One of the main reasons businesses fail at content is because they don’t have an accurate understanding of their content situation to inform their strategy. This is why it is essential to conduct a content analysis—and to do it correctly. Here are five fast facts to help you analyze your content.

1. Never advise or decide on a content strategy without assessing the current state.

Sometimes, companies question whether the assessment is necessary, especially if they are eager to make a big change or do not have much existing content. You will be much more likely to unify your content team and stakeholders by starting your content efforts with analysis.

2. Align your team and stakeholders before change.

Involving your stakeholders in the analysis process and sharing the results gives everyone a common understanding of the current state. When your stakeholders agree on the current state, it will be much easier to engage them to support change later.

3. Set a “before” benchmark.

Few things persuade people more than a clear comparison of before and after. The evidence is indisputable. The analysis of your current state can give you a number of “before” benchmarks—such as content effectiveness, content operations maturity level, or even the number of content assets—that set the stage for a compelling before and after story.

4. Uncover details for realistic implementation plans and estimates.

When you conduct a thorough analysis, you document items that will not only inform content strategy but also aid in planning the implementation and execution. When organizations don’t have a strategy and good practices for creating and managing content assets, the content proliferates uncontrollably. Consequently, most organizations have significantly more content than they think they do. Simply understanding what content you have and its key characteristics, such as its format, goes a long way toward making more accurate estimates for activities such as migrating content into a new platform. There’s a meaningful difference between migrating 50,000 assets and 150,000 assets, for instance.

5. Begin a system of ongoing content intelligence so you don’t have to do most of this again.

If you’re smart about your content analysis approach, then you can use your methodology and data sources to start setting up a system of content intelligence. Conducting content analysis in many companies involves a significant amount of money as well as setup work and grunt work—especially if content analysis has not been done recently or ever. That work can give you repeatable value in a system of content intelligence. The next time you want an insight about your content, it should take a few hours or days, not weeks.

Get more details on conducting a content analysis in The Content Advantage (Clout 2.0).

The Author

Content Science is a growing content strategy and intelligence company and the publisher of Content Science Review. We empower digital enterprises for the content era by taking their content approach to the next level. Customers of our professional services and one-of-a-kind products (such as ContentWRX and Content Science Academy) include the Fortune 50, the world’s largest nonprofits, and the most trusted government agencies.

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