A user story map is a simple visualized illustration of a particular product or service from the user’s perspective. This concept is still not widely recognized in organizations, although the concept was first coined by Jeff Paton back in 2005. User story mapping allows your organization to implement resources to offer optimal user experience efficiently. 

This article will discuss why story mapping in your organization can help you improve your digital marketing strategies and the steps necessary to create a user story map.

Reasons Why You Should Use Story Mapping 

User story mapping takes a customer-focused holistic approach to digital marketing strategies. While used for software development, it can be used for various other processes. In fact, 12% of user story teams belong to non-software teams. 

Here are some core reasons why user story maps help build a product that users will love: 

  • Creating a story map means seeing the product or service from the customer’s perspective. It identifies the different aspects needed to improve the user’s experience
  • To deliver a satisfactory and valuable product experience, team members need to understand and organize all the necessary work. User story map provides a comprehensive guide and insights to develop a prioritized and organized project
  • Most team members struggle with identifying and developing strong user stories, expectations, and requirements. A user story map is an excellent method to visually represent how complex tasks are broken down into smaller ones
  • Creating a story map for your digital marketing practices can give you valuable insights into how your targeted users interact with your product. Understanding the user’s perspective can help you highlight possible blocks and risks that might hinder the process
  • A visual representation of the customer experience in a story map gives the team a shared point of view. This exercise encourages everyone to get on board and curate consistent strategies 

How To Create A User Story Map For Digital Marketing

Creating a story map is an effective method to collaboratively ensure all your digital marketing team members are on the same page from the beginning to the end. 

With more than 60% of story mappers newly discovering the technique, they are looking for resources on how to create a user story map.

This section will elaborate on how to create a user story map for your digital marketing practices. User story mapping can be done through physical resources such as; whiteboard and sticky notes or a user story mapping tool to create a virtual map. 

Regardless of the medium, a team has to follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Identify The Problem In The User Journey

The first step is to identify and understand what concerns and problems your service can solve. 

Taking a customer-focused approach is essential to get your digital marketing strategy right, helping you meet customers’ needs and expectations. 

This step can also be referred to if you’re improving and reviving your existing offering. 

2. Understanding What The User Wants

Identifying who your customers are and what they expect is crucial in creating a user story map. 

When mapping out your digital marketing plan, it is essential to envision your target audience and the pain points that you are looking to answer.

The key to understanding this aspect is to create a set of user personas to ensure your project team shares a mutual understanding of the audience and maps user stories based on their journey.

This step also eliminates efforts wasted on interacting with users that don’t suit your user persona. 

3. Track Activities

User touch points form the core of your user story mapping. As a visitor visits your website, store or social media, they interact with your brand. This might culminate in further research and, ultimately, a purchase.

For instance, a user of an eCommerce site may search items on sale, filter them by category, put goods into a cart, and complete the purchase. 

This forms part of the user journey, from awareness to decision. A holistic overview of every touchpoint is vital to creating a compelling user story map. 

4. Improve On Key Factors

With detailed user stories on the top, the next step is to prioritize these activities and rank them vertically to determine the most important and effective ones. 

For instance, if your user journey highlights a low performing checkout page, there is work to be done to improve conversion.

This step helps you decide which activities and stories are essential and which need less focus. 

5. Plan Sprints And Releases 

This step is where all the magic happens! The project team is required to turn visual insights into practical work. 

With the stories and activities prioritized adequately from top to bottom, the team can efficiently deliver work in the most valuable way. 

It would help categorize these stories and activities into development sprints and product releases. 

Then, create horizontal slices across the story map and group these features by priority within each user activity. Since the entire process takes place online, this process can help you efficiently streamline your digital marketing practices. 

Final Takeaway 

User story maps are always a work in progress. When the steps mentioned above are completed, new ones get identified, leading to priority changes and additional steps. 

So take advantage of user story maps to uncover new requirements and opportunities for your digital marketing team. 

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