What Is Content Intelligence?


  • By Rob Silas
  • February 14, 2017
Alchemy of Content Intelligence logo

“Content shock.”
“It’s not about quantity of content, it’s about quality.”
“Are we measuring the right things?”
“Too much data, not enough insights.”

We’ve all thought, read and maybe even uttered some of these phrases in our quest to create content that resonates with our audiences more often—and produces measurable business results.

And while we all have good intentions, too often we lack the time, resources and processes to turn our data learnings into Intelligence that can quickly, easily and consistently inform all of our content efforts.

You need Content Intelligence if you want to A) Use your data to better understand your content performance, or B) Have a proven process for creating new content based on audience behaviors and intent.

Content Intelligence helps organizations:

  1. Understand content performance: What content is working? What isn’t working? What topics and channels resonate with your customers, your competitors’ customers and in the market as a whole? The focus here is on measurement and optimization.
  2. Develop a deeper understanding of audiences: What are their interests, attitudes and journeys? What channels are they using? These insights are critical for guiding content strategy and planning, along with anticipating topics that will resonate with audiences. The focus here is on strategy and planning.
  3. Integrate the learnings and insights from bullets 1 and 2 above to provide a complete picture of audience engagement and content effectiveness, and collaborate with content strategists and content creators on it. The focus here is on insights and collaboration.
  4. Create a repeatable process for delivering Content Intelligence, so that it becomes ingrained in your organization’s content DNA. The focus here is on culture and operations.


Content Intelligence translates data findings into relevant insights that inform all elements of content planning, strategy, measurement and optimization. But it also entails establishing a culture where analysts, strategists and creators work together, learning from each other so that insights are found, and applied quickly and consistently.

Also, because content is consumed in multiple channels, Content Intelligence must look across all digital channels. For example, data on content performance and audience behaviors can be found on:

  • Your website
  • Competitors’ websites
  • Search engines
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Forums, blogs, review sites
  • Display media


So Content Intelligence comprehensively looks across all channels while also providing “bite size” insights that can be used during the content strategy, creation and measurement processes. Its value is that it’s comprehensive, yet agile because it’s integrated with content strategy and creation.

A final note: be aware of consultants, vendor, and other practitioners selling “Content Intelligence” tools or services that only analyze data from one or two channels. These tools provide too narrow a view of the entire picture, leading to “false positives” in your analysis and insights, and a false sense of “Intelligence,” which is more damaging than doing nothing at all.

Read next: Content Marketing vs. Advertising: What’s the Difference, Again?

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