Content maps help make sure your content serves a strategic role in nurturing your audience. It’s one of the best ways to keep your content aligned with your business goals.
I’ll cover two ways of creating content maps. The traditional way and the Ahrefs way. Both are tried and tested methods, but we like ours better—and I’ll explain why. Read on to learn both methods and choose the one that better suits your needs. We’ll talk about the following:
What a content map is
Why create a content map
How to create a traditional content map
The Ahrefs way of mapping content
Content mapping tools
GET THE TEMPLATE
Content mapping template—just click on the link to make your own editable copy in Google Sheets.
What is a content map?
A content map is a document that lists stages of the buyer’s journey for every buyer persona and maps them with relevant content.
Example of Ahrefs' content map showing buyer's journey stages and persona
Example content map (from our content template). Different pieces of content have been assigned to various buyer’s journey stages for a particular buyer persona. Feel free to take a closer look at this inside our content map template.
Why create a content map
The main reason for creating a content map is to make sure your brand’s content is accompanying each buyer persona throughout all stages of the marketing funnel—from attracting visitors to converting them and keeping them on board.
Here’s an additional reason. A sort of byproduct of creating a content map is getting an overview of your content inventory. This can help you spot gaps and find repurposing opportunities.
How to create a traditional content map (template included)
Follow these three steps to create your content map and fill any gaps with new content ideas.
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1. Create buyer personas
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional person who represents the common characteristics of your customers (an archetype). Here’s an example buyer persona for our product:
Infographic of buyer persona "Anna Agency"
A buyer persona helps you visualize your customers’ buying journey, internalize who they are, and empathize with their challenges and goals.
Depending on your resources, there are two ways you can identify your customers to create a buyer persona:
The scientific way – Talk to potential customers. This can be your leads, social media followers, or simply people you know who may be interested in your product. You may also consider using services like SurveyMonkey, UserTesting, or Remesh to reach these people.
The educated-guess way – If for some reason you can’t talk to real people at this stage, you need to get creative. Use your competitors’ data or the industry data and “enrich” it with other sources. You may find that, for example, organic search is the #1 spending priority, according to a CMO survey.