The content map shows how each part of the content you develop aligns with the customer journey and supports it. Considering that not every content is suitable for every audience, the content map helps you to present highly targeted and personalized content to the right people at the right time and drive potential customers to purchase. The structure and format of the content map can be very different. Depending on what you intend to use at a given time to manage your organization’s strategies, content map data can be different. In this article, we want to learn about the content map and its impact on content marketing.
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Why is a content map important?
Creating a content map is important because it personalizes your target audience’s experience with your brand; This means that this category of audience receives content that speaks to their needs at the right moment. The idea of a content map is not a new issue, but content marketers are always faced with it: the content you create must be personalized and aligned with the wants and needs of your customers. It may seem simple on the surface, but developing a content strategy is not an easy task. By creating a content map, you will have a better understanding of your customers and you can examine their goals, needs, and objections more carefully; A content map also allows you to audit and organize existing content and identify gaps. In addition to all this, using a content map can be very beneficial for your content team and help you understand the following two factors:
- First, where in the sales funnel are audiences most engaged with your content?
- How content moves potential customers through the funnel and how it will effectively lead them.
What is content mapping?
Content mapping is the process of creating content that addresses buyers at different stages of the customer lifecycle. Each piece in the content cycle is designed to meet the buyer’s needs at any particular point in their journey. Content mapping supports the customer journey and makes the customer experience more cohesive and personalized. To ensure your company’s content is effective at generating leads, you need to deliver the right content at the right time. With content mapping, the following two goals can be achieved:
- buyer persona Personality of the person who will consume your content.
- Stage of the buyer’s life cycle. How close your target is to the purchase stage.
Buyer persona is a general representation of the personality of ideal customers, which helps you to understand your customers better and adjust the content according to the needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. The design of the persona will be based on the insight that is based on the research and the insight that you get from your customers; For this reason, it is better to look for persona design in the first place when creating a content map.
Buyer’s Life Cycle (Lifecycle Stages)
The buyer persona you target with your content is only part of the content map equation. In addition to knowing the personality of your audience, you need to know where they are in the buying cycle, which is known as the life cycle stage. To get familiar with the content map model, we will divide the buyer’s life cycle into three parts:
- Awareness: In the awareness stage, the individual perceives and expresses signs of a potential problem or opportunity.
- Analysis and Review: At this stage, the person clearly defines and names his problem or opportunity.
- Decision-making: At this stage, the person will determine his method and strategy.
How to have a content map?
Content mapping and content mapping create the foundation of how to reach the audience at the right place and time. To fully incorporate content mapping into your strategy, you must go through these six steps:
Updating and developing buyer personas
As we mentioned in the previous section, every brand should have a plan to define the personality of the ideal audience, and the buyer persona is a general and imaginary profile of your buyers. In general, the details that you should consider in the design of the audience persona are:
- Demographics: information such as age, sex, location, education, etc.
- Values: What gives them value for decision-making?
- Objectives: What are they trying to accomplish?
- Challenges: What are the audience’s concerns?
- Buying habits: What are their habits for buying a product or using a service? (How long does it take them to make a decision? When do they buy?)
Documenting the customer journey
After you’ve mapped out your buyer personas, it’s time to learn from the customer’s user experience. At this stage, you need to know what stage of the purchase your customers are in. In general, there are three stages for documenting the customer journey:
- Awareness: In this section, the customer becomes aware of his problems and starts searching.
- Review: The buyer is fully aware of the problem and solutions and takes time to review all options.
- Decision Making: The buyer is ready to take action by finding a solution.
These steps are only part of the customer journey, and you need to customize it and add other key steps to define how the buyer moves and the customer journey. Now it’s time to write down the user experience as follows:
- Actions and activities: What the buyer does at this stage is examined. (Searching on Google, downloading content, etc. are among the things that the audience does at this stage).
- Possible questions: the price of the product or service X or the features that a product has are done at this stage.
How to communicate with the brand: what methods your brand uses to communicate with the audience?
Determine the performance of different types of content at each stage
Considering that all tasks are different at each stage of creating a content map, it is better to specify suitable content for each time; For example, when the customer is in the registration stage, he is probably not ready to buy, so using promotional content not only cannot attract him, but may cause him to become bored.
In the following, we will get to know some ideas for creating content in each section.
- Creating awareness: At this stage, for the audience to become familiar with your activity, you can provide users with educational content in different formats; For example, creating content in various forms, such as blog posts explanatory videos, or shopping guides, is one of the things that can be effective in increasing the awareness of your audience.
- Review: At this stage, buyers usually compare different services or products, so showing why your services are different is one of the things that should be done at this stage. Note that you should not only focus on the features of your products, but it is better to consider the feature that solves a problem of your audience.
- Decision making: At this stage, the customer is completely ready for the final decision; For this reason, it is better to encourage customers to buy. The contents used in this section include effective recommendations; Also, providing special offers in this section can make customers eager to use your services.
Preparation of a list of available contents
To have a list of the contents you have prepared, you can use different software that exists in this field. Pay attention to the fact that the desired software should have capabilities such as searching, creating categories, etc.
Recognizing potential challenges in the content map
Now that you have access to all the information you want, you should plan for the future of your content production and consider possible challenges in the content map. Remember that you can keep the content map updated by changing buyer personas or adding content.
Website Content Mapping
Website mapping is the process of planning the pages, blog posts, and offers you publish on your site. Determining which buyer personas are served by each of the contents produced on the site is called website content mapping. Website content mapping is a key element in website personalization because before you write all the content and publish it, content mapping can help you generate content first.
Content mapping template
To create a content map, there are different templates and templates that you can use to create a content map. Pay attention to the fact that the content map template includes different parts, each of which will be effective in creating effective content. Using the content mapping template, you can achieve the following dimensions:
- You will understand the buyer persona and stages of the buyer’s life cycle.
- Identifying situations and problems that your customers will face.
- Find different ideas for content creation
Content mapping tools
Content mapping may seem like a difficult task, but you can create a content map for yourself using various tools that exist in this field. In this section, we will learn about the simplest tools for creating a content map.
One of the best tools for creating a content map is Google Docs. This tool is one of the best choices with the different formats it provides for creating a content map. Easy sharing using Google Docs is another advantage of using this tool, which has solved the concern of creating a backup copy.
If you are more of a visual person, a tool like flowchart is essential for you; Also, if you prefer to create a real content map, you need to use lines and symbols, for which you will need a more sophisticated tool like Lucidchart. Lucidchart’s flowchart maker is a premium tool that allows you to connect different applications and services.
Content mapping techniques
Educate your audience.
According to marketing coach and consultant Adanna Austin, “To build an audience, take the time to educate and engage with them.” We all create compelling content to connect with our audience. According to the type of business you have, it is better to attract your ideal customers by providing appropriate training.
Provision of information before application
By creating a content map, you can answer the possible questions of your users in the form of creating an educational post or publishing a blog. “With content mapping, you can provide them with the information they need before they ask for it.” Identifying buyer personas allows you to know what kind of content they will need in the future.
Creating special content for special people
With audience personality and creating an audience persona, you can identify your audience to produce content according to their taste; For example, the questions that will arise for a marketing manager can be different compared to the questions of a CEO. By creating content that appeals to each audience, you can help attract more audiences.