Has your marketing team recently asked you to be a subject matter expert for a new piece of content (such as a blog post, article, white paper, or ebook) for your company?
Whether this is your first time or 50th time as the subject matter expert for a piece of B2B marketing content, we’ve got a few quick tips to ensure it’s a smooth, painless process for you (and your marketing team).
Prepare for the Interview
You are the subject matter expert (SME) and the marketing team will look to you to provide all the necessary information for a quality piece of content. Take a few moments to prepare for the conference call or interview.
How you prepare can vary. Some SME’s like to draft outlines of the topics with clear bullet points while other SME’s will jot down a few thoughts in their notebook or notetaking software.
At the very minimum, spend a few minutes before the call thinking about the major points that should be included in the blog post, article, white paper, ebook, podcast, webinar, etc.
Get an Idea of the Process
Typically, the marketing team will give you a heads up, either via email or in person about the content creation process. It can help reduce your stress level to know what to expect during the process.
- Are they going to send questions in advance for you to review?
- Have they already created an outline?
- Do they want to speak to certain pain points of prospects or customers?
- Do they expect you to tell them what direction you think the content piece should go?
Knowing the next steps and what to expect can help streamline the process and ensure everyone knows their role.
It’s OK to Ask for Clarification
Don’t be afraid to ask any questions for clarification. If you aren’t sure which vertical the article is going to target, ask. If you don’t know whether you should allude to certain products or services, ask. Your marketing team and the content creation specialist (often a copywriter) should be able to address any questions and provide clarification.
In many cases, it’s helpful to know the purpose of the B2B content marketing piece being created. As an integral contributor, you should be clear on the objectives of the content you are helping to create.
Stay on Topic
One of the distinguishing features of B2B products and services is their complexity. Additionally, many features or benefits of B2B products and services are somehow linked or connected.
However, when it comes to creating B2B content pieces or articles, it’s essential to stick to one topic and not meander down various tangents or focus on smaller benefits/features. Most B2B content pieces won’t be all-encompassing. Rather, they will focus on certain aspects or methods or audiences. As such, it’s helpful to stay on topic and not stray from the main focus of the article or content piece.
If you find that you are coming up with a lot of ancillary thoughts while discussing a particular topic, jot them down. They just might be great future topics to explore.
Think About the Target Reader/Viewer/Listener
Before any content piece is created, there should be a clear idea of who the intended reader/viewer/listener is. Isn’t it always your ideal prospect? Yes, but there are often various decision makers at an organization when it comes to B2B products and services. For example, your B2B marketing team is likely creating content to meet the needs of various end users, including C-level executives, primary users, ancillary users, etc.
Don’t hesitate to ask who you are speaking to in this particular piece of content.
Review for Accuracy
After you’ve provided your expert insights and the marketing team has created the content piece, you will have the opportunity to review the content. Take the time to review the piece for accuracy. Keep in mind that there are a lot of subjective aspects to writing and the copywriter may be following an existing style or tone set out by your marketing team.
Save yourself time by focusing primarily on the accuracy of the piece – ensure that the terminology is correct, used appropriately, and conveys what you think matters. If, when reviewing the content, you want to add in something that you forgot to mention earlier or didn’t think of at first – add it in. It will make the piece more comprehensive and valuable.
Share It on Social Media
Promote yourself. Many of us are taught that we shouldn’t brag, which is a good rule to follow. However, when you are tapped to be the subject matter expert for your company’s B2B content marketing, you should share it. Yes, it does help the company when you share their content, but it also helps establish you as a thought leader in your industry. It’s a great way to let your professional and personal family network know what you are doing and to share key insights with potential clients or partners.
As a subject matter expert, you have a wealth of valuable information. You may think it’s boring, but it’s not and the right audience will find it fascinating. Follow these tips the next time you are tapped to share your insights and you’ll see how smooth and easy the process can be to create great B2B marketing content.