What is a Subject Matter Expert (SME)?
The word “expert” is bounced around quite a bit and we are taught to seek the experts in certain fields for advice on our health, careers, home renovations, and pretty much everything else. But what really is an expert—what qualifies someone to be labeled as such? Can you claim to be an expert in anything you take interest in and have experience doing? Unfortunately, not.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a subject matter expert (SME) is “an individual with qualifications and experience in a particular field or work process; an individual who by education, training, and/or experience is a recognized expert on a particular subject, topic, or system.” Ultimately, we look to SMEs as a credible source of information in fields that are unfamiliar to us; thus, they are an excellent tool for business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
What Role Can SMEs Play in B2B Marketing?
SMEs can boost the reputation and trustworthiness of a company to level your business up a few notches. Not only will they assist in the networks your company is building, but they can also multiply your potential customers with their own networks and connections.
Leveraging SMEs in B2B Marketing
So, you’re interested in using SMEs to boost your business. You can’t just bring in an SME and expect them to work their magic, though. So, here’s a few ideas for where SMEs may fit into a business’s marketing puzzle:
Utilize them for short-form educational content videos about a subject, product, service, or concept
Create a podcast where you host an SME(s) to reign in your listeners
Feature them as guest writers on a business blog
They can fact-check and edit your business’s content
Simplify complex technical processes for both the business and its consumers
Branch out and network. Leverage SMEs where it matters most for your business to build credibility and a foundational following so you can take your business to the next level.
If you’d like to learn more about using SMEs for your B2B marketing, please reference these resources from MarketScale.
Insights by Ben Thomas
Article written by Cara Schildmeyer