SMEs Can Make A Difference In Your Content Approach
Content writers come from different background and they have different interests, so if you have worked with more than one content writers so far, you have probably noticed that. It is not rare to say to yourself “I will give this topic to this person because they have a better understanding of the matter”. That is absolutely normal since you can’t expect any writer to be an expert in every area.When there is no expert at disposal, you rely on extensive research and that is the proper way to go. However, asking an expert is always a better idea because it increases your chances of creating a truly unique piece of writing that the audience has never seen before.
Identify Your Subject Matter Expert
An SME doesn’t always need to be on your content marketing team. They might be sitting in the corner in a role of consultant, accountant or even CEO. If you ask them about something they are passionate about, chances are they will be more than happy to share their thoughts and give you in-depth information on the topic. If you identify one such person in your business (or even more if you are lucky) use the opportunity to pair them up with someone on your content marketing team to put the idea into writing.
If you don’t have such an SME in-house, you can always find one thanks to the wonderful thing we call the Internet. According to social media strategist Paul Gillin, the best place to look for SMEs are social media pages. Not all of SMEs in the world would be up for collaboration, but if they are active on social media, contribute to different social pages or groups and like to be in the spotlight they might be willing to team up with you.
Ask The Right Questions
Congratulations! You found an SME who wants to collaborate with you for the purpose of your content. The key thing to remember here is that the expert will probably have very limited time to spend. In order to make the most out of the time you will be given, make sure you do good research first. Whatever the topic is, you don’t want to ask the SME basic questions in order to get to the more complex ones. Work on the basis yourself and use the time with the SME for asking more substantial questions that will make a difference to your business.
SMEs Are Credible Sources
A well-established subject matter expert built their reputation by working their way up and never missing an opportunity. An SME is an expert in their field and that’s beyond any doubt. So take a wild guess and establish what will happen if you collaborate with one such person on your content. Good things, of course!
An SME can serve as a brand ambassador to some extent. The fact that they spared some time to involve in an interview for the benefit of your business means that they believe your business is good and worth their effort.
When a potential customer sees content that is backed up by a statement from an expert, it signalizes to them that you are a credible source of information. After all, if your business was just one of the many it would never be recognized by an SME.
But What if the SME Isn’t Well-Established and Popular?
For an SME to be of great help to your business, they don’t have to be the top of class guru that everybody follows. If that person has the expertise that should be more than enough. In fact, in cases like that the collaboration works both ways: they are sharing crucial information with you while you are putting their name out there through your content.
SMEs who are popular are great to include in your content marketing strategy, however, when you can’t find them, you can call upon any other expert regardless of their popularity. Experts who don’t have a great exposure in their fields yet are very knowledgeable can become your perfect partners since they will be open for collaboration and put in an extra effort in order to build a good name for themselves as well. Win-win!
Tackle Questions That Nobody Dares to Answer
In a world where content marketing is so present, a lot of people focus on a broad target group. However, it is a healthy habit to do a change in focus every once in a while and go after the more expert audience.
An SME can be of a great use in the following cases:
- Expanding Existing Content: If you have articles that target the general audience, it might be a good idea to elaborate them in more detail. Look at the content that generated the most leads. Once you identify which articles got the most attention, do additional research and see how an SME can help you go in-depth on certain aspects of the existing article. Plus, Google has its thumbs up for republishing existing content!
- Explore New Topics: Chances are, you can find everything on the Internet. However, there is a small percentage of topics that might not have been covered so far or haven’t been given the required attention.
- Taking Down Competitors: Let’s say you wanted to write about a very narrow topic and not a lot was available online to do your research. The available information was either not easy to understand or not elaborated properly, so you decided to abandon the initial idea. If you find an SME that can answer the questions you have it is worth going back to the original idea because with the help of the SME you can write a better piece than your competitors and explain matters properly so everyone can understand them.
A subject matter expert will definitely have a better understanding of the topic than the general audience. However, in the general audience, there might be people who are very interested in the topic and want to learn more. Encourage them to ask questions. On the other hand, if your topic of discussion is more opinion based, you might even get other SMEs who stumbled upon the piece of writing disagreeing and sharing their ideas. This will provide great value to users because they will get to see more sides of the same story. Not to mention that it is great for SEO purposes.
When having an SME collaborating with you, make sure you monitor the response you got from the audience. If the response is positive, you can engage in a series of articles exploring topics within the same area of expertise. If people are asking a lot of questions, maybe you can do a Q&A session and provide even a greater value to customers.
Subject matter experts can really make a difference in your content marketing strategy if you utilize them correctly. Finding an SME should not be hard if you reach out to the right people – just make sure that you use your time with the SME efficiently and explore topics that will make both the SME and your business shine.
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