Expertise Unleashed: Elevating Content with SME Collaboration
Great content marketing managers and directors know that search engine optimization (SEO) is the name of the game. They also know that once readers have clicked onto their page, credibility and expertise are what keep them there.
How can you increase your credibility and expertise? We have three words for you: subject matter experts (SMEs). But what exactly are they, and why are subject matter experts important? Read on to explore the significance of SMEs and learn three ways you can leverage their expertise to elevate your content.
The Importance of Subject Matter Experts
To be successful on the web, you need to please Google. Fortunately, they’ve laid out exactly how you can do that in their Search Quality Rater Guidelines. On page 26 of those guidelines, they recommend following their E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) acronym.
Though E-E-A-T isn’t a direct Google ranking factor, it’s a fantastic benchmark for valuable content. Material that adheres to the E-E-A-T format presents you as a credible source to your audience and can lead to more conversions for your business.
How do SMEs relate to E-E-A-T? Well, if you want your readers to E-E-A-T up your content, you should consider getting in touch with some SMEs who are exactly that — experts in their subject. They’ve worked in and have a deep understanding of the field you’re writing about.
By incorporating SMEs in your content creation process, you can convert their first-hand experience and hard-earned expertise into instant authoritativeness and trustworthiness for your brand.
Three Ways to Leverage SMEs in Your Content Creation Process
1. Have an SME Write Your Piece
In this scenario, the SME takes on the role of the author, producing content within their field of expertise. Utilizing an SME in this way can save time and create accurate, engaging, well-written content.
Benefits of SME Writers
Imagine you need an article written about car air conditioning systems. An automotive SME writer would have first-hand experience troubleshooting vehicle A/Cs and understand how each part of the system functions. They’ll easily jump over research hurdles that might slow down general content writers, like the differences between coolant and refrigerant or condensers and compressors.
This expertise means SME writers can simplify complex topics for their audience and tailor content to be informative and engaging. When SME writers tackle topics in their wheelhouse, they can quickly conduct thorough research and avoid outdated or incorrect information. Not only does this increase productivity and lend major credibility to your brand, but it also saves valuable time during content review and editing.
When to Use an SME Writer
If you need to accurately cover a difficult or technical topic, having an SME write your piece might be the way to go. Ideally, the SME you choose should be adept at weaving words and well-versed in SEO practices. Otherwise, you’ll want to have a team of talented editors who can refine the expert’s work.
2. Interview an SME
In this approach, you collaborate with an SME by conducting interviews to gather detailed and accurate information for your content. These interviews can enrich your content with valuable insights, quotes, and real-world examples.
Benefits of Interviewing SMEs
Like SME writers, SME interviews can add experience and expertise to your content. Interview responses can guide your writing team to a more accurate final product and establish the credibility needed to be an authority on a topic. In contrast, relying solely on online resources could lead to outdated, incomplete, or inaccurate information, decreasing credibility.
When to Interview SMEs
Interviewing SMEs is ideal when you have a team of exceptional writers like the one at GPO and SMEs who may not be skilled in content creation. The SME can provide the subject matter knowledge and real-world examples needed to write a solid piece while your excellent content team crafts a compelling narrative around it.
3. Have an SME Review Your Content
The last way to utilize SMEs in your writing is to have them review your content and ensure it aligns with the latest developments in their field. They can spot errors, provide additional context, and validate the information presented.
Benefits of SME Review
We’re sure you’re noticing a repeating theme here. SMEs know their topics — after all, “expert” is in their title! By involving an SME in the review process, you not only safeguard against misleading or outdated information but also elevate your content. SMEs can help make your brand an authority on the topic by identifying overlooked research and highlighting critical findings that should be emphasized.
When to Have an SME Review Your Content
Like SME interviews, this option works well when you have a team of accomplished writers but your SMEs lack content creation expertise. Your content team creates an engaging piece, and the expert ensures the content is high quality and upholds your brand’s trustworthiness.
GPO 🤝 Your SMEs
In a digital world packed with information — both good and bad — SMEs provide the reliability and trustworthiness your audience deserves. By leaning on their expertise, you can create authentic, accurate, and authoritative content that paints your brand as an industry leader.
Take the hassle out of content creation by turning to GPO. Our talented team of writers can create engaging Tailor Content that drives customers to your site — and we’re happy to work with your SMEs to ensure we give your customers the most accurate content possible. Ready to up your content game? Let’s connect.