The general inclination of a business owner or marketing manager is to say, “We can produce blog content.” And it really couldn’t be farther away from the way that they should be thinking about it. If you have subject matter experts on staff they don’t possibly have the time to write all your blog posts, create all your white papers and their time is valuable. What you actually need is their expert perspective within your content. To have a successful inbound marketing campaign, it’s that content that’s driving its success. You do need that input from the subject matter experts but you have to do that in a highly leveraged way that respects their time.
Take a lawyer for example. Whatever level you’ve worked with a lawyer before you know their time is expensive. You will see a lawyers time upwards of $250, $500 an hour and so if you’re a marketing company like myself and I’m coming into a law firm and I’m telling them, “Look you need to be producing two blog post a week so that’s eight blog post a month and these blog post need to be top quality.” And the first thing they think is, well I can have my lawyers write these blog posts, and right there is where you kind of need to take a step back and see the bigger picture of the strategy. Take a look at what really is going to be the best way to get that done so that you leverage your lawyer’s time and expensive billable hours.
Leverage Time with an Efficient Content Extraction Process
One of the most effective ways to leverage time with your subject matter expert is through an interview process. An interview process will allow the editor or writer to extract the necessary expert information on each topic, that can then be crafted into a relevant piece of content. This process is effectively done by separating the roles of subject matter expert, editor, and writer. By clearly dividing and defining these roles the content strategy will play to the greatest strengths of each individual while highly leveraging their time.
- Subject Matter Expert: This is the authority in your field who has the in-depth knowledge, content expertise, and technical information.
- Editor: This is the team member who oversees the extraction of content from the SME and production of the content. Generally, this is the individual who guides the interview and content extraction process with the SME because they are very familiar with the target persona and can most effectively extract valuable content for the campaign.
- Writer: The writer is responsible for penning to paper the actual content. They use the direction given by the editor and the information from the SME to create the written content pieces. Often times the writer will do additional research to further support the information given by the SME.
How to Establish your Subject Matter Expert in Content Pieces
Since we have already established that your SME shouldn’t be spending their valuable time writing each piece themselves it is necessary to establish them as an authority throughout the article as a primary contributor. An simple and effective way to do this is to showcase them as a primary contributor at the end of each article.
Google Hangout on Air: These will record live through your Google+ profile and can be set up to go straight to your business YouTube channel. The options from here are expansive. Embed the video in a blog post, let it build equity on your YouTube channel and Google+ page, or simply keep it private and repurpose all the content extracted from your subject matter expert to be used in a different form on a different platform.
This simple Google Hangout on Air interview took just 20 minutes of Raleigh, our subject matter expert’s time, yet provides us with rich content from a positioned authority, that can now be utilized by our content team.
Outside of the process of interview extracting content we often suggest something as simple as searching inboxes. Search your email inbox and that of your subject matter expert and you will probably find a gold mine resourceful content that can be crafted into the content that promotes your brand or drives the success of your inbound campaign.
Syndication is the most often overlooked part of content marketing for blogging. Simply put, once you published your blog and produced great content, it’s not over. It’s time to share it. The sources that you chose to syndicate your content to really depend on where you target person is hanging out and where you will get the most value.
Top Sources for Content Syndication:
- Digg, Reddit
- LinkedIn Group or Forum
The most effective way to syndicate your content is NOT to just paste a link to your content but instead use it to add value to discussions and then maybe if appropriate add a link to your article relevant to that discussion.
If you are taking a SME’s valuable time to produce a piece of content there is an inherent responsibility to syndicate that content to the fullest on their behalf. If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it does it make a sound?
Ask yourself how much time are your in-house staffed experts dedicating towards content production on your marketing, your inbound marketing campaigns. If they are dedicating a lot of time, your results better be very good and justify that. If they are dedicating no time at all, then how does your content quality look? Because either way both of those are problematic. You should have them dedicate a certain amount of time that’s highly leveraged with a process. Let everyone play to their strengths, and don’t let the strategy stop once the content is produced. Recognizing that this is more than just a blog, it’s an integral piece of a complex inbound marketing strategy and makes sure that your processes are leveraged for maximum return on investment.