A Detailed Guide on Creating a Content Map
You’ve heard of a content marketing strategy, but you’re not familiar with a content map? This guide is for you! Find out what a content map is and how to use one.
Content is a driving force for any online business. It’s how you deliver your marketing message and more importantly solve the issues of your target audience.
There is no shortage of posts talking about how to create a content marketing strategy, but for a successful content strategy, you must create a content map, and that’s something not everyone is talking about.
A content map will help prioritize content according to each stage of the buyer’s journey.
In this guide, you will find out how to create your content map in a few simple steps.
The Essence of Content Map
As I mentioned above, a content map is a process that illustrates every stage of the buyer’s journey and suggests relevant content topics per stage.
The content map assists you in creating the overall content marketing strategy. The map makes sure that every piece of content you create meets the requirements of your potential customers throughout their buyer’s journey.
The content map is critical in many ways and often provides insight into how your overall content strategy needs to change to better target and funnel your audience.
By learning customer pain points and purchase behavior you get a much better understanding of your customers. As you define the path that a customer takes from interest to conversion, you can more accurately know their goals, needs, and objections. This insight helps you to create a report based on the information your content map contains. Afterward, you can share these findings with the marketing team.
How to Create Content Map in a Few Steps
Creating a content map has many benefits and it’s not all that hard to create. Let’s see how to do this in three steps.
1. Start with creating a buyer’s persona
Your buyer’s persona is a collective term that marketers use to name their ideal customer. As a rule, this customer possesses certain characteristics that meet the requirements of your product.
Having a buyer’s persona helps you understand what issues and goals your potential customers might have. Therefore, the first step is to create a buyer’s persona.
There are two actionable ways to do this by analyzing the customers:
- Direct approach – Don’t shy away from talking to your prospective customers. You can talk to your social media followers, potential leads, and people who might have any interest in your product as well.
- “Try to guess” approach – If there is no opportunity to talk to people, you should switch on your creativity. For example, analyze data taken from your competitors’ research. You operate in the same niche and have products that help solve the same customers’ issues. Thus, their buyer’s persona may work for your business.
Keep in mind one important nuance – each stage of the buyer’s journey requires creating a buyer’s persona accordingly. In other words, the “awareness” stage represents one type of the buyer’s persona, while the “consideration” stage is all about the other type of the buyer’s persona.
To conclude, you will have to create content for each stage specifically.
2. Map existing content
If you want to make the process of content mapping easier, then you should stick to a template. Here is an example of the template.
All you need to do is to copy the template and fill your existing content per every buyer’s journey stage. If you don’t have content for this moment, you’ll get some useful ideas on this further down the post.
First and foremost, you should analyze the goal. Your content should aim to attract potential leads and convert them into paid customers. Plus, the biggest challenge for content is to turn existing customers into brand advocates who would recommend your product to others.
Here is a short breakdown of the buyer’s journey stages and what content you should create according to the suggested content mapping template:
- Brand awareness – prospects face their problem and don’t know the solution. They might not know about your brand and that it could help them so far. At this stage, you should focus on creating content that would bring up a concern. There is no need to talk about your product directly.
- Interest – the goal of your content is to bring closer to the problem they have and suggest ways how to solve it.
- Consideration – educate your target audience and start suggesting your product.
- Retention – cover topics that still raise the problem but your product shouldn’t be in the first place. The goal of content is to build friendly relationships with your customers.
Keep in mind that you might face some difficulties in content splitting:
- Content works for multiple stages – choose one stage that seems relevant the most.
- Content doesn’t work for whatever stage you choose – you can update your piece of content or create additional sub-stages in your buyer’s journey template.
Now, let’s move ahead.
3. Make the buyer’s journey smooth
When you create your content map, you may stumble upon certain gaps that should be fixed. In other words, you will have to figure out how to fill content gaps throughout the buyer’s journey.
How Do You Fill Content Gaps?
Here are four top-notch pieces of advice that will help you out.
a) Run keyword research
Keyword research helps you figure out what search requests your target audience uses to find your product, service, and whatever information related to your business. When you know the target search queries (keywords), you need to analyze and prioritize them to implement in your content marketing efforts.
For example, your buyer’s persona Jack wants to know how to make his content visually appealing. You can assume basic few seed keywords that this person might use. These keywords are a good starting point where to start your keyword research.
How to analyze seed keywords and get awesome topic ideas for each buyer’s journey stage?
Go to Keywords Explorer tool from Ahrefs and review the “Matching terms” report.
Use the following filters – Search Volume 2K minimum and with lower Keyword Difficulty.
Now, you can play with the “Questions” report to see what “question-based” queries your target audience searches on Google. Include words like “how”, “when”, and “why” to get the information you need (per your needs).
Then review the topic ideas and move to the next step.
b) Make a competitor analysis
If your competitors are already succeeding with their content, you should figure out what the heck they are doing right. You can even borrow from their topics as a starting point to create “better” content for your audience.
Finding content ideas manually sucks up a lot of time — time you probably don’t have. Instead, use one of the SEO/Marketing tools that can automate this process. Like Ahrefs does.
For example, you don’t know your direct competitors. Go to the Site Explorer tool and check out the “Competing Domains” report.
This report shows the list of your competitors that you should consider.
Then, grab a few competitors and use the Content Gap tool. This tool reveals keywords your competitors rank for. Eventually, skim through the list of suggested keywords and use the most promising ones in your content.
Alternatively, you can review the Top pages report that illustrates pages that drive traffic the most.
Now, you have a clue what topic ideas hit the jackpot for your competitors. Use this knowledge for your benefit.
c) Explore your niche in detail
You can find tons of topic ideas by exploring your niche. Find out where your target audience hangs out and draw your attention to what they’re talking about. The places where you can find them are forums, social media channels, communities, personal blogs, etc.
Obviously, you will have to filter down the information. And it promises you to find hidden gems.
Here are some of them:
- People discuss some topic that hasn’t been covered by your competitors yet
- Information your target audience wants to know more about
- Language your audience uses to express people’s problems
Your niche is a source of powerful information that can enrich content marketing efforts.
d) Ask your target audience
If you already have an army of newsletter subscribers, ask these people what content they expect to see from you. You can do this via survey or by displaying a quiz on the site (you can make a free quiz with Interact Quiz Maker).
Questions should you ask:
- What information would you like to get on this blog?
- What are the biggest challenges in your job?
- Do you consider buying our product?
- How did you stumble upon our blog?
- What topic would you like to get covered in detail on our blog?
These findings will help you create a content mapping.
To Sum Up
Content mapping is an integral part of the overall content marketing strategy. It prevents you from covering topics blindly. Instead, it structures content according to the stages of the buyer’s journey.
Don’t start filling your blog with content if you haven’t prepared a content map.
If you think this post lacks some information, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.