There are many addressable ways for tech companies to maintain a profitable business. From accounting to HR, marketing to sales, there’s much more to a thriving tech brand than developing cutting-edge software.
You can meet many of these needs with either in-house or contracted workers. You can hire a sales team to pursue B2B clients. A tech blog can also use a good freelance writer and a freelance editor to keep its copy clean and relatable.
But what about the technology itself? That may be your area of expertise, but even so, there are times when the professional assistance of a subject matter expert can give you the insight and competitive edge needed to thrive.
A point that is often overlooked is that a good SME can also help take your content to the next level.
What Is a Subject Matter Expert?
A subject matter expert is commonly referred to as an “SME” and is a self-defining term. It is someone who has devoted their career to becoming exceptionally versed in a particular area.
This expertise can apply to a process or a function. It could relate to a particular department within a company, a specific technology, or even a kind of material or machine.
For example, someone could become an SME in the department of marketing. They might specialize in architecture or a notable area of healthcare. Even the entertainment industry can benefit from an SME.
SMEs aren’t created overnight. Usually, they come with a long history of experience, study and application. They might have multiple degrees or have worked in a particularly innovative area within their discipline.
An SME tends to have “seen it all” and is well aware of the many nuances within their field of expertise. They are the definition of being “immersed” in a topic. On top of that, they embrace continual learning and strive to keep up on information within their area of expertise.
How an SME Can Impact Your Tech Company
While you can find SMEs in many industries and disciplines, they are particularly useful in an information-heavy field like tech.
To be clear, bringing in an SME doesn’t equate to hiring another techy on staff. A true tech SME usually has unique and valuable insight or knowledge in an area where your business must excel. You want an SME to give you an edge. You want to leverage their expertise to provide unique solutions to customer pain points.
For instance, an SME might be proficient with a specific operating system. If that were the case, they could help with manners like addressing software compatibility questions or fixing a bug in your company’s software.
A good tech SME can also offer guidance, strategy, and even run training programs. When utilized properly, an SME can also impact your marketing.
How to Get the Best Marketing Content Out of Your SME
If you have an in-house SME that you’re already paying to help you, don’t just use them for technical questions. Tap into their vast knowledge to improve your marketing strategy, too.
One example of this could be using your SME to better inform a presentation. You could also use them to prepare your sales or customer service staff to provide exceptional service to a B2B or B2C audience.
An SME can also impact your content. If you want your tech company to generate killer online content, you want an SME involved. That said, you don’t necessarily always want your subject matter expert writing the content itself.
There are certain limitations that an SME will often possess. Spending such a massive amount of time focusing on a specific area can make it difficult to see the bigger picture. For instance, a marketing SME might not have similar expertise about budget limitations or tax implications. A health-focused SME could give incredible insight into the latest studies on cancer but might not address the administrative work that goes into running a hospital.
Yes, an SME has the knowledge required to dominate within their field — and that’s a significant factor here — but that doesn’t mean they’re automatically good communicators. On the contrary, there’s a big difference between a technology expert and a technology writer when it comes to tech content creation.
That’s why, to leverage your SME, you need to hire an expert and hire a writer. A professional blog writer will know how to ask the right questions to better understand and include your SME’s elite knowledge.
A good example of this could be if you created a SaaS platform that helps with IFTT (if this then that) scenarios. As you grow, you might add a specific integration with a larger piece of workflow software, like Trello or Asana.
You could create a blog post announcing the new feature when that update happens. In that case, you would want your blog writer to sit with your tech SME and ask targeted questions about how the integration works. What are the key points worth highlighting? How does this improve a consumer’s workflow? What are the benefits that your brand, in particular, is providing them?
This isn’t just a nice perk of having an SME. Integrating their knowledge into the content creation process can help your brand establish itself as a thought leader in your field.
Use PowerPublish to Perfect Your SME-Inspired Content
A good editor can provide a final filter for your content. It ensures your SME’s intimate knowledge and your blog writer’s professional composition skills have melded into a piece of content that can truly speak to your audience.
SMEs are common in tech. If your tech company isn’t looking for a subject matter expert yet, it should. When you have an SME on staff, be sure you are making the most use of everything they offer.
From detailed coding to authoritative marketing content, consider all of the ways that an SME can improve your brand.