As we progress through the summer semester of our Digital Innovation in Marketing program, we have learned about two distinct business disciplines: Process improvement and User Experience Design. Both disciplines are different, yet they are connected and converge with each other during the development of a digital product.
In order to have a successful website that looks good, accomplishes business goals, and holds the attention of your customers, you must have more than just design that looks good. Content is king, and when it comes to web design, if your site looks good but your content is lacking your website will not be nearly as effective as it could be. One way that companies ensure they are using the most effective content possible is by utilizing the Content Management Life-Cycle.
The Content Management Life-Cycle is the process an organization utilizes to publish content on various outlets such as websites, portals, or customer facing advertisements. Just like most things, content has a life cycle that starts with planning and creation and ends with recycling or retirement. The Content Management Life-Cycle consists of 6 phases – Plan, Develop, Control, Deploy, Preserve, and Evaluate.
The first phase of the Content Management Life-Cycle is to plan out your content. This means analysis must be conducted and the content direction must align with established business goals. Information hierarchy should be established during the plan phase and measurement indicators should be defined for later evaluation.
The next step in the Content Management Life-Cycle is to develop the content. During this phase content must be collected from various sources. Older content can be gathered to be repurposed or new content can be created. It is important to organize all new content and categorize it by like characteristics.
The control phase of the Content Manage Life-Cycle is when content is reviewed by leadership and optimized. Corrections, recommendations, and edits are made during this phase. Once the content has been edited and appropriately vetted it is approved and should be securely stored for future use. File names should be taken into consideration during this phase and should follow a naming system that is easy to search and determine file status.
The deployment phase is when content is retrieved from storage and delivered to users. The content is assembled into the desired form, which could be a web page, social media post, or email copy. During this phase content can be personalized to the user and localized to reflect regional, personal, or cultural norms and brand guidelines.
It is important to think about preserving content. Repositories should be created where content can be archived and retrieved for future use. During this part of the Content Management Life-Cycle decisions will be made on whether to migrate content to other platforms for recycling or remove and delete content that no longer has any value.
The final phase in the Content Management Life-Cycle is the evaluation phase. Audits are conducted during this phase to determine if content is still up to date and producing value. It is OK to redefine business goals during this time. It is important to remember the measurement indicators that were defined in Phase 1 (Plan) to determine the success of your project. Research should be conducted to evaluate new technologies or new strategies for the next project.