Stuck in a content creation rut? You’re far from alone.
With so much information available online, making your brand stand out can be tough. But don’t worry, we’ve got a powerful tool for you: collaboration with subject matter experts (SMEs).
What You’ll Learn:
- What a Subject Matter Expert Is
- Why All Your Content Marketing Needs Subject Matter Experts
- How to Identify & Work With Subject Matter Experts
- 3 Benefits of Working With a Subject Matter Expert
- Harnessing Subject Matter Experts to Guide Customers Through the Buyer’s Journey
What Is A Subject Matter Expert?
A subject matter expert (SME) is a professional with a profound understanding, extensive knowledge, and significant expertise in a specific field or subject area. These experts can be found in diverse industries, ranging from intricate technical fields like information technology or biotechnology to more creative sectors such as graphic design or digital marketing.
Our Expert’s Insight on Subject Matter Expert
In the dynamic world of marketing, every click and engagement counts. Harnessing the power of subject matter experts is nothing short of a game-changer… when executed correctly.
Jake Niehaus, our Content Editor, says, “Subject matter experts are the unsung heroes of content marketing. Their knowledge not only elevates your brand’s credibility but also empowers you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.”
When experts lend their unique insights, you can infuse your content with a dose of authenticity and authority that can’t be found anywhere else. Your audience can sense this, building invaluable relationships that rely on trust.
So here’s an actionable tip for all my fellow content marketers: Don’t just scratch the surface; dive deep into an expert’s mind! Ask them probing questions and seek out the hidden gems of knowledge. Use these SMEs to your advantage and build a successful content marketing strategy that resonates with your audience while breaking through all the noise.
A Noteworthy Example
One prominent example is Professor Stephen Hawking, a leading voice in theoretical physics and cosmology.
Despite the heavy nature of his work, Hawking had a knack for communicating complex ideas in an easily understandable way, making him an expert in his subject matter and a skilled communicator. Hawking’s best-selling book, A Brief History of Time, explains complex physics and cosmology topics to the average person, selling over 25 million copies and making his name known outside of the academic world.
So, if you’re a content marketer seeking the most accurate data, insightful perspectives, hook authentic details for your content – the answer is simple. Turning to a subject matter expert can help you grasp that competitive edge in your field by enriching your content strategy, boosting audience engagement, and ultimately embodying the voice of authority your audience seeks.
Why ALL Your Content Marketing Needs Subject Matter Experts
Nearly 38% of content marketing teams actively use subject matter experts (SMEs) in their strategies. Additionally, marketers believe that using subject matter experts adds value to the content’s story and presents specific ways an organization can add value.
This implies that SMEs play a significant role in delivering content that’s not only rich and informative but also specifically tailored to the audience’s needs.
- Enhanced Credibility: When an SME contributes to your content, their expertise and authority resonate with your audience while bolstering your brand’s credibility in the industry, making you a trusted source of information.
- Improved Content Quality: An SME’s in-depth knowledge can significantly enrich your content. They can dive deep into technical details, provide little-known insights, and offer unique perspectives that typical writers may be unable to match.
- SEO Boost: Google and other search engines favor accurate and authoritative content. SMEs can help provide that, increasing your chances of ranking highly in search engine results pages (SERPs) and driving more organic traffic to your site.
- Target Audience Engagement: SMEs’ expertise can be instrumental in addressing more advanced questions that your target audience may have, encouraging them to engage more with your content.
- Competitive Advantage: Leveraging the expertise of an SME not only improves your content quality but also differentiates your brand from competitors. It gives you an edge and sets your content apart in the seemingly saturated digital marketing landscape.
How to Identify & Work With Subject Matter Experts
Having a subject matter expert lend expertise to your content can amplify its impact significantly. SMEs are catalysts for enriching your content, and their involvement significantly elevates your brand’s credibility. But how do you find an SME to contribute to your content strategy?
Identifying a Subject Matter Expert
When looking for a subject matter expert, there are a few principles to keep in mind:
- Expertise and Experience: No one achieves expert status overnight. A true SME has in-depth knowledge backed by years (and years!) of experience or advanced degrees in the field.
- Proven Track Record: Actions speak louder than words. Have they published articles in reputable sources? Been invited to speak at a conference? Managed successful projects? All of these are indicators of their expertise.
- Recognition from Peers: Endorsements from industry peers show that their contributions are valued and their expertise is recognized within their industry.
Working with a Subject Matter Expert
Once you’ve identified an SME, understanding how to work with them effectively can ensure a fruitful collaboration.
- Define Clear Objectives: Make sure both parties are clear about the goals of the project. Explaining your intended audience, their needs, and what you hope to achieve with the content can provide the SME with invaluable context.
- Communicate Effectively: Clear and constructive communication ensures you and your SME are on the same page. Be specific about your expectations and timelines, and be open to feedback.
- Maximize Their Time: SMEs are often pressed for time, so you must prepare well for your interactions with them. Come equipped with specific questions, and ensure that every minute spent is a step towards accomplishing your goal.
- Respect Their Knowledge: While you’re the content specialist, they’re the subject matter specialist. Acknowledge their expertise and provide them adequate space to express their insights.
- Show Appreciation: Everyone appreciates being acknowledged for their time and effort. Show your gratitude for their collaboration either through a simple ‘Thank You’ note or any form of acknowledgment suited for your relationship.
Remember, finding the right SME is not about being star-struck by big names but about discovering the right expert who adds value to your content and can resonate with your audience.
3 Benefits of Working With a Subject Matter Expert
Incorporating a subject matter expert into your content strategy might require effort and patience, but the benefits they bring to your overall content marketing efforts can be substantial.
An SME can help you:
1. Authenticity and Thought Leadership
The right SME won’t merely provide the necessary facts and figures but will offer insights that reflect distinct thought leadership. Such depth of thought brings a degree of authenticity to your content that thoughtless reporting simply cannot replicate.
Your audience recognizes your brand as a true thought leader within your industry, boosting its credibility and appeal. 47% of buyers say that thought leadership is a significant factor when it comes to discovering a brand and ultimately making a purchase.
2. Increase Return on Investment (ROI)
While engaging an SME in your content creation strategy might involve a cost, the ROI tends to justify the expenditure. With deeper insights and refined precision, SME-driven content often enhances user engagement and encourages return traffic.
Since SME-created content boosts your brand’s reputation and trust, conversions typically follow. The result is a rise in lead generation, sales, and customer retention, directly contributing to a positive ROI.
3. Amplify Audience Engagement
Audience engagement is driven by content relevance, authenticity, and novelty. An SME can provide all three. They introduce a fresh perspective that enriches your content beyond the ordinary, drawing in your audience with a mix of expert insights and readability.
Harnessing Subject Matter Experts to Guide Customers Through the Buyer’s Journey
In today’s fast-paced and knowledge-driven world, anyone can Google for quick answers.
This is where subject matter experts (SMEs) prove most valuable.
From first-time prospects to loyal customers, people at every stage of the buyer’s journey crave valuable insights relevant to their unique needs. Satisfying this demand requires a diversified content strategy that caters to each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Here are a few ways you can leverage SME content in each stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness Stage: At this stage, potential customers are identifying their problems and are seeking answers. Repurpose SME content into informational blog posts, infographics, explainer videos, and social media posts to educate the audience and attract them to your brand.
- Consideration Stage: Now that your audience understands their problem, they’re looking for solutions. Transform SME contributions into in-depth guides, webinars, or podcasts that discuss possible solutions. You can also create comparison content, highlighting how your solution stacks up against others in the market.
- Decision Stage: After considering their options, potential customers are about to make a decision. Leverage your SME’s authority by creating case studies, detailed product/service demonstrations, and testimonials showcasing the success of your solution.
- Retention Stage: Once someone becomes a customer, keeping them engaged is essential. Repurpose SME content into newsletters, user guides, or ongoing training to provide value, foster loyalty, and encourage referrals.
Every piece of content you repurpose from your SME collab should be tailored to effectively speak to your prospects at each stage of the buyer’s journey. This ensures you’re addressing each stage’s specific needs and concerns, helping guide them down the funnel.
Keep in mind that the key to excellent repurposing is adding value to the original piece of content.
You’re not just repeating the same information in a new format; you’re providing new insights and additional benefits or addressing different concerns, thereby enriching the overall content experience.
Ready to Boost Your Thought Leadership?
Identifying and effectively working with the right SME can significantly enhance your content marketing outcomes.
Remember to focus on authenticity, thought leadership, ROI, and audience engagement, and watch your brand benefit from the valuable insights an SME can bring to the table.
Ignite can help you:
- Identify subject matter experts relevant to your niche
- Create powerful content that hits all stops along the buyer’s journey
- Track and measure the ROI
- And more!
Ready to get started? Contact Ignite Visibility today!