What exactly is a content mix?
A content mix is a strategy of deciding how much of different types of content you will create for your audience over a period of time. Normally, I would look at this as an overall strategy but you could base it on a particular campaign, annually or monthly. Whatever makes sense for your business.
Defining an effective content mix helps you plan what to create and provides value to your audience. This is why it’s so important!
In this context, when I talk about what Types of Content should be in your Content Mix, let’s look at an example. Types of content that might be included in your mix could be high value guides, helpful tips, promotional, entertainment, industry related, etc. What you choose to include should be based on what your audience normally consumes in the way of content and your marketing and content goals.
Content creators give a lot of consideration to what topics to cover and what format they will create in (written/video/podcast/reels/memes). However, I’m not sure many of us look at creating it in a way that is balanced so we are not too heavy (or light) on promotional and even can forget to be entertaining or personal at times.
I’ll explain to you how I created my own content mix strategy.
It’s easy to do and can always be adjusted along the way… as you see how your audience engages.
Step 1 - Outline Your Content Objectives
How does your content strategy fit into your overall business and marketing strategies? What are the objectives that this method of planning content could serve?
Make a note of anything important you can think of. Doesn’t need to be a long list. In fact 4 or 5 categories will work nicely.
Step 2 - Research What Content Your Target Audience Interacts With
This part is the big key to making this work. You need to know what your audience wants and likes to engage with. Otherwise it’s all for nothing.
Crickets is not what we want to hear after all our hard work! It makes us want to say things like.. “What’s the point?” and “I feel like I’m wasting my time!” Instead, do your best to understand your audience.
Social media, your email marketing statistics, and past blog posts are a great place to start looking. If you don’t have these set up already for your business, then look into related social media groups or pages and see what people tend to interact with/about most.
Look at what topics, content formats, and content types (valueable tips, entertainment, promotional, etc.) they interact with most often, in a positive way of course.
Another great way is to survey your existing customers, mailing list or social followers.
Step 3 - Research Your Competitors’ Content Mixes.
Is someone in your industry really smashing audience engagement right now?
Go have a look at what they are producing and how much of it. You don’t need to keep statistics on them. You can learn a lot just by watching for a little while.
If you use software like ahrefs you can take advantage of their competitor analysis tools to spy on them and see what content they get a lot of traffic on. I’m not saying to write the same articles or steal their stuff!! Just see what they’re doing right.
Ahrefs recommends a tool called SparkToro for get audience insights to know what they read, watch, listen to, and follow. I haven’t tried that tool yet so I can’t say first hand, but you can check it out.
Step 4 - Building Your Content Mix
Now that you’ve done a bit of research, it’s time to put it to use. Don’t go into overwhelm about it. Just do your best with what you know and make adjustments later if you find you can do better.
I’ve made a little worksheet you can use to gather your information in one place, you can get that here (no opt-in required).
Simply decide what Types of content you are going to focus on and the ratio of each that will give you a healthy balance of what your customers and audience love to consume.
Content Mix Example
Here’s an example for you. It’s a graphic from copyblogger.com where I learned this concept years ago. It’s what they were recommending back in whatever year that was and I think it’s a pretty good guide.
That’s it. Super simple, right?
Once you have your content mix created you can go deeper with what topics and formats you plan to create, if you haven’t already.
Step 5 - Analyze the Performance of Your Content Mix
You should always analyze your marketing efforts to verify if it worked or not.
Word of caution here! Don’t give up on it immediately if it seems like it’s not working!
A few things to consider before throwing in the towel are…
How many people actually saw it in the first place?
Not many? Get some more eyes on your content first. You can’t gauge anything if you don’t have enough data to look at.
Lots of traffic or views but very low engagement?
Figure out what’s not connecting with them. If you’re basing your decisions on a survey, did you show your new content to those same people or an audience on a different platform? Think warm vs cold audiences. When you already have a group of people providing feedback to you, pitch back to them with your new content first. See how it goes and review how you can improve. When it’s working well, you will likely do better when you move out to a colder audience.
Make small adjustments and try it again.
I see business owners get discouraged sometimes because they hoped their efforts would bring in massive results the first time and they end up not seeing that they actually had decent results that they can improve on. Or they simply need more ideal audiences. Or their is something off in their messaging.
Create a spreadsheet, list all of the content you create and create columns for the engagement you want to track (traffic, clicks, likes, whatever your goals are).
Set aside time to track them each week or month, or have someone do it for you. Remember to make time to review the data and evaluate what’s working so you can do more of it!
What To Do Now
Download my Content Mix Worksheet and start working on this today so you can add it to your content strategy and into your content creation process.
Let me know how it goes in the comments!