Understand Your Audience
• Develop customer personas. This is an effective ways to uncover who your target customers are, which helps identify what topics your content should be covering. Start by asking yourself and your sales stakeholders these questions:
a. Who are our ideal prospects and customers? b. How do they go about making a buying decision? c. What are their questions? Pain points? Objections? d. What gaps in information are they lacking that my content can fill?
• Map your content to the buyer’s journey. By assigning content to the most appropriate buying stage, you not only make the best use of existing content, you also discover gaps that need to be filled. Typical steps include:
a. Map your sales cycle to the buying cycle, doing this by persona if it makes sense. Atypical buying cycle is: need, learn, evaluate, negotiate, purchase, implement, advocate. Shortened version may be: awareness, interest, consideration, purchase intent.
b. Set up a spreadsheet that helps you visualize and track your mapping process. This does not need to be complex. It can be as simple as simply listing the buying cycle phases in the top row.
c. Audit and evaluate your existing content– tools, case studies, solution briefs, whitepapers, videos, demos, webinars, etc. – based on which persona it addresses, which questions it answers, and which stage of the buying process it will serve.
d. Create your content matrix by adding each asset – title and link – into the appropriate spreadsheet location. Focus on creating a sequential flow where each content asset “continues the conversation” by building on the previous content.