Content Mapping Is a Winning Strategy to Deepen Customer Relationships
Content mapping allows brands to visualize how content can be targeted to different types of buyers at various stages in the buying cycle. Brands that tailor and target content in this way have found success in increasing conversions—and have even deepened their relationship with customers.
Merrill Lynch views the customer relationship as the core of its content marketing strategy, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reports. Like a financial adviser, Merrill Lynch’s content aims to answer the finance-related “keep-you-up-at-night questions” that many consumers have.
The company approaches content by analyzing age and income to create specific consumer profiles. These profiles could include, for example, the population segment concerned about caring for aging parents. Merrill Lynch looks at where the company offers value to people with these needs and seeks to get the right content to them when it’s top-of-mind.
To figure out potential customers’ needs, the company looks to signals from search. That includes refining general search terms like “retirement” and “investing” to words that better describe a specific life-stage scenario. The company uses SEO to optimize headlines and imagery in real time to make content pop. On social, Merrill Lynch seeks to target individuals rather than boost specific content pieces.
Content mapping, while time-consuming, is not necessarily difficult to execute, suggests Barbra Gago of CMI. The process involves identifying customer personas and the questions they will have for each stage of the buying process. A template can help marketers visualize the content needed to answer those questions and fill in any gaps.
Many marketers are already targeting content. Ninety-one percent of B2C marketers segment their content in some way, according to a report from CMI and MarketingProfs. This targeted writing approach gives brands the ability to deliver content to a specific consumer segment when they need it. By using content mapping, brands can better understand what buyers want and create content relevant to them.