Have you heard of content mapping before?
If you haven’t, it’s about time that you do.
It’s remarkably valuable and important for your own content marketing strategy.
Content mapping is the act of understanding your audience so well that you can then create content for each stage of their journey toward buying your product.
As you well know, few people go straight from discovery to buying.
Instead, they usually discover your website, think about your product, spend a few months thinking, see a retargeting ad, and then buy.
At least, it goes something like that.
The point is that people take a lot of time to buy.
And traditionally, content marketing is a top-of-funnel strategy.
That is to say, content marketing builds brand awareness, engagement, and evangelism.
But in terms of conversions, revenue, and ROI… well, that’s hard to measure.
I’m definitely not saying that content marketing is helpless when it comes to meaningful business events. I’m simply saying that measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy is particularly difficult.
Think about it.
People see your content, and then they know who you are. But if they don’t join your email list or opt into something, then you don’t know who they are.
That further means that you have no way to track how many people actually bought your product because they learned about your business from the content you created.
For that reason, the effectiveness of content marketing can be a bit ambiguous.
In a perfect world, content marketing strategy would guide people like this.
But you know as well I do that we don’t live in a perfect world.
We live in a world where everyone is a bit different, and the real reason that someone buys a product is often quite fleeting.
Did they buy because of the advertisement they saw or because of the article they read a week before?
It’s hard to tell.
Of course, us marketers can still work with what we have at our disposal. That ambiguity isn’t an excuse to ignore the identity of our customers.
Still, the better we know our customers, the more effective our content marketing strategy will end up being.
One of the best ways to do that is by creating a customer avatar. It should look something like this.
When you do that, be sure to be specific. You want to pretend that your entire audience is a single person with individual desires, goals, pains, and demographics.
Then, and only then, will your content do a far better job of talking to the people who matter.
You can’t do that if you don’t start by understanding who your ideal customer is.
The better that you understand your customers, the better you can make their buying journey from traffic to prospect to sale.
And that can directly impact your revenue.
In fact, 55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience, and 86% of B2B buyers would pay more. To further show the importance of this, 89% of peoplehave stopped doing business with a company because of a poor experience.
If, on the other hand, you guide your prospects through the buying journey with helpfulness, kindness, and availability, they are much more likely to love you.
And when people love you, they tell their friends about you.
The point is that your customers want a remarkable experience, and your content marketing efforts can give that to them. But you have to understand the way that people buy and then create content for each stage.
There are three basic stages:
And each stage requires a different kind of content marketing.