Creating content that speaks to your target audience requires more than just good writing skills. It requires accurate and up-to-date information about your industry and subject matter experts who can help ensure your content is on point.
Without this valuable input, you may produce content that falls flat with readers, tells them something they already know, and fails to resonate with your brand. And when it comes to content, resonating with your target audience and providing them with the utmost value is key to success.
Working with a subject matter expert (SME) is essential to producing high-quality, authoritative content that stands out to readers and gives them a reason to engage with you. We’ll explore this in more detail below.
What is a Subject Matter Expert?
A subject matter expert is a person who has specialized knowledge in a particular area. SMEs are usually experts in their field and deeply understand the topic at hand. They often have years of experience and can provide insights that others – even those familiar with the industry – aren’t able to.
In many cases, SMEs are also thought leaders and innovators, always keeping up with the latest developments in their field. They can deliver valuable wisdom about industry trends and changes, as well as help predict future trends.
Why Are Subject Matter Experts Key to Great Content?
The valuable information and experience that SMEs bring to the table can significantly improve the quality of your content. They're often the difference between “good” content and unique thought-leadership content.
For example, let's say you're writing an article about the latest trends in web design. A general writer would be able to research the industry and compile a blog post about some of the most prevalent trends today, but they would likely lack the expertise to zero in on micro-trends and explore potential developments in the industry. As a result, your article may fail to resonate with readers and could even damage your brand's reputation.
On the other hand, a subject matter expert – someone who is intimately familiar with the ins and outs of web design and has a forward-thinking outlook – could produce a cutting-edge, comprehensive resource for your readers that aligns with industry best practices and terminology. Not only does this instill confidence in your readers, but it also builds your brand’s reputation as a leader in the industry as a whole. We’ll discuss these outcomes in more detail below.
The Value of SMEs in Content Creation
Now that we’ve touched on why SMEs are essential in creating successful content, let’s explore some specific benefits they bring forward:
They Make Your Content More Engaging
SMEs are in the unique position of understanding both their field and their target audience. They have first-hand experience that many other writers don't have, with personal stories and anecdotes that can make even the driest of topics engaging. This enables them to connect with your audience on a personal level to build trust and credibility for your brand.
They Position You as an Industry Leader
Thought-leadership content has the biggest impact out of all types of content marketing. SMEs can help you foster thought-leadership by tapping into their knowledge to create informational and enlightening content. This will help you establish yourself as an industry leader, which can result in more traffic, leads, and customers.
They Can Take Your Content Strategy to New Heights
SMEs are powerful assets when it comes to content strategy. They can help you understand your audience and what type of content will resonate with them. They can also help you develop a content calendar and ensure that your content is timely and relevant, helping you create a comprehensive strategy that engages and converts your audience.
3 Tips for Working with SMEs in Content Creation
While the benefits of working with SMEs are endless, it can be challenging to find the right experts for your content. Here are a few tips:
Identify Your Content Goals
It's important that you have a clear understanding of your overarching content goals before reaching out to SMEs. This includes the type of content you’re looking to produce and why you’re looking to produce it. This will help you narrow down the list of experts you need and make the most out of your interactions.
Once you’ve found the right SME, they can help you narrow down the details – like the best topics to cover and how to best engage your audience.
Find the Right Fit & Educate Them on Your Brand
Not all experts are created equal. When searching for an SME, look for someone who is a good fit for your brand. Consider their writing style, voice and tone, and ability to share insights in an engaging way.
Be sure to take some time to educate them on your brand as well. What is your brand's voice? What are your values? The more they understand your brand, the easier it will be for them to write content that aligns with your goals.
Sourcing, vetting, and working with SMEs can be time-consuming. If you don't have the capacity to handle this process yourself or prefer to focus internal efforts on other business-critical tasks, consider outsourcing the content creation process to experts.
Not only can the right content team source the best SMEs for your content strategy, but they can also handle the entire content creation process from start to finish – allowing you to focus on running your business.
Leveraging Industry Expertise for Content Success
Involving SMEs in your content creation process has many benefits, from producing thought-leadership content to increasing readers’ engagement. Working with SMEs is essential if you want to position yourself as an industry leader and connect with your target audience.
If you're looking for help with your content marketing, Cureight’s team of SEO and content experts can assist you. We'll work with you to develop a content strategy that meets your business goals and resonates with your target audience. We have a network of SMEs across a wide range of industries who can provide insights, perspectives, and accurate information to make your content stand out.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you create content that drives results.