What do we mean by “content lifecycle?”
Most people think of the term “lifecycle” in a biological sense. But it can also be used to describe how content is produced, used, and maintained.
The lifetime of content is extensive: from ideation, the process of creating, and optimizing to distributing, measuring, and maintaining it. By improving your content’s lifecycle, you create a more efficient workflow and increase its longevity. That means you’ve created a content asset that can be used time and time again, while still providing value.
Enterprise content needs to meet consumer and business goals long term. Naturally, you want to create content that works for longer by efficiently using resources. Content governance manages the content lifecycle, so you can retain content value across its lifespan.
We’ve thrown a lot of content terms at you. Content lifecycle. Content longevity. Content governance. It may seem confusing, but we’re here to help. Let’s dive into the five ways to improve your content’s lifecycle!
1. Implement a content governance framework
Enterprise content governance is a discipline created to combat the skyrocketing amounts of (and demands on) customer-facing content. So developing a content governance framework is an inevitability in every enterprise.
So what is it and how do we define it?
Enterprise content governance operationalizes and maintains content strategy and impact over time. It takes the key elements of your content strategy — your goals, priorities, and policies — and turns them into actionable content processes, workflows, and metrics.
Content governance enables you to keep a handle on the content lifecycle. By capturing your content strategy, guiding content creation, and monitoring published content, the entire lifecycle is covered. This birds-eye view of your content operation pinpoints where in the content lifecycle you need to improve. Meaning it helps you build a more efficient process.
Want to build your own content governance framework? Check out these four steps.
2. Focus on creating evergreen content
Evergreen content is defined as content that stays relevant and useful to readers, long after it’s been published. And in doing so, it continues to deliver value to your business with minimal maintenance.
Evergreen content isn’t any old content that sits on your website. It’s content that continues to have a high number of page views, shares, or likes on social media. And grows organic traffic to your website because it covers topics people consider important somewhat universally.
Blog posts and long form content can both reach evergreen content status. That’s because it’s easier to implement a robust keyword strategy when you have more words to play with. However, other content types work too. You might want to try videos, infographics, diagrams, or images.
If you want to create evergreen content, make sure it’s clear, readable, consistent, findable, inclusive, and on-brand throughout the entire content lifecycle.
3. Use core messaging
Every company should have core messaging that they use for their products or services. This can include a boilerplate description of your company, an elevator pitch of your product, and an outline of the pain points your prospects experience.
Remember to put these to good use when creating new content! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you’re tasked with a new content asset. Be inspired by your core messaging and use it where appropriate.
This will help you generate evergreen content that stays on-brand long after you create it. It will also help you save time in the process.
4. Keep terminology consistent
Consistent terminology reduces translation costs and provides unified content experiences for your prospects and customers. And brand-specific words and phrases have to be kept consistent if you want to create content with a long lifecycle.
If you’ve noticed that different departments each have a unique way of describing the same product, feature, or process or that translations of source content include different descriptions of the same term, you need to align your brand terminology across the enterprise.
A lot of energy is spent revising inconsistencies in terminology usage. Because incorrect terminology confuses customers, and inevitably burdens support teams. At worst, it can introduce compliance issues and lead to product misuse. Who knew that something as simple as clear, consistent content can prevent unwanted lawsuits!
And when you get it right, the benefits are huge! Increased content lifecycle. Reduced translation costs. Short editing and review process. Want to build a business case for terminology? Check out this blog.
5. Always write in your brand voice
Every company has their own brand voice. Some are short and snappy. Others are more formal and descriptive. And there’s always those brands that like to be funny and cheeky.
Regardless of what your brand voice is, if you want to improve your content’s lifecycle, all content should always be written using that tone of voice. Yes that’s right, everything from marketing materials and blog posts to product documentation and support articles.
By consistently using your brand voice in all your content you build connections and relationships with your prospects and customers. After all, content replaces a lot of face-to-face interactions these days, so every content touchpoint is an opportunity for people to get to know your brand. Why waste those opportunities by creating dull content that doesn’t reflect your brand voice?
Your content lifecycle will increase in the process, as you’ll be creating content that’s on-brand and relevant for longer periods of time. It also makes it easier to repurpose and reuse content. So, once you have a defined brand voice, make sure to maintain it across all areas of your business.
Amazing content = long lifecycle
It seems straightforward enough: the more high-quality and impactful your content is, the longer its lifecycle will be. Which means every company needs to make sure they’re creating top-notch content.
Easier said than done? Not if you have Acrolinx! Our software guides writers in real time to create on-brand, strategy-aligned content that consistently uses brand terminology. We help you create impactful content with a long lifecycle. Let’s talk today to find out how we can help your organization!