Content Strategy 101: The content life cycle

Abby Wood

Welcome back to part two of our blog series introducing you to the key concepts of content strategy and how it can help your business.

Ok, so you’ve finally got around to creating and implementing your content strategy – now you’ve got content up and running online, you can forget about it and move onto the next thing on your ever-expanding to-do list, right? WRONG.

To stay relevant and top of the search engines, you need to constantly work on, improve and update your online content.

Welcome to the online content life cycle.

The content life cycle has five main stages that consistently loop around (great for selling to your clients, a pain in the butt to manage yourselves):

  1. Audit & Analysis: The first stage of the content life cycle is a competitive and objective analysis of the environment your content will be in. For example, is it on your main website? A sister website? Will it be distributed in an email series?
  2. Strategy: Next, it’s time to develop a strategy for your workflow (or your team’s workflow) when it comes to content. Choose and secure a brand voice for your company. What targets and goals will make the content a success?
  3. Plan: Decide on who’s doing what, manage your content team and create a plan for communication between you, your team and your client.
  4. Create: It’s time to write the damn thing! Take note of your production flow – are your team doing what they’re meant to be doing? Keep an eye on the quality of the content your producing, try not to get side-tracked by looming deadlines. Write it and write it good.
  5. Maintain: Map out future and regular audits of the content, stick to it. Update your content regularly. Rinse and repeat from step one.

In order to stay relevant and create genuinely helpful content to your clients, you have to understand what they’re looking for and why they’re looking for it. This is one of the key things to consider when you’re looking at how your old content is performing and what your new content should cover.

Depending on your audience (and where your company goes), the demands on your online content can change dramatically. We all know the online world is evolving every minute of every day – the demands on a company’s online presence has never been so draining on time and effort.

To stand out from your competitors, achieve your goals and most importantly, deliver what your audience needs, you have to stay on top of the latest platforms, the topics people are talking about and keep an eye on what your online presence says about you as a company.

Following the content life cycle’s steps, you can make sure you’re up-to-date, relevant and true to your core brand values – which puts you head and shoulders above a lot of companies that simply press ‘publish’ and move onto the next thing.

 
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