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5 Steps to Create a Content Map

A content map allows you to deliver content to the right individual at the best time. It’s all about targeting your prospective audience while working on your content’s gaps and opportunities.

After all, you wouldn’t want to waste your time and money over a marketing strategy just to be shunned by your buyers because it’s not for them.

But creating a content map can be a bit tricky if you haven’t done it before. For it to be effective, you need to follow these five steps.

Step 1: Create buyer personas and document the journey.

The first step to creating a content map is collecting two pertinent pieces of information: the buyer persona and the buying journey.

What is a Buyer Persona?

The buyer persona is the generalization a content marketer makes based on the client’s purchasing behavior. It can be grounded on a lot of things, so the best way to get these important factoids is to do market research.

It’s as basic as creating surveys and interviewing your buyers regarding their desires and pain points. Whatever method you choose, you need to take note of the following points:

  • Demographics: gender, age, family situation, location
  • Professional role: job title, company size, industry
  • Values and goals: lifestyle, mentality
  • Problems: pain points, challenges
  • Interests in books, blogs, influencers, etc.
  • Buying habits

Simply put, a buyer persona can help you create content based on an individual’s behavior, needs, and perceived challenges. While it’s good to work on multiple personas, start with one or two if you are new to this.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

This refers to the client’s progression from item awareness to consideration (research) to the decision (purchase) itself – and even beyond that.

With this, you can generate efficient content for every step of the process. After all, this allows you to make more connections so you could close more purchases in the long run.

Awareness

During this stage, the buyer persona is looking for resources that can help him/her determine a problem or possible opportunity. It’s all about looking up info about the issue, its causes, and what can be done about it.

Consideration or Engagement

Now that your buyer knows that he/she needs something, he/she will go about looking for solutions to the pressing issue.

If you want to appeal to clients at this stage, it’s all about telling them that your product or service is the best out there.

Decision or Evaluation

As the name suggests, this is the time when the buyer has gauged all the options. He/she is all set to make a purchase.

With many options out there, it’s time for you to affirm your product’s worthiness. 

Purchase

This is the act of buying itself – a testament that you’ve done your research and interventions well.

Although this is the case, the purchase does not mark the end of the content curation road. You need to develop a good relationship for loyalty’s sake.

Post-purchase

This final phase of the journey is all about the client determining whether he/she is happy or disappointed with the purchase. It’s all about creating value so that your customers will come back once again.

Remember, it’s more cost-effective to have a returning client than to work your way on getting a new one.

Step 2: Determine which content applies to the buyer’s journey.

Before you start with content marketing, you need to know which content is applicable for each phase. This will help you create content that appeals to the buyer, no matter what stage he/she is in.

Determining the applicability of the content could help you optimize your efforts.

For example, your website may be generating traffic, but these visitors leave without buying anything. This may mean that your top-of-the-funnel material is not working.

The same applies when you need more leads. Even if you are continually converting, the lack of new leads may mean that you need to work on material that targets buyers in the awareness phase. This will also prevent you from seeming too pushy.

When you understand what the buyers need at each stage, you can match your marketing approach to suit them. This, in turn, could lead to better conversion rates. Your clients will come to you without you forcing them.

Awareness

The content marketing strategy for this stage is all about helping the individual with the discovery process. It’s all about attracting new clients by supplying answers to their questions or needs.

For this stage, you can lure buyers with comprehensive social media posts, interactive content, checklists, blogs, infographics, and videos.

Consideration

This is all about keeping your prospective buyers. For this, you are going to need email newsletters, expert guides, product brochures, comparison charts, demo videos, and case studies.

Evaluation

Here, you need to convince your buyers that they are making the right choice.

You can do this by crafting middle-of-the-funnel content, such as datasheets, product lists, webinars, landing pages, marketing case studies, testimonials, webinars, e-books, and whitepapers.

Purchase

This is the time for you to close the deal. You wouldn’t want your client to have a sudden change of mind, after all.

You can do this with bottom-of-the-funnel content examples, which include FAQs, free consultations, reviews, live demos, and free trials.

Post-purchase

Apart from providing support, you need to re-engage your buyers so that they’ll come back again.

This is an opportune time to present coupons, surveys, user guides, email newsletters, and customer portals.

Step 3: Catalog your content.

To save yourself from the labor of making redundant content, you need to make an inventory of the related content at hand. When you do so, be sure to take note of the following details:

  • Content title
  • URL
  • Theme, topic, or category
  • Content type
  • Publish date
  • Conversion rate
  • Content quality

Step 4: Map the content according to the buyer’s journey.

Now that you’re done aligning content themes, it’s time to map them accordingly. It would be best if you considered the following things as you do this:

Content type

As mentioned, different content types are needed for each phase of the buyer’s journey.

Take a look at your existing content to see where it fits. Is it during awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase, or post-purchase?

Conversion

What is your content telling the client? See to it that the call to action helps the customer transition into the next phase of the buying journey.

Content quality

The content creation road can only be made better with efficient content. Even if you have lots of blog posts and videos, they’re all for naught if they are of low quality.

While they don’t fit your content map right now, you could revise and repurpose them for your next service blueprint.

Step 5: Make content that addresses the map’s gaps.

By this time, you should have made a content map that aligns your existing content with your buyers’ journeys. As such, the next best thing to do is to mind the gaps that you have on your map.

The focus here is curating content that would help your clients from awareness to post-purchase. You can do this by identifying the areas in the funnel that have subpar content. Once you do so, you could create a plan to address these issues.

New Content

If the map calls for new content, make sure to keep these things in mind as you do so:

  • Identify the content type that you wish to prioritize.
  • Consider the time it will take you to curate new content. Set deadlines but make it realistic. If not, you end up with burnout. Sadly, this will make you inefficient, unable to finish the content that your website needs.
  • It’s all about quality. It’s better to publish high-quality articles less often than making low-quality materials frequently. This is an essential factor for SEO, too.
  • Tackle one content topic at a time.
  • Supplement your articles with video or audio material.

Repurposing Old Content

While new content is good, it’s not always necessary. Remember, you don’t always have to create additional content to fill in these gaps. You could always refer to your content catalog to see the items you could repurpose.

Here are some examples of how you can transform outdated data into efficient content:

  • The tips that were used during the onboarding process could be transformed into a checklist.
  • Your company’s list of requirements could be made into a whitepaper of the things clients need to look for in a product.
  • A client questionnaire can be made into a comprehensive industry resource.
  • A process overview can be repurposed into a report about the products and services you provide.
  • The educational resources you used can be published as helpful guides or references for your clients.

Content Mapping Tools You Can Use

While you can always do mapping your way, you could make everything better with the help of some content mapping tools. After all, content mapping can be quite a daunting task, as the abovementioned steps showed you.

Should you find yourself toiling through this challenging process, these benefits will surely motivate you to soldier on:

  • A content map can help you understand the buyer’s journey and where your content works best. It enables you to determine the way your content assists the buyer through every step of the journey. As such, it can guide your clients in making better purchase decisions and more sales for you.
  • It provides you with a content overview so you can categorize your files accordingly. This makes reusing or repurposing content easier. At the same time, it can save you from the painstaking process of producing similar or redundant content.
  • A content map can help you create better material. With a content mapping tool, you know that every piece you have is useful. As such, it can save you from spending time and money over low-quality content that you’ll end up deleting anyway.
  • It can help promote collaboration. A concept map shows what’s at hand and what needs to be done. With this, you and your workmates can work towards your single goal. There’s no need to worry about fragmentation.
  • A content map can help you choose the right type of technology. With content mapping tools, you know which materials are your priority. As such, it can guide you in selecting the best platform that works with your strategy.

Check out the following free content mapping tools that you can use for your business:

Buyer Persona Template

As mentioned, determining buyer persona is one of the most crucial steps in any content marketing strategy. To paint a good picture, you need to use a buyer persona template.

As this provides you with a deeper understanding of your clients, you get to create useful and personalized content. This also helps you make targeted content, which is better in generating highly qualified leads.

Here is a free HubSpot tool that you can use to create your buyer persona.

Content Audit Template

It’s also good to use a content audit template, especially if you have hundreds of materials to sift through.

Apart from giving you vital info such as category or medium, it can help you determine your content’s uniqueness, relevance, and quality, among other things.

What’s great about a content audit template is that it can also help measure your material’s engagement metrics. It’s all about gathering the info about the number of page visits, bounce rate, inbound links, conversions, and the number of comments and social shares by channel.

You could also check the material’s SEO value, which is vital should you decide to repurpose this content.

With these facts, you can even do a thorough examination of your competitors’ content. Not only will this help you generate topics, but it can motivate you to set the bar higher as well!

Google Analytics is a great free tool if you want to see the performance of your marketing content.

Content Mapping Template

A content mapping tool can help you lay down the details for the buyer’s journey. It allows you to itemize the content that you have so you can see how it fits in the marketing picture. It also allows you to identify any gaps so that you could do something about it.

HubSpot has a free content mapping template that you can download.

Conclusion

A content map is vital for effective digital marketing. It’s all about the buyer persona, the journey, and what you do with these.

By cataloging your content, you can determine what suits your client best. At the same time, it could guide you in making new content or repurposing old ones.

With a content map, you are sure to make conversions. After all, you get to capture your client throughout the stages of awareness, consideration, evaluation, purchase, and post-purchase.

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