Content mapping is a process that can be used to help determine the types of content you need and where they should go. It involves prioritizing your content and determining what type of content will support your users’ information needs.
Content mapping can also help you identify gaps in existing information and prioritize topics for future content development. When undertaking a systematic approach to creating knowledge, it’s important to first map out all of the possible types of information or interactions that might be created – this includes those already developed as well as those yet to be developed.
Creating effective content maps helps ensure that your audience can find the right piece of information at the right time, which encourages them to return again and again, improving their overall experience on your site or community.
Components of a Content Map
The Buyer Persona
The buyer persona is a fictional, generalized person that represents your audience. Your content mapping process begins by creating a buyer persona for the site/community you’re mapping.
Your goal is to help yourself and others gain a better understanding of who they are, what their challenges are, what they need from your site or community, and how you can best serve them.
The Information Need
An information need is what we call any type of knowledge or experience our users might want as they interact on our sites and communities – it could be anything from an answer to a question to some level of entertainment value.
Content mapping involves first identifying which buyers have which information needs and prioritizing those needs so that we can develop content that will meet those needs as efficiently as possible.
The Information Gap
An information gap is the difference between the content consumers currently have and the content they need. Mapping out this information gap will help you identify their needs and it will also force you to better understand where there might be opportunities to improve your site or community in order to close that gap.
Once we’ve mapped out the types of information our users want and identified any gaps, we can begin prioritizing topics for future content development.
If we know what our users want, when they want it, and where they’ll find it on our site or community – we’ll be able to more effectively serve them which, in turn, makes their experience with us even better than before.
Here’s how to create a Content Map
Below we’ve provided a simple, step-by-step guide on how to create an effective content map:
1. First gather all of the existing information and interactions that currently exist in your organization.
This might include:
– FAQs and other information available on your website
– Online communities such as discussion boards or groups
– Support documents such as how-to guides
– Training materials and presentations
2. Prioritize all of the content you’ve identified – what is most important? What should come next? Etc.
This can be done by asking questions like:
- Who is my audience and what do they need to know?
- What goals does this support?
- How often will this type of content be updated?
- Is there anything else that needs to added to this list?
3. Determine which areas they need more help in and brainstorm ideas for new types of content that would support their overall experience with you or your brand.
A good way to start this is by asking yourself questions like:
- What pain points do they struggle with?
- How can I help them better achieve what they need to get done?
- What are some common misconceptions about your organization, services or products?
This will help expand on the information that currently exists and fill any gaps in knowledge.
4. Identify gaps and prioritize topics for future development (planning ahead will save you time later)
If you’re planning on launching a new product, you might want to map out all the topics your audience would need help with in order to make the most of their experience with it.
By determining what they’ll use and what is most important for them to know, you can prioritize which pieces of content will be developed first and ensure it’s available at launch.
This not only helps you determine how and where content should be created but also makes sure that your users have access to information when they need it most.
You can then map this information back down into specific goals or tasks that each piece of content supports. It’s best to start small and build from there
5. Organize them into a comprehensive list sorted by priority and type of information needed (this is typically prioritized from most important or critical topics to least ).
6. Review this list with your team to identify any gaps that currently exist in the knowledge base for each topic and group together related topics. For example, you might include these topics under a broader “training” category if they all support getting new users up to speed on how certain features work.
7. Identify which content types will be used to create or support each topic (e.g., case studies, blog posts, videos, etc.). This can help you determine what information should be created first and whether it’s best suited for an existing platform or something new entirely.
8. Finally, review the list with various teams across the organization who are responsible for providing this information – they can provide insight into where there is still a need, what information is most important and how it should be communicated to the intended audience.
You’ll then have a list that you can refer to when creating new content, updating old pieces, or developing an editorial calendar for the entire site.
Content Mapping Template
Here’s a list of some content mapping templates that can get you on your way.
Hubspot offers a 16-20 page Content Mapping Template that can be downloaded from their website. It offers a more in-depth look at a content map but can be a bit too in-depth for most users.
If you’re looking for a simpler template, try this Content Mapping Template from Demand Metric.
Are you struggling to find the right content for your demand generation efforts? This content mapping spreadsheet from Uberflip will help you ensure that you have enough of the right content to be effective in your demand generation efforts.
It’s a simple way to make sure that what you’re creating is actually solving problems and not just adding noise. The template has been designed with marketers in mind, so it’s easy to use and understand. You can even customize it based on your own needs!
Content Mapping Software
Do you need to create a concept map?
Concept maps are an excellent way to organize information in your mind. They’re also great for helping others understand the connections between ideas, events, or notes.
Lucidchart is an excellent tool for creating concept maps because it allows you to customize formatting options and easily share your work with others. You can use our app on any device – including smartphones and tablets – so that you always have access to your concept map when inspiration strikes!
Types of Content Maps
Now that you have a better understanding of what content mapping is, let’s take a closer look at the various types of content maps.
You can create many content maps depending on your needs. As you progress through the mapping process, you’ll likely develop a larger map containing more topics and subtopics.
Here are some of the most popular types of content maps:
• Chord Diagram – A chord diagram is similar to a Venn diagram because it shows similarities between two or more items. The difference is that chord diagrams show relationships instead of just comparisons. For example, it might be used to show how different companies are related if they all offer similar products. This type of content map can get pretty complex but allows users to see information flow in ways that aren’t obvious at first glance.
• Mind Map – A mind map is an organizational tool created by arranging key concepts radiating from a central topic in a cohesive manner. It’s common for users to create several branches that extend from one main branch. This helps further organize the information into logical areas of focus.
• Decision Tree – In finance, a decision tree helps users understand the risks and rewards of different investments or business decisions. It can be used in other fields too! A decision tree is easiest to create when broken into logical steps that are easy to follow. Lucidchart allows users to simply drag and drop shapes onto a canvas so that creating one isn’t complicated at all!
• MetaMap – The meta map method was developed as part of the text analysis process for qualitative research. It’s designed as a flexible framework that lets you analyze textual data from multiple perspectives. It
• Affinity Map – An affinity map is a type of grouping technique that allows users to organize information based on their personal preferences or similarities. It can be used in conjunction with other types of content maps, but it works best when collecting thoughts from groups of people for more qualitative data collection efforts.
• Concept Map – A concept map is a diagram that shows the main components of an idea and how they relate to one another. It’s helpful when trying to understand a large, complex topic or system. You can use it to show relationships between ideas or concepts in a more linear fashion.
Creating a keyword map is one of the best ways to make sure that you’re targeting relevant keywords and phrases throughout your marketing efforts.
The process may sound complicated but it’s actually pretty straightforward! Using this technique will help marketers improve their site architecture as well as create better content.
In turn, this should lead to improved conversions as more people are able to find your business online based on the information presented on your website or blog pages.
Content mapping also allows marketers to understand how certain keywords are associated with one another. This provides insight into the best types of content to create and how it should be presented on your website or blog pages.
For example, you might see that certain keywords are closely related to each other so they fall under the same subtopic within your mapping process. It could also become evident that some terms aren’t related at all, so these concepts will not necessarily fit together if included on the same web page.
How to Create a Keyword Map
Once you’ve decided on the type of content map you want to create, it’s time to move on to actually creating one! Here are some general instructions for how to do so:
1. Start by jotting down all of your main topics or ideas in the middle circle.
2. Next, think carefully about how each concept relates to one another and draw arrows between them accordingly.
3. Make minor edits as needed and link concepts together so that they flow naturally from one idea to another.
4. Once everything has been mapped out, remove any unnecessary concepts.
5. Finally, add in keywords to help users find you when they search online! As you can see, creating a keyword map is very similar to creating other types of content maps.
The main difference is that you’re paying careful attention to the surrounding text and using keywords where possible instead of trying to visualize relationships between different ideas.
Customer Journey Map
There are many types of content mapping tools available to help you with your work. The most popular type is a customer journey map – this type of map documents the interactions people have with your business and helps capture their experiences over time.
A good customer journey map includes information about the following elements:
• Personas – who are you talking to? It’s important to include details about demographics, interests, pain points, and goals. You can then use this information in competitive analysis and other content types.
• Touchpoints – what interactions do people have with your business? Which touchpoints are most valuable? Your customer journey map should be organized so that the most critical touchpoints come first.
• Content strategy – how is content used across different platforms? How is it created for each platform, and what value does it provide to users when they interact with it? This part of your plan will ensure that all of your content has a unique purpose and goal that aligns with larger business objectives.
The purpose of content mapping is to build and maintain a comprehensive list of the topics that your organization wants to cover, give them unique identifiers (so they can be found easily), and provide information on which content type will go with each topic.
By doing this, you’ll be able to make sure that there is always relevant content available for your users as well as create an editorial calendar around those topics. This ensures that you’re only producing the right information at the right time – saving you both time and money in the long run!
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