Map Your Content to the HealthTech Buyer’s Journey

Article by | October 1, 2021 Content Marketing

Are you on information overload?

You’ve probably got over 200 unread emails in your inbox, half of which are spam. Despite your best efforts to manage your notifications on your calendar, Slack, SMS, apps, and phone, you receive at least three dings an hour. Not to mention you’ll be exposed to over 4,000 ads today.

If you’re on information overload, so is your prospect.

In a survey of 600 B2B buyers, Harvard Business Review found that providing more and more information actually drops purchase levels by 18%.

So how do you cut through?

If your content doesn’t provide signposts along your buyer’s research journey, you won’t be found.

Are you answering the questions your buyers ask frequently with content tailored to their needs?

Think About This69% of top performing content marketing teams have a documented content strategy

  • 69% of top-performing content marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. (Only 16% of the least successful have anything written down)
  • 74% of the most successful marketers map content to specific stages of the buyer’s journey
  • Only 42% of content marketers actually talk with customers to understand their needs.

Three Reasons Sales Cycles are So Long

1. The funnel has been transformed

Marketing takes a much more active role now. Marketing influences buyers deeper and deeper into the funnel before the sales team becomes a factor. Buyers strive to remain anonymous as long as possible before they allow themselves to get on a salesperson’s radar. [For more information, watch this video.] 

2. The buyer feels out of control

Buyers have to swim through irrelevant information on their way to the solution. They end up with more questions than answers and delays occur.

You’ve felt the downstream effects of this — deals that get stuck in your funnel for months. How many thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours have your team spent writing blog articles, producing podcasts and webinars, and crafting whitepapers and guides that receive views, clicks, and conversions only to have those leads never interact again?

3. We answer some questions but not others.

According to LinkedIn’s “Rethink B2B Buyer’s Journey,” buyers place a high priority on “valuable consulting, education, and tools” and “subject matter experts” when seeking vendors. 

What differentiates the winning content marketers from their budget-wasting rivals?

Build a Content Strategy

Too many companies we’ve interacted with just do the activities of content marketing. They write the articles and create the download forms. They produce webinars and buy ads to promote them. Then, when traffic doesn’t increase and only three people show up for the first 15 minutes of the webinar, they question their decisions.

Content is always more effective as a laser than a shotgun. The more targeted the content, the better the results. Top-performing marketers take a prescriptive approach to ensure buyers find, read, and act on their material. 

When you organize your content around your buyers’ needs, they will find it, consume it, and ultimately reach out to you for answers.

Map Your Content to the Buyer’s Journey

This map is the other side of the coin to your strategy. You have assets that were built with great time and financial investment. Don’t push them aside. Figure out how you can deploy the best and discover the holes you need to fill to fulfill your strategy.

The process below lays out the steps of the mapping process. It’s time-consuming but oh so revelatory. (If you need further help along the way, click on the links to read more or reach out to us for a no-obligation consultation.)

We recommend the tried and true funnel as an organizing principle. I know it has fallen out of favor in some circles, but it is still a useful word picture. 

1. The Foundation

Before any map can be useful to the user, two things must be known.

  • Where am I?
  • Where do I want to go?

For marketers, “Where am I?” means you know who your company is and what you do better than anyone else.

Express your company’s essence in 10 words or less. This is your “top line positioning.” Identify the three problems you solve better than your competition.

For marketers, “Where do I want to go?” means you know your audience well. Describe your primary and secondary audiences in just a few words.

2. Gather the Statistics

Figuring out what your audience likes is only a few clicks away.

Create a spreadsheet for the next few steps so you can sort data easily and see the holes we’ll talk about later.

Run a Report of your Content in Google Analytics

    • Sort report by visits. Copy and paste the top 20% to your spreadsheet
    • Sort report by time on page. Copy and paste the top 20% to your spreadsheet
    • Sort report by conversions on page. Copy and paste the top 20% to your spreadsheet
    • Eliminate the duplicates
    • Identify each by type (e.g., blog post, podcast episode, webinar, infographic, case study, white paper, guide, etc.)

Run a Report of Your Email Marketing

Most companies have a mixture of emails that stand alone and emails that promote content. You are seeking information on both types.

    • Sort by open rate. Copy and paste the top 20% to your spreadsheet
    • Sort by click-through rate. Copy and paste the top 20% to your spreadsheet
    • If the email promoted a piece of content identified above, make a note of that on your spreadsheet. Then remove the emails from the list.
    • If the email contained original content not duplicated on your website, treat it as a new piece of creative.

3. Boil Down Your Content

Create a summary of 20-30 words for each piece of content on your spreadsheet. The meta description for the post should be a great starting point. (You can also use this exercise to improve the effectiveness of those 156 characters for each page.)

4. Label the Content

I’ve taken our content through this process twice in my tenure here. This is the hardest and must subjective part of the exercise. Challenge yourself to be ruthless in your labeling. I would find myself getting tired and would start just slapping labels on the content. I had to step away and come back to continue to look at the content and label it with a jeweler’s eye and touch.

  • Which audience does it best address?
  • Is there another audience that it does a good job addressing? Don’t add a second audience unless the content truly addresses it.
  • What needs or needs does the piece address. Be ruthless. Just the need or needs it really addresses.
  • Where does it meet your prospect in the funnel? Choose one stage only. If you’re waffling between two stages, choose the one closer to the top of the funnel.

5. Identify the Holes

Your goal is to have at least one piece of content addressing each problem for each audience during each stage of the funnel. You will feel at times like you’ve got to play 3D chess to accomplish this. Just keep reminding yourself that your content is the heart of being able to reach your customer.

  • Sort your list by each column and closely examine the spreadsheet for holes.
  • Highlight the holes with a color.

6. Fill the Holes

  • First look to the other 80% of your content. Is there anything that would fill a need?
  • Add that piece to the spreadsheet filling in all the appropriate columns. Please note, content that isn’t in your top 20% probably needs some work—editing, keyword refinement, or more.
  • Identify the holes that remain.
  • Create a new spreadsheet tab and list the pieces that you need. (This will become the start of your punchlist. To create the content for these holes, look to our Content Strategy Guide for keyword research ideas.)

7. Collaborate and Brainstorm with Your Team

How Can You Divide Your Content?

Set a goal to identify two other ways each piece of your best content can be used to help reach your audience. Add those ideas to your punch list. Here are a few examples:

    • Create a social media quote card excerpting a particularly tasty bit of an article
    • Write an entire blogpost about a subpoint in a webinar
    • Excerpt <3 minutes of a webinar as a YouTube video
    • Produce a 60-second TikTok video for each main point in a podcast
    • Transform a process-oriented article into an infographic
    • Combine a number of articles on the same topic into a downloadable guide
How Can You Multiply Your Content’s Effectiveness?

Ask these questions about your content:

    • Does this piece need better stats from the industry?
    • Can we add illustrations and stories from your own customers?
    • How could we sharpen the word pictures?
    • Do we need better UX on the page?
Add Conversion Points to Your Content

If a piece of content doesn’t include a topic-specific offer with a form to capture information, create a plan to make one. Add them to your punch list.

Subtract from Your Content

Commit to taking editorial passes through your list. Make each piece sharper, better, easier to digest, and more actionable. Granted, this is much easier to do with text than graphics, video, or audio, but you shouldn’t exclude rich media pieces from the editing pen.

8. Make Assignments

Now that you have your punch list, who will do what tasks? When will the assignments be accomplished? Put it all in your project management software and get started.

9. Set New KPIs

Create new benchmarks. Don’t spend all this time improving your content setting it on a path for greater connection with your audience without establishing two or three ways to measure it.

Updated from: November 5, 2019

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