Back in 1996, Bill Gates coined the term: “Content is King” in his essay of the same name. (If you’re interested in content strategy, and you’ve never read it, it’s worth a read. You can find it right here). And even though that was 25+ years ago, it’s just as true now as it was back then; if not truer. Content really is king.
Nowadays, you can’t see success in your digital strategy if you don’t have a successful, evolving content strategy in place; the two go hand-in-hand.
And that’s where a content lifecycle plan comes in (and why it’s so important). That’s where you establish a combined, thought-out plan that enables you to build and maintain your overall content lifecycle flow from end-to-end.
To be successful, your content lifecycle plan should follow these 4 main stages:
Stage 1: Strategy and Planning
The strategy and planning phase is where you put together a plan outlining all of the details around the content you’ll be producing, like:
- The reason you’re producing content,
- Who exactly you’re producing it for,
- The topics of the content you’re producing,
- The format you’ll be producing it in,
- How often you’ll be producing it,
Ideally, you should be able to plan out anywhere from 3-6 months worth of content, based around what your audience is actually searching; and while blog posts and your blog strategy is probably going to be a big part of that, it doesn’t necessary end there. You could also plan to include additional/new page content, videos, infographics, podcasting, and a lot more.
If you’re not sure how to approach it, a good course of action here is to identify 3-5 individual, specific target audiences and outline 5-10 questions that each of those audiences is asking you, and if your plan is to produce 1 piece of content per week, you have 6 months worth of content.
★ Want to learn more about planning content strategically? Have a look at these posts:
- Planning a Successful Content Strategy for Your Real Estate Website
- Why Your Target Audience Shouldn’t Be Anyone and Everyone
- Finding Your Target Audience, and Why You Should
- Why Agents Should be Investing in Their Real Estate Blog Strategy
- Building a Lead Generation Strategy Through Education
Stage 2: Production and Content Creation
The production and content creation stage is where you actually do the work to produce all of the content that you’ve planned.
While you certainly don’t need to produce all of it at once, you should have a goal in place to produce your content at regular periods of time, so that it all gets done according to your plan.
★ Want to learn more about content production and creation? Have a look at these posts:
- How to Plan and Produce Content that Attracts and Engages
- Optimizing Your Content for Humans (And Not Just for Search Engines)
- How to Build Video Into Your Content and SEO Strategy
Stage 3: Content Marketing
The content marketing stage is where you develop your plan around how you get your content in front of the right people, at the right time, for the right reasons.
Without a content marketing strategy in place, there isn’t much point to writing your content in the first place as no one will know it exists.
Your content marketing strategy could include pushing your content out through social media, SEO, advertising, and a lot more.
★ Want to learn more about content marketing? Have a look at these posts:
- What it Takes to Build a Solid Content Marketing Strategy
- Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Stage 4: Content Auditing and Reworking
The content auditing and reworking stage is where you look at your published content, determine what’s working and what isn’t working, and then take the necessary steps to improve it. Improving usually means your content will either be deleted or updated.
- If your content is no longer relevant, doesn’t get any visitors at all, and can’t really be updated, you should delete it. For example, old listings or market update posts that are 5+ years old should be deleted.
- If your content is still relevant, gets some traffic, and has a general topic that makes sense to be reworked, you should update it. For example, older posts buying or selling scenarios that can be logically updated should be.
★ Want to learn more about content auditing? Have a look at these posts:
- How (and Why) to Audit Your Real Estate Website’s Content
- Using Pillar Pages to Make Old Content More Accessible
Putting a strong content lifecycle in place will not only help you get the most value out of the content you produce, but also, help your audience get the most value out of it as well, which is a win-win for everyone.
Want to improve your overall lead generation plan? Download our Lead Management Workbook. It’s a self-guided, interactive workbook where you answer questions about your current lead generation plan, outline what’s working and what isn’t working, and put together a plan to improve it. And, it’s free to download.