Content Marketing

4 Questions to Get SMEs to Share Their Insights

Involving your own subject matter experts can help differentiate your marketing in important ways. Here are four questions to get them talking.

Subject matter experts (SMEs) contribute valuable expertise to your content marketing efforts and bring a perspective that even a knowledgeable writer may lack. Your organization’s SMEs are in the trenches, coming up with your company’s best ideas and addressing your customers’ most urgent needs. However, many SMEs may not be sure how best to articulate their ideas, even in an interview. Here are four questions to get even your most tight-lipped SMEs sharing their top insights.

How does our company make a difference? People are passionate about their work and, in particular, how they’re making the world a better place. Whether you’re solving significant social problems, changing an industry, or helping customers, that larger impact is an important part of your brand’s story. Ask SMEs to share their perspective on how what you’re doing makes a difference, along with their favorite examples. Not only will this lead to a clear understanding of your impact but it will also outline strong examples to highlight in your content.

What makes us different from the competition? Understanding how you’re different from other players in your field helps articulate why customers should buy from you. It also puts your offerings, products, and services into a more interesting industry context. Your SMEs understand your industry’s competitive landscape and can help you smoothly convey what helps your company stand out from the competition.

What are some of the key challenges we help customers solve? SMEs have a deep understanding about the challenges your customers need to solve. Ask them to explain that to you. What keeps your customers awake at night? How do these issues prevent your customers from reaching their full potential? From there, it’s possible to shape a narrative about what your customer’s journey looks like and how your organization helps improve it in critical ways.

What’s been your own personal journey to this role, and why do you think it’s important? Today’s audiences want to get to know the people behind your company. Whether their own personal journey has convinced them of the importance of the work your business is doing or if they have an impressive track record that lends credibility to your company, your team’s background makes for interesting reading. Exploring this area can also help you discover key themes, unique insights, and selling points for your organization that you might not otherwise highlight.

Learning how to ask the right questions during interviews—or when shaping written contributions such as blog posts—can help you get SMEs to open up. Strong content marketing is powered by original insights, and there’s no better place to go than to the people who are on the front lines of your organization every day.