5 examples of insights that content analysis can bring

If you want to evaluate your own media activity, competitor activity and market in general, you need content analysis.

Do you want to understand the effectiveness of different channels of communication, audience characteristics and the level of information impact? Gain, you need content analysis. You wonder is it really necessary to improve the PR strategy or you have to calculate the KPI system and advocate the budget to management. I do not want to repeat myself, but keep content analysis in mind. Only content analysis allows you to see something that is not accessible to others - the Insights.However, we'll talk about insights later. Let's move successively.

What is content analysis and why you need it

Content analysis is a qualitative and quantitative method for studying textual and graphical information with statistical processing and following visualization. In other words, we show graphs, tables and indicators of everything concerning texts that we analyze.The founder of classical content analysis is Harold Lasswell. It was in his well-known work, “The Structure and Function of Communication in Society”, where he proposed a formula for mass communication: “Who (says) What (to) Whom (in) What Channel (with) What Effect”.

Content analysis provides the answers to these questions. You can understand which companies are represented on the market, which messages they use, the channels via which these messages are delivered, who their audience is, what effect they bring in specific media efficiency indicators.

Stages of content analysis

Briefing.The brief must contain the list of keywords and criteria for their monitoring, media types and period you are interested in.

During the brief stage we always consider it appropriate to get feedback from the analysts who will perform the analysis. After all, they sometimes know more or see the situation from another viewpoint. For example, a representative of a legal field, being aware of his target audience, will want to receive monitoring of specialised editions or TOP-100. However, he may not know that another company conducts successful communication in social networks. Therefore, an analyst who generally studies the market can offer a more comprehensive solution with the involvement of social media in order to get a complete picture.

Gathering information.

According to the brief a process of data collection is being carried out by our software.


Here the marking of messages is made according to certain characteristics - the role, the tone of the keyword in the publication, the theme, the sub-theme, etc.


The analyst gets an array of data. He needs to do hard and detailed work. For example, during the period set for analysis, the market generated 15,000 publications. And so it occupies 600,000 cells in Excel, where each cell contains information about the role, tone, source, publication time, etc.

And all of these data points can be processed in different ways depending on the task.In general, these things should be analyzed:

  • tone;
  • role;
  • theme;
  • sub-theme;
  • newsbreaks;
  • news making;
  • mass media types;
  • sources;
  • level of media;
  • headings in media;
  • geography;
  • authors;
  • date and time of publication.

Visualization.That's how those 600 000 Excel cells would look like.

Where do insights come from: 5 cases

Finding the insights cannot be planned. However, looking for interconnections and trends, studying correlations is the main task of the analyst. After all, charts show things as they are, and the analyst needs to understand why this is happening. This is the most valuable information that helps to create effective communications.What can you find and understand? Here are our examples.

The reasons for the negativity.

When analyzing the banking market we saw that there are three players with a prevailing negative tone in the publications. It was a significant deviation from other banks. Why so? There was an obvious reason - these were the banks with Russian state capital. You could boil everything down to this factor. However, looking at the nature of the messages, it was immediately noticeable that the negative tone was varying. In case of "Sberbank" the negative publications were in the "Image" theme, that is, it was criticized for its reputation. VTB and Prominvestbank were chastised for market activity in the "Business" theme. It was obvious that PR executives should use different strategies to correct the situation.


In the legal market there were almost no negative toned media publications for a year. More precisely there were only 1% of such publications. This is very strange, abnormally weird. What does it say? The legal market is a market of positive news. Everyone is a good pal; all companies have impeccable reputation and carry out impeccable activities. The question arises - do PR managers of law companies know what to do in crisis? Hope so.

Deviation from the norm.

Again it’s about the legal market. It is really interesting.We found out that lawyers communicate mostly with each other. 24% of publications end up in profile headings in media, 15 out of 20 resources are specialized. If we compare these numbers with other industries, we will see that they are much higher:

  • banking sector - 12%, 7 out of 20 resources;
  • beer industry - 8%, 7 out of 20 resources;
  • retail - 10%, 3 out of 20 resources;
  • agricultural sector - 14%, 8 out of 20 resources.

In this case PR managers should think about whether they consciously cut off a part of the audience and with who it is really worth communicating.


One of the banks had a high percentage of negative mentions in social media. However, in reality one-third of these negative mentions were generated in Facebook through fake accounts, forums, comments to articles in specialised resources and so on. Such a dedicated hater. When he ran out of content, he simply published the materials from half a year ago and pretended they were new ones. This example is indicative for the correct demarcation of the constructive criticism from spam in order to work with a clear picture.

The real source of problems.

One of the taxi services had many negative publications about road accidents in comparison with the competitors. That was strange because accidents happen in any taxi service. Why in this case these accidents were in the spotlight for one particular company? After a detailed review it became clear that it was not about accidents. Negative mentions were formed about a bunch of cars with plates from EU, and this, in turn, was widely discussed in the context of liability for road accidents. So in this situation it is necessary to clearly express the company's position on cars with foreign plates. After this the accidents will not be so widely circulated in connection with this topic.

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