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Building A Content Roadmap: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Colin Barnard July 6, 2022
Building a Content Roadmap: Your Step-by-Step Guide by Colin Barnard, SEO & Content Director at House of Revenue

Your customers need a way to interact with your brand, fall in love with your products, and make confident decisions about their next purchases. But if you aren't making the effort to educate and delight them with various pieces of content, how can you expect that relationship to flourish?

However, optimizing your content marketing journey is much more challenging than understanding the value of the approach. 

Developing engaging, appealing, and useful content is at the crux of every content marketer's frustrations. But the right approach to building a content roadmap can help streamline the process by:

  • Helping you identify the types of content that work best (both for your organization and your industry overall)
  • Keeping content trends top-of-mind
  • Organizing the brainstorming and content creation process so it's more manageable
  • Creating forward momentum so your campaigns don't run out of steam halfway through

Use our guide to building a content roadmap to know the essential components of a successful guide, understand the value of the process, and get started creating your own roadmap that can guide you through the rest of 2022 and beyond!

What Is A Content Roadmap?

A content roadmap is a living document that establishes your processes for brainstorming, creating, editing, and publishing content, as well as your procedures for monitoring content marketing goals and KPIs.

Marketing managers use content roadmaps to establish standard processes, by writers and marketers to create and manage the assets, and by organizational leaders to understand content marketing campaigns in more depth.

With a roadmap, content marketers have a clear path forward and know what steps to take instead of churning out content that may or may not align with their organization's needs. 

What's Included In A Content Roadmap?

Some of the key components of a content roadmap include:

  • ​​Editorial calendars and timelines
  • Target keywords
  • Topic titles
  • Types of content (i.e., blogs, website pages, lead magnets, videos, etc.)
  • Identified audience needs and opportunities
  • Key metrics that determine the success and failure of content plans
  • Schedules for reporting analytics and determining future steps

Content roadmaps are high-level documents. They don't need to include every detail of the content process.

For example: Brand guidelines, in-depth buyer personas, and templates should all be separate documents that assist teams in completing the assets listed in the roadmap. 

Also, a content roadmap will include sections that provide guidance for different types of content—ensuring brand consistency over time and that marketing teams understand the different use cases and goals of the different types of content. 

Common Content Types Included in Content Roadmaps

1. Blogs

A consistently updated business blog is the engine for any content marketing strategy. The new posts provide a constant flow of new information for key target markets, and the content powers auxiliary content efforts such as social media posts, email newsletters, and more.

Creating new posts — and regularly updating and refreshing old posts — ensures you have a strong archive of helpful, relevant content.

2. Website Pages

Webpages are the structural backbone of your website. The home page, about us page, service-related pages, and product pages all create an easily navigable web of pages for online visitors so they can easily find what they're looking for and learn more about your organization.

Not only do these pages need to stay consistent across your site, but they also need to follow universally accepted practices regarding the organization.

3. Lead Magnets

A type of content you can give away to entice new and returning shoppers is called a 'lead magnet.'

These include eBooks, downloadable templates, and other resources. They need to be eye-catching, valuable, well-formatted, and easily accessible throughout your website through clear calls to action.

4. Landing Pages

Inbound traffic needs an engaging and immediately helpful place to land. Your paid ads, social media posts, and other hyperlinks on third-party sites (or even on your own pages) should lead to well-designed landing pages that funnel readers toward a purchase or the next step.

Why Roadmaps Are Necessary

Roadmaps provide clarity and purpose. An organization without a roadmap will see far more uncertainty than one with a roadmap.

Without a Roadmap

Marketers randomly ideate content ideas based on what they see in their own research. That idea will either be lost over time or assigned to a marketer that may or may not have the appropriate SEO experience to bring it to life. There is no calendar for publishing content or evaluating its success, and the website often becomes stale with no new content.

With a Roadmap

You have a defined process for every step of the content creation journey, from ideation to creation to evaluation. You can strategically brainstorm content that provides measurable value to your audience, and you have designated content specialists for creating the content.

Plus, you can plan social media posts around the new content and ensure it's shared with sales reps as a resource they can provide to leads. 

Additional benefits of using a roadmap include:

  • Strategically using search engine optimization (SEO) principles to rank higher for valuable keywords
  • Identifying content ideas that enhance your organization's reputation and make you a thought leader
  • Never running out of ideas or struggling to come up with valuable content on a tight deadline
  • Establishing known processes for objectively evaluating content marketing campaigns so you can make changes over time that strengthen your results

5 Steps to Building Your Content Roadmap

Creating a content roadmap is so valuable that there's no reason to wait. Follow these five steps to get started.

1. Brainstorm Pain Points

Identify your customers' pain points by identifying the answers to these questions:

  • What dilemma is preventing them from succeeding in their day-to-day work?
  • What information do they need that they don't have?
  • What keeps them up at night?

These questions can help you identify pillar topics and create educational — not aggressively promotional — content.

2. Research

Conduct three types of research:

  1. Competitive Intelligence: See what your competitors are writing about and how you can outperform their content.
  2. Website Audit: Identify weaknesses in your current site and online presence so you can create content that fills those gaps. This can include refreshing or rewriting old blogs and identifying keywords where your website is on the second page of Google, and you can easily bump up to the first page with a bit of content.
  3. Keyword Research: Identify what your audience is researching that you may not have thought about before.

3. Brainstorm Assets

Once you have identified keywords, you can structure them into specific ideas for new content. Use them to brainstorm new blog and video topics, identify old assets that can be enhanced to address the end-users intent better, and create new web pages to meet the needs of your online visitors.

4. Finalize Your Roadmap

Tie your brainstorming into a project management tool to ensure your ideas aren't lost. You can organize the topics in terms of priority, assign them out to writers and marketers, and create a plan for publishing the content and analyzing the results.

5. Execute

Now that your roadmap is complete, it's time to get writing and creating!

Use Your Content Roadmap to Fuel Stronger Marketing & Sales Alignment

Content marketing is too valuable not to structure it with a robust content plan and content roadmap. With these steps, you can intentionally create content that your readers and customers will value.

If you want to optimize the rest of your marketing and revenue strategies, House of Revenue is here to help.

Contact us today to see how we can help tie your content roadmap into overall revenue scale.