Content Marketing Lifecycle: 7 Stages of Content That Marketers Should Know About

Marketing has evolved significantly over the course of last decade. Cold calls, billboards, print and electronic media advertisements are all the rage. With people spending more time online than offline, these tactics have become obsolete and don’t deliver great results anymore.

This has forced marketers to switch to inbound marketing. Instead of interrupting users at worst possible time, inbound marketing is all about delivering valuable information when they need it. Content marketing is an imperative part of digital marketing.

Content marketing has been around for quite some time now which means that most brands are already adopting it. This means that there is a lot of competition and your content piece can easily get lost in the sea of other content which is being pushed by others.

To increase the chances of your content marketing success, you must follow a process. Like everything else, content also has a lifecycle which involves different stages. By developing a deeper understanding of each stage, you can achieve much better results with your content marketing efforts.

Branex recently published an Infographic that highlights seven stages involved in content marketing lifecycle.

7 Stages of Content Marketing

Here are seven stages of content marketing lifecycle every content marketer should know about.

1. Set a Goal

Start off by setting a goal. What do you want to achieve with your content marketing campaign? Is it building brand awareness, increase sales or boosting engagement or conversions? Irrespective of what your goal might be, setting a clear goal will certainly give you a clear direction to move in. Make sure you set SMART goals.

SMART stands for:

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant

T = Time bound

The goal you set should have these qualities. For example, if your goal is to increase engagement, then you must clearly define how many comments and shares you want in a month. Your content marketing goal should align with your business goals and should be realistic.

2. Create a Content Strategy

Once you have set your content marketing goals, it is time to create a roadmap and outline steps that will help you achieve that goal. A successful content marketing strategy focuses on your target audience and how your products and services can solve their biggest problems.

It also considers your direct and indirect competitors in the industry and your current standing in the industry. Everything from choosing the best content format to publishing it on the right content distribution channels comes under content marketing strategy.

3. Do Your Research

When you are done creating a content marketing strategy, start doing your research about content you will be creating. Do a competitor analysis and see which topics they are writing about. Look at what’s trending in your niche or industry. Follow the industry experts and leaders to see what they are writing on.

Collect all the useful insights and data so you can use them to back up your claims in your content. Once you identified what competitors and industry experts are writing about, you can look for ways to make it better. Make your content stand out by covering the same topic from a unique perspective or choose a topic that no one is writing about. This will make your content go viral in no time and you can get a lot of views, clicks, shares and comments.

4. Create Content

Now, you are ready to create your content. Use all the data you have collected in your content. Highlight the benefits of your products and how your products can help solve user problems instead of telling the users about product features. This will tell the readers that you know about their problems. Focus on delivering value to readers and persuade them to engage or take a desired action by adding a call to action at the end. Use simple language and short paragraphs. Make your content easy to skim by adding numbered lists or bullet points. Break down your content into several headings.

5. Curate Content

There are instances when you are stuck in a writer’s block or run out of content ideas. In some cases, your writers are busy on other projects and you don’t have enough resources to fuel your content creation process. All these hurdles make content creation quite challenging especially for small and mid-size businesses who don’t have big budgets.

That is where content curation can save your day. Content curation is a process of gathering information related to your topic or area of interest to add value to your own content. Content curation can save a lot of your time and energy associated with content creation. Make sure you create content for every stage of the buyer journey.

6. Distribute Content

Striking the right balance between content creation and content promotion is critical for the success of your content marketing efforts. Most businesses tend to focus solely on content creation and dedicate little time to content promotion, which is why their content don’t get the traction they want it to. Follow 60-40 rule and spend 40% time in content promotion and 60% time in content creation.

Identify platforms where your target audience spend most of their time on and content format they love to consume. Promote your content on those platforms and share your content in the format they love to consume. This will significantly increase the effectiveness of your content distribution efforts.

7. Encourage Engagement

You don’t want your reader to read your content and bounce off your website without engaging with your content. You want them to leave a comment or share the article with their friends. For that, you will have to tell them what to do after they have finished reading your article. Include a call to action or ask a question which persuade the reader to take the desired action whether it is to leaving a comment or sharing the article.

What does your content marketing process look like? Share it with us in the comments section below.

If you want a more concise and visual version of this article, check out this infographic.

Content Marketing Lifecycle: 7 Stages of Content That Marketers Should Know About

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