The Content Lifecycle in the 360-Degree Perspective

Maren Dinges 12/22/2022

We show you how to make your content more valuable, targeted, and sustainable using the lifecycle.

Table of contents
  1. What is the Content Lifecycle?
  2. Content over Time – 360 Degree Content Lifecycle Phases
  3. What does a good Content Lifecycle Workflow look like?
  4. How can the lifecycle of content be extended?
  5. What you can take away from the Content Lifecycle

Our guest author Maren Dinges knows that in marketing you often think in life cycles and view content, products and services in stages. Life cycles of products suggest that an end is inevitable. We can only extend the time between the beginning of life and its end.

Works of art, quotes, images from times of change or pieces of music prove the contrary. Just think about the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Willy Brandt at the window or Mozart's Magic Flute. Content can live forever if it is sustainable, tells stories and is of high quality.

And as you can see: Content is multi-faceted and continues to evolve. Mozart's Magic Flute, for example, has never changed in form, but has already been shaped, interpreted and played out by third parties in multiple versions and formats.

At the beginning of this article, we are moving away from the curved and finite image that we understand in marketing under a lifecycle. We think of the content lifecycle as linear, in the 360-degree perspective, and without an end goal in sight.

What is the Content Lifecycle?

The content creation consists of several stages. According to the definition, the content lifecycle includes the phases of strategy, planning, creation and distribution. Depending on the interpretation, the subsequent archiving is also part of the lifecycle.

Breaking down the development of content into processes is beneficial for companies. In management, this provides orientation, clarity about responsibilities and can be managed as a project. Content Management Systems or CMS represent the output of the content lifecycle digitally. Examples of this areWordPress,JoomlaorDrupal.


According to the definition, the content lifecycle would actually find its end when the content is provided. The aim of the creation goes far beyond mere publication. Until the go-live, you have only viewed content such as music, video, images or text from a company perspective. But how does your content now go down with your target group?

Only if you answer this question with the help of lifecycle analysis in marketing can you react agilely. This is especially true in the Category Digital Asset Marketing. Because here data can have effects on your content lifecycle every second and prolong it. However, only if you view your content as dynamic and not static.

Content over Time – 360 Degree Content Lifecycle Phases

The Content Marketing now considers the content lifecycle system based on new requirements that result from the variety of distribution options. While in the past content was primarily shared terminologically via individual media, today they are available cross-medially in real time.

With the asynchronous consumption of media content created by streaming and social media, the marketing lifecycle automatically changes.

Viewing the lifecycle in the 360-degree perspective thus means:

  • Never consider phases in the content marketing lifecycle in isolation
  • Adapt content along the customer journey
  • Never declare content as final, but only as a version
  • Create, change and optimize content based on data
  • Plan the external impact and interaction into content creation and distribution

The content lifecycle therefore no longer consists of the phases of strategy, planning, creation and distribution, but expands to include further phases. Even more important, however, is understanding that processes run parallel to each other - i.e. are networked and repeatable. In the Category Content Marketing of OMR Reviews you can find helpful tools for the individual phases.

Content-Lebenszyklus als Kreis dargestellt mit den 5 unterschiedlichen Phasen


What does a good Content Lifecycle Workflow look like?

To accurately view the workflow of a content lifecycle, we'll walk you through the individual phases and the processes that evolve there.

Strategy and Research of Content Ideas

In Content Lifecycle Management, or CLM for short, we look at content at different stages of development. This means: In CLM, content is controlled, created, coordinated and developed. The basis is the strategy and corresponding questions such as

  • Who do you create content for?
  • Which content format fits the strategy?
  • How is the content played out?
  • What is the duration of the content?

Content marketers*in find the answer in data. Challenges in Content Marketing today do not primarily consist in finding ideas. Data, trends and tools such asGoogle TrendsandAnswerThePublicalready supply these.

Focus is on the question of how content can be measured, i.e. which key performance indicators, or KPIs for short, should be chosen and in the end show whether the strategy was successful. KPIs in B2B Content Marketing and viewing B2C audiences differ. In general, KPIs such as bounce rate, dwell time, device choice, social shares and completion rate prove helpful in strategically considering both quantitative and qualitative measurement metrics. You can find the most important KPIs for content marketing in the Contenthub.

Planning and construction

The Content Marketing Strategy provides orientation, defines responsibilities and ensures measurability. It is not set in stone, but it should serve as a guideline that is not easily changed. Based on this, it is now possible to build.

You are still on the management level in content planning. Editorial plans, briefings and project processes can be created at this step to efficiently manage future responsibilities and content.

Collaboration tools likeAsanaorTrelloare particularly suitable for large companies. In collaboration with external content creators, freelance tools such asLano can support at the management level.

It should also be defined at this stage where content of every kind can be found. Storing versions is not only important to transparently show progress, but also to be able to access old versions at a later date. Remember: Phases in the lifecycle are interconnected.

Content Creation and Optimization

Now it's getting operational: How you create content is not a constant that can be captured in the marketing strategy. The formats, ideas as well as tools that support the creation have effects on the creation. It should be emphasized: if content marketing were a person, it would not be an artist. In the digital area, search engine optimization as well as the creation of creatives are part of the process.

Content creation is therefore analytical, strategic, data-based and creative at the same time. Here too, tools can help. Canva Pro,Adobe Creative CloudChat GPT andTextanalyse Premium by Wortligaare just a few examples that support the creation with templates, correction suggestions or artificial intelligence.

Any creator should also have an understanding of the audience. It's important to understand that content grows with the audience. The frequency at which content changes and is optimized is constantly increasing.

Distribution along the Customer Journey

In addition, content is no longer distributed on just one platform. Instead, companies create multidimensional brand worlds and do so across platforms. Created content can be recycled on various platforms, but not 1:1.

Each platform has a different tonality. This allows the same content to be altered many times. The tricky part: despite the altered content, each piece of content must match each other and reflect the identity of the brand. That is exactly the task in content lifecycle management.

At the same time, during the distribution of content, it is important to consider where the target group is currently within the customer journey. In other words:

  • Is the touchpoint an initial contact?
  • Does the target group currently need information or transactional offers?
  • What call to action does the target group need right now?
  • Is the target group currently at a moment of truth?

Marketing-Funnel mit den vier Phasen

On- and offline Promotion

Once content is published, it converts organically. Promotions are standard both online and offline, providing an expanded number of leads with access to the provided content.

Again, promotional channels as well as the form of promotion vary depending on the touchpoint and audience dynamics. TV advertising is no longer the be-all and end-all, even though it is effective. WhileGoogle Adsmight be suitable for findability, promotions with influencers on social media offer opportunities to spread content.

Offline, promotional items, flyers or also cooperations with regional companies as well as trade fair appearances draw attention to the content. There is no right or wrong here. A/B Tests are also useful to find out how content best converts.

Expansion of User-Generated Content

Remember again: Content is constantly evolving and so are the infrastructures in which we publish content. A relatively new dynamic is shown on social media. User-Generated Content (UGC) for Social Media is becoming increasingly important. This can be observed on the platforms TikTok in the B2C area and LinkedIn in the B2B area. People who have only consumed before are now becoming creators.

The versions of Mozart's Magic Flute mentioned above can be transferred to your marketing. Because not only does user-generated content prolong the lifecycle of your own content, it also expands and alters it. If the output is positive, this streamlines internal processes and leads to high efficiency gains.

User-generated content is by the way the best example to show that a content lifecycle is not static to be viewed from phase to phase. There is no phase planning that can be linked to external reactions in real time.

Analysis and Monitoring

The monitoring shows how high the efficiency gains are. We have reached the last step of managing a lifecycle. Now we take a look at the KPIs, evaluate and optimize.

Does the lifecycle now start all over again? Not quite. Rather, you are now turning screws in various stages to constantly identify improvements in monitoring and thus make the content even more valuable.

How can the lifecycle of content be extended?

The good news: The lifecycle of content on the internet never ends as it cannot be deleted. Only the conversion and measurable effects may turn off over time. However, it is always possible to create content that will be the next Magic Flute or Mona Lisa. The machinery of the lifecycle simply must not stand still. This does not mean that you have to revise a good text indefinitely. Rather, it's about using new developments and insights to improve existing content.

Possibilities include:

  • Expand already available content with new content
  • Change content depending on the format
  • Utilize the potentials of user-generated content
  • Set up trends with existing content

What you can take away from the Content Lifecycle

A good content lifecycle workflow has as little structure as possible and as much structure as necessary. In concrete terms this means: strategy, KPIs, target audience bases as well as steps within the lifecycle should be defined.

However, maintain a certain degree of flexibility within each phase. How you create content, how the audience reacts, and at which touchpoints you meet the audience changes constantly.

The content and promotion must be adapted accordingly. Then it is possible to strategically steer the content lifecycle management and extend the lifecycle. Do you need more tips? In conclusion, some quick wins to extend the content lifecycle:

  • Recycle already created content on different platforms
  • Use user-generated content to push the original content
  • Optimize search engine-based already created content
  • Place ads based on data and vary the call to actions along the customer journey
  • Let the content grow with the development of formats. Texts can also be converted into 9:16 videos
  • Prepare content in an auditory, visual, textual form and thus barrier-free and cross-media

Maren Dinges
Maren Dinges

Emotionen sind Teil der Sprache: Mit diesem Gedanken im Hinterkopf begleitet Maren Dinges Text- und Videoprojekte kreativ und analytisch. Der Mix aus kreativem Storytelling und analytischer Suchmaschinenoptimierung macht die Contenterstellung zu einer strategischen Aufgabe. Der Erfolgsfaktor hinter jeder kreativen Story? Das innere Kind schreien lassen.

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