The Power Of Subject Matter Experts: The Secret Weapon In B2B Marketing

subject-matter-experts-B2B-saas-marketing

In the world of B2B, staying ahead of the competition is a challenge. This requires a fresh approach that goes beyond traditional marketing tactics, especially given today’s abundance of information and AI content. Meet subject matter experts – the secret weapon that can take your B2B marketing to new heights.

In this article, I’ll show you the power of subject matter expertise and how you can use your industry knowledge to transform your marketing efforts, reach your target audience, and grow your business in the process. This will keep you ahead of the curve with your marketing strategy and also keep your B2B marketing approach future-proof.

But First: What Is a Subject Matter Expert?

In a nutshell, a subject matter expert is a person with a deep understanding of a particular topic, such as a process, technology, or function. It’s also called a subject matter or content expert.

These individuals are usually founders, heads of sales, or other persons within your B2B company who have in-depth knowledge of the problems your company is trying to solve for your customers.

By the way, an expert can also be from outside your company. These can be well-known consultants, freelancers, authors in the market, or maybe even your customers. I often use these experts in account-based marketing as well. But if there is enough expertise in your company, it works easiest for me to get started with someone inside your company first.

Why You Need Subject Matter Experts in B2B Marketing

When I look back at all the B2B companies I’ve helped grow, the most successful companies are the ones that used the expertise of the founder(s) to become an authority in the market. They did this by creating expert content and thereby building their personal brand. This is part of authority marketing.

Here’s what one venture capitalist says about successful startup companies: “Having a strong personal brand as a founder can make the difference between the success of your startup and another failed idea.”

Moreover, customers will not buy from you until they get to know you, like you, and trust you. Especially if the investment is significant. Writing authoritative expert content is the fastest way to build this “get to know, like, trust” dynamic.

Writing content from an individual perspective rather than sharing a company voice, offers a great opportunity to make it personal. When your content carries an authentic personal voice rather than a faceless brand, it is very easy to show authenticity, humor, and likability. These are all essential qualities that help build a genuine connection with your target audience.

With this, using subject matter experts gives your company an edge to stand out in the vast amount of content already out there. And helps your company become the source of information for AI.

Subject Matter Experts Influence The Buying Process

  • 41% of B2B buyers say they value source reliability more and 39% say they prefer credible content from industry influencers (Demand Gen Report)
  • 52% of B2B buyers say they are “definitely” more likely to buy from a brand if they have read their content (MarketingCharts)
  • 42% of B2B buyers are willing to pay more to work with companies that have clearly articulated their vision through thought leadership (Edelman)
  • 82% of consumers are more likely to trust a company whose CEO and management team are active on social media (Brandfog)

The statistics unmistakably indicate that B2B buyers increasingly need credible information they can trust. Leveraging the expertise of your subject matter experts is crucial in creating content that builds trust and meets your customers’ expectations.

This way of creating content works particularly well for B2B SaaS content.

Benefits Of Subject Matter Experts For B2B Marketing

Subject matter experts can contribute to your SaaS marketing in several ways.

  • They can play an essential role in the ideation phase of your content strategy, using their expertise to brainstorm and come up with topics.
  • Once you reach the writing phase, subject matter experts provide the most valuable addition: content that is specific to the topic and truly accurate and relatable.
  • They can also help promote the content once it is published, by sharing it on their social media accounts or writing their own post on the topic.

By working with subject matter experts, you can ensure that the final product is engaging, accurate, and successful.

1. Earn the trust of your target audience

A subject matter expert provides insight into your customers’ questions, improving trustworthiness and authority. More so than if written by an outside source with limited knowledge. This contributes significantly to improving the trust of your target audience. Because now they know they are getting expert information from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

If you employ subject matter experts, then your blog can become an invaluable source of information for people interested in the same topics. Which in turn likely motivates them to share your content with their audience, further increasing your digital reach.

2. Publish high-quality content

Using a subject matter expert for your content inevitably results in higher-quality content. Because subject matter experts are experts for a reason, meaning they ensure that the content you create is of a very high standard.

Nearly a quarter of readers say that poor-quality content detracts from a blog’s credibility. By working with a subject matter expert, you create content that is trustworthy. You can also use quotes or references from subject matter experts in your blog post to reinforce information and ideas.

3. Streamline your content creation

The more qualified subject matter experts you have at your disposal, the more likely those topics will be written correctly from the start. This means less time spent editing prior to publication.

In addition, their in-depth knowledge of the subject matter will reduce the research time required, allowing you to spend more time on other marketing initiatives.

4. Stay future-proof in the age of AI

AI technologies such as ChatGPT are now making impressive progress in generating content that resembles texts written by humans. Yet these tools still lack the deep domain knowledge and hands-on experience that subject matter experts actually possess.

AI can help collect data, analyze trends, and generate insights. But it is the human touch and expertise that provide the context, nuance, and practical application of that knowledge. Expert content ensures a human-centered and unique perspective, which is crucial in delivering valuable insights and practical advice that AI alone cannot replicate.

Create Different Types of Content With Experts

Subject matter experts can be used to provide valuable insights to your audience on a topic they are passionate about. This can come in the form of blogs, webinars, lead magnets, live events, website copy, and more! Here are a few more ways to leverage their expertise.

  • Have a video or phone interview
  • Interview them for a podcast
  • Use quotes in your content to add credibility
  • Ask them to host a webinar as a guest (and then create blog posts based on the transcripts)

If you plan to record the expert’s expertise via audio or video, make sure you get permission first.

Ghost-Write Your Subject Matter Expert Content

It is very difficult to create content on a consistent basis if you rely on people inside your company. Often companies start with good intentions and a reasonable frequency of content, but as the workload and pressure increase, content marketing slides further down the to-do list.

That’s why I always act as a ghostwriter for the subject matter expert. That is, I interview them, write out their thoughts in an article, and list them as the author of the piece.

Subject Matter Expert Interview Questions

Once you’ve set a date, it’s time to interview your subject matter expert.

But how are you going to interview this expert who has accumulated years of knowledge? I’m going to show you the framework I use to help you do this. Most articles follow a copywriting framework, such as PAS (Problem, Agitator, Solution), or use some form of storytelling.

Here is the writing framework I use for subject matter expert content:

  1. Defining the problem
  2. Identify mistakes people make
  3. Provide ideas to solve the problem
  4. Call to action

The advantage of this simplified formula is that it gives you a framework. You can use this as an outline and then come up with the questions you need to fill out these sections.

Of course, you’ll need unique questions for each interview and type of content. But the following standard questions will give you a starting point to create your own. These are the standard questions that I use as the basis for almost every interview with a subject matter expert:

1. What 3 topics are currently important in your industry?

Asking about the most important trends and developments in the industry will help you identify current issues. The topics or themes that emerge from this can then be further explored with follow-up questions. You can create your own content cluster from each theme.

2. What keeps your target audience up at night?

Good content solves a problem. By asking which problem your target group is keeping them up at night, you help clarify that your expert fully understands your target group. The expert is on top of things. If the target audience recognizes this, you immediately build trust.

3. Why do people struggle with [topic]?

Again, you build trust when the reader feels understood. Here, dive into the details of the problem the target audience is facing. Give examples. And explore whether your subject matter expert has a unique view or perspective on this problem.

Why is implementing a marketing dashboard difficult for marketing teams?

4. How does the target audience solve [problem x] now?

This question is important because, again, you want the target audience to be heard. Answers to this question are often about current solutions, and why they don’t work well (enough) to solve the problem. This is also the stepping stone to the solutions you present as a company, where your expertise is displayed.

5. What are 3 to 5 practical tips to solve this problem?

Make the number specific. Three tips is a good amount to aim for because it is better to go in-depth on just three tips. You may need to ask some follow-up questions for even more depth. People want practical advice that is easily applicable to their challenges. And you don’t want to remain vague with superficial advice they can find everywhere else.

6. What are some common mistakes people make with [topic]?

Finding out about mistakes made is useful for two reasons. It helps build rapport with your readers (no one wants to make mistakes and you keep them from doing so). And it provides answers on how not to do it in particular.

What are some common mistakes people make when creating an email nurture flow?

7. What should people pay attention to before doing [X]?

This is similar to the question about common mistakes but goes a little deeper into things they might need to know before implementing their ideas. It depends on your topic whether you use this question.

What are some common misconceptions about cybersecurity for SMEs?

8. What is the most important thing the target audience needs to remember?

If there is one thing the target audience should remember about this topic, what is it? This last question helps convey the key message one more time.

How To Repurpose Expert Content

Using the format mentioned above, a one-hour interview will likely yield plenty of content.

The beauty of recording a video interview with your subject matter expert is that you can reuse the content in many different ways, such as:

  • Create LinkedIn posts.
  • Create short videos for social media.
  • Use the article for your newsletter.
  • Use it for an email (nurture) campaign.
  • (YouTube) videos. Embed them in your (existing) articles.
  • Podcast.

This is how your prospects find your content throughout the customer journey!

Tip: Repurposing your content for greater reach? Learn how to all about b2b content repurposing and how-to podcast repurposing with a B2B podcast agency.

Conclusion

Leveraging the knowledge and expertise of subject matter experts is a game-changer in the world of B2B marketing. By leveraging their industry-specific knowledge, organizations can build credibility, gain trust, and tailor their messaging to their target audience.

By fully leveraging the power of subject matter experts, companies can position themselves as leaders in their field. It also provides opportunities to drive sustainable growth and outperform competition. So seize this opportunity to revamp your B2B content marketing strategy by leveraging subject matter experts!

Also read: what is Authority Marketing?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *