With today’s data capture, analytics, and AI-driven technology, large marketing teams can easily take content analytics even deeper when they put content reporting and content analysis to work.
While content analytics measure the performance of a piece of content with its audience – such as shares, engagement, and conversions – content reporting and analysis delve into the quality of the content itself, identifying patterns of communication that weave throughout all your content: written, oral, and visual.
Without sophisticated software, it would be quite a challenge to sift through the massive amount of content most global enterprises have on hand.
Marketers can approach their content analysis efforts in two ways. These are:
- Quantitative: Counting the frequency of words, phrases, topics, and other components in your content.
- Qualitative: Interpreting and comparing the effect of specific words, phrases, and sentences on your audience, as well as their relationships to other components.
Pair Content Analysis with Your Content Audits
Content analysis is especially valuable when you pair it with a content audit. During your content audit, you identify your best-performing and your worst-performing content.
But your content audit alone won’t explain the “why” behind the results. Content analysis can do just that.
Otherwise, trying to revise the poor performers or create more content that hits all the high notes will be mere guesswork. Analysis takes the guesswork out of the equation. Let’s look at how you can use it to produce better-performing content.
Start with a Research Question
Let’s say that you want to understand why several pieces of content you thought were superb failed to drive action among its audience. Like any effective researcher, you need to limit the variables as much as possible.
So, instead of comparing these poor performers against all the content that drove the desired actions, you might limit both the well-performing content and the duds by topic, by stage on the buyer’s journey, publication date range, or other relevant categories.
For example, an accounting software company’s content team could structure their research question like so: “What differences are there between these top-of-the-funnel blog posts on streamlining a company’s accounting process?”
Next, Choose the Content You Want to Compare
Look at the number of poorly performing blog posts compared to those with a good track record. While you’re better off if you analyze the entire lot, you can limit them to only a sampling of both categories if time is short.
Just be sure to select representative samples of both the bad and the good. You might choose another limiting factor to further refine the groups, reducing the number of each category.
Decide Which Categories or Units You Want to Analyze
Ask yourself, “What types of information impact a blog post’s impact on its audience?” Those categories and units might include:
- Your primary keywords and closely related terms
- Images and videos
- Length of each piece
- Social media and other channels you posted each piece on
- Engagement triggers and power words
- Sub-categories of audience segments
- The focus of each post, e.g., audience-focused or product-focused
Choose Your Coding Rules
Define the rules that define each category so that your coding will be consistent throughout the content. Which characteristics qualify a word, phrase, or image for inclusion in each category?
Some of the definitions will be relatively cut and dry, such as the length of each piece, the number of times the post mentions a power word or engagement trigger, or which of these types of words produce the most engagement.
However, in more qualitative analyses, such as the focus of each post, you’ll need to identify words and phrases that indicate what the writer emphasized in each post. Did they try to help the audience solve a problem, or did they focus more on glowing descriptions of your products or your brand?
Code the Content Using the Rules You Stipulated
Here’s where using content analysis software can save you a lot of time. Instead of going through each post and jotting down the data you uncover, you can plug the text and other content into a software program that can categorize and count words, phrases, and images.
Content analysis programs that you can use to automate coding include:
- QSR NVivo: An excellent resource for qualitative analysis, this tool can identify hidden patterns and connections in texts that would take forever to find with manual analyses.
- MAXQDA: Accommodating both quantitative and mixed methods analyses, this tool can analyze both visual imagery and texts.
- SAS Text Miner: This content analysis solution includes an automatic Boolean rule generator, making it easier to classify and code your content. Its algorithms can help you identify emerging trends, allowing you to identify dated language and update it to reflect the way people think and speak today.
- Atomic Reach: This WordPress plugin can pull in content from all types of content assets and determine what types of content best engage your audience.
Analyze the Results and Report Your Conclusions
After you’ve finished coding your content, analyze the results. For qualitative analyses, you’ll need to look for patterns of thought that seem to connect with your audience.
For instance, if you’re analyzing whether a post focuses more on promoting your brand or providing valuable information to your audience, you’ll look at the words and phrases the writer uses. If the writer sprinkles in subtle references to your products or brand throughout the post, you’ll likely find some biased language that you’ll likely want to tweak to build trust.
Instead, you could simply insert links to your products instead of self-promotional language. That way, the bias won’t set off alarms, but the links allow readers to explore your brand further if they’re interested in how your products can help them find solutions to their problems.
Quantitative analyses are a little more straightforward. For instance, if you find that your best-performing posts lie between 1,000 and 1,500 words, note that in your content reporting so that your teams can tighten longer pieces and add more details in shorter pieces.
Once you’ve answered your research question, it’s time for content reporting. Format the results of your analysis in an easily readable format so that your teams can make quick work of the needed changes.
After your teams have revised the content, keep a close eye on its performance with your content measurement tool. If some of the content doesn’t reflect the results you aimed for, conduct another content analysis using different parameters to track down the problem.
Constantly testing and tweaking your content is essential to maintaining a leading edge in today’s competitive business environment. But if you’re constantly switching back and forth between software solutions, that task becomes something you’ll feel tempted to relegate to the backburner.
Enter DivvyHQ. DivvyHQ is not only your hub for content planning and production. It’s also a reporting engine that houses all the juicy metadata (topics, audiences, buyer stages, etc.) that takes your analysis to the next level. And, with built-in integrations for all your favorite software and the capability to integrate with most third-party applications with its open API, this content marketing platform enables you to handle everything content-related from one centralized platform.
With its 14-day free trial, you have nothing to lose and plenty of time to gain. Begin your no-obligation trial today!