Content matrix. How to generate endless content marketing ideas. The easy way.

Looking at Google Trends, it shows that already since January 2012 there has been a worldwide growth in the interest in Content marketing. That’s 7 years of videos, articles, white papers and tweets. So how do you, as a content marketeer, make sure that you keep coming up with fresh new content ideas?

Content marketing trends
Trends in interest in Content marketing

Let’s start with what content marketing is all about.

What is content marketing?

Summarized very succinctly, content marketing is: the use of any-kind-of-content to promote products and services to a specific audience with the goal of whatever-kind-of-conversion.

One comment on the above is that the concept of conversion is really broad. It can be a lead, but also a like, a video view or a subscription to a newsletter. While it’s perfectly possible to directly generate sales, content marketing often concerns a more indirect approach to the respective target audience.

Next question, so what is this content then?

What is content?

Nowadays not just conversion, but also the concept of content has become immensely broad. Basically it’s any piece of information that has the indirect objective of attracting customers. While it started out with white papers and infographics, today it’s anything from blog posts to videos, memes to tweets.

Even influencer marketing largely revolves around content marketing. Using blog posts, pictures, videos and social media posts it’s a medium through which to promote products and services to the followers of an influencer.

In theory you could go even further and even incorporate off line content. How about gadgets, product samples or the printed version of a book or white paper?

Bring on those content marketing ideas already!

All right. So how to still come up with fresh content ideas despite so many years of it behind us.

A content matrix!

It’s really quite simple, namely combining two dimension that, when combined, lead to a new idea. Those two dimensions could be ‘Content type’ and ‘How, what, where, when, why and who’.

A simple content marketing matrix
A simple content marketing matrix

As an example I’ve given myself 10 minutes to fill this in for a fashion website. A subject that I know literally nothing about. Below the result.

The content matrix applied to a fashion website
The content matrix applied to a fashion website

Now if I’d be responsible for a fashion website, for sure I’d have plenty of content ideas for at least a month. In 10 minutes. For a subject completely unknown to me.

Another example is for a blog. By taking the tags and keywords as dimensions. Below is the example for a cooking blog. Again, not a field that I’m particularly strong in.

Also a cooking blog is easily filled with creative content marketing ideas

Next to helping out with new content ideas, it might even help you with finding new practical applications that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of!

In case you’d like to give it a try, here’s the Google Sheet with the info. Seemed easier. Right?

Bonus tip: use a Content marketing calendar

When it comes to a content marketing calendar, this helps you:

  1. schedule exposure with a consistent frequency
  2. match the relevance of your content topics with relevant seasonal interests of your target audience
  3. optimize the timing through testing of different hours of the day, days of the week etc.

More about this in a next post. For now, good luck with your own content matrix! Curious to hear whether you think it’s a useful tool or that you’ve found a different approach. Let me know!

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