Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Content analysis is a qualitative research technique that has been used increasingly by organizations to surpass surface-level analysis of content by using computers and machine learning for automatic labeling and coding of the text.
The need for content analysis research is increasing amid the growing competition among businesses. Marketers need to continually embark on a comprehensive study of every aspect of their business, including customers and their market. The goal is to use any information gathered to maximize sales and profits.
One exciting development amid the digital era is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data. This is evident in the latest report by Adobe, showing that over 50% of companies worldwide are using AI to analyze data. This includes the use of software for content analysis. We will delve deeper into this later.
There are three main objectives of content analysis. Operation-wise, it aims to help companies have a better grasp of current market trends, target customers more effectively, project sales, avoid future problems, find opportunities, and more.
In terms of content marketing, businesses need to perform content analysis so as for them to have a better understanding of the needs of their existing and prospective customers. It could, in turn, help in developing better products and services based on the expectations and requirements of their customers.
Lastly, content analysis aims to help businesses monitor their competitors and keep themselves abreast about current industry trends.
In other words, it aims to help them identify what exactly is and is not working. You can, for instance, perform content analysis involving various email drip campaign examples and find out which one is most effective in attracting subscribers, which is just one among the many advantages of content analysis.
What is content analysis research?
Content analysis, unlike other forms of market research, is qualitative. Marketers are not looking to quantify particular patterns. They are instead trying to understand their customers systematically by examining customers’ perspectives of the existing content on their website.
A study by the Content Marketing Institute shows the various ways marketers research their target audience. About 28% are using qualitative primary research.
There are different types of content analysis that businesses can perform for marketing purposes. One is internal research that focuses on analyzing their own content or other brands’. You may start with the following question:
What do influencers, if there are any, work or share on the content?
- How many people ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ the content?
- Who is following the brand?
- What are the keywords being used?
- Where are visitors coming from?
- Is the content “quality” or not?
- How much content was published?
- Who is visiting the website or the content?
- How frequently is content published?
External research is likewise necessary as social listening, for instance, will aid you to understand the interests and traits of your target audience. You may start with these fundamental questions:
- How can you best reach your target audience (i.e., via advertising, YouTube videos, search engine, social media, etc.)?
- What are their pain points and needs? How can you address them?
- Where do they spend most of their time (e.g., forums, website blogs, social media sites)?
- What types of content do they share?
For businesses to perform content analysis research, they need qualitative content analysis software that can make information gathering easier and faster. A lot of this technology is available in the market. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they all share the same functionality.
How does qualitative content analysis software simplify content analysis?
1. It organizes qualitative data
Digitizing processes is essential for accelerating business growth. It’s beneficial to use technology for content analysis because the software relies on different methods for analyzing, organizing, and systematizing non-numerical data.
It comes with a wide range of tools to facilitate an insightful, organized analysis of various media, irrespective of the preferred types of content analysis.
The tools enable for easy structuring, sorting, and analyzing of hefty amounts of data and text and aid in the management of the resulting evaluations and interpretations.
The software has a high data capacity to handle more types of files beyond your imagination. The most state-of-the-art software can support PDF file or Excel table, a text document, audio, picture, or video file, a bibliographic record, or even a YouTube comment or Tweet.
This only means that you don’t need to print out your files anymore or convert the documents to a particular format. You can just instead read and analyze data right from within the software program itself.
2. It manages data
The software also aids in managing your documents that contain your valuable data, whether it’s primary or secondary. It frees you up from tedious data managing tasks and instead allows you to concentrate on the data and your subjects’ reactions to it even for virtual teams.
What you just have to do is indicate the document as ‘primary’ or ‘secondary,’ making it easy for direct retrieval of a document from within the program itself even if you are not knowledgeable on how to do content analysis. Most software also comes with tools for selective retrieval of coded data or text.
3. It creates memos that identify preliminary views and thoughts regarding the interview itself
The software provides insights into non-numerical data sets during content analysis research without suggesting interpretations. It comes with robust systems enabling you to write and review comments and memos linked to text segments, video or audio files, documents, or particular codes.
You can then use this information to draw conclusions about the objectives of the content analysis (e.g., interview data).
4. It automates code assignments to qualitative data
Say goodbye to the traditional style of analysis, which makes use of papers, highlighters, and pens! The software can enable you to create quotes and quotations simultaneously. All you have to do is open the document in the program, highlight the parts or the ‘quotation’ that you would like to code and drag the code from the code manager.
5. It combines and classifies codes under a category or theme
In relation to above, the software enables you to import various forms of data, including images, text, video, and audio, and combine or classify them under a theme or category using codes based on your descriptors or defined attributes such as educational level, gender, or geographic locations of subjects.
One great feature of qualitative content analysis software is annotations. It enables you to connect several pieces of data to provide strong evidence through link creation to other coded websites, case studies, documents, and segments.
6. It generates word frequency searches
The software enables you to find the phrases or words most frequently used as well as the frequencies of their use. Some sophisticated software can support multiple languages and can also count the number of characters, words, syllables, and sentences.
7. It creates visual representations to organize thoughts
The software comes with diverse means of representing data to help you identify conceptual patterns or themes. A content analysis example is a network tool that helps present ideas, relationships, or linkages emerging from the analysis in a network or mind map format. It can then be saved as an image file which you can easily insert into your work.
Other data visualization tools that the software can provide include multidimensional scaling, clustering, and heat maps.
Should you invest in qualitative content analysis software?
Conducting a content analysis is crucial in making sure that your marketing strategy is working amid the era of digital transformation. It can help you stay one step ahead of the competition as you can get up to date information on the latest trends, which you can in turn use to improve your products and services.
As presented above, there are many ways how technology today can simplify the tedious tasks of gathering, managing, analyzing, and presenting non-numeric data. This CompareCamp analysis also details the functions of a content management system, features, and benefits to provide an overview on how businesses can utilize this tool for creating and publishing their content.
Equally important is the need to ensure an effective remote marketing team management is in place. One way to do so is through using qualitative content analysis software that provides you access to data anytime and anywhere. It’s like shooting two birds in one stone.
You’ve got the means to keep track of how your brand or brand marketing is performing vis-à-vis your competitors, and at the same time, you can see how your team, regardless of geographical boundaries, is working to achieve your content marketing goals.
Most software for content analysis research enables even non-technical users to access data and create interactive dashboards and marketing intelligence reports, including gauges to measure key performance indicators.
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