Subject Matter Experts are a valuable resource IT and technology companies should turn to more often.
After all, they’re the ones who know the field inside and out, and their expertise likely helped get your business off the ground in the first place. If you want your company to continue to flourish, it’s time to leverage SMEs for your content marketing, sales, and employee training initiatives. Interview them. Get quotes. Get creative.
Because SMEs are probably being under-utilized in your company. In case you’re unfamiliar, SMEs, or Subject Matter Experts, are highly qualified individuals knowledgeable in a certain topic. They’re the people in your IT or technology organization who have the deep and detailed understanding of your software and products. They know how they work, they know the terminology, and they know all the technical know-how.
And you likely have SMEs walking around your halls right now. Or perhaps they have their heads buried in work. Either way, they’re there and it’s time to identify them. Some of them are already on your board of directors, but others may be busy perfecting your company’s cybersecurity systems or designing new software solutions for customers and clients. Identify them and find ways to leverage their insight and expertise to raise your brand awareness, credibility, and drive more qualified lead gen.
Because SMEs help educate leads. No one knows their subject matter better than SMEs. It’s in the name. if you want to convince buyers you have the right product or solution to go with, guide them to content created or curated by SMEs. Oftentimes, they can communicate the highly technical solutions that your brand offers better than anyone else.
The biggest issue that most companies run into when they’re trying to leverage SMEs for marketing and lead gen content is that they try to give SMEs complete leeway to write content, and that’s almost always a recipe for disaster (see our earlier blog post on why). What marketers need to do is to work with SMEs to extract their expertise, and the repackage it in simple-to-understand language that will resonate with target audiences.
Because SMEs are invaluable to the content creation process. Of course, SMEs could be reluctant when it comes helping in the sales process, or simply lack the interest or time to participate in those kinds of events. That’s okay—they can help with the content marketing side of things and lend their expertise to the development of blog articles, how-to articles, podcasts, and videos.
Empower content creation teams and SMEs with the resources and time they need to create high-quality, informative content that will attract the right kinds of clients. Time-strapped SMEs with busy schedules don’t need to be in the same room as a writer, either—a 15-minute phone call could be all one needs for a week’s worth of blog articles that can the be repurposed into snippets of video or infographics.
But never pressure SMEs or steal more of their time than they’re willing to allow. Create a process where you can get in touch with them on a monthly or quarterly basis. Ask them questions that will solve customer problems, leverage those answers into educational content, and your brand’s value will skyrocket.
Because SMEs bring everyone up to speed. SMEs are your knights in shining armor; and they can make others in your organization shine, too. The same way you’d leverage SMEs to create targeted content or sales material, you can leverage them to develop special training programs to create new SMEs out of your other employees.
By leveraging the knowledge of SMEs and funneling it into inter-departmental documents, videos, and similar training material for employees to use, your organization can build a stronger employee development process that will further educate and train the future SMEs of your organization.
This kind of practice will also help retain SMEs who may otherwise leave or retire from your company. If you haven’t already, simply adding “subject matter expert” to their title signals to them you value their contributions, and their irreplaceable knowledge.
A brief recap: SMEs improve workplace culture. They increase the longevity of your company. They help accurately convey a brand’s marketing message and style. And they even help sell solutions.
Store up those subject matter experts. You never know when you’re going to need them.