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What is a content matrix and why do you need one to boost your business?

by Gill Fernley on

One tool that could help you refine your content marketing strategy and grow your online presence is a content matrix.

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

  1. What is a content matrix?
  2. Pros and cons of using a content matrix
  3. How does a content matrix relate to your content marketing?
  4. How do you create a content matrix?

What is a content matrix?

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Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights describes a content matrix as:

“A content marketing planning tool to help marketers generate ideas for the most engaging content types for their audiences.”

With a content matrix, what you’re creating is basically a scatter plot, where you plot your different content types out based on where they come in your sales funnel and what effect they are designed to have on your audience.

If you can’t picture what that looks like, not to worry, because the team at Smart Insights also provides an excellent visual in their article, The Content Marketing Matrix, and they describe how to use it.

Take a look at their template and you’ll see how easy it is to picture all the different parts of your content and what they do.

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 and 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. Convert more

Following on from the last point, 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. Increase leads

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.

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

Your content creation and content marketing planning will be easier too. No more guessing what to create next!

7. Audit faster

A well laid out and complete content matrix can make it much easier to do a content audit too. In fact, they’ll both feed each other.

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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 does a content matrix relate to your content marketing?

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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. Improves lead generation

Content marketing 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.

2. Helps targeted content creation

Content can also keep your potential customers moving through your sales funnel with the right, 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. This type of content can speed the customer through the buyer’s journey and can also increase conversion rates.

3. Builds networking and brand image

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.

4. Identifies gaps

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.

How do you create a content matrix?

There are a lot of steps to make a content matrix, but it is a task that produces great results for your business. That’s why larger marketing departments, or those companies looking to grow, could especially benefit from a content matrix.

This useful tool can streamline the efficiency of your sales funnel and increase your conversions. That means more sales and more profits, so it’s not a task you should skip.

✏️  If a content matrix isn’t quite right for you, a simple plan is a good start. Find out how to create a content marketing plan on the Copify blog.

Header image: Campaign Creators

Embedded images: Alvaro Reyes, Pickawood, 

Gill Fernley

The director of her own copywriting firm, Gill writes B2B and B2C content for SMEs and digital marketing agencies. She has a background in performing arts and writes conversational, direct sales copy for businesses on a range of topics. She’s also a keen writer of chick lit.