Content Marketing

What Is A Content Matrix, Why Use It, And How To Create One

Nadav Dakner June 26th, 2022

Updated on October 5th, 2022

Do you know why most B2B companies struggle at content marketing? Because nearly 60% of them do not have a documented content marketing strategy. They think publishing random blog posts will get traffic, leads, and customers.

That doesn’t happen, of course.

The most successful content marketers carefully study their audiences and plan their content strategy to drive results. One of the most important content planning tools they use is a content matrix.

If you haven’t heard of it before, I’ll show you what it means, how it works, and how you can create a content matrix for your business.

Let’s get started.

What Is A Content Matrix?

A content matrix is a content planning tool that allows you to visualize your content mix and helps you determine if you’ve created content that resonates with your audience at different stages of the content marketing funnel.

In simpler words, it shows you if you’re creating content that aligns with your audience’s needs and search intent.

It is a helpful framework that allows you to assess your content marketing strategy, identify weak spots, and plan future content.

It evaluates your content based on two dimensions. The first dimension determines where your content falls in the conversion funnel, and the second dimension shows you what content types you’re using to reach your audience.

Here’s what a basic content matrix looks like.

As you can see, the horizontal axis represents the different stages of the buyer’s journey. A piece of content can fall anywhere between the Awareness and Purchase stages, depending on its type and goals.

If you’ve read our article on creating a content marketing funnel, you’d know how different content types are used based in a content strategy based on your audience’s position in the buyer’s journey.

For example, the Awareness stage contains informational blog posts, videos, gamification, and other content that aims to educate your audience and build brand awareness.

As the audience gets familiar with your product, it gradually moves toward the Consideration and Decision (Purchase) stages, where other content types are used. For example, product demos and webinars are frequently used as the user gets closer to the Purchase stage.

The vertical axis of the content matrix represents the nature of the content and how it is designed to resonate with your audience’s emotional state. On one end, you have Emotional content, while the other end is Rational.

Now, when you look at the overall structure of the content matrix, you have a ready-to-use framework where you can first map your content, evaluate your strategy, and determine where you need to focus more to drive results.

Why Do You Need A Content Matrix?

When creating lots of content for the different marketing funnel stages, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and focus on temporary content trends or areas that do not significantly impact your bottom line.

It gives you a bird’s eye view of your content strategy and allows you to make long-term decisions.

Let’s look at some of its main benefits.

Audit Your Existing Content Marketing Strategy

If you don’t know why your content marketing strategy isn’t producing results, a content matrix could help you get a clearer picture.

You can audit your content strategy by mapping it in a content matrix. This would show you the percentage of content that lies in the different quadrants of a content matrix.

For example, you might find that 90% of your content is rational and aims to create brand awareness. This would explain why you have lots of traffic but no conversions.

Similarly, mapping your content in a content matrix could reveal that you need more emotional content to drive conversions. This is especially true for luxury products where the consumer’s purchase decisions are based on emotion and impulse rather than logic.

Plan Content Production

When you run an audit using a content matrix, it reveals the weaknesses in your content strategy and shows you the areas you need to focus on. This helps you plan future content production and assign your resources more efficiently.

For example, if the content matrix shows that you need more rational and conversion-focused content, you can assign your resources to create product videos, webinars, case studies, and other such content that directly positions your content as the best option.

Alternately, if the content matrix shows there’s not enough awareness-generating content on your site, you could assign more resources to keyword research and content creation around the questions of your audience.

Find Relevant Content Ideas

Finding content ideas is among the biggest struggles of a content marketer. But a content matrix makes this part much simpler. 

When you create a content matrix, audit your content strategy, and identify the weak areas, you know exactly what type of content you need to create to drive results for your business, as I mentioned in the previous point.

This simplifies your thought process and helps you generate relevant content ideas using unique angles and types.

For example, you could use an audience’s need to create an emotional content piece aimed at generating awareness. Then you can use the same need to create a rational content piece in the awareness stage.

This way, you can come up with multiple content ideas for each quadrant on the content matrix.

Track Your Content Marketing ROI

A content matrix helps you determine the ROI of your content marketing efforts by allowing you to identify the exact content types that are driving the best results for your business.

Instead of blindly creating content hoping to drive traffic or leads, you can use a content matrix to pinpoint the most profitable content types and tones and route all your resources towards them.

How To Create A Content Matrix

Now that you understand why a content matrix is beneficial to your business let’s quickly discuss how you can apply it to your content marketing strategy.

1. Determine Your Content Marketing Goals

The first step to building a content matrix is to take account of your content marketing goals. What exactly are you looking to achieve with your content? 

Is it brand awareness and traffic generation? Subscribers and leads? Backlinks from high-authority sites? Brand mentions? Or customers and sales calls?

Determining your primary goals is critical to deciding the content types and platforms for your strategy.

2. Understand Your Audience Needs And Preferences

Once you determine your goals, align them with your audience’s needs. What are your audience’s interests, fears, aspirations, needs, or problems? How can your content solve them and bring them closer to your brand?

Most importantly, what’s your audience’s decision-making process? What motivates them to take action? 

Answering these questions will help you determine the emotional intensity of your content, suitable content types, and relevant content ideas.

3. Map Your Existing Content On A Content Matrix

The next step is to map your existing content on a content matrix. To do this, you’ll need to evaluate each content piece to determine two things.

  • Where does it fall in the buyer’s journey between the Awareness and Purchase stages?
  • Would you describe the content as emotional or rational?

Based on these two factors, organize all your existing content pieces on the content matrix, as shown in the example. To keep things organized, you can group different content types on the matrix.

For example, instead of mentioning each blog post separately, write “12 blog posts” in the Awareness quadrant.

4. Identify Gaps And Opportunities

Once you complete mapping your content, you’ll be able to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your content strategy with respect to your content marketing goals and audience needs.

This would allow you to identify the gaps and opportunities in your current strategy and help you find new and relevant content ideas, types, and tones to meet your business goals.

5. Share Your Findings With The Content Team

Once you complete your content matrix, document the findings separately and share them with your content marketing team and the other relevant stakeholders.

This would help you get their buy-in and educate your execution team on strategically creating content that makes an impact on your bottom line.

Are You Ready To Create A Content Matrix?

As you’ve seen in this post, a content matrix provides you with a visual representation of the strengths and weaknesses of your content marketing strategy and helps you maximize your marketing ROI.