Posts Tagged ‘subject matter experts’

Content Marketing: You must overcome The Jackson 5 Effect to find subject matter experts

May 19th, 2017

Subject matter experts (SMEs) are crucial to content marketing success, especially in B2B. Whether accountants advising about amortization or IT managers contemplating the cloud, vital information that will help your audience — and thus help you create great content — lies trapped in your SMEs’ craniums.

It’s your job to tap into those big brains and free the content.

There are many well-noted challenges to working with SMEs that you’re probably well familiar with. They’re busy. They don’t know how to create content. They don’t create good content.

However, today on the MarketingSherpa blog, I wanted to bring up another point I don’t see discussed as much — you’re overlooking a plethora of untapped SMEs.

Sure, your CEO is a SME. The head of Sales. You likely have someone in an evangelist role of some sort who is also a SME. But what about the customer service rep? The middle manager? Credentialing specialist? Purchasing associate? Transportation coordinator? Senior systems manager?

They (and many inglorious but essential functionaries in your organization) are all victims of what I like to call: The Jackson 5 Effect.

We value least what we interact with most

Before Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, he was a kid in a family band — The Jackson 5.


Source: Wikipedia

Eventually, Michael would go on to become one of the most famous and successful singers the world over. So successful that he had his own theme park and monkey. But while he was in The Jackson 5, did Tito and Jermaine really appreciate Michael’s skills, ability and knowledge? Or, did they just look at him as their annoying little brother?

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Content Marketing: 5 questions to ask subject matter experts to get the ball rolling

January 11th, 2013

Content marketing, at its essence, is really just a connection. It’s linking those who know something (subject matter experts) with those who want to know it.

This can be a struggle for some marketers who are trying to generate content, especially in complex fields like healthcare IT or power engineering.

That’s why the subject matter expert is so valuable. The vaunted SME (pronounced “Smee.”) Much more knowledgeable than Captain Hook’s right-hand man, but sometimes as ornery as the ol’ captain himself.

To win him or her over, it helps to immerse yourself in the industry to a level that you have their respect.

But to create quality content, it helps to ask the right questions to get that subject matter expert going. Once you tap the keg of passion in a SME, the party about topics important to the egg industry or Sarbanes-Oxley just never ends.

So, to help you generate content for your blogs, videos, email newsletters, podcasts, whitepapers, and the like, here are five general questions that have helped me throughout my career, as I’ve interviewed SMEs to create content.

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