Content mapping is a critical step in the inbound marketing process. In this article, I'm going to tell you why (and I'll share a content mapping template with you too). What is Content Mapping? Content mapping is the process of figuring out where all of your content fits in relation to the Buyer's Journey. This way, you can see where you need to create additional content to guide prospects through the buying process, and make sure that you're nurturing leads with the right content (according to their persona and what stage of the Buyer's Journey they're in). Why Content Mapping is Important. One of the biggest differences between inbound marketing and traditional marketing is that it's customer-centric. With inbound marketing, you build your credibility with your target market by providing valuable information that helps your prospects make educated decisions at each stage of the Buyer’s Journey. But how do you know what information your prospects need? And how do you make sure you're checking all the boxes? That's where content mapping can help. The 5 Steps of Content Mapping. Here are five steps to help you get started mapping your content and delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. Step 1. Map out the Buyer's Journey. You’ll need content that answers questions buyer’s during three important phases of the process: The Awareness stage. What questions do prospects have when they first realize they have the problem you solve?The Consideration stage. What solutions do prospects research when they're looking to take care of the problem?The Decision stage. What information do prospects look for to help them make their final selection? So the first step is to talk to your current customers and subject matter experts on your team to determine what the journey looks like. This is the landscape in which your content mapping will take place. Step 2. Create Buyer Personas. You’ll also need to know what kinds of people are a good fit for your solution. There may be a number of different types of customers who need you for different reasons. It’s important to identify these buyer personas and to develop content for each one individually. Develop a list of your best customers and see what they have in common. You may end up separating them into two or three different personas. If that's the case, you need to have content that addresses questions at each stage of the Buyer’s Journey for each of the personas you’re targeting. Step 3. Map Out Your Content. Now it's time to take inventory of the content you have so that you can see where everything fits into the Buyer's Journey. This will also allow you to identify any gaps that need to be filled in with additional content. In a spreadsheet, make a list of each question or concern your prospects might have at each stage of the Buyer's Journey. Do this for each persona. Then, make a list of all the content you have currently. Then, plug your current content in where it belongs in the Buyer's Journey sheet. If you'd like a template to help you get started, enter your email below and I'll send it to your inbox. Download the Content Mapping Template. Step 4. Segment Your Audience Once you’ve mapped and developed content for all buyer personas at every stage of the buyer’s journey, you can begin to segment your audience based on that information. For example, if a website visitor is viewing your Decision stage content, you can use marketing automation software to put them in a Decision stage bucket. You can then begin to deliver more content to drive them further down the funnel. This content can be delivered through email, remarketing ads, or any other channel that makes sense. Step 5. Promote Your Content. It’s not enough just to create the content. You’ll have to develop the infrastructure needed to drive traffic to that content and to convert your the right visitors into leads. This goes by a lot of different names, but I call it your conversion funnel structure. Conversion Funnel Structure. There are three major components of your conversion funnel. Traffic Source. This is how you’ll get people to read your content. It includes paid traffic (e.g., Google search ads or Facebook ads), organic (e.g, social media or blog posts), and any other channel (e.g., cold email).Offer. Also known as a “lead magnet,” you’ll put this behind a form to give visitors a reason to hand over their contact information. It can be anything your potential customers will find valuable.\u200bLanding Page. This is where you’ll send your traffic, and it’s where you’ll persuade prospects to take your offer (and give you their contact information). The form for your offer will live here. In the template I shared above, you should have listed your blog posts and offers. Now, you can create landing pages for all of your offers (if you haven't already), and drive traffic to your blog posts (with calls-to-action leading them to your offers) and/or directly to your offer landing pages. Don't Forget Your Content Mapping Template. Just enter your email below: And for more information on how to drive traffic to your content check out The Ultimate Guide to Getting Traffic to Your Landing Page!