Content Mapping and Your Buyer’s Cycle
Content mapping is the process of knowing and planning your content, based on the needs of your potential buyers at the different stages of the sales cycle.
This goes beyond your typical website and social media content. It is the right content, at the right time.
First of all, you need to know and understand the different stages of the buyer’s cycle and the types of content that people generally look for at these stages.
Awareness: This is the stage when people find out about your brand, and become curious to know more.
Evaluation: At this stage, your buyers begin to assess how you best fit their needs. Are your brand’s features and functionalities what they look for? How do you compare to your competitors, in terms of what you offer, your guarantees and pricing? What kind of support do you offer your potential buyers?
Purchase: At this stage, people come to a decision and buy (or not).
How Does Content Mapping Figure In
At the different stages of the sales cycle, people need different kinds of content to move them along towards the next stage.
At the awareness stage, they would need content, such as your product page (with details about what you offer), your social media profile, and even perhaps your About Us. Your potential buyers want to know more about you and your product. They need to know if it’s worth the time exploring more of what you offer.
At the evaluation stage, you need to be more detailed. This is the time when you get compared to alternative products. Remember that this is not just about pricing. Factors, such as ease of use and support, among others, come in. Content, such as your FAQs, whitepapers, support forum posts and more, helps.
The purchasing stage is a crucial stage. You either win or lose a client who is ready to buy. A key content here is user-generated content, such as product reviews and testimonials.
How To Start Content Mapping
The sample content mentioned above are mere examples. There’s more to it; and you can start with these evaluation steps:
1. What is the typical purchasing pathways that are followed by your buyers? You need to know your buyer’s cycle by figuring out how your buyers find you and the paths they follow prior to making a purchase. Do they find you through social media or web searches? What pages do they typically visit prior to making a purchase? Software, such as the HubSpot software or even your CRM, comes in handy. You want to know the scenarios that play out and the content that factor into these purchasing scenarios.
2. What content do you have in place along these purchasing pathways? Which of these content are actually used by your buyers? In content mapping, you need to know what you have and don’t have – what’s useful and what aren’t utilised. Your goal is to map out the path and have your bases covered. You deliver the content that your users actually need. And, if you don’t have this yet, you develop and make it available.
3. Is your messaging working across your different buyer personas? It is likely that your product or service is needed by people of a variety of buyer personas. For instance, soap is needed by different age groups. And, you need to reach out to these age groups in messaging that works on them. Selling soap as a way to get rid of pimples and other teenage acne concerns is not going to work on a 40-year old. But, that 40-year old still needs soap, and may have more buying power than the teenager.
In content mapping, make sure to consider the different personas that make up your target market. Provide content with messaging that appeals to these different personas.