What Is the Best Content Mapping Template? Plus 10 Must-Have Steps for Effective Content Mapping

An overwhelming majority of buyers (79%, in fact) expect connected journeys and fluid interactions with brands. Therefore, content marketing cannot drive results without considering the customer journey.

One of the best ways to do this is by creating a practical content mapping template.

Customized content maps have become an essential asset in content planning. These guides allow you to align customer needs and challenges with relevant, compelling information.

If you aren’t utilizing content mapping yet, don’t worry! We’re going to show you how to leverage this tool to build an even more powerful digital marketing strategy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Content mapping templates maximize the effectiveness of your content for the highest return on investment.
  • Use content maps to specify what content schedules, topics, and formats get the best response from your target audience.
  • Follow a consistent playbook for developing content mapping with templates to get reliable results.
  • Acquire the right tools to streamline content development.
  • Keep listening to customers and your sales teams to refine your templates and strategy.

What Is Content Mapping, and How Does a Content Mapping Template Work?

For starters, a content map outlines how each piece of content you develop strategically aligns with and supports the customer journey. Therefore, your content mapping template simplifies things by giving you an easy-to-follow outline for your campaigns or (even better) always-on marketing.

Hopefully, you’ve already gone through a customer journey mapping exercise to define a set of stages and which channels you’ll likely be using for each. A content map takes this process even further by connecting every content piece to a customer journey stage. Furthermore, you’ll identify opportunities to meet the needs of your audience at that stage.

The structure and formatting of a content mapping template can vary widely. While you can download generic templates online, the best will be the one you create and tailor to your organization.

You’re likely already using software to manage your editorial or content calendar. Therefore, you should be able to integrate content mapping data into that in some fashion (ex: a customer/buyer stage field or column).

Fortunately, advanced content operations software already includes this feature natively within the platform. As a result, you can regularly generate simple reports and filter content by stage to tailor your template to your needs.

DivvyHQ Analytics - Content Production by Buyer Stage
Example: DivvyHQ Analytics

Why Utilize Content Mapping?

Content mapping can be very beneficial for your content team. It can help you understand key actions, including:

  • Where in the sales funnel your audience engages the most with content
  • How content moves prospects through the funnel
  • How you can guide prospects more effectively

Regularly employing content mapping templates also gives you a better understanding of your customers. As you define the path that a customer takes from interest to conversion, you can more accurately know their goals, needs, and objections. This insight helps you build a more compelling content calendar.

Also, content mapping allows you to audit and organize existing content more easily. With a central content hub, you can eliminate redundant topics, determine repurposing options, and identify gaps.

Finally, you’ll be developing purposeful content. The quantity of material you produce is not nearly as important as its quality. Content mapping offers you the ability to define the purpose of each piece and optimize it.

How Do You Use Your Template To Develop a Content Map? (10 Necessary Steps)

Content mapping sets the foundation for how to reach your audience at the right place and time. To incorporate it fully into your content strategy, you should follow these 10 steps.

1. Define, Realign, or Reiterate Your Purpose, Mission, and Values

Before jumping into your content mapping template for the first time, make sure you’re not veering off course of your organization’s primary mission. You can’t just create a content plan for the sake of having one.

Effective marketing is about building relationships. Remember what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish and who your company is trying to help. These will be your content marketing pillars, and each piece of content should be in service to that goal.

Keep this top of mind for the whole team by briefly stating your business purpose on content mapping assets. Also, leave space on your template to state the intent of a campaign or piece of content and the value it provides to the audience.

For example, an alternative lending company might state: “Our content marketing strategy will help startups and entrepreneurs find practical tips for launching new ventures, as well as creative sources of financing.”

2. Research and Segment Your Audience

Templates for content mapping only work if you understand your core audience well enough to create the kind of content that they’ll appreciate. If you haven’t done so, use interviews, surveys, and questionnaires to find out your ideal customer’s needs, concerns, and interests.

Analytics from Google and social media should be a part of this process. Plus, don’t forget about all the valuable data in your CRM, either.

With this information, start segmenting buyers into general groups by what they have in common. In particular, consider what makes them choose your service or product over another and what pain points you’re helping them solve.

3. Develop or Update Buyer Personas

Crystallize the data from your segmentation into realistic buyer personas to define your ideal profiles Well-developed personas are a valuable resource for your content map, so always leave a spot for them in your content mapping template.

This ideal customer profile details characteristics such as demographics and roles. For example, you’ll typically list the age, gender, location, income, education, job titles, company size, and industry.

Then, dig deeper into the individual’s feelings and motivations, including:

  • Values: What spurs them to make decisions?
  • Goals: What are they trying to accomplish?
  • Challenges: What are their top pain points, concerns, and objections?
  • Influences: Where do they look for information and insights?
  • Purchasing habits: When and where do they buy, and for how long is the decision period?

By creating clear pictures of who your buyers are, you’ll be able to map content to their preferences more easily.

4. Document the Customer Journey

With greater clarity about who your buyers are, you can map out their journeys. In this step, start by defining your primary funnel stages.

The three most common stages are:

  1. Awareness: The buyer is just becoming aware of their problem and begins to seek out information.
  2. Consideration: The buyer is fully aware of the problem and possible solutions and takes time to consider all options.
  3. Decision: The buyer is ready to commit to a solution.

These are just broad definitions. You’ll want to customize them for your content mapping template and add other key stages to document how your ideal buyer moves through their process.

Now, notate the customer experiences at each stage:

  • Actions and activities: What is the buyer doing in each phase (i.e., searching on Google or downloading content)?
  • Questions and thoughts: What is the buyer thinking about at each phase (i.e., price, preferred features, or convenience)?
  • Touchpoints and interactions: How is your brand interacting with a buyer at each phase (i.e., delivering content via email campaigns or offering personalized experiences online)?

Get as granular as possible because this will aid you in determining the topics and types of content that work best.

5. Define What Content Works Best at Every Stage

Because each stage is different, you’ll need to align the right content to the right phase. Keep the following ideas in mind about content and phase alignment in your template for content mapping.


Someone who is in the awareness phase is likely not ready to sign up or buy, so highly promotional content is typically not a good fit this early. Rather, informational and educational content is more appropriate.

You can develop this type of content in a variety of forms, from blog posts to explainer videos to buying guides. At this stage, you need to focus on providing information, not hard-selling.


At this phase, buyers are often comparing solutions. It’s the best time to deliver content to them that focuses on how your solution is superior — not simply in its features but in how it will make your buyer’s life easier. This stage aligns well with data-focused whitepapers, comparison sheets, reviews, and webinars.


The buyer is ready to make the final decision. At this stage, you need to help buyers validate their choices and incentivize them to choose you. Content that works well here includes social proof, influencer recommendations, and assets that give the buyer confidence.

For example, leverage case studies and other data that support your product’s effectiveness. Delivering special offers via email campaigns can also encourage them to purchase.

Take a quick look at how this all might fit together in a sample content mapping template:

A content mapping template helps your team match content to the right audience.
Source: Felber PR & Marketing

6. Create a Catalog of Existing Content

This doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can do it most efficiently by using a content operations platform that allows you to develop an asset hub.

Opt for one that is searchable and defines multiple aspects of the content such as its category, format, and goals. It should also make it easy to share and modify your content mapping template.

7. Map Existing Content to Each Customer Journey Phase

DivvyHQ example - content map
DivvyHQ Example – Mid-Funnel Content Report

Continue to work with what you have to develop your first content map. Include aspects like the type of content, the way content supports movement through the funnel, and the quality.

You may find that some of your content doesn’t fit on the content map. If so, don’t add it now. Instead, bookmark it so you can come back to it later to revamp it or your content mapping template.

8. Identify Gaps To Address in the Future

Now that you know what you have, you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of what’s missing. Look at the stages in your funnel that you’re not addressing enough.

Having this knowledge enables you to go into content-planning mode with strategic objectives. Remember to keep refreshing your content map as you add content and as your buyer personas change and evolve. If you notice ways your content mapping template can be clearer or more efficient, make a note to fix that, too.

9. Take Advantage of Opportunities for Promotion and Repurposing

Never forget that one of the best ways to get the most ROI out of a subject is to repurpose content into other formats. Also, remember to find every opportunity to put content in front of the most eyeballs for maximum impact.

Include a spot on your content mapping template that solicits ideas about how to promote and repurpose each piece. Outline your budget for doing so, projected ROI, and which personas you’re going to capture with your efforts.

10. Review Your Metrics and Refine Your Goals

You can’t manage or improve what you don’t measure. A good content mapping template includes spots to show how well your team performed and the results of the content.

Stay away from vanity metrics. Instead, determine what matters for each stage of the funnel and set realistic goals. For instance:

  • Determine the number of visitors you need at the top of the funnel
  • Figure out acceptable conversion rates and leads for the middle of the funnel
  • Note the conversions, payments, and return on investment for content at the bottom of the funnel

Stick with a workable goal-setting framework, and take time at specific periods or the end of each campaign to do a post-mortem with the team.

Likewise, talk to sales teams and customers to find out what content is working. Whenever you get clear feedback that something is a winner, lean into it. Cut anything that continues to underperform.

What Content Mapping Tools Should You Have in Your Kit?

Your content mapping template will be most effective with tools that organize and streamline the work. Discuss with your team what software you need for the following items:

  • Document creation and file sharing
  • Marketing calendar for task management
  • SEO topic and keyword research tools
  • Customer relationship management software
  • Website and social media analytics

A good content management platform can coordinate and even supply some of these tools. However, an advanced content operations platform does even more.

When you can put content requests, creation, analytics, and collaboration all in one spot, your content process will be fluid and able to serve your audience better.

Create a Top-Notch Template To Start Content Mapping Now

Content mapping templates are critical to elevating your marketing and making it more effective for lead generation, nurturing, and conversions. Now, the only thing you need to stay organized and focused on is the platform that specifically manages all of this: DivvyHQ.

See why content marketers rely on its functionality to empower their teams by scheduling a quick, 30-minute demo today.

Book a DivvyHQ Demo