I spent a fantastic day at the Digital Leadership Forum January conference on how to lead with content marketing in 2018. My roundup and thoughts on the various keynotes:

Jag Sharma (Social Media Marketing Manager @ HSBC) led the opening session with insights into how HSBC addressed the need to optimise content in the mobile world. He highlighted a common pitfall most firms make - they use the same content across all social channels without considering the native differences of each channel and the audiences using them. I particularly liked how Jag spoke about the need for ‘DJing’ different formats of content to suit the mindset of audiences when they are using a particular social channel. For example, on Twitter, we would need to consider its user behaviours: Twitter itself is inherently built around cultural or popularity conversations (such as sporting events or TV series) and people use the platform for personal expression. Therefore, brands need to get involved in these communities or events in order to have meaningful social interactions or create impactful content. Also aligning Twitter communications with offline channels so they compliment each other.

One of the more controversial (or exciting depending on your take) keynote was around the need to deliver hyper-personalisation of content through photo analysis technology, led by Ofri Ben Porat (CEO @ Pixoneye ). There was a palpable ripple of nervousness that ran through the room as Ofri explained PIxoneye's exciting visions on how far the photo analysis technology can help deliver a uniquely personalised customer purchasing experience. The key takeaway for me is that there is a definite need to intelligently understand your target audience by their individuality. It is not enough to just consider the traditional measures (such as demographic locations, digital and social media data points) to understand your customer profiles.

This idea goes in line with the Expert to Expert approach to content marketing we talk about at Passle. As summaried by our co-founder Tom from his session, for high value services or solutions (be it within Legal, IT or consultancy or similar sectors), having marketing automation personas or funnel just does not make sense. The conversations and interactions between buyers and their vendors in these scenarios are incredibly complex, high value and very expert. For firms to successfully position themselves as the go-to trusted advisor and thought leader, it is vital to centre content around the results of these conversations (i.e. the customer's expressed problems), and deliver this content in an expert-led, authentic and digestible format.