The art and science of online marketing are evolving. New techniques and strategies are being developed, which work to continuously refine how to best approach consumers using relevant information, delivered at precisely the right time, to help guide them through their buying process.
One particularly effective technique is content mapping. As web use continues to increase for day-to-day activities like communication, research, and shopping, marketing needs to become more focused and personalized. One way to increase the effectiveness of your marketing is to map content to help steer your customers through the buying process—from discovery to conversion. By aligning your content to your customer’s needs, you can guide them through each stage of the buyers journey.
Map Content To Meet Your Buyers Specific Needs
Content mapping provides several benefits when properly executed. Mapping allows you to:
- Create better, more personalized and effective content that more closely matches your searchers intent, and needs
- Increase leads, qualify leads and widen your lead funnel
- Move more traffic through your funnel increasing conversion rates
- Allow you to better measure your content’s effectiveness
These are all real benefits you can enjoy when you begin to plan and create content to better reach your buyers. Content mapping is fundamentally a three-step process.
1. Identify, Create, and Understand Your Buyer Personas
Today, thanks to the Internet, we’re able to better understand consumer behaviors. Using analytics, we can see what content has engaged readers, how long they stayed on the page, where they came from, what areas of your site they interacted with, and if they convert, more personal information like job titles, age, location and more.
This data compiled over time will give you an idea of who your ideal customers are, what their needs and pain points are, and what causes them to act on your content. This information allows you to better understand your typical buyer and then to further refine your content,
CTAs and SEO to attract like minded people to your website. By understanding who is reading your content and why you can create more content to meet their specific needs.
There are three main stages in the typical buyers lifecycle journey; awareness, consideration, and decision. Understanding your buyer, and providing the content to guide them through the buying lifecycle is the end goal of content mapping. Combining buyer personas with the buyer lifecycle can help you to tailor your content to better meet customer’s needs.
2. Audit Your Existing Content
The next step is to analyze where you are currently. Look at each page for SEO elements, relevance, and CTAs as it relates to your buyers journey.
By understanding what’s working (and what isn’t) and why you can approach new content creation by highlighting the elements that produce while eliminated those that don’t. A content audit will also give you a clearer vision of any gaps in your content that may be negatively impacting conversions and engagement.
3. Identify Gaps and Fill Them
Your audit should help you to identify gaps in your content strategy. You should be able to identify areas where you are weak, whether it’s smoothly progressing buyers through your funnel with specific content and CTAs or addressing specific pain points with your information.
Mapping content to better meet your buyer’s needs and journey ensures that you have no gaps in your strategy. Creating top-funnel content to broaden your reach, attract more visitors and better lead visitors through your process can be made even more effective using a technique called information architecture.
What is Information Architecture?
Information architecture is defined as:
The structural design of shared information environments to support usability and findability; and an emerging community of practice focused on bringing the principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.
In a nutshell, you can map content to meet your user’s needs and create the best content in the world, but if it’s not user-friendly and can’t be found it’s useless. To maximize the effectiveness of your content, you need to make it easy for searchers to find by incorporating directed and searched keywords and phrases. Content that can’t be found won’t be engaged with—no matter how relevant it may be.
Information architecture also deals with your actual website development efforts. Usability is about making your information easy to find, clearly defined, and incorporating actionable CTAs into your site’s design.
When each of these elements—content mapping, SEO, and information architecture are used in tandem, your website’s effectiveness will improve. Usability and personalization are two of the keys to successful inbound marketing. Maximize your marketing strategy. Map content to address your customer’s specific needs. Make your content easier to find by incorporating SEO best practices, and create a site that is easily navigable and user-friendly and you’ll reap the benefits.
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