You have worked hard to bring prospects to your business’s website through SEO, SEM, social media, or any other channel. The chances are that you think that the work is done. However, you are not yet done. Not to worry, though, you are almost there. But before that, you must understand the intention of every prospect who visits your website.
When people come to your website, they have a purpose in mind. For instance, they might want to learn more about your company. It’s your responsibility to figure it out so that you can provide the best user experience. You can guide each prospect through their consumer journey and convince them to buy a product or hire your services. That’s where a content map comes in.
Leveraging content mapping allows you to create relevant and personalized content for your prospects at every stage of their journey. Today, we’re discussing what a content map is and why it’s vital for your business.
What is a Content Map?
A content map is a detailed plan of action that brands use to deliver highly personalized content to prospects at every stage of their buyer’s journey. To create a practical content map, your marketing team must understand the characteristics and lifecycle stages of every website visitor consuming your content. The ultimate goal of a content map is to deliver relevant and personalized content that suits their needs and interests.
Let’s say you are building a new website for your brand. In that case, you must convince customers coming to your site to find helpful resources or solutions that you are their best bet. That can only happen if they trust your brand. So, you can direct your marketing team to create a content map to build trust and credibility at every stage of the buyer’s journey. It could be case studies, about us, positive social media posts, ratings, or even testimonials.
What is Content Mapping?
Simply put, content mapping is understanding your prospects’ characteristics and interests and creating a detailed content plan that allows you to deliver relevant and personalized content at every stage of their lifecycle. The ultimate goal of content mapping is to enhance user experience and encourage website visitors to complete the desired action.
Why is a Content Map so Important for Your Business?
When done right, content marketing can double or even triple your lead generation. Yet, many brands struggle to leverage it or ignore content marketing altogether. Those who fail do so because they adopt a one size fits all approach to content marketing. The truth is that you must create diversified content that guides visitors through every step of the way, and content mapping allows you to do just that.
A content map is vital to creating highly relevant and personalized content that guides consumers through every stage and enhances user experience by delivering the right content. Using valuable and tailored-made content at every step can help you turn prospects into buying customers. Moreover, it allows brands to build meaningful and long-term relationships with their existing customers. Besides, it boosts ROI since your team can use resources and time efficiently to create relevant and valuable content.
Aside from sales and improved user experience, content mapping also benefits your sales and marketing team in several ways. Firstly, it boosts productivity by giving them a head start. Instead of coming up with ideas from scratch, your team only has to identify the interests and characteristics of each prospect to create highly engaging content. Secondly, it boosts morale when their efforts start to pay off.
How to Create a Content Map
We’ve spent so much time explaining what a content map is and why it’s vital to your business. Now, let’s get a little bit technical. Here is your 10-step guide to creating a practical content map.
✅ Create a Content Map Template
As mentioned earlier, the ultimate goal of a content map is to help you identify your prospects’ interests and objectives so that you can deliver valuable and relevant content. To help you do just that, your team must brainstorm and come up with ideas for targeting the different segments of your audience. This involves learning more about buyer personas and lifecycle stages.
In addition, your team must identify opportunities and highlight problems for which your targeted audience needs solutions. From there, you can map out highly relevant content ideas that incorporate your customers’ personas and lifecycle stages. Don’t forget to have a content timeline to help you quickly meet your objectives and KPIs.
✅ Take Time to Understand Your Customers
Now that you have a content map template, it’s time to focus on your prospects. Understanding your customers’ interests and objectives makes it easier for you or your marketing team to create tailor-made content to suit their unique interests, demographics, and concerns. To make the process less intimidating, consider developing the buyer personas you are targeting.
Buyer personas are fictional descriptions of a prospect representing your ideal customer. To develop accurate buyer personas, you must rely on market research. You can get a clear insight into your customers through interviews or surveys.
✅ Identify Your Persona’s Lifecycle Stage
Understanding your target audience is only one part of the equation. You must also find out how close they are to buying your products or services. The stage a prospect is in the buyer’s journey is the lifecycle stage. The buyer’s journey is divided into three phases: awareness, consideration, and decision.
Identifying your persona’s lifecycle stages can help you tailor content for every step of the buyer’s journey.
✅ Determine Questions Your Personas Might Have In the Awareness Stage
Now that you know the stages your personas go through before buying a product or hiring a service, it’s time to get more specific. Start by brainstorming questions your targeted audience might have during the awareness stage. In the awareness stage, your customers have just realized they have a potential problem or opportunity.
As a result, they are likely looking for content to learn more about the opportunity or problem. So, take your time to ask yourself the following questions to create relevant content that resonates with customers in the awareness stage:
✅ Tailor Content for the Awareness Stage
If you have answers to the questions above, it’s time to proceed to the second stage of the buyer’s journey- awareness. In the awareness stage, prospects have identified their problems or opportunities and are now looking for the best solutions. So, take their questions and develop content that addresses their specific needs and interests. The ultimate goal is to deliver content that provides practical solutions.
The best content types to use for the awareness stage include:
- Social media posts
- Blog posts
✅ Develop Content for the Consideration Stage
The focus was on practical solutions during the awareness stage. Now that the customer is in the consideration stage, you should focus on your products and services. That means you should show how your products or services can help solve a problem or an opportunity for your customers. To help you provide the best solutions for each customer, use content types that offer the most value, like whitepapers, comparison guides, free samples, and case studies.
✅ Identify Challenges that Might Stop Your Customers from Considering Your Products or Services
Convincing your customers to use your products or services to solve a problem or leverage an opportunity isn’t enough. You must also identify objections that might discourage them from considering your services or products. For instance, your competitors might be offering more affordable solutions or products.
In addition, customers might feel that your products or services provide less value. Identifying these objections can help you to tailor content to convince customers to choose your products or services over your competitors.
✅ Tailor Content for the Decision Stage
Customers in the decision stage are ready to make a purchasing decision. However, they still need some convincing. In this stage, your ultimate focus is to market your products or services. So, walk your prospects through your products or services and prove that you are the best bet. To do that, you should use the following content types:
✅ Map Out All Your Content Pieces
Now that you know the different content pieces to deliver to your prospects at every stage of their buyer’s journey, it’s time to map out your content marketing ideas. Creating a content map helps you deliver the right content at every stage. Moreover, it creates a timeline to make content development less intimidating.
✅ Website Content Mapping
You already know content mapping and how to do it like a pro. The chances are that you are now wondering if it’s possible to map the pages, blog posts, and offers on your website to guide website visitors through their buyer’s journey. Website content mapping can help you identify visitors’ lifecycle stages and provide valuable content. To leverage website content mapping, you will create different pages, posts, and offers to provide practical solutions to buyers at different points in their journey.
Tools You Can Use to Start Content Mapping
You are probably thinking to yourself that content mapping is a tedious task. Fortunately, you can use many simple business tools to get started with content mapping right away. In fact, you might already be using some of these tools. Here are some basic tools you can use to create a content map.
You can create a content map using Google Docs features such as diagrams, voice typing, image editing, table templates, and more. The good thing about Google docs is that it is free, and you can collaborate on shared drafts with your team. Besides, your content map will be automatically backed up.
Microsoft Word is an excellent alternative if you are not a fan of Google Docs. Microsoft Word has many user-friendly features that make creating a content map less intimidating. However, your team might not be able to work simultaneously.
Data visualization tools can turn complex data into exciting visuals that are easier to understand. Most visualization tools allow your team to work collaboratively. There are dozens of visualization tools available today, including Lucidchat, Microsoft Power BI, Zoho Analytics, and more.
As mentioned earlier, you must identify your buyer personas before creating a content map. You can use plenty of buyer persona templates and tools to develop strong buyer personas quickly. HubSpot’s buyer persona generator is one such tool.
You will need data analytics tools to measure the performance of your content at each point of the buyer’s journey. Google Analytics is among the best tools that you can use to track and analyze your audience.
📌Summary: How to Create Content Maps Like a Pro
A content map is a detailed course of action that helps brands provide relevant content to their target audience every step of the way. Creating detailed content maps boosts productivity and ROI. Effective content mapping involves understanding the characteristics and concerns of your prospects. From there, you can make content that suits every phase, as detailed below:
- Create compelling content to educate your audience
- Give your audience the information they need about their problems or opportunities
- Create compelling content to convince your prospects to use your products or services to solve a problem or leverage an opportunity
Following these content mapping best practices can boost your company’s bottom line. In addition, it can help you keep your existing customers happy. Do you have more questions about content mapping? If you do, our digital marketing specialists at JetRank are ready to answer all your questions.