A content matrix is an easy and effective way to plan your sales and marketing content. It ensures that you are reaching your audience at each stage of their buying journey.
Never again will you “run out of ideas” for your upcoming business development content. After you’ve created the matrix for your business, you can come back to it again and again to generate new content ideas.
What is a Content Matrix?
You’ve probably seen data plotted on a matrix before. It's typically a chart or diagram which provides a great way to visualize the relationships between two or more variables.
And you’re certainly aware of what content is… it’s the educational, engaging, or entertaining content (images/videos/text) you create for your target buyers to view.
A content matrix is simply a way to help you visualize and plan your content using two data points: 1) Your Buyer Persona, and 2) Your Buyer’s Journey.
You can then use the content matrix to come up with new content ideas or analyze potential gaps in your current content strategy.
How do you create a Content Matrix?
Creating a content matrix is as simple as creating a table in a word document, with your persona(s) across the columns, and your buyer's journey stages down the rows.
From there you can then fill in the matrix with content that your target audience is searching for or engaging with at each stage of their buying process.
Step 1. Determine Your Buyers Journey
If you don’t already have one outlined, you’ll need to know and understand the buyer’s journey for your product. These are the distinct stages that a person moves through as they purchase from you.
Here is a common journey and the subsequent steps in it:
- Problem Awareness - This is the stage where your buyer first becomes aware that they have a problem. It can be a negative problem that needs to be fixed, or it can be a positive problem that represents an opportunity they are not yet taking advantage of.
- Solution Research - The next stage is typically solution research, where your buyer starts to look for ways to solve their problem. This is where they research products and services, and learn about how they can potentially improve their situation.
- Decision Making - This is the stage where the buyer makes the final decision to buy. They are researching potential vendors to work with, reading reviews, and comparing prices.
- Post Purchase - After a purchase is made, your buyer will continue to engage with you. Either through additional purchases, customer support or by referring others in their network to you.
If you are looking for another simple way to understand your buyer’s journey, you can check out my blog post on the three questions that every buyer asks.
Step 2. Determine Your Persona(s)
You’ll also need to know your buyer persona to complete the matrix. Or in other words, who buys from you?
This is the person that you will be considering as you map out the content across your matrix. What role are they in? What do they buy? Why do they buy? How do they make their decision?
Step 3. Create Your Content Matrix
Now, create your table and… ta-da! You have yourself a content matrix. An easy-to-use tool to help your map your sales and marketing content.
Go down each box of the matrix and fill it in with the type of content that your specific buyer would want to consume at that specific stage.
For a broader strategy perspective, you can fill out the matrix with the types of content that you think that persona would consume at each stage. For instance, “educational newsletters” or “social media reviews”.
For specific idea generation, you can use your matrix to come up with individual content pieces you could create. For instance, “Webinar - how to set up your IRA account”, or “Blog post - how compound interest makes your money work for you”.
I’ve found that it's helpful to create both a strategic high-level content matrix for your business, as well a separate matrix used just for new content piece idea generation.
Your strategic matrix can provide the overarching direction for your content, whereas your individual piece matrix can be used for ongoing content creation.
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