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How to evaluate existing content to develop new ideas

David Rawlings explains how to leverage your existing content to generate ideas for future content.
Decorative image of colleagues brainstorming in an office.

Evaluating the success of your current content will help you to hone in on what resonates with your audience. It will also help you to identify what you need to tweak or improve to enhance engagement. Reviewing your successful content can help you to generate and refine your ideas so that you can continue to build on your success.

How evaluation works

One of the things about evaluation in the digital space is that it is a circular process and not a linear one. If you are continuing to build longer-term relationships with your customers or a particular marketplace, which you hope to gain customers from, then you are constantly feeding back results into your creative process.

The following image provides a visual description:

Image of Content loop Diagram, starting with Creation, Production, Distribution and Evaluation

As a result of the relationship-building process, you are treating your digital program as a constant learning exercise as you learn more about what works. The final component of the loop, the evaluation process, is what leads to your future content. This evaluation phase can result in some of your best ideas for future content.

How you evaluate your digital program is going to be key to the success of this. If your business is not evaluating your digital efforts with much depth, this is something that you’ll need to address to make sure you aren’t missing valuable opportunities to grow and improve. Let’s look at some ways that you can evaluate your current content to generate ideas you can use in the future.

Engagement metrics

Review and examine your engagement metrics such as likes, comments or shares to understand which types of posts resonate with your audience. Identify the most engaging type of content or common themes that attract the most attention. Use that as your starting point for brainstorming.

Reach and impressions

Check the reach and impressions of your digital content to understand how many people see your content and identify content that reached a larger audience. What sets this content apart? Find out why key information was shared, or why people were tagged in them. This information contributes themes you can use to generate your next round of ideas.

Audience insights

Use platform insights and analytics to understand the interests of your audience – is there anything you can learn from this data that gives you an insight into what they respond to more? Tailor your content to match the changing preferences of your target audiences. Ensure that the top three preferences are covered in the majority of your content.

Content types

Evaluate different content formats, such as photos, videos, infographics, or even blog posts to see what drives the most engagement. Based on what you learn, are there different content types that you could be producing more? Have you found any gaps in your content? Could you explore different types of formats in specific ways?

Content themes

Review the topics or the themes that have performed well for you in the past when it comes to engagement. Make these topics the subject of your brainstorming, and apply several of the brainstorming techniques we have covered in this course to help deliver content that speaks to these issues.

Click-through rates

Track the click-through rates of everything from your social media platforms through to your email marketing or eNewsletters to gauge the effectiveness of your calls to action. Is there a specific type of language that generates more of a response? If there is, incorporate this into the language that you use in your content development next time around. Are there specific offers or values that are provided in these posts that generate more of a response than others? If this is the case, make sure you use these as your value statements when you are creating future content.


Talk with your team members to gather their perspectives on your content from the point of performance. Did they notice a rise in enquiries when the eNewsletter went out? Or when a certain digital sales campaign was produced? Were there clear trends in certain content delivering #better$ sales leads rather than simply more?

Identify what you can learn from this content and ensure that you incorporate it into the next round of contact development. It’s what you take from what you learn that will make all the difference in generating ideas next time around.

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Developing Ideas and Content for your Digital Strategy

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