If you’re a business person, you understand that one of the best ways to sell is by providing your customers with the right products at the right time, addressing one of their specific pain points.
The same goes for content marketing: you need a well-thought-out content strategy. This plan should help you create quality content for a specific target audience, address a particular problem, and be rolled out at the right stage of your customer’s buying journey to get the full benefits out of your content.
In this article, you will find out how to design a content map, how to improve the content map, and how to use it in your marketing strategy.
What is Content Mapping?
Content mapping is the process of organizing content to ensure that you provide the right content, for the right audience, and at the correct time to support your customers throughout their buying journey. This essentially guides and encourages them to take the next step towards conversion.
The process entails understanding every step of the customer’s journey and identifying areas you can make improvements to help meet their needs. The content mapping strategy will also show you instances in the customer journey where your content engages customers well.
This strategy can help you in both internal and external marketing. It will boost your inbound by ensuring that you have the necessities for generating and nurturing potential leads. On the other hand, it will improve your outbound marketing by providing helpful content to reach potential customers and a list of leads to pursue.
The Benefits of Content Mapping
Content mapping has a wide range of benefits to your business. Here are some of the advantages of this process:
#1: You get the best out of your content
Most business people believe that having a lot of content is a guarantee for better results. It’s quite the opposite, since focusing on writing too much content can make you create redundant content.
A content map can help you provide impactful and relevant content needs. By having a set-out plan, you can avoid duplicating your content. Instead, you can easily repurpose and improve your existing content to fit the needs of your target audience.
#2: Understanding your customers
Understanding your customers is critical if you are to satisfy them. A content map will help you understand customers’ behavior at each stage of doing business with you. You get to know what they like, their needs, and their goals.
Developing a content map will also help diversify and discover more marketing ideas and strategies. Besides, the ideas will guide you in improving your services and products.
#3: You can analyze your content
Although you are the author of your content, you still might miss something. A content map acts as a lens, thus helping you in auditing your content. You will have all your content in one place, which will prevent the creation of fluffy elements and help you pick what you can use in your existing content. This filtering helps in highlighting your content in detail.
#4: Enable your sales team
Your team of sales representatives is one of the most significant investments in your business. When you create a content map, it will help you exchange ideas and get more insights to help your sales team to acquire more clients. Also, Sales team members can see what content that prospect interacted with, allowing them to personalize their conversations to what the prospect resonates with.
Content Mapping Steps: How to Create a Strategic Content Map
With the above information, I bet you are excited about creating a content map. Here is what you require to set it up.
- Create a Buyer Persona to Understand Your Audience
- Create the Journey That Your Different Personas Will Follow
- Map Your Content to That Journey
- Fill In The Gaps and more…
Create a buyer persona to understand your audience
The creation of a buyer’s persona is the first thing in content creation. Personas are sketches that represent your targeted audience. However, the audience differs in needs, behaviors, and motives. You will need to work closely with your sales team to pick something that blends with what you want and what the clients want.
To establish a strong buyer’s persona, you will need to carry out thorough market research. You can achieve this by conducting surveys that will lead you to the expectations of your targeted customers. You can have several personas, but that depends on your business. However, it would be wise if you took time before creating personas if your business is new.
You can check out our blog that covers everything about buyer personas by clicking here.
Document the journey your customer takes on their way to doing business with you
Having created a buyer’s persona, you can now go through the content mapping process with ease. At this point, use the information you have about your prospects to create a journey sketch. The sketch will highlight the path that the buyer follows while interacting with you.
Your business will get an outstanding purchase funnel once you have established a customer’s journey. Moreover, you will be able to establish how your potential customers move through the tunnel. The journey brings out the following stages in the sales funnel:
Understand what content works best in each phase of the customer journey
The types of content you include in your map are critical and help you avoid wasting time and resources. This will require you to construct a content marketing strategy that will yield the best results.
There are uncountable types of content that you can go for. However, they work differently for each of the stages mentioned above in the customers’ journey. Let’s look at them in-depth.
In this stage, customers get to understand your brand. These pieces of content should be focused on providing value and being easy to consume. Some of the best ways to do just that include:
- Educational Videos
- White Papers
- Blog Content
At this stage, the buyer should start to learn about your products or services in a little more detail. You will also need to understand their needs and come up with solutions for more specific problems.
- Testimonials & Social Proof: Most people believe the word of mouth that comes from other people. Testimonies from your previous clients can go a long way in building their confidence in your brand. You can have the testimonials on your sales pages and ensure they indicate your products, services, and address.
- Case Studies: This is another powerful tool that you should not hesitate to consider. A case study is simply a confirmation of how your business has helped other people who had the same problems as your prospective customers.
Decision / Purchase stage
This is where the customer is becoming convinced and is starting to make a decision. This comes after they have done intense research and are confident about your products or services. The following are types of content you can use for this stage.
- Facebook Ads: More on the expensive side, it makes sense to save money and spend when prospects are further down your funnel. The more targeted your audience, the more bang-for-your-buck.
- Email Campaigns: After buyers are more aware of who you are, they’re much more likely to open and click your emails.
At the purchasing stage, the client has already decided and is willing to purchase. However, it would be best to convince them that their decision to buy is the best they have made. You will be engaging more in the frequently asked questions, free trial sign-up pages, or sales pages’ content.
This is the most ignored part, but it plays a significant role in determining whether the customer will return/stay on board. You can make the best of this content by giving your clients user guides, coupons, interviews, or having them in your business newsletters.
Create a catalog of the content you have
This step involves listing each content detail. The creation of a catalog comes after you have audited your content. Here is how you can list each element.
- Uniform resource locator
- Category based on the theme or topic
- Date of publishing
- Quality of content
Map existing content to relevant phases of the customer journey
This comes after the catalog is ready, and you can now proceed to fill the map. Despite each piece of content being different, you need to keep in mind that the connection still stands.
The best way to map out your content is to have a drag-and-drop visual representation of your journey, allowing you to drag pieces of content to certain sections.
Create targeted content for gaps in your content map
After mapping everything out, you’ll be able to visually see the gaps in your content journey. You can then fill in these gaps with more content, knowing that that content will serve a specific purpose in your journey.
Content mapping is an incredible tool in marketing strategies. It helps personalize the content you create for your brand. Additionally, this process enables you to identify the needs and expectations of your targeted customers. Embracing content mapping will make your customers feel like you started this business for them.
We get it. It can be hard to read a long article like this, retain all the information, and then apply it to your business. If you find yourself in this situation, click here to hop on a call with me. We’ll be able to talk about the details of your business and give you some advice on where to take your content and more.
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