The Quadrant Model of Content Optimisation gives an easy overview of what kind of stories work for your audience and what stories need adjustments. The ultimate conclusion could be that you need to skip the stories that don't perform at all.

As much as we think that every story can be optimised, we also believe that making hard choices about the number of articles that are being published can be the start of a very effective content strategy. With the Quadrant Model, we offer insights that help to make those choices. They are very helpful for your advertisement or subscription strategy.

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In this case, you can see the performance of articles (the dots) on exposure and engagement. The place they take in the quadrant, tells you what kind of articles need action.

On one axis we might put reach and on the other engagement. With that, you get an interesting overview of topics (or even stories) that have an impact on your audience (top right) or the ones that don’t (bottom left).

The core issue? The top half of the right quadrant articles convert to 20 times more people than the average. Good niche articles need to get more distribution. Reach champions need enrichment. At the same time, stop doing stuff in the bottom left.

The user experience is intuitive. If you click on any dot in the quadrant for example, you’ll find further details and insights about that article.

Dragutin Miletić

Dragutin Miletic co-founder and CTO @ smartocto

User needs in the quadrant

In our feature smartocto Insights, users could even combine the Quadrant Model with the User Needs Model for News. That model, originally created by BBC World Service, gives editors and other storytellers the direction they need to satisfy the needs of their audience.

After thorough research by Dmitry Shishkin into the demands of their own audiences, they came up with six different reasons why they consume news. Those reasons became the 'user needs':

  • Update me
  • Keep me on trend
  • Give me perspective
  • Educate me
  • Divert me
  • Inspire me

The 'update me articles' are the most simple and recognisable stories that are dominant in traditional news outlets: this is what's happening in the world right now. They're also most dominant in the bottom left of the quadrant, which says something about the value. Maybe some articles need a follow up to satisfy another user need, like 'educate me' or 'inspire me'. It is obvious where you want that article to be in the the Quadrant Model: top right. Right?

You can see that most of the time articles on the bottom left are 'Update me' stories.

While the user needs-centric content strategy is the base for successful digital publishing, the Quadrant model, introduced by smartocto, takes its content analysis and actionability in the newsrooms to the next level. The model applied to your output not only will always surprise and challenge you, it has the potential to inform and impact your product strategy, too. In digital publishing, content is product, and therefor the Quadrant Model is essential for effective, aligned and focused creativity.

Portrait of Dmitry Shishkin

Dmitry Shishkin creator user needs model

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