Decoding Content Intelligence: The ‘What Why And How’ Of Creating Great Content
Content, the way it exists today, has ballooned to include so much in its ambit. Your latest post on LinkedIn, the video you watched this morning on YouTube, even the appreciative comment you left on the your favorite brand’s blog- it’s all content, in some shape and form. There’s something this flood of content is telling us, but getting to that requires more than just a keen eye for insights. It’s precisely why content intelligence is more relevant today, than it has ever been in the past.
By employing semantic technology and information science on existing text, machines are capable of slicing and dicing previously unstructured data to transform it into a structured whole comprising both text and data. It allows organizations to get a 360 degree view of the content they create- utilising existing content to uncover patterns and insights that can aid future content decisions.
What does that mean for you, as a marketer?
It tells you that you can combine content with context making it possible to locate the right content, deliver it at the right time, to the right audience and in the right format.
Getting a 360 degree view of content
We’ve established that we’re all content creators. But as a brand, the content that matters to you, doesn’t come from you alone.
If we were to look at the content universe as a whole, your content is just one part of it. The content that matters to you comes from two other important sources-
- Content created by your competition
- Content created by others in the industry
Looking at content as a cohesive whole not only gives a better understanding of what’s working for the audience, it helps identify previously untapped opportunities that can be used to make more effective and targeted content.
What’s all this data telling us?
It’s true that applying the power of business intelligence on tomes of previously unstructured data can give marketers valuable insights about what opportunities lie ahead of them, but this data needs to be interpreted in the right context to make the most of it.
Are you measuring the right things?
The first step to getting to valuable insights is understanding whether you’re looking at the right things to measure. A large part of this comes from knowing what your content set out to achieve in the first place.
This video, published as part of CMI’s Roundtable session, puts the idea of content measurement in the right context- measuring content in the context of what that it was created to achieve. Which is precisely why it’s important to go beyond web analytics or social media performance, to understand effectiveness of content.
Understand content in the context of engagement
A direct indicator of success (or failure) comes from observing the level of engagement it generates. You share your audience with your competition too. Which means that the content pieces you should be looking at aren’t just the ones that brought you the highest number of clicks, shares or comments- you should be looking at what worked for your competition too.
This graph comparing Hootsuite with its major competitors is the perfect example of what we’re trying to say. It looks at content produced by them and their competition in the context of the level of engagement it generated. While Hootsuite is the clear winner, there’s something about Buffer’s content that brings them high engagement in comparison to the ‘number’ of content pieces they create.
Understand content goals in context of business goals
It’s important to establish the goal you set out to achieve from every piece of content, before it gets created. While a social media post could be targeted towards increasing awareness about your brand, a guide might be targeted towards gathering potential leads.
However, no matter what the end goal is, the one thing that should remain consistent is gauging whether or not the created content aligns to your business as a whole.
But how do you really do this?
Identify your key areas of interest and measure how well your content fits within those areas to capture performance within those segments.
Here too, understanding content analysis in the context of performance helps in two ways:
- To identify how closely your content goals align to your business goals
- To gauge the effectiveness of that content
At the end of the day, content that’s in line with your goals but fails to leave an impact on your audience, isn’t doing anyone any good.
Another step to this analysis would be to looking at how your competition fares in those areas. If there’s a shared area of interest where your competition is managing better engagement than you, that’s something you should seriously consider working on as well.
Understand what formats really work
Depending on the kind of audience you’re targeting, the same content can be packaged in different ways. Identifying the format that works best for your audience will make it more easy for them to discover it.
Understand what topics work best
There’s more to content analysis than just knowing which format works best. In order to really create those winning pieces of content, you need to identify which topics resonate best with the audience and bring in the highest level of engagement.
Understand the narrative structures that work
Listicles rule. That’s a fact and there’s no denying it. But there is merit in understanding narrative structures in the context of the goal that the piece of content sets to achieve. If listicles are bringing you the highest number of shares but you get quite a few comments on your how-to posts, that’s an insight right there.
Understand the ideal length
No one wants to read a laboriously structured blog post and nobody wants to trust a research paper that’s a ‘light read’.
While those are facts that don’t need belabouring, there’s more to identifying the right length for your topics of interest. Think of it as getting one step closer to creating the kind of content that your audience is asking for. The data is right there, telling you. All you need to do is find the insights that make sense for you, as a brand.
Understand content sentiment
Now that you have most of the arsenal under your belt, we’re bringing you the final touches. Tailoring the sentiment of your content to what suits your audience best, takes you one step closer to creating pieces that are bound to work.
When your content strategy takes into account what works best for your audience (by looking at the largest number of top performers) and why it works (by analysing those top content pieces in the context of the engagement they generated) the content that you create is not only more focused, it’s also more reflective of your audience’s tastes and preferences. So what you create isn’t just great content, it’s the kind of content that would be most helpful to your audience.
EpicEnterprise by Epictions monitors your owned and earned content to empower you with content intelligence that is reflective of you and your audience so you can create more targeted content. Request a demo here or talk to us to know how we can help your brand.