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Unlocking Knowledge with SMEs — Subject Matter Experts

Captain Hook had his trusty first mate Smee as a go-to for all advice in Neverland. As an agency in the content marketing space, when we are in need of a sidekick, we reach out to SMEs — or subject matter experts. When producing and managing content for a client, it’s important for us to identify and reach out to SMEs in that field or industry, especially when those experts come from within our clients’ companies. Here’s why this knowledge is important.

The Rising Tide

By leveraging the experts of your client’s company or within a highly specialized field, you gain expertise quickly yourself. Things like acronyms, terminology, corporate style, words and phrases to stay away from, and so on, are all important things to learn when getting up to speed with a new client. As you begin to speak the same language, you’re able to effectively manage content seamlessly.

Company Insight

Sometimes the SME will have insight that you might not get through your usual contacts or through your own research. By getting to know your SME, you get to know the inner workings of the organization, and this helps you to create and manage content better. For example, a client may want to freely talk about the competition, or they might want you to avoid mentioning them – or even following them on social media – altogether.

Hold, Please

By networking with relevant SMEs, you’re also able to route questions, feedback and crises to the appropriate person at the company. Let’s face it, there are sometimes questions you can’t answer, and it’s important to find the person that can. That way, when speaking through the company voice on Facebook or other social media platforms, you’re collecting the knowledge of everyone at the company.

The Buck Stops Here

Depending on how comfortable the client is with this, sometimes it’s even okay to talk to the CEO or other high-ranking managers that also serve as SMEs. Ask him or her about corporate culture, the history of the company and his or her expectations. After that, when creating company content you truly have insight into where the client came from and where they’re going. And getting on the CEO’s good side is key for continuing to work with that client, right?

Ask Questions!

Above all, ask questions. If you want to gain insight and expertise into the company, company culture, what the company makes or does – whatever helps you do your job better – ask the SMEs. Get on the phone, send an e-mail or use a collaborative project management tool like Basecamp. The more you and the client are on the same page, the more fruitful and long-lasting that relationship will be.

To find out how we can work with the experts at your company to craft compelling content, contact StrataBlue today.