8 Content Lifecycle Management Stages (And Best Practices)
60% of the content created by leading brands becomes “just clutter, ” as Marketing Week puts it , impacting neither consumers’ lives nor business outcomes.
A pretty dreary statistic for articles marketers, right?
But when you dive much deeper into the study, it actually reveals an opportunity. The problem is not that consumers don’t wish content — it’s that brands aren’t managing content effectively.
This brings us to content material lifecycle management, or the process of developing, publishing, organizing, repurposing, and retiring content during its lifecycle at an business.
In this article, we are going to cover the different stages of managing this process to get the most out of the content a person create.
Stages of content lifecycle management
Whenever managing the content lifecycle, you will find 8 different stages you need to go through to do it effectively. Let us take a look.
Stage #1: Set up your overall content marketing objectives and strategies
Without a content marketing objective (and strategies to help you achieve that goal) you’ ll basically be flying blind with your content.
No surprise having a documented strategy is really a common thread among top-performing marketing departments — CMI’s 2022 state-of-the-industry report demonstrates 62% of top performers run their content marketing and advertising with a documented strategy in support of 11% of bottom artists do the same.
So before carrying out anything else, it’s important to very first establish your overall content advertising goals, and then strategies to assist you to hit them. A good way to do this is by asking yourself as well as your team a few simple queries. What’s the point of publishing content, for example? What are a person hoping to achieve?
For many businesses, articles marketing goals include a number of of the following:
- Drive natural traffic to your website.
- Generate sales and revenue.
- Foster leads through the different phases of the sales funnel.
- Build loyalty with existing customers by providing assets and education.
- Encourage people to take a specific action such as signing up for your email listing, making a purchase, registering for a training course, or downloading a digital product.
- Enhance the conversion rate on your internet site.
- Establish business authority by becoming a thought leader in your space.
Then, attach strategies to your specific targets. Let’s say your overall goal is to drive organic traffic to your website, for example. What techniques can you use to achieve this? A good physical exercise for this stage is to write-out order a simple chart like this for each goal:
Content marketing objective : Drive organic visitors our website
Corresponding strategy : Publish frequent, SEO enhanced blog articles
Content marketing objective : Nurture leads in the middle of the sales funnel
Corresponding technique : Publish high-quality consumer stories (case studies) on our website
Phase #2: Determine the assets needed
As soon as you’ve established your objectives and corresponding strategies, it is time to figure out the sources you need to achieve them. For that content lifecycle management procedure, this can be anything from financing to personnel to software program — and everything in between.
Going back to the goal of driving organic traffic, for example , should you be going to be publishing regular SEO optimized blog posts, here are some resources you’ll most likely need:
- Funding for internal staff, freelance contractors, or an outsourced agency
- Staff or contractors to strategize, write, modify, and publish content
- The right MarTech software to keep everything structured and allow collaboration
- SEO tools to optimize your content and automate keyword research
By identifying these needs upfront, you can set priorities for the funding requests using minimum resource expenditure.
Stage #3: Setup your content team and strategy
Now that you know what you need for content lifecycle management, it’s time to set up your team. Most of the tasks on content marketing groups can be split into three common categories — management, technique, creation, and submission.
The information Marketing Institute goes into further detail , outlining the following roles since critical to large content material marketing teams:
- Chief articles officer (CCO) or director of content marketing – Responsible for setting the overall targets and integrating content throughout departments.
- Content strategy director or content strategists – Accountable for the development and movement of content as an asset throughout the business, including how the content gets distributed.
- Content supervisor (aka managing editor) – Responsible for project management and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the editorial calendar.
- Content manufacturing director (aka creative director) – Responsible for managing just how your content looks across sections and channels.
- Audience development manager – Responsible for developing subscription assets (email lists, social media followers, etc . ) and building engagement across various media. This person may also be in charge of distribution.
- Influencer wrangler (aka subject matter expert manager) – Responsible for managing content created by internal and external influencers or professionals.
- Specialized content manager – Responsible for facilitating content marketing procedures with technology
- Content writers, designers, and producers – Responsible for producing the actual written or visible content.
Stage #4: Verify your distribution plan
When determining your submission plan, remember that articles distribution can be divided straight into four main buckets — owned, earned, shared, plus paid.
As a quick review, owned media channels are those that your company owns like your weblog, your website, your email and SMS list, and more.
Earned mass media is basically publicity. In the past, this particular meant being featured on the morning TV show or stereo spot. Today it relates more to unpaid brings up by influencers or upon channels like podcasts or blogs.
Shared media, on the other hand, refers to social media channels and other online communities. Content in this bucket includes user-generated content, product reviews, consumer interactions, shares, retweets, and more.
The final bucket, paid media, will be your typical paid advertising for content promotion. This includes everything from PPC to paid influencers advertising to native ad placement.
Naturally , many of these buckets overlap and may be used to augment each other — which is why it’s so important to develop a distribution plan. You’ll also want to consider the following:
- Your business – Different types of companies need different distribution methods. An established B2B company, for example , is likely to find success writing content like case studies and long-form blog posts on owned and shared mass media, whereas a small B2C start-up will probably have more success using paid influencer marketing.
- Your target audience – B2B customers are usually found on LinkedIn (with 80% of B2B leads originating from LI alone). Gen Z customers, on the other hand, are typically upon TikTok. In fact , eMarketer predicts TikTok will surpass Instagram in total Gen Z customers in the U. S. by the end of 2021 and Snapchat by 2023.
Stage #5: Setup approval and quality reassurance processes
The next stage in the content administration process involves setting up your workflow in a way that streamlines the particular approval and quality peace of mind process. Otherwise, it’ll be considered a struggle to keep track of all the different bits of content that have to move in one desk to another.
Here’s an example of a streamlined workflow in action:
- Your articles director sends a request for a podcast episode towards the content manager.
- The content manager then assigns the script to some writer and editor, having a deadline.
- The writer turns in the software for approval and it’s automatically routed to the content manager, who likely has the script going through at least one circular of revision.
- The content manager eventually approves the script and it’s automatically passed on to the podcast director, who can then get in touch with the narrator, schedule documenting, and pass the uncooked files automatically to production.
- Creation finalizes the script and it goes straight out to the particular podcast.
This type of system streamlines your quality reassurance process, while automatically transferring the content to the right roles as soon as it’s signed away on. The people responsible for acceptance will always get the content promptly and there’s no chance of content getting published without approval.
There are many software solutions around that can help you create these types of workflows — Welcome becoming one of them.
Stage #6: Begin content creation
At this point it’s time for the top level — actual content creation. It is a big stage and it includes everything from strategic planning to keyword research to writing plus production.
To manage this process and keep everything (and everyone) organized, it is a good idea to have some systems in position first. A good project software or content marketing platform will usually do the trick.
Welcome‘s content technological platform , for example , enables teams to create faster, repeatable processes to deliver content your target audience will love. Here are a few specific methods our platform helps with article marketing:
- Keep a pulse upon what’s going out across every internal and external channel. Our powerful-yet-flexible calendars allow you to easily visualize what’s going out, to who, and when.
- Centralize the way your group plans every campaign. Plan the effort, craft the communication strategy, and ensure everyone can assist amplify the story using equipment like shared campaign briefs, project workspaces, and collaborative content editors.
- Create and evidence content of all formats with our built-in editor. This allows you to author an original piece plus upload content directly. That way, your team can create, proof, and version work — all in one place.
- Leverage real-time search data and recommendations that help inform your content strategy, optimize content so that it ranks well for search, and ensure it resonates with your audience.
- Invite internal and external members to create, review, and approve content. Whether you work with a staff of writers or an external agency, you can easily empower your team with the equipment they need to collaboratively perfect each brand story.
Stage #7: Repurpose your content
Repurposing content means using elements of an existing piece to create a new item that serves a new or different marketing purpose. It is much easier and less time-consuming than creating content from scratch.
In addition, it’s an excellent way to get the the majority of out of each piece, without needing to reinvent the wheel each time. Examples include:
- Changing content into a new format: Turning a blog post into an infographic.
- Breaking up long-form content into a number of shorter pieces (or vice versa): Using content from the 10-page white paper to create several shorter blog posts.
- Changing content to suit another channel: Taking a 2, 000-word blog post plus breaking it up into 5 bite-size LinkedIn posts.
- Changing happy to suit another audience: Turning a written case study in to a video to target younger demographics.
- Modifying content to suit another phase of the buyer’s journey: Turning a series of blog posts into an ebook.
Stage #8: Keep updating content (or retire it)
The last stage in the content lifecycle would be to keep your content updated — especially evergreen or high-performing pieces. Also known as revamping, this process ensures your content remains appropriate and continues to serve the purpose.
For example , let’s say there is a high-performing blog post about email marketing that was published in 2019, before the pandemic.
Revamping the item by adding new information to the original article keeps this relevant and ensures that this continues to provide value for your audience.
You can do this by adding new data that have emerged since the post was first posted or by updating the recommendations to reflect current trends.
In the case of articles that’s truly outdated, the last step of content management would be to retire it and take it out of circulation. This decreases clutter and keeps your web presence fresh and timely.
Best practices for choosing content lifecycle software
1 . Be sure you need it
Just before choosing any new type of software, it’s always important to ensure you really need it. You do not want to overwhelm your advertising stack with unnecessary or even overlapping tools.
With that in mind, think about whether or not you’re experiencing the following discomfort points related to content management:
- Siloed teams within your marketing and advertising organization.
- Lack of collaboration, leading to wasted content and copied efforts.
- Insufficient a centralized system in order to store and manage advertising assets.
- Simply no real insight or confirming on how your content is carrying out across channels.
- Lack of visibility in to marketing campaigns, including their progression and performance.
- Collaboration can be primarily done via email and spreadsheets.
- Inefficient workflows and approval processes that slow down content material and campaign production.
If these sound all too familiar, it is probably time to add content material lifecycle management software to your stack.
2 . Determine what’s most important
Once you’ve figured out that you need CLM software, it is a good idea to take a good look at your current situation to determine what’s most important. Ask your team the following queries:
- Where are our current processes falling short?
- Just how would a content lifecycle management solution fit into our daily workflow, both because individuals and as a team?
- What are our main goals as being a marketing team?
- How do we presently execute and measure our goals?
- What are we lacking based on the pain points listed above?
Then, use the answers to these questions to prioritize what you need most out of a CLM platform. For instance , if your team is controlling campaigns mostly via distributed spreadsheets, you might place focus on finding a platform that boosts collaboration and workflows.
Or maybe you are lacking a central place to store campaign assets. In cases like this, you’d want to prioritize the platform with marketing source management capabilities.
3. Use as few tools as it can be
Once you have identified exactly what you need your articles management system to do, it is important to look for a solution that uses as few tools as possible. Otherwise, it can get overwhelming (and ineffective) pretty fast.
For example , imagine coordinating all of the stages of the content lifecycle using a separate project administration system, SEO tool, content development tool, asset administration solution, content distribution device, marketing automation platform, email marketing tool, etc .
If that has you stressed out just thinking about it, there’s an easy fix — Pleasant. (Sorry! We can’t withstand one more shameless plug, rofl. )
Welcome’s software combines just about everything you have to manage the content lifecycle into one, easy-to-use platform. Plus, software is designed to integrate easily along with your other systems, giving you one main place to manage everything.
4. Prioritize integration
Speaking of incorporation, making sure your software performs well with others can be another best practice when choosing CLM software (or any MarTech solution for that matter).
Because even if you’re careful to select because few tools as possible, you are still going to have various other platforms and systems that the CLM will need to work with.
Welcome, for example , was built to bring software program and people together – which means a centralized platform that will integrates with the marketing tools you need most, from Marketo to WordPress to Jira and everything in between.
5. Avoid compromising on quality
When choosing software to help you deal with the content lifecycle, it’s important not to skimp on quality. One of the best ways to make sure you’re not really getting duped is to read through unbiased and verified reviews on sites like G2 or even Gartner’s Expert Insights .
These will often give you an honest idea of a software’s level of quality along with insights in to what kind of customer support you can expect from them. Of course , no single review ought to be weighed too heavily, but an overall theme or score can be very useful.
You can also ask various other colleagues in the industry if they have encounter using any of the solutions you’re considering. If so, you can gain valuable insights by hearing their experiences — the good and the bad.
Content lifecycle FAQs
What’ s a content material management process?
The content management process may be the overall coordination of your articles lifecycle, from idea in order to finished product. It involves things such as coordinating with various stakeholders, organizing interdependent tasks, plus distributing content to the right stations.
What skills does a articles manager need?
A good content manager must be highly skilled in the areas of company and communication. Their major role is to guide a piece of content through its various stages and creative affects and deliver it on time, on brand, and on spending budget.
Hopefully, you are feeling more confident now about managing the content lifecycle at the organization. If you follow the measures outlined here, you’ll be on your way to producing “clutter-free” content in no time.
Here’s a quick recap:
Stages associated with content lifecycle management:
- Set up your overall marketing goals plus strategies
- Figure out the resources needed
- Set up your content group and arsenal
- Determine your distribution plan
- Set up your authorization and quality assurance processes
- Start articles creation
- Repurpose content
- Keep updating content
Best practices for choosing content lifecycle management software:
- Make sure you need it
- Determine what is most important
- Make use of as few tools since possible
- Prioritize integration
- Prevent compromising on quality