Content gaps are missing pieces in your brand’s content marketing strategy or digital customer experience journey. Why should you work to fill these gaps? Only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, while 62% will consult a search engine. Content that draws people to your web site, or inbound marketing, delivers leads that are 61% less expensive than outbound marketing leads.

And Forrester research uncovered that weaknesses with content are sabotaging firms’ otherwise solid digital strategies. Two-thirds of the decision-makers surveyed said their company’s proficiency with content will be vital to its success in the next five to 10 years.

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Poor Content Execution Is Sinking Marketers’ Grand CX And Brand Visions: Ad Hoc, One-Off, And Off-Brand Content Execution Typifies Low-Maturity Brands

Filling your content gaps ensures that you don’t leave a space for your audience to leave your brand experience to find what they are looking for elsewhere. Here are Sitecore’s three simple ways to identify content gaps in your brand experience and advice on how to fill them.

1. Analyze your visitors’ web experience

We’re all savvy to the concept of having our web visitors and customers opt-in to our data gathering practices with the promise that their experience on our websites will be optimized or tailored to them. One of the ways we deliver on that promise involves analyzing customer journey trends. It’s important to look at user data from a bird’s-eye view to see what topics are trending with your target audiences. This will steer your team toward the top-of-mind subjects that are important to your audience and give you insights on the content you should be creating.

The key data points to focus on are what people are searching for on your site and where are they going while they’re there. You’ll want to leverage a tool that provides this comprehensive, high-level view, such as the campaign analytics feature Path Analyzer available in Sitecore Experience Platform. Sitecore’s internal marketing teams use Path Analyzer to gain a visual representation of what content audiences are engaging with the most on our own website. Using this advanced technology, we’re able to identify hot topics and build a robust content strategy.

2. Connect the dots with search trends

As you gain better insights on the trending topics for your target audience, analyze how well your content around those topics is performing in organic search. For example, once our corporate marketing team identified popular content with IT leaders using Path Analyzer, we had the insights we needed to optimize for related keywords. Tying our experience data with organic search performance data gave us a clear direction for creating or optimizing existing content to ensure we ranked higher and it could be found.

How we were able to effectively execute on that also has to do with our content taxonomy within Sitecore Content Hub and across our web experience. Having content tagged by topics enables us to see where we needed additional content to fill a gap, where we could repurpose older content, and where we could optimize existing content that wasn’t ranking well.

3. Map a customer journey

As you get into the practice of identifying gaps in customer experience and search trends, you’ll start to see how you can strategize to fill content gaps within your overall customer journeys instead of creating one-off content pieces. For example, if you find that a certain audience is consistently searching for a specific keyword on your website where you currently have no content to serve up, don’t stop at creating one “what is” article.

See how you can map a customer journey by creating a series of awareness content to lead your audience to the next phase in their research. An example series our marketing team created at Sitecore: “What is a CDP?”, “How to choose a CDP”, and “CDP vs. DMP vs. CRM”. Addressing your content gaps in this way will enable you gain further ROI by leveraging the content for personalization and effective outbound content strategies.

To continue learning about content and optimizing the customer experience, explore Sitecore’s content resources or download Sitecore’s eBrief on the “Four steps to smarter digital experiences”.

Monica Lara is Content Marketing Manager at Sitecore. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.