How to Manage Your Content Lifecycle

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 at 11:00am
How to Manage Your Content Lifecycle

Whether a timeless blog post, temporary landing page, or a fleeting tweet, all content has a lifecycle. Content Lifecycle is “the process that defines the series of changes in the life of any piece of content.” A strong Content Strategy should encompass your content’s lifecycle - from strategy, to creation, to promotion, to management, to measurement, and finally back to your strategy. Mapping and tracking your content’s lifecycle ensures that your content will have a purpose with measurable results. Being able to demonstrate the ROI of your content will help you get the rest of your organization on board with making content a priority. Let’s walk through the stages of your Content Lifecycle.

Strategy

The foundation of your strategy should be your business goals. What do you want to accomplish? Why are you creating content? Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can start to reverse engineer your Strategic Marketing Plan. Part of your plan should contain your Content Strategy for supporting and accomplishing those business goals. An Editorial Calendar is a great way to lay out your content, themes, important dates, etc. This will allow you to stay ahead of the game, rather than creating content ad hoc.

Creation

Now that you have an Editorial Calendar, you need to create your content. When creating content, you have to keep a thousand things in mind, and you will change your mind often. Later on in your content’s lifecycle, you’ll be able to measure its effectiveness. So don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. As long as you have a way to measure your content’s effectiveness, you’ll gain valuable insight from experimenting.

Some questions to ask yourself when creating content:

  • Is this timely or timeless? (Timeless will have a longer lifecycle than timely.)
  • Is this content targeted? Who do I want to read this, and what action do I want them to take?
  • Is this content authentic?
Management

A key component of your content’s lifecycle is managing that content. Too often content is created and then forgotten about. Having a strong CMS (content management system) and web governance policy in place, will help prevent content from being forgotten. If you’re lucky, your CMS will allow you to create once - publish everywhere (COPE), thus ensuring that your content is where it should be and looks exactly as you intended.

Promotion

Promotion is an essential means to achieving your content and business goals. You’ve created Targeted Content, and now you have to get that content to your intended audience. Content promotion can be done via social media, email campaigns, landing pages, RSS feeds and broadcasts, to name a few. Don’t forget to keep up with the latest SEO trends, this will help keep your content optimized and easier to find in search results.

Measurement

If a blog is promoted but no one’s around to measure it, does it still create ROI? Maybe, but if you’re not measuring your content’s effectiveness, you’ll never know. All the work put into your content until this point, is basically useless unless you’re learning from it. If you’re actively measuring your analytics, A/B testing your content, and tracking your leads - you’ll see what works and what doesn’t. As you put your findings to good use, you should see increased conversions and ROI. The more data you collect and analyze, the more time you can spend creating content that creates results.

Conclusion

Once a piece of content has reached the end of its lifecycle, it’s time to decide if you should repurpose, redirect, or retire it. You can base your next move on the data you’ve been collecting, which should tell you how effective said content has been and will continue to be. Now that you’re back where you started, you should have a lot more useful data than when you began. With this data, you can see what content is successfully supporting your business goals, and focus on creating more. As your business goals grow and change, so will your strategy. Creating documented processes for each step of your Content Lifecycle will allow you to quickly make adjustments as you gain more insight into what’s working and what’s not. Now get out there, take some risks, and find out what out works for you!

How do you measure the effectiveness of your content? What content is working best for your business goals?

See how Cascade Server supports Content Lifecycle management: [Download the PDF]
Content Lifecycle Management


 

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