There are many ways to make a business stand out from the competition. But sharing unique and relevant content remains the most valuable player. It focuses on generating interest, attention, and engagement in your brand. You can leverage content mapping to send personalized content to the right audience at the most opportune time.

Are you new to this concept? This article is the perfect starting point. It focuses on a clear and easy-to-understand step-by-step guide to creating a content map. It also highlights best practices and advice to ensure you will efficiently complete each step.

By the end of this read, you will understand three main points:

  • What content mapping is about
  • How to use it
  • The benefits it can provide to achieve your content marketing goals

Let’s dive in.

What is content mapping & why should you create one?

Content mapping is about planning highly personalized content at every stage of the customer journey (buyer journey for prospective customers). It’s a method that analyzes and outlines how each content piece in your marketing campaign supports every customer journey stage.

One key point to complete the process is the consumers’ requirements and preferences. Consumers have different needs as they progress on their journey. So you must identify them all to ensure you can address and incorporate them into the content naturally. Make sure to keep in mind what defines content if you wish to intentionally create sparks of curiosity within your audience.

It’s also important to align with the brand’s marketing goals. It gives your brand purpose and leads your marketing team in the right direction. Let’s say your brand is offering credible solutions, for example. Consumers prefer to trust the brand first before making a purchasing decision. It assures that the brand will deliver its promises and provide impeccable experiences.

You can set building trust as a goal and connect it to the most relevant content. For example, Trustshoring, an IT recruiting and consulting service, builds trust with its ideal customer base using case studies. It’s a practical way to showcase the real-life application of their services. Since the case study comes from their actual users, it holds weight in the consumers’ purchase decisions.

If you can’t afford to invest in full-blown articles, you can also adopt Dress Forms USA approach to content mapping. It’s a manufacturer of quality professional dress forms that use the following content:

  • About us page
  • Customer reviews
  • Positive tweets and other forms of social proof

Its goal is to give its ideal audiences reasons to visit its eCommerce website and trust its workmanship. After careful assessment, the content team can see which content relates better to your customers and marketing goals. They can also explore more types of content and choose the most relevant topics. It saves time on the content creation process and ensures your content will encourage more potential customers to convert.

By utilizing a Headless Content Management System, you can streamline these efforts, effectively manage and distribute your content, and achieve greater success in engaging your target audience and driving conversions.

4 steps to create a content map for better marketing

Content mapping requires serious data collection and analysis to ensure business owners identify content gaps and opportunities. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide and best practices to save you time.

Step 1: Research to identify your ideal customer

The success of your entire content strategy depends on your target audience. That’s why content mapping starts by knowing who your target customers are. Data is your most important asset because it helps establish the baseline of their needs, interests, behavioral patterns, etc.

Where can you get reliable and accurate data? The most common data collection methods are surveys, one-on-one interviews, focus groups, and experiments. Since most of these methods are done in person, you can ensure the data’s accuracy, relevance, and reliability.

You can also get fresh data from your own CRM database. Integrate it with the right third-party applications so that the data can seamlessly sync to, from, or between applications. Customization is the key to managing and analyzing bulk data faster and more efficiently.

If you’re running an eCommerce website, your CRM can get sufficient data from your customers’ orders and transaction history. You can also add email newsletters and blog subscriptions to gather in-depth customer preferences and interests. One good example of this is Looker, a big data analytics platform.

The company built a dedicated Preference Center. It ensures that users can freely change the information they receive in your newsletter based on their current interests.

Another good source of data is web and social media analytics. They have an audience research tool to help you define your actual customer base. They are also handy in estimating the volume of traffic (paid and organic search) and analyzing site visitors’ behaviors. Here’s a quick rundown of your options:

The company built a dedicated Preference Center. It ensures that users can freely change the information they receive in your newsletter based on their current interests. Another good source of data is web and social media analytics. Here’s a quick rundown of your options:

1.1 Google Analytics

Wide tracking coverage is one reason many choose Google Analytics as their go-to tool. Google has dominated the search engine market for years. As of January 2023, it has a market share of around 84.69%.

So, it’s worth knowing what Google knows about you and your audience. Here’s a screenshot of its dashboard to see what metrics it uses to find and identify your customers.

It launches 3 new metrics, which are all still in beta version.

  • Lifetime value: This shows data on how valuable different users are to your business (based on their lifetime performance). It helps you identify customers with higher value and avoid investing in customers with a lower value.
  • Cohort analysis: Are your business growing or failing? This metric can provide an accurate answer by comparing user groups’ behavior over time. You can track when a specific customer group starts to lower their engagement.
  • Cross-device: Helps you identify what type and how many devices your customers use when accessing your content. You can also see each conversion process step – from start (initial contact) to finish (long-term retention).

1.2 Facebook Audience Insights

Social media is another most visited platform on the internet. They are free to use and users are active 24/7. That’s enough reason for businesses to invest their marketing efforts to reach and attract new audiences on these platforms. Identifying your target customers would also be easy because each platform has an Analytics tool.

Facebook remains the most popular platform, with 2.963 billion (January 2023) monthly active users. You can use its Audience Insights to identify and reach out to your ideal customers.

Its dashboard features a simple design to ensure users can find detailed information about their target audience quicker. It includes various attributes and filters to refine your search and get only the insights that matter to your goals. If you’re a first-time user, you need to choose an audience to start with:

  • Everyone on Facebook: Recommended for finding new prospects
  • People connected to your page: Learn more about current customers to get new content ideas and other ways to improve your content.

1.3 LinkedIn Analytics

LinkedIn was initially built as a job and networking website. Professionals in different fields come together and share job search hacks and career advice. But now, it transitioned into one of the liveliest social media channels. It helps position your brand as an expert and a credible source of information.

All its metrics are organized neatly through categories. Visitor demographics are the most checked data because it gives you an idea of who is interested in your page. The screenshot below shows how it looks when viewing data based on job function.

You can also check other insights based on the company size, industry, location, and seniority. Do you want to know how well your current content performs? LinkedIn made it easy by adding content analytics. The highlight section shows the total number of likes, comments, and shares your posts received in the last 30 days.

If you want to view the performance of the individual post, you can use content management analytics. It will break down its performance from post title to engagement rate.

Step 2: Create detailed buyer personas

Assuming you successfully gather the customer data you need, you can create a buyer persona. You can create a detailed description of your ideal customers using your research and data. Some businesses solely focus on their customers’ demographics.

It’s okay to know what your customers look like, their location, and their capacity to make purchasing decisions. However, it’s not enough. You should also understand the following:

  • What do they need and want?
  • What do they like to see and learn?
  • What motivates them to make purchasing decisions?
  • What challenges and concerns are they experiencing?
  • Do they make the purchasing decision all by themselves?

These are only general questions; you can list more customer-specific questions based on your brand’s niche. Let’s say you’re in an eCommerce business offering do-everything inflatable paddle boards. Some of the ideal data you should collate is the characteristics of paddlers, surfers, and adventurers.

Attracting them to your products is relatively easy because it has already hit their interest and lifestyle. The real challenge is addressing their common concern – are inflatable paddle boards worth their money? 

You can craft pieces of content discussing the advantages of this equipment. Durability, portability, and injury prevention are some details worth including. The best content formats to use are blog posts and infographics.

Some people don’t see it as cost-effective because they can only use it once a year (summer). You can debunk that myth and write about all the activities anyone can do in all seasons. You can also mention the bodies of water where they can safely use their paddle boards (rivers, shallow waters, etc.)

Best practice: Use triggers

You can plan and use different metrics to create a unique and accurate buyer profile. But everyone knows how fast people’s minds change. So, how can you keep up with their ever-changing needs?

One excellent solution is understanding the consumers’ emotional triggers. Find these triggers, and you will understand what influences them to look for information and purchase a product. A trigger can also influence consumers to take the necessary action you’ve provided.

In creating a buyer persona, you can use 3 types of triggers:

  • Internal: Events that revolve around potential buyers’ ideas, feelings, thoughts, and frustrations.
  • External: Events that your potential buyer couldn’t control. It can range from social events to life changes.
  • Seasonal: Predictable events commonly happening with your potential buyers (birthdays, holidays, etc.)

Step 3: Update the buyer journey stages

The next step is identifying where each buyer persona is currently in the buying journey. It’s an excellent opportunity to update your buying process for each stage to ensure you can map the right content. There are 3 stages in the buyer’s journey, and here they are:

3.1 Awareness stage

The stage where the target customer acknowledges the problem at hand. They will start researching viable solutions, so it’s best to share content that intends to educate. A blog post is one of the most popular content types for long-form articles. You have plenty of space to provide all the valuable details you want to share.

Let’s say your target customer is searching for solar energy generation equipment for replacement. Your blog should discuss topics like the type of panels and different sizes available. Other additional helpful points to consider when buying solar equipment and kits are also welcome. I’ve shared a screenshot below to see other topic ideas you can discuss.

Another benefit of a blog post is it can accommodate any content format (text, video, audio, etc.). Most internet users have busy schedules, so their attention spans are much shorter than others. You can pique their interest by providing them with engaging short-form content like infographics, instructional videos, and social media posts.

3.2 Consideration stage

The stage where the target customer understands how to solve the problem and is ready to explore their options. At this stage, you can promote your product subtly. The best way to do this is to position your product as one of the best options. For this reason, the recommended content type to create is a comparison video.

You can highlight each solution’s features, pricing rates, and other details that can help your prospects decide what to buy. A whitepaper is also ideal because it provides a concise and detailed report about a specific problem and its solution.

3.3 Decision stage

As the name implies, this is where the target customer finds the solution they need. Some customers have a few questions about their chosen provider before purchasing. It’s best to have an FAQ page or help center on your website to quickly access the answers.

Product landing pages and reviews are the best content to make if you’re selling tangible products. But if you’re selling SaaS products, it’s best to offer demos and case studies. It helps them understand the entirety of the product better. You can also include a trial version so they can get a closer look at its functionality risk-free.

An excellent example to cite is LOVO, a text-to-speech software. You can sign up for free and start using the PRO version of the app immediately for 14 days. Learning how the platform works would only take a little time because it includes clear and short instructions.

No matter what questions you may have, LOVO can answer them quickly. The reason – it includes the following content on the trial version page:

  • FAQ
  • Demo
  • Pricing
  • Benefits
  • Reviews
  • Features
  • Use Case

You can also implement Unscramblex’s approach. It offers a universal word-finding tool for various games like Scrabble and Words with Friends. To ensure the tool’s ease of use, they designed their website for informational purposes. Each product has a dedicated web page, where all the details are laid out nicely, including the main app. They make it easier for everyone to choose the app.

Step 4: Catalog your content

Now that everything is in place, the next step is organizing your entire content. Its primary goal is to make the content mapping process work smoothly. It’s also beneficial in content audits, finding gaps, and duplication prevention.

There are two ways to create a catalog. The simpler one is using content marketing platforms like Salesforce Marketing Cloud and DivvyHQ. It’s a centralized hub where you can create, store, and manage your content. Since it’s AI-powered, you can automate repetitive tasks and schedule content publishing. 

But if you want to be more in control, you can create a catalog manually using Google Sheets or Excel. Add the following details to ensure you can map content seamlessly.

  • URL
  • Title
  • Category
  • Buyer stage
  • Content type
  • Keywords and tags
  • Publishing channels

Best practice: Set unique tags & keywords

Sending the right content to the right people is a challenging task. Adding relevant tags and keywords helps you know what and where your content is. It’s also beneficial for your SEO ranking as it matches the buyers’ search intent.

Let’s say you’re offering quality chemicals and ingredients for various applications. You can choose tags and keywords relevant to their purposes.

  • Pharmaceutical (Capsules, preblends, chelators, etc.)
  • Cosmetics and personal care (hair care, color cosmetics, etc.)
  • Industrial and agricultural (water treatment, micronutrients, fertilizer, etc.)
  • Food and beverage (canning dried fruits, pet foods dairy, brewing flavors, etc.)

4 Practical content mapping tools

Creating a content map is one thing; populating it is another. Here are some practical tools that can do the job right.

1. ImpactHero

This is a content analytics tool that can help you map your content to the right buyer journey stage. It can also identify the most impactful copy and provides actionable insights to improve content performance.

2. Topic Research

SEMRush’s topic finder tool helps your content team find engaging content to outrank your competitors. If your business is about improving HVAC businesses, you can input your target keywords like “HVAC marketing strategies” and location. It will then display all top headlines, frequently asked questions, and all content ideas pulled from various social channels.

Content Mapping: SEMRush Topic Research

3. Ahrefs

Ahref offers a modernized platform for content mapping. It’s easy to implement and populate. You don’t need to juggle multiple applications for planning, creating, scheduling, and publishing content. The reason – it offers a toolkit for content marketing research and analysis.

4. GoAura

A repricing tool for Amazon FBA sellers. It landed on this list because it provides a detailed analysis of your competitors. It also has profit analytics that shows how your listings and sales perform over time.


A solid content mapping strategy can help you achieve better results, sales, and customer relationships. The guide above can lead you to the right path and align your content to the buyer’s journey. Make sure to complete the process to gain an in-depth understanding of your prospects. It will save you time and resources.

You can always use a template if you find the creation process tedious. HubSpot, Ahrefs, and PandaDoc are only a few of the popular platforms that offer a simple-to-fill template. They are all customizable, so you can freely add more important details whenever necessary.
Do you want more expert advice to take your business to the next level? Visit our resources to learn more about building a strong sales pipeline using reliable and accurate data.