The Content Life Cycle

March 16, 2012By

A question I often receive is how important do people view blogs versus other forms of marketing content.

It’s a great question. If businesses are going to invest in content creation it makes sense to invest in the media most used by its target audience.

There seems to be growth in various media channels including:

These channels are all important in the future. Consumers use these channels to find content they find educational, entertaining, and enlightening.

New channels will emerge in the future especially in the social realm. This doesn’t mean that existing channels will suffer. People still enjoy receiving their content via newspapers, emails,and blogs.

The important thing for businesses is to determine who the target customer is and then determine what content channel is best fitted to that customer’s needs.

In other words, your customer demographic will determine the best way to approach content strategy.

People have a life cycle and they take their preferred methods of content consumption with them throughout their lives.

Just like people, content seems to have a life cycle. Well, the content might stay similar, but the channel of distribution will change as people change.

The Content Life Cycle

Channels of communication have changed throughout history. As people have changed, so have channels. Over time, each of us learns to consume content through certain channels.

I’m 27 years old. I’ve consumed content through various channels over the years. TV has been a big part of content consumption. I figure most TV shows and movies are entertainment. Commercials are content as well. They are often a form of branded content.

I’ve also consumed content in magazines and other printed materials. Then the Internet arrived. I started consuming content by visited sites of brands I had heard about or that were advertised. Then I moved to RSS and email subscriptions.

Today, I use Twitter for content, but most of the content I read is written in journalistic format on various formats including blogging formats. I read blogs written by individuals. I read blogs written by folks at businesses. I read articles written on major news sites like the New York Times and The Atlantic. I consider these bloggers in a way. The best periodicals have adjusted well from print to digital. They still write great content and in some cases I even pay for the content.

Today, blogging is a way to reach some consumers. I feel like the audience for bloggers is somewhere in the range of folks that are between 25 and 40 years old. There are outliers, but that is probably the sweet spot for blog readers.

Folks that are older than that age range likely still consume content with email (I still do as well. In fact, email is still one of the most popular channels). Older folks also use their traditional forms of content consumption.

Younger generations are using texting it seems more than any other demographic. I don’t think I know a 17 year old that doesn’t have their phone in their hands at all times.

Social media is growing in popularity. Folks are using various social channels for content consumption. Companies that are having the most success seem to be able to find the social channels where their target customer is spending time.

From there, these companies are providing some content on the social channels themselves while providing more in depth content on a channel they own like a blog, website or even TV channel.

A good example of this is the NFL audience that uses Twitter. NFL fans love following Adam Schefter on his Twitter account for NFL updates. He provides bits of useful content on Twitter, but is one of the lead NFL guys for ESPN where he provides more in-depth content.

It’s a great strategy to focus on providing useful content to the channels where your customers are spending time. If that channel is not your own you can also work to bring the attention back to an owned channel like a website or blog.

Channels and content change as people change. There is a life cycle.

If you can understand the types of channels and types of content your target customer uses then you are in good shape for providing the right kind of content. This might be blogging. It might not.

Find the best content and channel for your customer and you’ll be in good shape.