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Content Mapping Tools and 5 Mind Map Steps

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You spent hours sweating over a blog post to make it appealing and complete. You spent weeks of intensive preparation to produce an eye-catching video. You finally have your content in shape and publish the end result.

You promote it with a few tweets and updates on LinkedIn, Instagram, and your newsletter. And then?

Don’t cross your fingers and hope for the best. Turn to mapping to ensure your content makes the biggest impact possible.

Let me walk through the process with the example of a video presentation I did for the hybrid Content Marketing World event in 2021: What If Creating Single-Use, Disposable Content Were a Crime?

Decipher content mapping

In this case, I use the term “content mapping” to talk about mapping content to other content. Content mapping is a logical derivative of the phenomenon of mind mapping — drawing a diagram to visually organize information, frequently around a single concept represented as a circle in the center of the map.

#Content mapping lets you visually organize information around a single concept, says @carlijnpostma via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

An experienced content mapper can easily chop the topic into separate thoughts or ideas. But less-experienced content mappers should brainstorm, using the map as a physical manifestation. I like to draw a tree and jot down all the different categories, subjects, and content types that come to mind as branches.

You can download the example and create your own version.

Click to enlarge

Map your content in 5 steps

Follow the mind-mapping process with these steps, and see how to do it with the topic of “evergreen content” – the core message in my Content Marketing World video.

1. Select your core content

Base your map on a piece of high-quality, long-form content that will gain your target audience’s attention. Though it needs to be relevant content, you don’t need to start from scratch. Have you posted an interesting article? Does your podcast contain an episode about which you would like to focus more attention?

Start your #content map with a high-quality, long-form asset, says @carlijnpostma via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Specify the source of this long-form content – its landing page. Will you link to a page on your website? Or is the ultimate goal to attract more subscribers to your YouTube channel?

Example: My goal for the evergreen content video is to attract more visitors to my website and convert them into newsletter subscribers. My primary content source is this page on my website featuring the video, What If … Creating Single-Use, Disposable Content Were a Crime.

2. Divide into five subtopics

Detail five subtopics related to your primary long-form content. Bear in mind these subtopics likely won’t be in a ready-to-share format.

Example: The topic of “evergreen content” can be split into these five subtopics:

  • What is single-use, disposable content?
  • Why is creating evergreen content beneficial?
  • Tips on how to create evergreen content
  • What you can learn from Netflix regarding evergreen content
  • Don’t forget …

3. Create four perspectives for each subtopic

Think, too, about the way to convey each subtopic’s message. Does it work best as an interesting headline or a quote, a trailer video, or should it be an infographic or a photo collage?

Create 20 linking messages (five subtopics multiplied by four perspectives) for the primary topic to draw in your audience. You also can use these to create additional content for your topic.

(Example is incorporated with step four.)

4. Specify the content types and channels

Think about how to distribute your messages. Take into account the characteristics of the chosen network or medium. For example, Instagram and Pinterest require images, while TikTok demands videos. Or the tone of voice on Facebook can be informal, but LinkedIn users still expect more formal language.

Example (steps three and four):

  • What is single-use, disposable content?
    • Perspective: What is single-use, disposable content?
      • Formats: title, still image, short summary, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook
    • Perspective: What if creating single-use, disposable content were a crime?
      • Formats: trailer video, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, newsletter
    • Perspective: How do you identify single-use, disposable content?
      • Formats: title, trailer video of Unidentified Single-Use Content, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok
    • Perspective: Command to the audience, “Stop creating single-use, disposable content. Start creating evergreens.”
      • Formats: poster, link to download
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
    • Perspective: Explanatory summary with a cliffhanger ending
      • Formats: text, quote, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
  • Why is creating evergreen content beneficial?
    • Perspective: Six reasons why creating evergreen content makes sense
      • Formats: text, link to page
      • Distribution: LinkedIn, Facebook, newsletter
    • Perspective: How evergreen content keeps drawing audiences
      • Formats: infographic, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest
    • Perspective: ROI on evergreen
      • Formats: infographic, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest
    • Perspective: Short summary of SEO benefits of evergreen content
      • Formats: text, link to blog post on website
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, website
  • Tips on how to create evergreen content
    • Perspective: How to create evergreen content
      • Formats: text, link to additional blog post on website
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, website
    • Perspective: Five don’ts to become a pro in creating evergreen content
      • Formats: list, link to additional blog post on website
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, website
    • Perspective: Examples of brand evergreen content vs. campaign content
      • Formats: text, stills, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
    • Perspective: Case study of a brand showing the value of evergreen content
      • Formats: text, link to additional blog post on website
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, website
  • What you can learn from Netflix regarding evergreen content
    • Perspective: What you should learn from the creators of films and series
      • Formats: text, blog post, link to page
      • Distribution: LinkedIn, Facebook, newsletter
    • Perspective: Why a new season attracts new audiences to previous seasons
      • Formats: text, link to additional blog post on website
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, website
    • Perspective: How to develop an evergreen strategy
      • Formats: Book Binge Marketing, summary and reviews, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
    • Perspective: Six easy-to-apply tactics for your marketing strategy learned from Netflix
      • Formats: list, link to page
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
  • Don’t forget …
    • Perspective: Quote from existing podcast – Unlimited Shelf Life, episode about evergreen content
      • Formats: audio quote from podcast, cover podcast
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
    • Perspective: Review quotes from enthusiast audience
      • Formats: quotes, slideshow
      • Distribution: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
    • Perspective: New trailer video to promote the full video
      • Formats: talking head trailer
      • Distribution: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok
    • Perspective: Collect all shareable visuals that are relevant to the topic
      • Formats: photos, slideshows
      • Distribution: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest

5. Schedule your posts over a longer period

Now that you’re ready to schedule your content, decide on what period you want to focus attention on your topic and schedule updates accordingly. Vary the times of day at which you post your updates to social media. This way, you’ll get the most viewers (unless your aim is a small audience and you’ve decided you want to repeat your message).

No time to waste

I sometimes get asked whether all this content overwhelms the audience. And if you look at all the different types together, it could seem that way. That’s why it’s so important to create a content map that allows you to manage the publishing carefully across multiple channels over time.

Updated Jan. 9, 2023
 

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute





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