Generating content without strategy is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks. In our “golden age of content”, many businesses create content, publish it, and hope that it resonates with their target audience. But more often than not, they're left scratching their head and wondering why their efforts aren't yielding the results they want.
So, if you feel that you`re one of them, and if you're tired of playing guessing games with your content marketing strategy, it's time to take a more strategic and targeted approach. And the first step in doing so is to start content mapping.
What is content mapping?
Content mapping is the process of aligning your content strategy with your target audience's needs and interests. It involves creating a plan or a map that outlines what content to create, where and when to publish it, and how to promote it to your target audience.
Content mapping is like a GPS for your audience's journey through the marketing funnel. You want to ensure you're guiding them from point A (visitors) to point B (loyal customers) with the right content at every turn. But instead of just giving them directions, you want to make sure the content you're serving up is relevant to their needs and pain points at each stage of the journey. It's like having a built-in navigation system that not only tells you which way to turn but also suggests the best places to stop along the way.
This might be accomplished by creating content that speaks to their pain points and interests and guides them through each step of the sales funnel. From awareness to consideration to decision, you want to make sure your audience is getting the information they need to make informed choices about your brand.
So, let's walk through the steps of creating a content map:
1. Build Ideal Customer Profiles
Conduct thorough research and segment your target market. This can be achieved by gathering data from a variety of sources such as your current customer base, social media analytics, or Google Analytics Audience reports. Once you have this information, you can use it to create detailed "reader" and "buyer" personas that outline their demographics, values, goals, pain points, sources of influence, the purchase decision-making process, or those insights that are actionable for your business.
2. Align content with each stage of the customer journey
The first step is to create a customer journey map that outlines the different stages your prospects go through before making a purchase. This map should include the awareness stage, consideration stage, decision stage, and any other relevant stages specific to your business.
Once you have a customer journey map in place, the next step is to identify the specific needs and pain points of your buyer personas at each stage. This involves analyzing customer data, conducting surveys, and gathering feedback from team members on customer-facing roles (sales, customer support, business developers).
Based on this information, you can then start to create targeted content that addresses the specific needs and pain points of your buyer personas at each stage of the customer journey. Brainstorm questions the personas have at the awareness stage, ways to position your solution at the consideration stage, and objections that might stop people from buying in the decision stage. You can turn these insights into types and topics for content.
For example, at the awareness stage, your prospects are just beginning to understand their problem, so you might create educational content that provides them with information about their pain points and potential solutions.
For instance, at the consideration stage, your prospects are likely comparing different solutions, so you might create comparison content that highlights the benefits of your product over your competitors.
At the decision stage, your customers have done their research and are ready to make a decision. They might have questions or concerns about your solution, so it's crucial to provide them with all the information they need to feel confident in their decision. Whether it's through product demos, case studies, or customer testimonials, your content should showcase your solution's unique selling points and demonstrate how it can solve its specific pain points.
To enhance your blogs and posts, it is also crucial to identify topics for future content through a combination of keyword research, trend research, and competitor research. Here is a list of major requirements for quality content.
3. Create an editorial calendar
A visual representation of your content map helps you to align your content with the customer journey. It can also help you to identify gaps in your content plan and ensure that you're providing value to your target audience at every stage of their journey
Creating a content map requires the use of various tools that help you to identify your target audience (SEMrush, Hootsuite, Survey Monakey) or conduct keyword and competitor research (Ahrefs, Owler, Alexa, Buzzsumo). But in this article, we will focus on a planner that helps you see the big picture, and where you can track your progress.
One of the best tools is Monday. With Monday, you can create a board specifically for your content plan and map out your content ideas based on your target audience and the customer journey. What's great about Monday is that it's totally customizable. And if you're working with a team, it's perfect because you can easily track progress, set deadlines, and assign tasks to team members, making it easy to collaborate and stay on top of your content plan. Monday also integrates with other tools like Trello, Asana, and Google Drive, making it easy to streamline your workflow and manage all aspects of your content plan in one place.
But if you're not into using Monday, you can also use dear old Google Sheets. You can organize your ideas by topic, buyer persona, or wherever your audience is at in their journey with your business, or connect it with data analytics tools. And, of course, you can share the sheet with your team and work on it together.
Ultimately, whether you choose to use Monday, Google Sheets, or something else, the key is to create a content map that works for you and your team.
So, by mapping out content to the buyer journey, businesses can create a more targeted and effective marketing strategy that addresses the specific needs and concerns of potential customers at each stage of their decision-making process.
If you want to stop playing darts blindfolded and start creating targeted content that resonates with your audience, it's time to implement content mapping. Remember to build ideal customer profiles, align content with each stage of the customer journey, and create an editorial calendar.
Subscribe to our newsletter today and get the insights you need to succeed. And if you need help getting started, book a call with us today to discuss your goals, explore your options, and get support from our team of experienced marketers. We'd be happy to help you map out your content strategy and start generating results that hit the bull's-eye!