The Truth About Content: Broken Dreams and the Big Fix

At her 2018 SXSW talk, Kristina Halvorson shared a smart strategic framework that will finally help you manage content with confidence, now and in the future.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of speaking at SXSW for the sixth (!) time. I was feeling some pressure to say something new and exciting (like, “AI is the future of content!” or “Customers will expect your content in virtual experiences!”) … but as I was working on my talk, I realized that my messages weren’t that different than what I’ve said in years past:

  1. The content marketing industry is, by and large, leading companies down a dark path.
  2. Content is more complicated than most people realize.
  3. Honest, open collaboration between siloed teams is absolutely necessary if we’re going to fix our broken content processes.
  4. If we don’t listen to our audiences—really listen to them—we will never win the loyalty and trust we so desperately crave.

I can’t tell you what’s next in martech, and I know just enough about AI and VR to be dangerous. What I can tell you is that technology won’t fix our content problems. Sexy? No. But common sense rarely is—and, based on my 20 years of doing this work, the folks who embrace it (and eschew All the Bright, Shiny Things) are the ones driving real change.

There is an audio recording of my 2018 SXSW talk for your listening pleasure, and here are the slides. Enjoy!


Kristina Halvorson is CEO of Brain Traffic, founder of Confab Events, coauthor of Content Strategy for the Web, and host of The Content Strategy Podcast.

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