Weave your content into customer journey maps
A Content Journey Map is a graph that connects each piece of content to a set of additional pieces of content that may be relevant for the user. Let’s illustrate this through a simple example. To relate to our previous discussion of relevant content types for each buyer stage, we will refer to the content pieces as warmers, pain points, solution frameworks and solutions. There is, however, no restriction of what kind of content is connected on a journey map. Also, for the illustration purposes, the diagram only shows four levels. There is no limit to how many levels and sub-levels of content you could have. As we will see, even this simple four level content journey map can result in thousands of different journeys.
Customer Journey Map
In the diagram above, W1 to W4 are content pieces represent warmer pieces, P1 to P3 are the pain points, F1 to F5 are various solution framework content pieces and S1 to S10 describe a business’s solution offerings in great detail. These content pieces could be PDF documents, web pages, forms, videos, animations, images, virtual reality and any other format that is appropriate to engage and nurture the buyer.

A buyer may become aware of the business by reading W2, then may identify P2 as the pain point to solve. The Company then offers F3, F2 and F4 content to help the buyer understand how to overcome this pain point. Finally, by going through solution pieces S4, S6 and S8, the buyer may be convinced that the Company’s solution is suitable for them and places an order.

Another buyer may start from the same warmer W2 but may identify P1 as the pain point of most relevance and proceeds on a completely different journey. The number of potential paths a buy can take is nearly limitless and is determined by their interests and needs.

The content journey map can continue to grow and evolve as you add new content and learn about the content consumption patterns from content analytics. A content piece can be part of multiple content journey maps. You can design content journey maps for different customer personas, for different solution offerings, different journeys for marketing engagement versus sales engagement, and so on.

Building a content journey map is a simple and incremental process. Identify the content that you will start the journey with and then thinking about what are the possible next steps your customers will be interested in. So you build this network of content one node and one level at a time.
Customer Journey from Unaware to Ready-to-buy.
To use the travel metaphor, the buyer journey consists of intermediate and final destinations called buyer stages. The content pieces are like crossroads or junctions where the buyer lands and decides the next turn to take. The content journey map is equivalent to all of the roads or paths that a traveler can possibly take.

There is still one piece missing before we start the buyers on a journey. We need a vehicle that is suited for each segment of the journey. That metaphorical vehicle is the customer engagement channel.
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