Tapping SMEs to Feed the Content Marketing Beast


  • By Evelyn Hoover
  • June 21, 2018
Tapping SMEs to Feed the Content Marketing Beast

Let me guess: When you first launched your new website, everyone jumped on board, offering to write blog posts and articles, post videos and optimize content for online and social. A few months in and suddenly the fanfare died down and you’re left with pages that are thirsty for content. But not just any content—good content that answers questions that your site’s potential visitors are Googling. You’re now wondering, what did I get myself (and my company) into? How can I feed the beast? How can I reengage my subject matter experts (SMEs) to help?

You know your company has SMEs who truly understand what your site visitors (your customers and prospects) want to know. But these same folks are strapped for time as they juggle customer engagements and their regular workloads. Most of them want to help, but content marketing isn’t their first priority. In fact it’s at the bottom of their list, right after “scheduling a dental visit.”
 

3 Ways SMEs Can Help Deliver Content Readers Crave

But if you make it easy for them, SMEs can help you by writing great content for your blog and website. While developing content for large technology and other B2B clients, I’ve found three ways that SMEs can be tapped to deliver content that resonates with audiences.
 

1. FAQs. Your SMEs likely interact regularly with your customers and prospects. The chances are good that many customers and prospects ask these SMEs the same or very similar questions. Ask your SMEs to write down these FAQs. Then do a quick interview where the SME answers the questions. The FAQs could turn into a written blog post or article or it could be a short video interview. If video was used, the longer video could be posted but shorter chunks with responses to each question could also be developed. These would work great for social media.
 

2. Presentations. Your SMEs are likely road warriors who present at conferences and other events. Their PowerPoint decks are basically the outline of an article. See if they are willing to write an article or blog post on their presentation topic. It broadens the reach of the presentation topic beyond the select few who attended the conference, delivering new content to site visitors.
 

If they don’t have time, offer to take their deck (and speaker notes) and write it up for them. They can quickly review the content and ensure it’s accurate before you post it online.
 

3. Customers. If you refer back to #1, you’ll recall that the SMEs are in touch with customers. Would those customers be willing to be interviewed for a case study on how your company’s products or services helped them solve a challenge they encountered? It’s much more powerful to have someone outside your company explain the value of your products or services than it is to have talking heads do so.
 

Yes, I know many companies can’t serve as references, but it never hurts to ask. Engage with your SMEs and see if they are willing to make the ask or introduce you to the customer so you make the ask yourself. Again, the customer story could be written content or video, depending on your budget and ability to execute a video interview.
 

Turning Knowledge Into Content

With a little planning, you can help subject matter experts turn their experiences and knowledge into useful, sharable content. Often times, SMEs may know so much, they’re not sure where to begin to narrow their ideas down to specific topics. Providing just a little guidance may be all that’s needed to unleash a flood of new ideas. Making the process as less daunting as possible will help ensure that SMEs are happy to help when the beast needs another meal.


Stay up-to-date on the latest content marketing trends and insights by subscribing to  MSP‑C 's What’s Next Now newsletter and following us on LinkedIn.