Content lifecycle management: 5 stages and tools to help you succeed

Content lifecycle management: 5 stages and tools to help you succeed

5 minute read

Content lifecycle management: 5 stages and tools to help you succeed

5 minute read

Content lifecycle management: 5 stages and tools to help you succeed

Afoma Umesi

GatherContent Contributor, Writer
Running a content team is demanding. One of the most challenging parts that 74% of content marketers report grappling with is maintaining the flow of information between teams and departments. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, implement effective content lifecycle management. Content lifecycle management allows everyone to understand where a piece of content is in the production process.

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In this article, we’ll delve into what content lifecycle management is and which tools and processes help content teams work efficiently.

What is content lifecycle management?

Content lifecycle management refers to all the processes that bring a piece of content from concept to reality.

The lifecycle of a blog post begins the minute a marketer generates an idea for the post. Every step the content team takes to guide that blog post—from ideation to publication and beyond—constitutes content lifecycle management.

Why is content lifecycle management important?

Have you ever been unable to find the digital assets for a webinar or locate the original draft of a published post when it’s time to optimize? If the answer is yes, you might know why content lifecycle management matters.

Content lifecycle management keeps track of digital assets. This management process minimizes stress, unnecessary extra budget spend, and time lost hunting down valuable content assets.

Proper content lifecycle management makes it easier to publish high-quality content quickly and at scale. This increases your content team’s overall productivity.

What are the stages of the content lifecycle?

We know what the term “lifecycle” means, but let’s take a closer look at the key stages in the content lifecycle. Let’s consider how marketers can make the most of each stage.

Planning

Content planning is a crucial first stage of the content lifecycle. It lays the groundwork for a successful piece because it includes overarching strategy and the needs of your audience.

To make the most of the planning phase, take note of the following tips:

  • Identify your business goals: Know your goals (creating awareness or driving conversions, for example) to angle your marketing efforts accordingly
  • Develop a content strategy: Recognize which metrics to measure, which topics to build on, and which content roadmap to pitch to stakeholders
  • Invest in audience research: Understand your audience to know which type of content resonates best (blog posts or white papers, for example) with them and what their pain points are
  • Do keyword research: Keyword research is the foundation of search engine optimized (SEO) content and heavily informs content planning
  • Build an editorial calendar: Keep track of what’s next for your content team using a detailed editorial calendar

With a solid plan in place, kickstart the creation process and maintain a consistent publishing cadence.

Creation

Creating content is a multi-step process. You’ll need to decide whether you’ll keep all the work in-house or outsource some tasks to freelancers.

According to MarketerHire’s survey, 50% of these marketing leaders find freelancers work faster and help them get projects done more efficiently. Freelancers may be useful if you’re on too tight a budget to hire full-time staff.

Infographic title: Top reasons marketing leaders hire freelancers. The green bar shows all respondents, and the red bar shows respondents who hire freelancers often. Infographic data reads: No overhead in comparison to a full-time hire. Both the green and red bar is at 15%. No long term contracts: Green bar is at 34%, red bar is at 35%. No agency fees: Green bar is at 27%, red bar is at 25%. I get to work directly with the freelancer, versus an account manager: Green bar is at 25%, red bar is at 35%. Freelancer moves faster and can help me get projects across the line: Green bar is at 27%, red bar is at 50%. Freelancers are more affordable: Green bar is 31%, red bar is 40%. I can test out someone's skill prior to hiring them: Green bar is 22%, red bar is 30%.
MarketerHire survey results show that freelancers are often more affordable.

For most content formats, the process of creation involves some or all of these steps:

  • Preparing content briefs
  • Actual content creation (writing or filming, for example)
  • Editing written content for grammar and style guide compliance

To make the best of content creation, choose great collaborative tools, outsource wisely (when needed, within your budget, and to high-quality contractors), and focus on quality over quantity. With strong teamwork, ace the content creation stage of the content lifecycle.

Good to Know: There are dozens of different types of content, but some are more effective than others. Choose wisely to produce the most effective content for your business.

Publication and distribution

Next up: go live with your content. The bulk of the publishing load rests with your chosen content management system (CMS). Add finishing touches to your new content like links from older posts to add an SEO boost.

How you distribute content depends on how your audience prefers to consume content. Use email newsletters, social media platforms like Instagram, video sharing platforms like YouTube, and even other shareable content like infographics to spread the word about your content.

Another approach to content distribution is to repurpose content. For example, many marketers repurpose video and podcast content into blog posts to increase the reach of their content (without incurring massive additional content spend).

Refreshment

With a rapidly changing digital world, very little content is truly evergreen. No wonder research by Hubspot shows that content refreshes can result in up to 106% growth in organic traffic.

Review your blog analytics regularly to see how published posts perform. Then update high-performing posts to improve their conversion rates. Alternatively, make posts more valuable to users by adding more information, a helpful lead magnet, or examples.

Management

To produce content at scale, companies need a secure and accessible way to organize and store content. A survey by Prophet.com shows that 78% of brands have shifted to using cloud-based storage or “digital asset management” (DAM) platforms.

While DAM platforms make it easier to store digital media and documents, the documents may not always be easy to access or review collaboratively without the help of other platforms. Consider instead an all-in-one content marketing platform like GatherContent, which supports the entire content lifecycle.

Content lifecycle management tools we recommend

Now that you know what’s involved in managing content pieces throughout their lifecycle, we’ll share three top tools to make the process easier than ever.

GatherContent

Screenshot of GatherContent home page. Page text reads: One place to find and collaborate on content. Organize content in a way that suits your organization, team, and workflow. A central content hub for everyone to work from. See an overview of content, its status, who's assigned, and when it's due.
GatherContent is an all-in-one tool to organize the entire content production process.

Keeping track of different tools for every stage of the content lifecycle just gets tedious. GatherContent seamlessly handles more than 50% of the process by bundling together planning, the entire creation process, publishing, and the content management phase.

Top features

  • Plan content in one hub with the built-in editorial calendar
  • Draft quickly with content templates instead of starting from scratch
  • Assign tasks to team members and keep track of content progress using the workflow tool
  • Collaborate on content pieces, review, and add comments with the editor feature
  • Directly publish web content with seamless CMS integrations

Pricing: Plans start at $1,069/year

Ahrefs

Screenshot of Ahrefs keyword research page. It highlights statistics like health score, domain rating, referring domains, backlinks, organic traffic and organic keywords.
Ahrefs provides in-depth data views of your website's keyword metrics.

Keyword research is integral to creating SEO content, and Ahrefs is the tool for the job. Get a comprehensive look at your keyword, its difficulty level, competitors’ approaches, and even an estimate of how many backlinks you’ll need to unseat them in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Top features

  • Search for broken links and optimize websites for search engines
  • Understand and cover a keyword thoroughly with Keyword Explorer
  • Peek at any website’s backlinks with the Unique Backlink Profile tool
  • Stay updated on any background SEO changes to their site with the one-stop dashboard

Pricing: Plans start at $99/month

Buffer

Screenshot of Buffer blog post manager. A Kan Ban style board shows tasks under categories called Open Content and Buffer Content for different date periods.
Buffer's content calendar offers a full view of content production for all team members.

Buffer is a top-notch social media tool for entrepreneurs, marketers, and content creators. It allows you to plan, schedule, and publish social media content.

Buffer connects to several social media networks, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Top features

  • Schedule posts to multiple relevant social media platforms
  • View post analytics and keep track of user engagement with ease
  • Collaborate with teammates to review and compose social content using Buffer’s Team plan
  • Build a social media content calendar and set reminders so you never miss a chance to post
  • Engage with your audience with smart comment notifications and keyboard hotkeys

Pricing: Paid plans start at $5/month per channel

Take charge of your content lifecycle with GatherContent

Producing content is a rewarding journey. Although challenging, it doesn’t have to be bumpy. Eliminate bottlenecks by choosing multi-functional tools that support you at every point of the content lifecycle.

GatherContent is one such tool. Designed to support content marketing teams from planning to publishing, this content operations platform has many features to help you succeed. Once you’ve figured out your content strategy and governance model, we’ll be there to help you execute it.

Take a look at what we have to offer and sign up with GatherContent.

In this article, we’ll delve into what content lifecycle management is and which tools and processes help content teams work efficiently.

What is content lifecycle management?

Content lifecycle management refers to all the processes that bring a piece of content from concept to reality.

The lifecycle of a blog post begins the minute a marketer generates an idea for the post. Every step the content team takes to guide that blog post—from ideation to publication and beyond—constitutes content lifecycle management.

Why is content lifecycle management important?

Have you ever been unable to find the digital assets for a webinar or locate the original draft of a published post when it’s time to optimize? If the answer is yes, you might know why content lifecycle management matters.

Content lifecycle management keeps track of digital assets. This management process minimizes stress, unnecessary extra budget spend, and time lost hunting down valuable content assets.

Proper content lifecycle management makes it easier to publish high-quality content quickly and at scale. This increases your content team’s overall productivity.

What are the stages of the content lifecycle?

We know what the term “lifecycle” means, but let’s take a closer look at the key stages in the content lifecycle. Let’s consider how marketers can make the most of each stage.

Planning

Content planning is a crucial first stage of the content lifecycle. It lays the groundwork for a successful piece because it includes overarching strategy and the needs of your audience.

To make the most of the planning phase, take note of the following tips:

  • Identify your business goals: Know your goals (creating awareness or driving conversions, for example) to angle your marketing efforts accordingly
  • Develop a content strategy: Recognize which metrics to measure, which topics to build on, and which content roadmap to pitch to stakeholders
  • Invest in audience research: Understand your audience to know which type of content resonates best (blog posts or white papers, for example) with them and what their pain points are
  • Do keyword research: Keyword research is the foundation of search engine optimized (SEO) content and heavily informs content planning
  • Build an editorial calendar: Keep track of what’s next for your content team using a detailed editorial calendar

With a solid plan in place, kickstart the creation process and maintain a consistent publishing cadence.

Creation

Creating content is a multi-step process. You’ll need to decide whether you’ll keep all the work in-house or outsource some tasks to freelancers.

According to MarketerHire’s survey, 50% of these marketing leaders find freelancers work faster and help them get projects done more efficiently. Freelancers may be useful if you’re on too tight a budget to hire full-time staff.

Infographic title: Top reasons marketing leaders hire freelancers. The green bar shows all respondents, and the red bar shows respondents who hire freelancers often. Infographic data reads: No overhead in comparison to a full-time hire. Both the green and red bar is at 15%. No long term contracts: Green bar is at 34%, red bar is at 35%. No agency fees: Green bar is at 27%, red bar is at 25%. I get to work directly with the freelancer, versus an account manager: Green bar is at 25%, red bar is at 35%. Freelancer moves faster and can help me get projects across the line: Green bar is at 27%, red bar is at 50%. Freelancers are more affordable: Green bar is 31%, red bar is 40%. I can test out someone's skill prior to hiring them: Green bar is 22%, red bar is 30%.
MarketerHire survey results show that freelancers are often more affordable.

For most content formats, the process of creation involves some or all of these steps:

  • Preparing content briefs
  • Actual content creation (writing or filming, for example)
  • Editing written content for grammar and style guide compliance

To make the best of content creation, choose great collaborative tools, outsource wisely (when needed, within your budget, and to high-quality contractors), and focus on quality over quantity. With strong teamwork, ace the content creation stage of the content lifecycle.

Good to Know: There are dozens of different types of content, but some are more effective than others. Choose wisely to produce the most effective content for your business.

Publication and distribution

Next up: go live with your content. The bulk of the publishing load rests with your chosen content management system (CMS). Add finishing touches to your new content like links from older posts to add an SEO boost.

How you distribute content depends on how your audience prefers to consume content. Use email newsletters, social media platforms like Instagram, video sharing platforms like YouTube, and even other shareable content like infographics to spread the word about your content.

Another approach to content distribution is to repurpose content. For example, many marketers repurpose video and podcast content into blog posts to increase the reach of their content (without incurring massive additional content spend).

Refreshment

With a rapidly changing digital world, very little content is truly evergreen. No wonder research by Hubspot shows that content refreshes can result in up to 106% growth in organic traffic.

Review your blog analytics regularly to see how published posts perform. Then update high-performing posts to improve their conversion rates. Alternatively, make posts more valuable to users by adding more information, a helpful lead magnet, or examples.

Management

To produce content at scale, companies need a secure and accessible way to organize and store content. A survey by Prophet.com shows that 78% of brands have shifted to using cloud-based storage or “digital asset management” (DAM) platforms.

While DAM platforms make it easier to store digital media and documents, the documents may not always be easy to access or review collaboratively without the help of other platforms. Consider instead an all-in-one content marketing platform like GatherContent, which supports the entire content lifecycle.

Content lifecycle management tools we recommend

Now that you know what’s involved in managing content pieces throughout their lifecycle, we’ll share three top tools to make the process easier than ever.

GatherContent

Screenshot of GatherContent home page. Page text reads: One place to find and collaborate on content. Organize content in a way that suits your organization, team, and workflow. A central content hub for everyone to work from. See an overview of content, its status, who's assigned, and when it's due.
GatherContent is an all-in-one tool to organize the entire content production process.

Keeping track of different tools for every stage of the content lifecycle just gets tedious. GatherContent seamlessly handles more than 50% of the process by bundling together planning, the entire creation process, publishing, and the content management phase.

Top features

  • Plan content in one hub with the built-in editorial calendar
  • Draft quickly with content templates instead of starting from scratch
  • Assign tasks to team members and keep track of content progress using the workflow tool
  • Collaborate on content pieces, review, and add comments with the editor feature
  • Directly publish web content with seamless CMS integrations

Pricing: Plans start at $1,069/year

Ahrefs

Screenshot of Ahrefs keyword research page. It highlights statistics like health score, domain rating, referring domains, backlinks, organic traffic and organic keywords.
Ahrefs provides in-depth data views of your website's keyword metrics.

Keyword research is integral to creating SEO content, and Ahrefs is the tool for the job. Get a comprehensive look at your keyword, its difficulty level, competitors’ approaches, and even an estimate of how many backlinks you’ll need to unseat them in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Top features

  • Search for broken links and optimize websites for search engines
  • Understand and cover a keyword thoroughly with Keyword Explorer
  • Peek at any website’s backlinks with the Unique Backlink Profile tool
  • Stay updated on any background SEO changes to their site with the one-stop dashboard

Pricing: Plans start at $99/month

Buffer

Screenshot of Buffer blog post manager. A Kan Ban style board shows tasks under categories called Open Content and Buffer Content for different date periods.
Buffer's content calendar offers a full view of content production for all team members.

Buffer is a top-notch social media tool for entrepreneurs, marketers, and content creators. It allows you to plan, schedule, and publish social media content.

Buffer connects to several social media networks, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Top features

  • Schedule posts to multiple relevant social media platforms
  • View post analytics and keep track of user engagement with ease
  • Collaborate with teammates to review and compose social content using Buffer’s Team plan
  • Build a social media content calendar and set reminders so you never miss a chance to post
  • Engage with your audience with smart comment notifications and keyboard hotkeys

Pricing: Paid plans start at $5/month per channel

Take charge of your content lifecycle with GatherContent

Producing content is a rewarding journey. Although challenging, it doesn’t have to be bumpy. Eliminate bottlenecks by choosing multi-functional tools that support you at every point of the content lifecycle.

GatherContent is one such tool. Designed to support content marketing teams from planning to publishing, this content operations platform has many features to help you succeed. Once you’ve figured out your content strategy and governance model, we’ll be there to help you execute it.

Take a look at what we have to offer and sign up with GatherContent.

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