1. Why Subject Matter Expert Content Often Fails, and How to Fix It

Establishing expertise is important for all businesses, but it’s especially critical for B2B companies. In fact, subject matter expert (SME) content has become a crucial component of most B2B companies’ digital strategies.

There’s just one problem, though.

This type of content often fails.

Fortunately, that failure can often be blamed on one of three problems. If you avoid these problems, your campaign is likely to be a success.

Lack of Time

You need to add content to your website and other marketing channels on a regular basis, or you won’t maintain the interest of the companies you serve. This can be a problem when dealing with SMEs.

SMEs are experts for a reason. They are immersed in their fields, and that keeps them busy. In fact, they have so many irons in the fire that it’s normal for them to have issues with availability and communication. They simply don’t have enough time, so they might put your company on the backburner.

For example, they might not be able to provide you with the requested SME content for a month, and there is a good chance they will be slow to communicate that information to you.

How do you fix this problem?

You likely can’t change the SME, but you can change your approach by contracting with several SMEs. Once you get them all on a schedule, you should have content coming in on a regular basis, even if all of your SMEs have issues with availability.

Also, set clear deadlines for each SME, and if someone is terrible about meeting them, let that person go. That’s another reason it’s important to have multiple SMEs at your disposal. Some might not work out for the long run.

Too Much Jargon

If you’ve spent any time dealing with a subject matter expert, you have probably seen this issue firsthand. SMEs spend their time dealing with a specific subject. They know it inside and out, and that can cause them to get lost in the weeds when talking about it. Their sentences are often full of jargon that most people don’t understand, and that makes the content a real dud when it comes to marketing it.

Fortunately, there is a quick fix to this.

Tell your SME to pretend the readers are 5 years old.

This will force the SME to provide simple explanations for difficult subject matter, so everyone can understand it. Keep in mind your SME still needs to include technical details, but these details need to be broken down so everyone can understand them. The simpler the better when it comes to subject matter expert content for B2B businesses.

Lack of Interest by Internal Stakeholders

Internal stakeholders aren’t always interested in content marketing. They don’t understand why a company should spend money on SMEs, so they might vote it down.

You can use statistics to prove the need for effective content marketing. These statistics will likely cause them to reconsider hiring SMEs.

First, content marketing is about leading, not following, and using experts is the best way to lead. Unique site traffic is 7.8 times higher for content leaders compared to followers. If your stakeholders want your B2B business to grow, you need to include SMEs in your content marketing strategy. Otherwise, your company will spend its time following others instead of leading.

It’s also a good use of money. The most effective B2B marketers use 39 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, and they get more bang for their buck. Content marketing generates about three times as many leads at traditional marketing while costing 62 percent less.

It’s Time to Hire Some SMEs

Now you are finally ready to reach out and add some SMEs to your team. Keep in mind that there’s a learning curve every time you add new members to your team. There might be some hiccups along the way, but it won’t take long to finetune the process. Just follow these tips and your SME content will truly shine. It will help you educate your customer base and attract some long-term clients to your team. When used correctly, SMEs can take B2B companies to the next level.

 Download Our Marketing  Ready Checklist

About Author

Anthony Chatfield

Anthony Chatfield

Writer, marketer, product creator, and digital media professional who has been developing and promoting digital content for nearly a decade. Has been at the leading edge of inbound marketing and content marketing as the new wave of digital strategy, having worked with more than one hundred clients in a diverse range of industries around the globe.

View all contributions by: Anthony Chatfield