It’s alive! The content lifecycle

Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash
  • By Team CSI
  • |
  • Oct 16 2017
Categories: |Toolbox

Think of content as a living thing

Regardless of type or format, channel or platform, all content moves through a life cycle. It’s all conceptualized, planned, created, and maintained in some way by someone.

If you’re looking at improving your content processes, we recommend using the content lifecycle as a framework. This will ensure you have processes for every stage of your content.

The content lifecycle

The content lifecycle

Stages of the content lifecycle

Strategize and ideate

Your content team leader along with high-level representatives of your company’s business units who discuss how content can be used to drive business goals. Business teams come with problems and ideas, ready to discuss other upcoming content needs. This stage also includes reviewing success metrics and articulating the goals for your content.

When it happens: At an annual or quarterly content meeting

Who does it: CS working group

Example

Quarterly goal: Increase awareness and online sales of our new backpacks

Upcoming needs

  • January: The comfy-strap backpack
  • February: The secret-pocket backpack
  • March: The lightweight backpack

Content ideas

  • New content for backpack listings on website
  • Social media campaign
  • Lots of visuals
  • Infographic highlighting special features

Success metrics

  • Increased visits to backpack section of website
  • Increased online purchases of backpacks
  • Increased traffic from social media

 

Plan

You and your team review ideas, assess resources required, and determine a plan for production, maintenance, and evaluation.

When it happens: At your quarterly meeting

Who does it: Content team

Example

Tools created

  • Editorial calendar
  • RACI chart
  • Marketing plan
  • KPIs

 

Design and create

The designated members of your content team design and develop content according to plan.

When it happens: Ongoing

Who does it: Designers, writers, editors

Example

Content created

  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Infographic
  • Web content

 

Publish and distribute

You and your team publish and distribute content to your audiences on the appropriate channels for maximum effect.

When it happens: Ongoing, according to your editorial calendar

Who does it: IT, social media team

Example

  • IT team posts blog and web content
  • Social media team promotes

 

Evaluate and maintain

You and your team follow up to determine the effectiveness of your content. The maintenance stage ensures that your content remains relevant, accurate, and up-to-date.

When it happens: Ongoing, according to maintenance schedule

Who does it: Writers, IT, CS working group

Example

  • Content strategists evaluate according to KPIs
  • IT maintains small changes,
  • Writers make bigger updates

Understanding the content lifecycle is a necessary step to updating your content processes. That way you can make sure your content team is guiding your content though it’s journey along the lifecycle.

 

Further reading

Keep it together: Implementing a content Strategy working group

Best practices for archiving and deleting content

Content teamwork: Aligning your people and processes [Slides]

Our content strategy services

 

Case study

TELUS Customer support

Governance

View our work
Case study

Adoptive Families Association of BC

Website content strategy

View our work

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