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Content Mapping: Why It’s Important to Your B2B Buyer Personas

Posted on June 26, 2015 by Glenn Gow
personas, marketing tactics, marketing analyst, target marketing

Did you know that 42% of B2B marketers publish new content multiple times per week? For some of you, that means new content daily. Many marketers “have fallen into this cycle of churning out as much content as possible, but is this really the right approach?”

A couple reasons for these content marketing tactics are:

1. Companies don’t have a documented marketing strategy

2. Content is not managed as a strategic asset

Developing a documented target marketing strategy for content is key to ensuring you stay timely and relevant in front of your buyers. The best approach to achieving this is through a content map. “Creating a content map will help you align your brand and product stories with your buyer’s stages, the questions your prospects ask and their content needs and preferences.”

Here’s what you need to do to start developing a B2B content map:

  1. Define your buyer stages. “Think about how people buy from you and the stages they go through. Some companies start simple and only define three stages: Early, Mid, and Late Stage. Some companies look at as many as five stages: Interest > Learn > Evaluate > Justify > Purchase. At the end it depends on your buyers, the length of the buying cycle and how complex your process needs to be.”
  2. Develop buyer personas. Content is not a one size fits all marketing tactic. The content needs of a CEO, CMO, Director of Marketing Ops, or a marketing analyst are very different, though they may all be on a similar buyer’s journey. “These are your buyer personas. Once you have identified them, give them each a name. Describe who they are with as much detail as possible. Include things like what they fear, what motivates them and identify their goals and challenges. It’s always much easier to create content while having someone specific in mind.”
  3. Understand what questions your personas ask at each stage. At each stage of the buyer’s journey different question will arise. You and your content need to be ready to answer those questions to keep buyers informed during the decisions making process and help them move further down the funnel. Examples of typical questions are:
    1. What is my problem? (interest stage)
    2. How can I solve my problem? (research stage)
    3. Which solution(s) is best for me? (evaluation stage)
    4. How do I justify my decision? (justification stage)
    5. How do I get started? (purchase stage)
  4. Answer your buyer persona’s questions. “Start to align your brand or product stories with the questions your personas ask. Keep in mind what makes your story unique and what differentiates you from your competitors. You may want to start off by taking an inventory of your existing content and identify gaps. Capture all the details that will help you categorize your content so that you can easily find the right content for the right persona at the right stage.”
  5. Identify preferred content types at each stage. “Certain types of content work better at some stages than others. During the initial stages prospects are often more interested in informal types of content consumption like newsletters, infographics or videos – things they do not have to commit much time to. In the mid-stage, they are more interested in case studies or demos. Later in the cycle, when they are more committed to your products and services, they want detailed information, like product specifications and pricing and will spend much more time consuming your content.”

Source: Oracle Modern Marketing Blog

Image: Courtesy of Fonolo

Glenn Gow

Glenn Gow is an expert in marketing performance, Coach, Board Advisor, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host and Founder & Advisor of Crimson Marketing. Follow me on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+. To get a free copy of Crimson’s One-Page Marketing Metrics Funnel, visit here.

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