Working as a Content Creator has its perks. You can write off the hours you spend on Buzzfeed and 9gag as research. But it also demands a great deal from you. While scrolling through the countless articles and social media campaigns that are published every minute, it hits you that you should probably be delivering at that pace too.
Even if you are the human form of a bot that can compose novels in the matter of minutes, you need things to write about. History has shown that there is no way to tell what will catch your audience’s fancy. You are sick of adding slightly modified versions of what is already out there. And you know they are too.
Discover's whitespace analysis is a surefire way of finding engaging things to talk about.
If you were to search for Whitespace Analysis on Google, you will find various websites that give you at least three different explanations. Let me clarify what content marketers mean by the term. And why you should be doing it too.
Whitespace Analysis in Process Management
Whitespace Analysis is a term usually used in process management. This involves identifying places and situations in an organization where authority and/or standard procedure are not clearly defined. Whitespace is also used to refer to new avenues that companies may consider expanding to that exist outside its core competency. However, within the context of marketing, we mean something quite different.
Whitespace Analysis in Marketing
Whitespace analysis turns its attention to innovative content that deviates from the industry norm. This uncovers opportunities that brands (and their agencies) could tap into. These are territories that lie outside what the brand usually does in their campaigns. But, they definitely stand to gain by exploring these.
In markets where there is a great degree of competition, whitespace opportunities are what brands should strive to find. Instead of mimicking what is already out there, you can put up fresh content on topics that haven’t received much love from your industry.
Obviously, this does not mean that Sports Teams should create content around Doughnut Day. Or does it? If you think about it, the demographic that follows both these Industries have a huge overlap. Take this post from San Antonio Spurs, for instance –
It was the second most engaging Post published in San Antonio Spurs’ Facebook page. You can boost engagement by matching unconventional opportunities with capabilities that your brand / content creator has. By showcasing the distinctive spur in the team’s logo creatively, they were able to turn a few heads.
Running out of things to say is only understandable given the pace at which brands need to put up content. Audience’s interests are a shifting field that is impossible to pin down. Whitespace mapping zeros in on new things to say, keeping brand conversations relevant and engaging.
Whitespace Analysis has two components.
- Studying the existing field. This involves keeping a close watch on what your competitors are up to on Social Media and benchmarking your performance. Even something as simple as the age group your average follower belongs to can hand you valuable insights on what you should be talking about. Also, you have a clear idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are. More tips here.
You should constantly monitor trends in the social media content that is brought out by your competitors to ensure that you are not missing out on anything. Using Discover, you can see top content from brands around events that are important to your vertical.
- Making creative in-roads into the opportunities uncovered. The conclusions that you draw from the data can only point to whitespace opportunities. It is up to content creators to exploit this potential and drive in engagement. You can seek inspiration for such creativity from content that has won big on Social Media before.
Whitespace Analysis at Work
Here are a few other examples of how whitespace analysis can help brands get engagement.
Consider a particular month that is pretty dry in terms of holidays or events relevant to your industry. It would pay off to tap into trends that your Fan base follows. Like this Volkswagen post that killed it on Star Wars Day :-
Or how Reese’s starred their Peanut Butter Cups while joining in on the conversation around March Madness :-
It also helps to talk to your Fans on Facebook as if you were a ‘friend’. If your target demographic comprises millennials, talking to them in their language can pay off. (As long as you can, and aren’t trying to pull off something you can’t.) Check out this Post by Malaysian Airlines:-
The irony is that content creation becomes as much about the search for whitespaces as it is about battling the nightmarish blank screen. Discover addresses both these needs. Try it out for free here.