Many marketers talk about the need for content mapping. In short, this is the process of identifying what information each of your personas needs throughout the buying process. It’s time-consuming, but not difficult when you follow the steps below. Here’s the process I use, as well as some templates to get you started (you can view them all below or download them in one PDF).
Identify your buyer personas
I collect information in the persona template to develop a comprehensive picture of each customer segment:
- Time in the job
- Works directly with
- Daily tasks
- Likes/dislikes about job
- Role in buying process
- Buying stage
To help people relate to your personas, add images and give names to your buyer profiles. Assigning a name to the persona helps everyone on your team think of this buyer as a real person, not just a piece of business.
Determine what questions your personas have at each stage of the process
Once you identify who your personas are, identify the questions they have for each stage of the buying process. While the buying process may vary for different buyers, I’ve broken it down into six basic stages:
- Early (mid)
- Early (late)
- Mid (late)
To figure out what questions your personas have, ask questions or analyse user/professional groups and do plenty of research (find studies and reports that have been conducted on your target market, or conduct them yourself).
It’s important to note that not all personas will be involved in all stages of the buying process.
Answer the questions
Once you have identified the questions your persona has, track the answers to the questions and a suggested format for providing this information.
I use this persona content map matrix to fill in the questions, answers, content and content format for the entire buying process. This can then be leveraged for nurture, drip or promotional marketing. This matrix will help define your overall content strategy and how it supports your website, social media, sales enablement and other marketing or demand generation efforts.
Different format types can be more appropriate for various stages of the sales cycle.
Conduct a content audit
Next you want to determine if you have the content you need to answer those questions and support various concerns your buyers have. This will help you visualise what you are trying to do with the content mapping and storing of content that’s easily accessible by anyone (sales people, for example) to support individual sales processes.
Map the content
Now you need to map the content you will use for each persona at various stages of the buying cycle. When you map your content this way, you will probably find that you have a lot of content for a certain stage or certain persona. This is good; it gives you a very clear place to start filling in gaps.
Identify content gaps and create content
The gaps are the holes you have left that need to be filled.
- Knowing the gaps will help you prioritise the work.
- You’ll know if you should spend the time and resources on it or not.
- It will help you be better informed if a partner or media opportunity arises.
When you develop the content, be sure to address your buyer persona’s information consumption needs, and desired content formats at different stages. This process isn’t just about knowing what to send out next, it’s about understanding what your buyers want, and being relevant, helpful and valuable to them.
Let me know in the comments below what questions you have about content mapping.
At MAXEMUS we understand one size does not fit all. We take a collaborative approach to truly grow your brand. We create a personalised marketing solution that wraps around your identity and your needs, to get the right message to the right person at the right time. Talk to us about your marketing needs today.