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Why do you need a retrospective content analysis

Dmytro Artemchuk

Head of Research

When we research a company or a certain market, we always overview the situation during a specific period. When we research the company we always compare it with competitors. And it is logical. After all, one object of the study cannot be substantial enough for a statement such as 35 publications per month is a lot or, on the contrary, too few. So, you should focus on other market players and market benchmark.

Do you know what else is logical? To focus on previous periods. To compare the company with itself over the previous period. This is what is called retrospective content analysis

Retrospective shows how the media environment has changed. So you can see and analyze your development, note new trends, understand the direction for further steps. Such studies should be performed for long-term intervals - a quarter, six months, a year, and so on. Thus you will accumulate a base of quantitative and qualitative parameters and indexes.

What can we see while comparing actual and past content analyzes?

Here are just a few of our examples.

1. There is a seasonality.
Does the number of mentions or quotes of the company representatives depend on the period when we do the research?
For example, for many markets there is a slight decrease in mentions during summer, during the vacation season. At the same time it is the busiest time for producers of ice cream or drinks. A clear understanding of the peaks and declines in media activity that are typical of your market can greatly help in communication battle with competitors.

2. There’s a difference in tone.
Are there persistent causes that can affect the number of positive or negative posts?
For example, companies usually submit their financial statements for the previous year in the first quarter. Sharing this information provokes a significant discrepancy in the tone of publications. It all depends on financial indicators the company has achieved during the year. It might be useful to prepare some additional positive newsbreaks for this period in order to stand out from other players on the market.

3. Impact of large-scale events.
What events can bring changes in the media environment?
During the last World Cup, the most mentioned brands in the media were Adidas and Baltika. Everything is logical - sport + beer. 

Tracking the impact of big events gives additional opportunities for situational communication or allows searching for niches that are temporarily free.

4. Percentage dynamics.
Does the presence in the information field really grow?
As the number of media increases annually, the dynamics of information presence should be assessed and compared in percentages. For example, 10 years ago Ukrainian mass media could write about some worldwide company 5 times a day. Today the same company will be mentioned 55 times. This does not mean that it has increased its presence; it just means there is more media.

5. Audience reach.
How many people can you reach?
The number of Internet users increases each year, and the audience of sites grows accordingly. Special attention should be paid to top resources. Because 10 years ago the audience of one piece of news, say at "Ukrainska Pravda", was 100 readers, today it as around 8000-11000. Therefore, you should always take into account the changes in the size of Internet audiences.

6. Benchmark changes.
The average market value can vary from time to time. It's important to understand what events triggered this change and how it affects your indicators. For example, a sharp change in benchmarking may indicate the presence of paid-for campaigns on the market. 

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