Creating high-quality content that matches your audience’s needs can often seem like a hit-or-miss challenge at times.
You can analyze results all day long and still not know where to turn next. In other words, you’re lost in the maze of possibilities, not sure of the best direction to go.
To determine where you are currently, ask yourself these questions.
- Do you find yourself stuck in a content haze lately?
- Are you looking for new and better ways to promote what you have to offer and reach more customers?
- Are you searching for the right channels to achieve these results?
If so, take the red pill and discover what the content matrix is and why you need it.
Referring to a line in the movie Matrix where taking the red pill is akin to waking up, the content matrix provides a way for you to see the bigger picture.
While not a new discovery, it can offer new ways to more precisely direct your content marketing strategy and expand your view of possibilities.
Here’s what will cover in this blog post:
What is a Content Matrix?
The last thing you want to do is bore your current customers or drive potential ones away with less than relevant content.
People today are looking for information that provides value and is relatable to them and their situation.
If you can’t provide that, you risk losing them to your competitors. Leads can evaporate without you even being aware they existed.
So, what happens when you struggle with coming up with new ideas to post about or add to social media?
You turn to your content matrix. It is a valuable marketing tool providing a framework to assist you in directing your marketing efforts.
Whether your focus is on educating, inspiring, entertaining, or persuading your audience it can help you identify where to focus more attention along the buyer’s journey.
In practical terms, it’s a grid, separated into quadrants and providing a visualization of where your content currently stands.
What it’s not is a rigid inventory of all your currently existing content. That content only serves as its base, alerting you to areas you’re missing out on and where you need to focus more attention.
Essentially, though, a content matrix organizes all your content in one place and provides you with ways to update it up and make it more diverse.
Why Should You Have a Content Matrix in Your Business?
While creating and maintaining your own content matrix can be time-consuming, particularly at first, the benefits it will bring are many.
Here are several reasons why you should have a content matrix in your business:
1. Identifies Content Needs
A content matrix organizes your content into a grid, providing a quick way of identifying where your content is lacking.
Do you have enough content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, or is one or two stages full while the others receive less attention?
You can also determine what content formats you use the most and where you may need to spend some extra time on development.
For example, do you have lots of written content but very little video content?
2. Strengthens Sales Enablement
With targeted content all along the buyer’s journey, you lead your customers through their journey, creating enough of a flow to keep them moving without stalling in any one particular place.
With this, you can help speed up the buying process.
You’ll also be able to accomplish increasing conversion rates at every stage.
3. Generates New and Better Targeted Ideas
By knowing what content you already have, you can more easily generate new and better targeted content ideas.
Identify topics where you can go deeper. Brainstorm on similar content to offer your customers that has not yet been done.
In other words, it gets your creative wheel, which may have become stagnant, going again.
With this, you can add to your digital marketing strategy by discovering future content ideas and streamline the direction for more benefits now and down the road.
4. Keeps You from Repeating the Same Content
While your audience digs in to learn as much as they can to answer their questions, they will eventually become bored or knowledgeable enough to move on.
You always want to provide something new or say something in a different way to keep your audience returning.
A content matrix helps you avoid repeating the same content and focus on what new content you can provide.
5. Provides a Review of the Performance of Different Digital Media
In your content mix, you’re likely to use different digital media to get your message out there.
It’s essential to know how each of these is performing, so you can adjust your strategy whenever you need to.
By creating a content distribution matrix alongside your framework, you can plot how effective each media channel is when compared to the required investment.
6. Identifies Gaps
Your content matrix will show you where the gaps are in your content.
One reason this is so important is you may have gaps along the buyer’s journey you’re unaware of and need to address.
These gaps may be in the form of too little content in one stage and an abundance in another.
Other gaps may clearly be seen when it comes to your buyer personas. Do you have equal content for each of them, or is one or two lacking?
Strategize how best to plug up the gaps in your content.
What Elements are Necessary to Create a Content Matrix?
Once you know what elements are necessary to create your content matrix, it will demystify the process even more.
Elements you’ll need to create your content matrix include the following:
Identify your buyer personas
If you haven’t already, the first step in creating a content matrix is identifying or defining your buyer personas or target customers for your business.
You’ll include the obvious, such as age and gender, then go on to add job titles, hobbies, motivations, and how they prefer to shop and purchase goods and services.
Start with your current data on customers and leads and build from there.
Establishing and understanding who your targeted audience is leads to better content planning overall.
Map out the buyer’s journey
Once you’ve created your buyer personas, next follow them through their buyer’s journey, passing through the awareness, consideration, and decision stages.
Map out each buyer’s journey, identifying as many key events as you can think of along their path.
Discover where buyers can stall or become stuck along the way, so you know where to focus on more content or the need to make changes.
Uncover whatever it is the buyer needs to move to the next stage.
You may already have this information if you use marketing analytics. If not, you may need to pursue additional research.
Determine which content mediums will work best
Examine what content mediums you are currently using and how successful they are for you.
Also, consider other mediums to determine if they might work better for content at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Add a podcast, video series, webinar, or infographics if you think they will add value.
Identify Approaches to Use for Different Types of Content
How you use a piece of content can determine the effect it will have on a buyer.
For example, in the awareness stage, you want to draw them in with engaging content. In the stages that follow, your content needs to focus on providing value and establishing solutions.
Each stage, then, requires a different approach.
Conduct a Content Audit
Identify what you currently have by conducting a content audit.
From there, you can determine ways to add to or alter content to meet all the quadrants of your matrix.
To help, start by identifying where you can include slight alterations. Personalize it or create a broader appeal for a larger group of potential buyers.
Identify Needs for Content Support
Use your content matrix to identify content support needs.
For example, you may find areas where there is minimal content in comparison to other areas.
Say your blog is extensive, but there’s little video on your website pages. This is a content support need.
Older content may slip through the cracks but still be useful if updated.
Include publishing dates on the matrix to help you identify where this older content might be, so you can review and address it.
Also, take a look at any poor-performing content identified in your content audit and now showing up on your matrix. Address it by making an update.
How to Use the Content Matrix to Distribute Content with 4 Simple Steps
Promoting content effectively is a skill all its own, and finding ways to improve the impact of your content will lead to positive results.
It might take a little practice, but you can bump up the value of your matrix by including content distribution data.
Identify the best ways to distribute your content using these four simple steps:
1. Identify how you are currently using media for your content distribution
Begin by identifying the different types of media you currently use and have used in the past to distribute content.
Include all paid, owned, and earned media options, from SEO to LinkedIn promoted posts.
2. Determine the effectiveness of each distribution media type
For each media type, determine the number of attributable sales or leads achieved.
Starting out on your framework’s horizontal axis, plot the different types of media based upon effectiveness, with lowest effectiveness starting on the left and the highest on the right.
Use the vertical axis to plot the cost-effectiveness of each media type.
For this, determine how much money and time is spent on the content promotion for each type.
Then plot it on the vertical axis with the lowest costs (= better ROI) at the bottom and the highest on top.
What you’re looking for are the ones with high effectiveness and a better ROI.
3. Assess any promotion gaps, including against your competitors
Next, look at all the available media options, even the ones you are not currently using to promote your content.
Assess how each one can potentially contribute to a successful promotion.
Conduct a review of how other companies and competitors are utilizing content distribution methods and within your sector.
Without access to their actual analytics, look at the types of content distribution each one is using.
Does it seem they are achieving more success using techniques you aren’t, or just using them better in some way?
4. Test and select new content promotion methods
Bring together all this information — current and past content distribution methods, ROI for each, list of unused or underutilized distribution channels, and what your competitors and those in your sector are doing to promote their content.
From here, identify new methods of content promotion to test.
Wrap Up: Create a Framework for Your Content and See Your Conversions Soar
Developing a content matrix for your business and knowing how to use it can help you move your buyers further along their journey and increase conversion rates.
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