Why Marketers Must Think of the Lifecycle of Their Content

September 27, 2018 Ed Breault

Do you know what your organization’s content lifecycle looks like? And do you have a plan for managing it as a whole?

The term content lifecycle encompasses each phase a piece of content goes through—from ideation and planning to performance management.

Just as organizations track their budgets and spend from ideation to distribution of each marketing campaign or activity, they must look at their content in the same manner. They need to consider content as a living, breathing thing across all their marketing campaigns.

And just as living things need to be actively managed and nurtured throughout their lives--so does content.

Some organizations are just beginning to scratch the surface of looking at their content as a whole by focusing on more customized and targeted content creation and planning. For example, a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute found 72% of B2B marketers are considering how their content impacts the overall experience customers have with their organization, and 70% are prioritizing delivering content quality over content quantity.

They’ve realized now more than ever that their content needs to stand out. It must be relevant, remarkable, and truthful to deliver an exceptional customer experience every time.

A lifecycle approach to content allows an organization to take on a media company mindset and keep itself accountable on its purpose and intent of the content. Having a plan to manage each phase of the lifecycle also can help it increase speed to market with customized, targeted campaigns for all their buyer personas, segments, regions or markets.

Ideation and planning

Think of a content lifecycle as cyclical, where the early stages start with ideation and planning.

Marketers often conduct extensive research on what types of topics their ideal customers and prospects want to learn about during these early phases, then align them with their business objectives and brand story before they begin producing any content.

Creation and approvals

During the next stages of the content lifecycle—creation and approvals---they seek and secure spend, then allocate resources to develop and deliver stories with various types of content, such as images, videos, 3D graphics, or copy based on this intricate mix.

Distribution Management

The middle stages of the content lifecycle are where marketers manage and distribute and their content across channels and  local markets.

Performance Management

The final phase of the content lifecycle—performance—is when marketers seek to reuse or archive the content.

They can use various analysis to monitor content performance such as downloads, views, likes or shared metrics. Then based on such metrics, they must seek to reuse their valuable content by by localizing it to specific markets or regions, as well as their various buyer personas.

Also, if something internally changes with branding, products, or messaging—or the story isn’t resonating well with customers--marketers must be able to still leverage and optimize the valuable piece of content to reflect the most up-to-date campaigns they want to put into market.

Marketers must put as much effort into managing these phases of the content lifecycle as they do the first phases to ensure they are getting the right messages into market every time.

Ultimately they also can choose to retire the content if it’s no longer on brand—such as if their organization is purchased, renamed, or even changes business directions and sunsets a product. This phase of the content lifecycle involves removing all out of date content and archiving it.

The strategy for managing each phase of the content lifecycle will be different for each organization. It will likely depend on its industry—as well as company and customer goals and needs.

But every organization must actively manage its content lifecycle or risk being left behind. So how do you go about managing the content lifecycle for your organization?

Watch our latest webinar on demand, “The Fully Baked Content Experience: How a Fully Developed Content Lifecycle Enables Superior Brand Experiences,” with Robert Rose of the Content Advisory, to learn best practices and solutions to help you do so.

About the Author

Ed Breault

Ed Breault leads a team of marketing strategists and thought leaders who partner with top enterprise brands to navigate complexity, disruption, transformation, and change to the modern marketing organization. During his career, Ed has significantly contributed to the marketing operations business discipline, consulting for more than 100 marketing organizations around the globe and addressing marketing challenges within all industry verticals.

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