A mind map is an educational tool, often used to help students prepare for exams. It’s claimed that the layout and the presence of visual prompts help the human brain to retain and recall information more effectively than writing out long form notes.
Mind maps can also help with your content marketing by improving your understanding of a given topic or generating a steady flow of article ideas.
For example, you could use a mind map to dig into a particular issue or concept and then use the finished article as a plan for a whitepaper or maybe the start of a brief for an infographic.
The best way to understand the potential for using mind maps to drive your content strategy is to look at a few examples. This one from live-the-solution.com (see below) does an excellent job of exploring the issue of how schools can save energy.
You can imagine tweaking this mind map to help you drill into the subject of saving energy. It could help you get your head around the topic, understand the big, recurring themes and then generate some great content ideas.
I wrote an article for Search Engine Journal last month that talks more about mind maps and article brainstorming in general. You can read that article here: 3 tips for effective article brainstorming.