U.S. companies will spend more than $4 billion on content marketing this year, and an estimated 90% of B2B marketers currently have content marketing initiatives. In the age of search and social referrals, attracting prospects with high-quality content is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity.
But creating content that’s relevant to sophisticated buyers is no simple task. The most successful content marketers enlist subject matter experts (SMEs), or the people who design, build and support the products, to tell their stories best. “My job is to get engineers talking to customers and then get out of the way,” says Rick Short, Marketing Communications Director at Indium Corp., which leveraged a constellation of blogs written by engineers to increase lead generation by 600% in less than one year.
Getting SMEs on board can be a tall task, though. Nearly two-thirds of marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs in 2013 said producing enough content was their biggest challenge. In fact, three of the four top obstacles they cited related to content.
Common objections from technical pros are that content marketing isn’t their job, their communication skills aren’t strong enough or that they simply don’t have time. Managers may fret that their top people will become the targets of recruiters when their expertise is out in the open, or that experts may inadvertently reveal trade secrets or embarrass the company.
None of these objections are insurmountable, and you don’t have to be a corporate giant like IBM or Cisco to make SME programs work. Companies like Indium, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Emerson Process Management and Ansys have successfully enlisted scores of technical experts for their content marketing efforts by touting the professional visibility the experts receive and demonstrating the direct impact they have on sales and company success.
Two successful practitioners and an experienced technology provider will share some of their secrets for successful SME engagement programs in a free Profitecture e-seminar: Enlisting SMEs for Content Marketing Success on Weds., Oct. 21, 2015 at 1pm EDT. Join us to hear from:
- Jim Cahill, Chief Blogger and Head of Social Media at Emerson Process Management. Jim has been using the company’s blog for nearly 10 years to bond with customers and drive leaves. Emerson even received an invitation to bid one a nine-figure contact from an executive who learned of the company via its blog.
- Sharon Crost, senior manager of social business at HDS. That company has had so much success activating members of its Social Media Ambassadors Club that the company has bypassed press releases entirely for some announcements. HDS achieved an unprecedented 53% share of voice across its most important keywords during one 24-hour launch campaign, with 80% of that activity sparked by its 40 SMEs.
- Wynne Brown, Senior Director of Enterprise Sales at Dynamic Signal, a leading employee advocacy platform. Dynamic Signal has helped hundreds of companies build content-sharing platforms that spread messages through employees’ individual social networks – and it has metrics to dramatize the benefits.
It will be my privilege to moderate this seminar. I’ve long admired the work that Hitachi and Emerson have done as they build SME-based content marketing programs brick-by-brick. Wynne will show us how sophisticated the technology has become to make content-sharing easy and measurable.
Come with your questions. We’ll budget plenty of time to get answers from the experts. If you can’t make the live event, register to get access to the archive and follow a live account of the e-seminar by following @Profitecture.