8 Stages of the Content Life Cycle
The content life cycle is one of the most important topics to understand if you want to improve your own content. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a website, how businesses go about putting together valuable content for their customers, or maybe you just want to learn more about this important topic, then this article is for you.
At K2 Analytics Digital Marketing in Las Vegas, we believe that content is like a tree or a flower; it must be nurtured and cared for before it can grow and fully flourish. The concept of the content life cycle is critical to understanding how content is created and used. It’s also important because if you understand the different stages a piece of content goes through, you’ll understand the need for strategies related to content marketing.
Content Creation Has Changed
Before the Digital Age, the life cycle of a piece of content was relatively simple. After an author wrote their manuscript, it would be published and sent out to readers. Authors wrote books, articles, or essays; publishers printed them, and readers were introduced to new ideas for knowledge or entertainment purposes. This process has not changed much at present times (although self-publishing is a big alternative now).
The web has made things a bit more complex when it comes to the creation and distribution of content because there are more stages in the process. Nowadays if you want to increase your company’s exposure online, then you will need some sort of digital strategy in order to get people talking about your products. This is where the content life cycle comes in handy; if you understand how it works, then you can make sure your content gets to the right people at the right time.
Content Stage 1 – The idea
This is the first stage of the content life cycle where you are beginning to formulate ideas and strategies about the content that you are going to create. The creation process begins with you having a specific objective in mind. In the case of content marketing, your goal might be to promote a particular product or gain more subscribers for your blog.
In order to reach this goal, you need to start brainstorming ideas that will help you achieve it. This is not an easy process and takes a lot of time and effort because people don’t want to read long articles filled with fluff just because they have attractive headlines. You need to provide something that will contribute value to your audience’s lives in some way or another before they are willing to invest their time in reading what you have written.
Content Stage 2 – Collecting Content
Now you’ll begin to start gathering images, excerpts, and other forms of content that you are going to use in your content.
You may want to use quotes from surveys, blog posts, or videos as content for your own article. You can also paraphrase ideas and concepts that you’ve gathered from books or other sources.
Always make sure to give credit where credit is due! If you take someone else’s work and pass it off as your own, your readers will be able to tell and then they will lose faith in you (and everything that you publish).
Content Stage 3 – Research
When you are researching for your project, it is important that you do thorough research. After all, this is what will shape the future of your digital marketing efforts so you want to make sure everything is done properly. There are two sides of the coin when it comes to research; one side has you gathering information from credible sources online while the other side has you talking to subject matter experts to fill in the gaps.
Both of these aspects are important because if you don’t have a good understanding of your audience and what they want, then it will be impossible for you to create content that will draw them in. It is also essential that you take the time to study your competitors because this gives you an insight into what is going on with the industry as a whole. If you want people to share your content online, then it needs to stand out from everything else available which means finding innovative ways of delivering information that people will find useful or entertaining enough to share with their friends and family members.
Content Stage 4 – Constructing the Framework
Creating a coherent content marketing framework is the next step in the content life cycle.
This means structuring your article in such a way that it is easy for people to understand and follow while also providing some sort of value. The foundation for this structure comes from the research you did when you were collecting various sources of information (quotes, statistics, etc).
At this point, you should be writing (or more likely dictating) what will become the main body of your piece; whether it’s an ebook, blog post, or something else entirely depends on what type of content you are creating. Whatever its purpose may be, make sure that whatever you write provides some value to your audience. You can always improve and edit your initial draft later on.
Content Stage 5 – Content Creation
Now you’ll create the content that you have gathered throughout this process.
There are a few different ways to go about this step that will depend on what sort of content you are creating. If it’s an article, then it will come down to writing and editing while if it’s a video or slideshow, then production is going to be your primary concern. Whichever one happens to be relevant for your project, make sure that everything is consistent and flows well; otherwise, you risk losing readers before they get to the end of your piece (which means fewer shares and in turn less exposure).
Content Stage 6 – Content Optimization
This is the third to last step in the content life cycle and it’s where you will finalize your work by polishing it up to make sure that everything looks professional. You’ll also be inspecting your content to make sure that it follows the best search engine optimization guidelines.
Your goal here should be making sure that readers get the most out of what you have written or produced so this means taking a look at your content from their perspective to get an understanding of how they are likely to perceive it. Editing, proofreading, formatting, and other similar tasks are all part of this process so take your time and do whatever needs to be done to make it shine.
This is also where you will make sure that your content is optimized for SEO by using a variety of search engine optimization techniques. For example, you want to optimize your URLs, meta descriptions, and titles so that they are set up to rank as high as possible on Google and other search engines.
Content Stage 7 – Content Distribution
In the second to last step, you will distribute the content that you have created and collect feedback from your audience.
Distribution is one of the most important steps in the process because this is what brings people to your website and gives them a reason to read everything that has been published so far. If they don’t like it or they think it could be better, then they will let you know by leaving comments (and possibly sharing their opinion on social media as well).
This step can also help you determine which areas of your campaign need more work; if people aren’t talking about your content then there’s something wrong with it. You may need to do some more research or even reevaluate your target audience at this point because it may be the only way to improve your current content.
Content Stage 8 – Promoting Your Content
The final step in the content life cycle is promoting your content so that it gains traction online. The main idea behind this step is to get people talking about what you have written or produced which means using a mix of different strategies to make sure that many people see it. This includes publishing strategically on social media or sending out press releases but there are also less obvious ways of doing it like setting up an Adwords campaign to generate targeted traffic.
Whatever promotional strategy you decide on, make sure you put some time into it because the more people that see your content, the greater it’s chance of going viral and reaching a huge audience.
Don’t Forget – Content is King
Following these steps will help you get started with your own digital marketing campaign; however, if you want results then it is important to keep in mind that there are more factors involved than just producing great content. The design of your website and other promotional materials matter as well which means that you should take the time to do some research on what others in your industry are doing to make sure you are setting yourself up for success.