Optimization glossary

Content lifecycle management

What is content lifecycle management?

Content lifecycle management is the practice of managing content from it's planning, authoring, promotion, assessing and maintaining.

Everything has a lifecycle: plants, animals, computers, and, yes, people. But what is content lifecycle management, and why do we need it?

With 70% of businesses leveraging content marketing, understanding the lifecycle of your content is crucial to your company’s workflow and success.

Let’s examine the ins and outs of the content lifecycle and how you can optimize it to enhance your content strategy. 

Key takeaways:

  • Content lifecycle management is the beginning, middle, and end of data production

  • Elevating your brand or preserving its reputation means providing first-rate content lifecycle management out of content creation

  • The five phases of content lifecycle management are planning, producing, marketing, assessing and maintaining

Content lifecycle management defined

Content comes in various forms. It could be a blog on a website, an infographic, a podcast, or a video, you can even leverage content for repurposing if need be. These modes of broadcasting information attract visitors and can result in conversions.

When defining “content lifecycle management,” Canto puts it succinctly as the beginning, middle and end of data creation. After all, if the circle of life applies to tangible things in the universe, data and a piece of content are no exceptions.

As an example, you want to create video content for your brand. The subject starts with a goal— in this case, brand awareness. From there, you decide the theme of your video to be the company’s mission statement. You storyboard the flow of the video, obtain actors or animators, publish, promote, and then observe the results. When the video becomes outdated, you post an updated version. Your original mission statement video completed its lifecycle.

Why do you need content lifecycle management?

Businesses appreciate the value in producing continuous content, but why is content lifecycle management necessary? 

When it comes to your business content, your site contains many instances of outdated material, Google decreases your ranking, marking it as either “slight meets” or “fails to meet” user needs. Furthermore, obsolete content affects your brand’s reputation. How do users react when they see the following?

  • A page for a discontinued product or service

  • Profiles of employees that are no longer part of your company

  • Advice that is not in tune with current events

  • A page not loading due to an outdated technology

Content lifecycle management plays a significant role in user experience and, subsequently, functionality and business revenues and business goals.


The five phases of content lifecycle management

Now that we understand what content lifecycle management refers to, let’s explore it further. Content lifecycle management can be broken up into five phases for content creators:

1. Plan

Before creating the content, a business needs to know what goal they hope to accomplish by its publication. Here are some ideas:

  • Do you wish to increase visitor traffic?

  • Are you looking to solve a customer pain point?

  • Do you want to gain more referrals?

Once you have the high-level goal, which type of content will help you meet that goal? Is it an explainer video? Or perhaps a blog? What about a podcast? 

The final aspect of setting a goal is establishing the analytics for the content. What are you using to measure the success of content? Is it the number of likes and reshares? Possibly the increase in subscribers? Is it the boost in sales of your product? Creating a benchmark at the outset will give your content a clear direction.

2. Produce the content

When developing content for your business, content strategists need to keep the customer in mind. The endeavor will fall flat if the information doesn’t appeal to your customer or they can’t engage with the content. The following diagram provides main ways to gain insight into your buyers:

Customer insight pointing at tools

Image Source: https://www.formpl.us/blog/customer-insight 

Next, involve different departments and stakeholders in the creation process, such as marketing and support. Their perspective can ensure you develop an engaging piece and metadata that speak to the brand. Inter-department collaboration has the added benefit that all teams are knowledgeable in the subject matter should the customer need assistance. The customer will observe that they are working with a well-organized business. 

Finally, maintain the content in a central location and accessible by all teams, such as a content management system.

3. Publish and market the content

Once the collaborators have the content polished, it’s time to publish and promote it. Understanding your target audience here is essential. Which social channels do your customers prefer? Promote via those platforms first while including other marketing methods, such as email and search engine marketing (SEM).

4. Assess the results

Determine success based on the goals set up in phase one. Utilize your web analytics tools to see the number of visitors, returning users, bounce rate, and referrals and compare them to previous projects. Did this content resonate with your target audience? Did it prove more profitable than past ones? Were there lessons learned that you can apply to future projects?

5. Perform housekeeping

As illustrated earlier with the house example, content needs maintenance. There are several ways to care for content as it ages:

  • Add updates to the content. If it’s a blog, tweak it for current events and statistics. Then, mark the post with the updated timestamp. Reposting previous blogs can prove effective because the URL may already have backlinks and authority, ranking higher in searches.

  • If it’s a video or a podcast, remove or replace outdated sections. Again, display the new date.

  • Convert popular blogs into a video or podcast.

  • If most of the material is out-of-date, you can still use sections towards new content.

  • If it’s evident that the content no longer delivers value, you can delete it.

Bloggers who update old posts survey results

Image Source: https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/update-old-blog-posts/

Need help with your content lifecycle management?

Elevating your brand or preserving its reputation means providing first-rate content lifecycle management. Optimizely can support your organization with the tools and techniques to administer its content lifecycle, like web analytics and content intelligence.

Contact us for more information.