5 Tips on How-To Optimize Your Content Life Cycle – By Rahul Varshneya
Need help retaining customers beyond conversion? Benefit your business with the following strategies on how to optimize your content life cycle.
One cardinal sin content marketers most often commit is hitting the publish button on a piece of content and never returning to it. In the absence of optimization of the content life cycle, promising content often tends to fade into oblivion, never reaching its full potential.
While there are many variables involved in calculating the life of content—including type, target industry and other associated factors—it has the potential to remain viable for years.
According to a 2017 research report by Ahrefs, almost 60% of pages that ranked on page No. 1 on Google were at least three years old. So how can you ensure that your content remains relevant over time, continues to drive traffic, brings in leads and conversions and helps retain existing customers?
The answer lies in content life cycle management.
What is a Content Life Cycle?
Every piece of content you produce goes through distinct phases such as ideation, creation and distribution. Whether it’s a blog post, infographic or social media post, every content has definite life cycle stages that it has to pass through.
Unlike social media posts, which have relatively short lifespans ranging from minutes to days, the advantage of blog content is that its life cycle can be optimized and extended by several years. All you need to do is formulate an effective strategy.
The real challenge with content, however, is ensuring that what you produce remains in direct alignment with your business goals and brings in compounding returns for your content marketing efforts.
- Plan a Strategy
Every marketer agrees that strategic planning needs to be the backbone of the content you plan to create. But how do you ensure that the content you publish has a direct impact on the business’s bottom line?
A conversion-focused content strategy ensures that each piece of content you produce is tied to a plan that targets visitors in all stages of the buyer’s journey, nurtures them as they pass through the different stages of the content marketing funnel and organically edges them closer to conversions.
Focusing on the bottom of the funnel (BOFu) and middle of the funnel (MOFu) ensures that your content gets frequented by visitors who are further along their buyer journey and thus are more likely to convert.
Content alignment shouldn’t be limited to merely acquiring new customers. Retaining existing customers by providing them relevant content makes them ideal candidates for upselling and cross-selling of your products and services. Customer retention becomes equally important as acquisition in industries such as SaaS, where ongoing subscriptions account for maximum ROI.
- Create the Content
Creating engaging content isn’t just about writing effectively and publishing on a schedule. It needs to keep the target audience in mind, be consistent with the brand voice and be able to put forth the information your prospects need in a comprehensible manner.
On the technical side, it needs to do justice to the keyword you are targeting, strike up the right balance of keyword density, and perform well on the on-page SEO to ensure that it ranks in the search engine results pages and reaches the targeted audience searching for the particular information.
- Publish and Index
Content going live on your website needs to go beyond just hitting the publish button. You must also index the post or page to ensure that the crawlers and bots discover your content and get it to rank. Google’s webmaster guidelines and Search Console can provide the necessary information on how to index your website.
If your content page links directly from your website’s homepage, it gets easier for it to be discovered by the crawlers. The longer the click depth of your content from the homepage gets, the more difficult it becomes for your content to get discovered organically.
- Promote Across Various Channels
Effective content marketing is half creation, half promotion. A well-researched and well-written piece of content may fail to reach its intended audience if the content promotion is not optimum. Promoting the content that you create is an integral part of the content life cycle.
Identify the social platforms that your targeted audience uses and promote your content on them. Build backlinks from other high-authority publications that target the same audience. This brings referral traffic to your blog organically and transfers link equity back to your content, giving it an organic boost in SEO rankings.
A revenue-centric marketing strategy must be focused on taking a bottom-up approach for content creation and promotion to bring in business return. Strategic content promotion ensures that you can generate the maximum impact by creating just the right amount of content.
- Analyze and Audit
Content marketing is an experimental field. Marketing teams often busy themselves by churning out content pieces one after another in the hopes of ranking on search engine results pages. The problem with this approach is that you often end up piling content on your website that you forget about as fresh content comes up.
Periodic audits and analysis of the content on your website is crucial to ensure the longevity of your content’s life cycle. Evaluating and auditing existing content helps prune out stuff that isn’t relevant, is out of alignment with your business goals, or adds no real value in terms of organic traffic or backlinks. This helps save valuable server space while also boosting your SEO rankings.
Periodic revisions keep your content relevant and up-to-date. This ensures that customers who come across your content are pleased with their interactions. Good user experience is an important factor in ensuring visitor satisfaction and customer retention.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to extend the life cycle of your content.
Rahul Varshneya is co-founder and president of CurveBreak.