Most B2B companies have difficulty working with content marketing. I have seen many think that they could get leads, customers, and traffic just by publishing random blog posts.
Unfortunately, that isn’t true.
Such businesses just lack proper content planning and a great content matrix – which results in failed content marketing.
The most successful content marketers closely study their audiences and plan their content strategy accordingly to drive results. They use one of the most crucial content planning tools available today – a content matrix.
If you have never heard of the content matrix before, don’t worry; that’s exactly what this article is meant for.
Here, I will teach you what a content matrix is, how it works, and how you can use it to create one for your business.
I will cover this topic in these sections:
What is a content matrix?
Content matrices are visual tools you can use to develop a quality marketing strategy and assess its execution. It is a visual aid that helps you think in multiple directions depending on your target audience, aims and where the interests of your prospects lie.
See this infographic from Moz as an example.
As you can see, this content matrix has two dimensions. The X-axis represents the type of content that you will be producing and the Y-axis represents the type of impact it will have.
Both content types and impact assessments vary when you go from left to right and bottom to top, respectively.
Using a content matrix like this, you can determine whether the content you’ve created resonates with your audience at different stages of the content marketing funnel or not. Please note that a content matrix isn’t always about grids under two variables, some may have more than two too.
See this example.
Here is another example of a Content Marketing Matrix in SWOT format:
Thus, a content matrix works like a useful framework that lets you assess your content marketing strategy, identify weak spots, and plan future content accordingly. It helps you stay aligned with your audience’s needs and intent.
Visually, it resembles a scatter plot that maps your existing marketing content onto a chart with two axes.
Let us take a closer look at the details of these axes.
Understanding the Content Matrix Axes
One axis, in the above example the “Y-axis”, represents the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Depending on its types and goals, a piece of content can fall anywhere between the Awareness to Action to Advocacy stages.
You need to use different content types in your strategy based on your audience’s position in the buyer’s journey.
For example, if your audience is in the Awareness stage, then you need to educate them and build brand awareness with the help of informational videos, blog posts, gamification, and other similar content.
As your audience gets more familiar with your product, it will gradually move toward the Consideration and Action (Purchase) stages. At this point, you can use other appropriate content types. For example, many people prefer to use webinars and product demos as their customer gets closer to the Action stage.
The vertical axis of a content matrix represents the nature of your content and how it is designed to resonate with your audience’s emotional state. You have Emotional content on one end of this axis and Rational content on the other.
Looking at the overall structure of the content matrix, you have a ready-to-use framework where you can begin by mapping your content and then evaluate your strategy and determine the areas you need to focus more to drive results.
Why do I need a content matrix?
When you are creating a massive amount of content for the different marketing funnel stages, you are likely to lose sight of the bigger picture and unnecessarily focus on temporary content trends or areas that don’t affect your bottom line.
Having a content matrix gives you a panoramic view of your content strategy and lets you make effective long-term decisions.
Here is an overview of the main advantages of having a content matrix.
Auditing your existing content marketing strategy
If your existing content marketing strategy hadn’t been yielding results and you are unsure why then you could get a clearer picture with the help of a content matrix. When you audit your content strategy by mapping it in a content matrix, you will be able to see the percentage of content that lies in the different quadrants of the matrix.
For example, you might discover that 90% of your content is rational and is intended to create brand awareness. This explains why you have plenty of traffic but no conversions. The solution is easy – you need to have more emotional content. It holds especially true for luxury products where your customers’ decisions are primarily driven by impulse and emotion instead of logic.
Planning content creation
Running an audit using a content matrix reveals the weak spots of your content strategy and shows you the areas you must focus on. Thus, you can plan your future content production and assign your resources more efficiently.
By using the content matrices, you can also find the content ideas that work.
After creating a matrix, auditing your content strategy and identifying the weak spots, you can identify the kind of content you need to drive results for your business.
As a result, your thought process becomes much simpler, and you can generate relevant content ideas using unique types and angles. You can also develop multiple content ideas for every quadrant on the content matrix.
Track your content marketing ROI
If you blindly create content hoping to drive leads or traffic, it will cost you valuable resources. Using a content matrix, you can determine the ROI of your content marketing efforts by identifying the content types that have been driving the best results for your business. Thus, you will be able to route all your resources toward the most profitable content types and tones.
How to create a content matrix?
You now know what a content matrix is and how it benefits your business. You also know how does a content matrix look like. Let’s proceed to understand how you can create a content matrix and apply it to your own content marketing strategy.
Fix your content marketing goals
First of all, you need to take into account your content marketing goals. What exactly do you wish to accomplish with your content?
Is it subscribers and leads, or traffic generation and brand awareness? Or are you hoping for backlinks from high-authority sales?
You need to determine your primary goals, and the content types for your strategy.
Understand the needs and preferences of your audience
After determining your goals, you must align them with your audience’s requirements. Ascertain your audience’s interests, needs, problems, aspirations, and fears. After that, you must consider how your content can solve them and bring them closer to your brand. Even more importantly, you must learn your audience’s decision-making process and what motivates them to take action.
By answering these questions, you will be able to determine the emotional impact of your content, relevant content ideas, and suitable content types.
Map your existing content on a content matrix
Once you’ve understood your audience well, you need to map your existing content on a content matrix. For that purpose, you will have to evaluate every content piece to determine the following:
- Would it be apt to describe the content as rational or emotional?
- What’s the place of the content in the buyer’s journey between the Awareness and Action stages?
Based on these two factors, you must subsequently organize all your existing content pieces on the content matrix.
Try to identify gaps and opportunities
After successfully mapping your content, you can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your content strategy for your audience’s requirements and your own content marketing goals.
As a result, you will be able to identify the gaps and opportunities in your present strategy and find new and relevant content types, tones, and ideas to meet your business goals with greater speed and efficiency.
Share and discuss
After completing your content matrix, you can proceed to document the findings separately and share them with your content marketing team and other relevant stakeholders. Thus, you will be able to get their buy-in and help your execution team learn about the strategic creation of content that makes a significant impact on your bottom line.
A content matrix is a useful framework for assessing your content and planning where to take it in the future. With its help, you can highlight strengths, locate weaknesses, and ensure that you are emphasizing the appropriate content areas that best resonate with your audience. I hope this article helps you learn about the significance of content matrices and the process of creating one.