Content is the foundation of the inbound marketing methodology, and it is most effective when it delivers the right knowledge at the right time. Who your customer is and where they are in the buyer’s journey informs how to reach them and what messaging will best guide them through the sales funnel.
Most companies provide effective content for a buyer persona at a specific stage in the journey. Unfortunately, too many companies simply stop there, expecting the content to satisfy all the very different needs a buyer has along her journey. Addressing your buyer with the right messaging, in the right format, for each specific stage of the journey is essential to effective marketing.
For every stage of a customer’s journey, create content that satisfies their current need and then moves them on to the next stage.
To ensure we have the right mix of tactics and a balanced content library for every stage of a buyer’s journey, we use the Persona Journey Matrix. Here’s how it works:
Start by auditing your existing content
Before you can plan a new content strategy that meets the needs of your customers throughout their journeys, it’s helpful to know what content you already have, which persona it’s servicing and where on the buyer’s journey it belongs. To perform a content audit, list each piece of content with the following information:
- Content Title
- Persona Served
- Stage of Journey
Creating a Persona Journey Matrix
To create your persona journey matrix, simply put each of your buyer personas along the top row and the stages of the buyer journey in the left column.
Fill out the Matrix by increasing the cell count by 1 for each persona/stage combination. If you’re a financial services company with an active blog, for example, your Persona Journey Matrix may look like this:
Filling in the matrix will reveal the gaps—and the opportunities—in your content marketing strategy. Are you leaving a secondary customer group in the dust in order to chase new customers? Do you engage customers heavily in the beginning of their journey, then ghost them when it comes time to make a decision? You can quickly balance your matrix, and delight your customers, by adding more content targeting each persona at the critical moments in their journey.
Every customer journey is unique, and so is its content
Equal numbers across the matrix may not always be the best strategy. You may have certain personas that are more valuable than others, or your business model may require more early-stage, educational content. The Persona Journey Matrix is simply meant to give you insight into how well you’re meeting the content goals you established in your marketing strategy.