A content matrix isn’t just a useless buzzword or yet another bit of jargon. It can be the difference between whether your content marketing works or not. So, what is a content matrix and what can it do for your business?
Table of contents
- What is a content matrix?
- Pros and cons of using a content matrix
- Is a content matrix right for you?
- How to use a content matrix to inform your content marketing
- How do you create a content matrix?
What is a content matrix?
When it comes to a content matrix definition, Search Engine Journal explain:
“A content marketing matrix is a planning tool to help marketers generate ideas for the most engaging content types for their audiences.”
There are different degrees of depth that a matrix can go into. At a basic level, a content matrix is typically a table or graph with rows representing different topics or themes, and columns representing different types of content or content formats. In both the Smart Insights and Search Engine Journal content marketing matrix templates, you'll see:
- A horizontal axis showing the awareness stage on the left-hand side and purchase or action on the right-hand side to indicate where buyers fit in the sales funnel.
- A vertical axis showing the emotional buying triggers at the top through to the rational buying triggers at the bottom.
At a granular level, it can serve as a visual representation like a scatter plot of a content strategy that outlines the types of content to be produced, the topics to be covered and the channels through which the content will be distributed. The cells in the matrix are filled in relative to the best content for that stage of the customer journey and the effect they are designed to have on your audience.
Pros and cons of using a content matrix
Not sure if a content matrix is right for you? Take a look at these pros and cons:
When you have a lot of content, it’s easy to get lost in it all and not be able to work out what you’ve got and what you need. With a content matrix, you have a really clear visual of every part of your content and what it does. Here are some of the benefits:
1. Plug gaps
Once you’ve laid all your content out, it’s simple to see where you have gaps and where more content needs to be created. You’ll be able to see if you don’t have enough content to help your potential customers through the middle of the funnel or the end. And you’ll see at a glance if you don’t have enough visual content. Instead of guessing what else you need, you’ll know!
2. Guide customers
With a content matrix, it’s easier to guide your customers through your sales funnel. You should find that your sales process starts to work more smoothly as any blocks and problems in your sales funnel are solved with the right sort of content.
3. Increase leads and conversions
You should also see an increase in newsletter sign-ups and in retention on your list and click-through rates when you have the right content in place at the right time. In turn, your conversion rate should increase. If there are no gaps in your sales funnel, customers don’t get stuck in the middle of the buyer’s journey and there’s less chance of them giving up completely or choosing a competitor.
4. Meet business goals
A matrix helps ensure that content is aligned with business goals and target audience interests, and can help to optimise the use of resources and budget by identifying which types of content are most effective for different topics and channels.
5. Grow your content
You’ll generate even more ideas for your content! With your existing content laid out on the matrix, you’ll make new connections that you might not have made and come up with new ideas for content and content types.
6. Strategise easier
Pair a content matrix with your content calendar and content creation becomes much easier. No more guessing what to create next! Simply look at where your customer falls on the matrix and see at a glance what types of content you need to create for each topic, and how that content will be distributed across different channels.
Of course there are some downsides to a content matrix, otherwise every marketing department would be using one. Here are a few:
1. Takes time
It’s quite a bit of work to create a content matrix when you already have a lot of content. Having said that, it is worth it.
2. Needs adapting
You do need to keep updating your matrix every time you create a new piece of content. It’s not a ‘do it once and then leave it’ task. However, it does get more and more useful the more you use it.
Is a content matrix right for you?
If you’re reading this before you start content marketing, then you’re in a great position to start mapping your content on a matrix right from the very beginning. You can save yourself hours of going back through hundreds of pieces of content and figuring out where they fit on your content matrix.
If you’re faced with those hundreds of pieces of content, however, there’s no way around it but through. The results when you’re done can be well worth it, though.
How to use a content matrix to inform your content marketing
Content marketing is a vitally important part of your digital marketing and it serves various different purposes that help your company reach the right audience and sell more to them. As such, a content matrix:
1. Use it to identify what content to create
Content marketing is inbound marketing, so it brings new people into the top of your sales funnel by raising awareness of your company and establishing and building your brand. At this stage, buyers know they have a problem and you can educate them on how your company can help them, which starts to move them further into your sales funnel.
By creating a content matrix, you can identify the different types of content that resonate with your target audience and which channels are most effective for reaching them. This can help you create content that is more likely to generate leads and convert them into customers.
2. Get to grips with your customer journey
Content can also keep your potential customers moving through your sales funnel with optimum, targeted content at each stage. Again, this can be educational content that answers questions, shows off your expertise and demonstrates that you can help them.
Use your matrix to help you flesh out the customer journey, especially if you've never really thought about this before. Once you have an idea of this, your content can then help guide the customer through the buyer’s journey and can also increase engagement, build trust with your audience and boost conversion rates.
3. Create content specific to your brand and audience
There’s a lot more content marketing can do, including establishing trust, creating and building relationships and communities around your business, building your authority, increasing your presence on the internet, and more.
When you use a matrix, it helps you create more targeted content that is relevant and valuable to your audience. This kind of content is more likely to be shared within networks, which can help build your brand image and increase your reach. The content matrix can help you identify which types of content are most likely to be shared and which channels are best for reaching new audiences.
4. See where you can brush up
A well-plotted content matrix can aid your content marketing team by clearly showing them what types of content buyers need at each part of the sales funnel to help them make a purchasing decision. Your matrix can point out gaps in your content marketing mix and find pieces of content that aren’t working for you so you can either rewrite them or replace them. It can show whether your content should be emotional or logical, visual or text, and so much more.
By mapping out your content strategy in a matrix, you can quickly identify any gaps or areas where you may need to create more content. This can help you prioritise your content creation efforts and ensure that you have a well-rounded content strategy that covers all of your key topics and themes.
How do you create a content matrix?
At the top of this article, we break down the two criteria of a content matrix with a couple of templates you can use. However, there are a lot more steps to making a content matrix you can take.
Although it might seem like effort, especially for a smaller business, it could produce great results. That’s why larger marketing departments, or those companies looking to grow, could especially benefit from a content matrix.
This useful tool could streamline the efficiency of your sales funnel and increase your conversions. That could mean more sales and more profits, so think twice before you overlook it.
✏️ Whether you're working from a content marketing matrix or strategy, our content writing service can help you produce quality, targeted content quickly.
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