The Content Life Cycle. La la la la…

I’m reading through Eric Reis Lean Start-up at the moment and the principles of the agile/lean business model. My version makes the exact sound I use to block out disruptive ads or in fact any kind of marketing/sales that is not content marketing these days.

La la la la la la la la la la.

Launch, analyse, learn and adjust
Historically, if you were very lucky with your print ads you got SOME analytics around the success of your marketing campaigns. Right now with analytics and sentiment measurement platforms we can assess on social media exactly how our campaigns were perceived, received and if the target audience intends to buy. The same goes for our content marketing. Getting each of the steps right is a fine art, and the key to success.

Launching a post doesn’t sound too hard. I just did it with this post. I will follow up with tweets, status updates and shares tailored to my various communities.

What I am not doing with this post is remembering other things I have learnt. It’s posted at a time when people won’t read it, on a day when people generally don’t respond or comment on posts. I know this from research I have read on social media campaigns.

Or Analyze for my American friends. Setting the right measurements is key as Adobe points out and these can and should vary per campaign. Very basic measure like number or shares and traffic are a good base to work from, but consider, time on page, number of comments, conversions, click thrus. For me the top measure is new subscribers (and yes, yes, the email subscription box is coming soon).

For me a key part of the cycle is remember what is learnt. For start-ups and smaller organisations this is easy.

It could simply be:

  • a white board on the content teams wall with:
    • best time to post is ____
    • Top X reason posts and How to posts outperform X
    • Bullets and headers beat big paragraphs
    • Use – will be the death of to describe a product.
  • A spread sheet or dashboard on the master drive

Weekly meetings should be held where you share learnings and update on what worked. If you are truly agile these could be morning stand up sessions where you share: progress, what worked, what didn’t, and what you’ll do different today.

For larger organisations a multiple hub and spoke model will tend to be the best fit. Where a central team helps to form best practice educative pieces, decides on tools and measurement procedures and then coordinates with a leader for each region.
We have a centralised knowledge centre with collaborative case studies. Members of the content team can add their successful case studies and also their failures. And in a collaborative fashion the community can comment on the case studies suggesting ideas, voting up good and bad ideas and learning together. We then merge these to a best practice document database.

Take the effort to define next steps and pick appropriate adjustments to make next time. Makes sure that the adjustments can be held responsible for results. Change too much and you won’t be able to tell what drove success. Content creation should be agile and adapt.
If you are really dedicated, this may mean having the guts to try changing something that is already live, or removing it completely.

I’ll leave you here with a quote from the man that brought us the one colour* car.

 “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford (1863-1947), American founder of Ford Motor Company

*Steve brought us a one colour phone for a long time too… I wonder if that was on purpose? <

5 thoughts on “The Content Life Cycle. La la la la…

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