Content Marketing Grid Maps Channels to Business Goals

content marketing grid infographic

Coming at you in what I would say is at least 4D, a new infographic reframes content as marketing. Set on a base of KPIs, the Content Grid v2 by Eloqua and Jess3 connects content with three levels of business objectives and nine phases of prospect goals over five distribution channels and over 20 types of marketing communications. Let’s take a look . . . .

Last year when the original Content Marketing Grid came out, I wrote a post about content marketing and sales impact and said, “It would be interesting, to me, to see how the grid works in real life applications. Our approach is to harmonize social media and marketing communications throughout the company. Infographics like this illustrate the power of strategic communications and validate the need to have a corporate social media marketing, PR and communications plan. That’s why I’ll be using this infographic in my social media marketing and PR communications presentations.”

Business Development Marketing Cycle

Thanks to Alix McAlpine, Director of Marketing at JESS3*, a creative interactive agency, for this explanation of how V2 works, “This new graphic maps content types and distribution channels across two dimensions: the buyer’s goals and the brand’s goals. We’ve also matched KPIs to content type by funnel stage.”

Horizontally you’ll see three business objectives: awareness, consideration and close.

When we develop marketing plans for our clients, we think about community at large, prospects and clients. In sales trainings, we talk about how to generate leads, qualify prospects, build trust and convert shoppers to buyers.

PR practitioners think about how to get visibility by attracting attention to stories and events. The close comes when a story gets placed or shared.

How does the marketing cycle work in your business development?

Vertically, prospect goals slide through nine phases: bored at work, vague notion of possible solution, interested in a solution, researching vendors, evaluating products, narrowing field, social vetting, negotiation and finally, purchase.

How does your prospect path compare?

Content Marketing Spheres and Channels

Twenty plus content spheres spread out over the grid: viral videos, infographics; ebooks, playbooks and guides; articles, curated lists, quizzes and widgets, e-newsletters, trend reports, press releases, webinars, demo videos, in-person events, white papers, interactive demos, feature guides, case studies, analyst reports, customer testimonials, reference checklists, data sheets, ROI calculators and pricing guides.

While it’s great to see so many opportunities to create marketing content, you don’t have to do it all.

The key is to give your audience what they want in order to make the decision to do business with your business.

For example, in-person events may be more effective than curated lists.

Infographics definitely grab attention. Forbes covered the story of how JESS3 developed the Content Marketing Grid V2 design.

Many of our clients would rank newsletters, press releases, media placements and blog posts at the top of their lists. As a blogger and speaker, I’d have a different answer.

Which content spheres jump out to you as being most important to your business?

Five distribution channels direct content into twitter, facebook, Quora/Focus/LinkedIn, blogs/websites, YouTube/Vimeo.

What is Focus? I asked that, too. Focus is a question site so it belongs with Quora and LinkedIn. But, given the choice between the three, I’d rank LinkedIn first and Quora second.

What distribution channels work best for your business? Hint: search for your competition and see what kind of results their content marketing is getting.

Content Marketing Measurement KPIs

Forming the base of the grid, Key Performance Indicators [KPIs] give businesses an idea of what to measure. For example, in the awareness phase you can measure traffic/page views/time onsite; content downloads; inbound links/page rank; fans/followers; and mentions/comments.

In 2011, I’m asked to present more keynote speeches on how to measure social media. Think about measurement as tracking actions. These KPIs will help you do that.

Why not start from the bottom and work your way up?

Interpret and Take Action

What’s the next step? Interpret your results and take action like Eloqua who sent this email message to let me know about V2.

“Last year Eloqua and JESS3 published The Content Grid infographic, and you commented that it would be ‘interesting to see how the grid works in real life.’ I write now to let you know we just published The Content Grid v2, and your input was considered as we brainstormed the new version. Specifically, we wanted to make the grid more practical for, as you suggest, real life marketing. Thanks for caring enough to comment on the first version. Your comments played an invaluable role in the creation of v2.  You also indicated that you are going to use the infographic in presentations.  Feel free to update your decks with the v2!” Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing,  Eloqua

You can bet I’ll be mentioning Eloqua in my presentations. But, it’s not about Joe’s email, it’s about following Eloqua as a company that’s setting the pace in content marketing.

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