It’s alive! The content lifecycle


Think of content as a living thing

  • By Team CSI
  • |
  • Oct 16 2017
  • |
  • Categories: Articles

Regardless of type or format, channel or platform, all content moves through a life cycle. It’s all conceptualized, planned, created, and maintained in some way by someone.

If you’re looking at improving your content processes, we recommend using the content lifecycle as a framework. This will ensure you have processes for every stage of your content.

The content lifecycle

The content lifecycle

Stages of the content lifecycle

Strategize and ideate

Your content team leader along with high-level representatives of your company’s business units who discuss how content can be used to drive business goals. Business teams come with problems and ideas, ready to discuss other upcoming content needs. This stage also includes reviewing success metrics and articulating the goals for your content.

When it happens: At an annual or quarterly content meeting

Who does it: CS working group


Quarterly goal: Increase awareness and online sales of our new backpacks

Upcoming needs

  • January: The comfy-strap backpack
  • February: The secret-pocket backpack
  • March: The lightweight backpack

Content ideas

  • New content for backpack listings on website
  • Social media campaign
  • Lots of visuals
  • Infographic highlighting special features

Success metrics

  • Increased visits to backpack section of website
  • Increased online purchases of backpacks
  • Increased traffic from social media



You and your team review ideas, assess resources required, and determine a plan for production, maintenance, and evaluation.

When it happens: At your quarterly meeting

Who does it: Content team


Tools created

  • Editorial calendar
  • RACI chart
  • Marketing plan
  • KPIs


Design and create

The designated members of your content team design and develop content according to plan.

When it happens: Ongoing

Who does it: Designers, writers, editors


Content created

  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Infographic
  • Web content


Publish and distribute

You and your team publish and distribute content to your audiences on the appropriate channels for maximum effect.

When it happens: Ongoing, according to your editorial calendar

Who does it: IT, social media team


  • IT team posts blog and web content
  • Social media team promotes


Evaluate and maintain

You and your team follow up to determine the effectiveness of your content. The maintenance stage ensures that your content remains relevant, accurate, and up-to-date.

When it happens: Ongoing, according to maintenance schedule

Who does it: Writers, IT, CS working group


  • Content strategists evaluate according to KPIs
  • IT maintains small changes,
  • Writers make bigger updates

Understanding the content lifecycle is a necessary step to updating your content processes. That way you can make sure your content team is guiding your content though it’s journey along the lifecycle.


Further reading

Keep it together: Implementing a content Strategy working group

Best practices for archiving and deleting content

Content teamwork: Aligning your people and processes [Slides]

Our content strategy services