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Is Your Content Strategy Aligned With the Stars?


Pundits have called content marketing the new SEO, the new advertising, the new public relations, even (of course) the new black. But according to Steve Rubel, chief content strategist at Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, content marketing is the new problem.

“I’m concerned that 50% of digital information is consumed on phones,” Rubell said at a Hootsuite client conference in New York. “If you have 20 apps on your phone, how many are you going to click at the end of the day? Mobile creates great challenges for everyone who isn’t Facebook, Google, or Twitter.”

What those outside of that hallowed triad need to do, Rubel suggested, is hark back to the ancient Babylonians, who, to make sense of the sea of stars in the nighttime sky, arranged them in patterns that suggested bears, bulls, dippers, and damsels. With all the choices available to content marketers, he says, the smart ones must draw lines between the ones that work together and create a narrative around them. They should envision content strategies as if they were constellations.

“Make some smart bets. See what works and what doesn’t work, then take the things that work and connect them up,” Rubel said, presenting as an example Walt Disney’s office chart of the interconnectivity of its business units: films supporting theme parks, theme parks supporting merchandise sales.

Addressing an audience composed largely of social media managers, Rubel allowed that social was important, but that it existed as a subset of larger ecosystems, one of the most important of which was mobile. He encouraged them, therefore, to be device voyeurs.

“I’m the worst at looking over peoples’ shoulders,” he admitted. “But you have to be a student of how people are accessing your information. What are people doing on those mobile screens?”

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