 and compare it against your existing marketing approach. Soon, any gaps will become glaringly obvious.

By splitting your content into top, middle, and bottom funnels, you’ll soon build up an idea of where you’re strong and what areas you need to work on. Furthermore, you should explore the relationship between each piece of content. For example, if you have a blog post that targets awareness or the top of the funnel, think of which type of content to link from there.

Remember, ToF readers aren’t ready to convert just yet, so ensure your post links them toward MoF material first so they can enter the Consideration stage.


Final thoughts

A content gap analysis is a great way to generate new content ideas and ensure your content funnel is set up to move your prospects from Awareness to Consideration to Decisions. Identifying the areas where your content is too light ensures your marketing is more effective at moving your prospects along and that it is fit to compete against your rival’s marketing strategy.

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