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Why IT Companies Should Do Content Mappingby@exadel
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1,101 reads

Why IT Companies Should Do Content Mapping

by ExadelOctober 31st, 2022
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Content journey mapping is the process of planning the right website content for each type of customer. It helps you break down your audience and provide them with personalized content. 91% of consumers prefer brands that provide personalized recommendations. Content mapping personalizes your brand's voice to fit specific customer profiles and supports each customer's journey towards purchase. We offer a step-by-step plan to organize your content mapping activities. Here, we explain what a content map is, why you need it, and how to do content mapping right.

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IT companies can and do generate huge quantities of content. It can be a crucial marketing tool, but only if it helps them achieve broader business goals, like driving high-quality traffic to their website, getting more leads, and increasing customer loyalty.  

One way to improve your content marketing efficiency is to use content journey mapping techniques. This will help you provide relevant content to each of your buyer personas whenever and however they need it.. 

In this article, we explain what a content map is, why you need it, and how to do content mapping right. 

Table of Contents

  • What is Сontent Mapping and Why Do You Need it? 
  • What is Website Content Mapping?
  • How To Build a Content Mapping Step By Step
  • Step 1. How To Develop a Buyer's Persona
  • Step 2. Match Customer Journey Stages with Appropriate Content Formats
  • Step 3. Collect All the Content You Already Have and Review It
  • Step 4. Fill in the Blanks with Suitable Content
  • Step 5. Create a Content Map 
  • Conclusion

What is Content Mapping and Why Do You Need It? 

Digital content marketing can bring a diverse set of potential customers in contact with your brand. Some may have only just heard about your product, while others have used it for years, so they need different approaches and information. There is no single piece of content that will be perfect for everyone. 

In order to make content that will be useful to an individual customer, it’s important to think about who your audience actually is. You’ll end up overgeneralizing if you describe your target as “everyone,” because you’ll write to a depersonalized mass. Your customers are real people with real lives, so you’ll need content that is specific to them. 

Content journey mapping is key to marketing success because it helps you break down your audience and provide them with personalized content. According to Salesforce, "88% of high-performing teams say their customer journey strategy is critical to their overall marketing success." This means that marketers are using strategic content planning to serve the right content to the right people at the right time. Content mapping personalizes your brand's voice to fit specific customer profiles and supports each customer's journey towards purchase. 

What is Content Mapping for Websites?

Website content journey mapping is the process of planning the right website content for each type of customer at every stage in the content marketing journey. Mapping will help you visualize your content marketing so you can effectively plan for the future.  

It’s helpful to think about the content marketing journey as a funnel bringing potential clients from hearing about your product to becoming ongoing customers. Marketers define three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. 

To create your content map, start by reviewing the content you already have. While looking it over, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this content fit your customers' needs and background?
  • Is it well-arranged, easy to read, and understandable?

Starting to use a content map is crucial, because 91% of customers prefer brands that provide personalized recommendations.  If you succeed in providing relevant, personalized recommendations, your potential customers will spend more time at your website. 

How To Do Content Mapping Step By Step

Here, we offer a step-by-step plan to organize your content mapping activities. 

  1. Develop Buyer's Personas
  2. Do SEO Research to Create Relevant Content
  3. Match the Customer's Journey Stages with Appropriate Content Formats
  4. Collect All the Content You Already Have and Review It
  5. Fill in the Blanks with Suitable Content
  6. Create a Content Map 

Let's take a closer look at these content journey mapping steps.

Step 1. Develop Buyer's Personas

First, you should figure out what your buyer's personas are. This is a fictional portrait of your target audience. Generalizing is a sin here! Like we said before, you should clearly understand who your potential customer is. A buyer's persona should be based on actual data, not your imagination. 

You can collect this data through interviews and surveys, website analytics, CRM data analysis, and social listening. Your contacts database may also be a helpful resource to find trends in how your customers use your contacts. At the very least, you should talk to your clients and ask them for details about how they use your content. 

If you’re still wondering how to define your buyer persona, start with standard information about the customer, including:

  • Demographics: age, gender, marital status, kids, location
  • Professional status: occupation, job title, company size 
  • Education and Interests

The next phase in content journey mapping will further help you understand your clients.  Ask your customers what they want:

  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • What are their challenges/frustrations?
  • What are their skills? 
  • How can you help? 
  • What do they consider when they make decisions?

Add the feedback received from customers to your buyer persona. 

As you begin your content journey mapping, you can use Exadel template for creating a Tech Buyer's Persona. 

You’ll find that your buyer personas in for content marketing in tech companies fall into three general categories: 

  1. Decision-makers (CTO, CEO, VP, Co-founder, etc.) need a clear understanding of what benefits your product/services will bring to their company 
  2. Recommenders (IT managers) find ROI calculators, support pages, customer success stories, competitive comparison charts, in-depth articles, and blog posts most relevant 
  3. End-users (Developers, Project managers) need in-depth information about your product to solve their problems

Step 2. Do SEO Research to Create Relevant Content

Keyword research is still a crucial factor because it uncovers which specific topics and questions interest your customers. Knowing the keywords your client is likely to use at different stages of the customer's journey will help you provide relevant content. We’ll talk more about content marketing stages later on. 

Each stage of the content marketing funnel has different types of keywords. 

At the awareness stage, a good option for choosing keywords is to include words like “how-to,” “tip,” or “guide” (e.g. “how much does it cost to…”). 

At the consideration stage, you need to answer questions about solutions. The clients already know what the solution is, but now they need to find the best option. Keywords could be combined words like "best," "ideal," "advantageous," or "useful" (for example, “the benefits of Agile transformation”). 

At the bottom of the content funnel, keywords don’t play as big of a big role, because the client already knows about your solution and has visited your landing page. Here, you should have one primary commercial keyword and some low-volume commercial keywords. 

For keyword research, you can use the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and other tools. 

Step 3. Match the Customer's Journey Stages with Appropriate Content Formats

All your content should be tailored to a concrete stage of the buying journey, as visualized by the content marketing funnel. The funnel represents each stage of customer engagement with your product from first introduction until purchase. Our content mapping services template is divided according to the content marketing funnel stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.

Awareness stage: This is where your potential customer starts their journey. Usually, people at this stage don't know much about your solutions and are not acquainted with the products and services you provide, so this is the time to tell them about yourself and what you do. 

What content to create at the awareness stage: 

  • "how-to" guides
  • blog posts
  • landing pages
  • social media posts
  • infographics
  • checklists
  • podcasts
  • eBooks

Consideration stage: When they reach this point, potential clients know who you are. Now their question is “do I need your product/service?” Your content at this stage should help you build a solid relationship with the audience. Tell them more about your services using facts and data.

Different content formats to create at the consideration stage:

  • success stories
  • product overviews
  • landing pages
  • case studies
  • customer reviews
  • white papers
  • useful downloadable resources
  • videos
  • cost calculators
  • webinars

Decision stage: Your customers are acquainted with you, and your goal is to help them decide to purchase your product or service. The content at this stage should be convincing and confident; remember that people research your competitors, so you need to look like the best option available. 

Content formats for the decision stage:

  • demos
  • free trials
  • case studies
  • landing pages
  • targeted offers
  • consultations
  • comparisons
  • blog posts

Blog posts can drive conversions too.

Step 4. Collect all the Content You Already Have and Review It

Make a catalog of all your existing content and analyze it. Map out each piece of content with the buyer's personas and stages of the content marketing journey that you’ve established. Check to see if there is any content that doesn't fit your buyer’s journey content map. You can use a content mapping worksheet to help you make these decisions. 

Step 5. Fill in the Blanks with Suitable Content

While revising your existing content, you may find weaknesses — places in your content mapping table that aren’t yet covered. Now you have a clear understanding of what content you need to create. 

Step 6. Create and Regularly Update a Content Map

We provide a content mapping template to organize your content moving forward. It’s based on understanding your customers’ situation and their current stage in the buyer’s journey. 

Combining customer personas with their lifecycle stages will help you create more personalized and relevant content. 

Conclusion

Content mapping services help reach your customer by anticipating their decision making and responding appropriately. Get to know your potential clients well and define their customer persona and pain points at different stages of the buyer's journey. You can then develop a content mapping strategy to create relevant content. And don’t forget to check the performance of your content marketing efforts to see how you can keep on improving.

Author: Katsia Radziuk is a content writer at Exadel.