Digital Marketing Glossary

Content Lifecycle

What Is the Content Lifecycle?

As a marketer or content creator, you may be engaging or contributing to the content lifecycle and not even be aware of it. The content lifecycle refers to a sequence of stages of a brand’s creative campaign strategy. Acting as a continuous feedback loop, this lifecycle can be used to understand and improve upon the content creation process across marketing channels.

The lifecycle is defined by four main stages: research and planning, discovery and curation, execution and publishing and lastly, measurement and learning. Leveraging Dash Hudson’s solutions to surface actionable insights across each stage of the content cycle will prepare a brand’s social and creative teams to make better, data-backed decisions to achieve marketing and channel objectives.

Why Is the Content Lifecycle Important?  

Each stage of the lifecycle has its own unique focuses and challenges. Understanding these concepts and how they can apply to your team’s content strategies will help align your team, strengthen any weaknesses in your processes and improve overall performance outcomes. By continuously applying insight and learnings to every stage, pieces of content can be tailored to engage and convert more followers. Influential fans can be more readily sourced, creative execution can be made simpler and overall performance will be measured by metrics that inspire continued growth.

The Four Stages of the Content Lifecycle

Research and Planning

The first step in the lifecycle is to start with market research and campaign planning. There are many sources of data that fall into this category, including competitive analysis, market trends, current audience behavior and understanding which aspects of past campaigns were truly top-performing. While this can present itself as an overabundance of information, it is best practice to combine and refine data sources to determine actionable next steps and the ideal direction of developing content.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should also be determined during the planning stage to align goals among your team and determine if your marketing efforts can be considered successful or not. Two different types of KPIs can be measured: leading indicators are the analytics that measure how well your social channels are currently doing and lagging indicators are the analytics that measure how well your social channels did in the past.

Discovery and Curation

An essential part of a multi-faceted social media strategy includes leveraging your audience. Not only are they engaging with your brand’s content, but the evangelists are also tagging your brand in their posts while creating new, user-generated content (UGC) featuring your brand. This extends your brand’s reach and influence beyond your own followers and can strengthen your brand trust and credibility, acting as word-of-mouth reviews and referrals.

Once these users have designated permission for your brand to use this UGC, it can be curated for your social channels. This is widely known as an efficient method of social media content marketing, saving both time and resources. When creating owned content, visual prediction and organizational tools can be used together to create impactful and cohesive creative assets.

Execution and Publishing

Once a plan is set in place and your creative assets have been both designed and curated, it’s time to publish them across marketing channels. This can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Each asset will need to be tailored to the audience that will be seeing it, in order to make the message feel native to that channel. With the right content management systems in place, this process can be simplified to alleviate any guesswork involved regarding when each message should go out.

Measurement and Learning

The final stage of the content lifecycle is critical to close the feedback loop. This is where your team will review the success of the leading and lagging KPIs that were set in the research and planning stage. Both perspectives can provide a holistic view on channel health. A few examples of what to measure against are individual posts, all posts within a campaign, overall audience growth and demographics and return on investment from influencer posts and campaigns. Using the learnings from these examples, paired with the results from leading and lagging indicators, can then feed into future research and planning for new types of content.

Common Challenges With Content Lifecycle Management

Although we’ve broken the lifecycle down into four relatively simple parts, there are still challenges that can arise as your content shifts through different stages. One of the most prevalent challenges that comes with content lifecycle management is cross-department handoff and workflow approvals. As content usually works its way through multiple departments, this can lead to a lapse in process or workflow if the expectations are not clearly set.

Another challenge is the sheer amount of unique and personalized content that is needed for each channel. It is vital that each channel be tailored to its unique audience, while also maintaining brand cohesion across the board, as many consumers like to visit multiple channels before making a purchase. Content strategists must have a holistic understanding of all social media channels and best practices for web content, in order to get the most out of creative assets.

How To Find Content Lifecycle Success 

Despite the challenges above, there are still many ways to find success with your content. More often than not, technology is your best friend when it comes to content lifecycle management. This means utilizing apps for team collaboration, task management and content management, such as Slack, Teams or Asana. Many collaborative social media tools serve as effective content lifecycle management systems. Your brand can take things one step further by using Dash Hudson.

How Dash Hudson Can Help

Only Dash Hudson provides solutions and insights across each stage of the content lifecycle. Vision, Dash Hudson’s proprietary AI technology, surfaces the insights you need to understand your brand’s performance in the market without the legwork. It’s easy to identify industry trends, monitor competitor performance, measure the value of your influencer programs, as well as pinpoint where your audience is converting. Taking a proactive approach with intel at your fingertips removes the friction and guesswork from campaign planning. Our all-in-one solution makes creative execution and measurement simple by scheduling assets across major social media channels and segmenting post-performance by the KPIs that truly matter.


Marketing Campaign Checklist: 
The Missing Piece of Your Content Lifecycle

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Will every piece of media pass through each stage of the lifecycle?

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Not every piece of media created by a brand team will pass through every stage of the content lifecycle. To do this, it must be created, curated, published, and then measured. If any creative options get left unpublished, they will not contribute to the feedback loop as there are no performance metrics to contribute to the learning phase.

How do I determine which KPIs to measure?

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The Key Performance Indicators pre-determined before publishing content depend on a brand’s marketing objectives and benchmarks. For example, an e-commerce company may set its primary KPIs to measure the click-through rate and conversions.

How does Dash Hudson differ from other social media management platforms?

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Dash Hudson is a visual marketing solution. It is a one-stop solution to create, measure, and predict performance, see owned and competitor trends, enhance engagement, and distribute content across organic, paid, and e-commerce channels. Only Dash Hudson provides solutions and insights across each stage of the content lifecycle.

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