April 11, 2019 - by Peter Evans
With advancements in technology and a number of new channels, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, people want to deal with people. Studies consistently show that we’re more likely to trust other humans when making decisions. While many organizations leverage brand personas to fulfill that human connection, they often overlook the power of their people to lead and support conversations. If your audiences are looking to connect with people, then it only makes sense to give them our best.
Who Is Looking for Expertise?
As mentioned in last week’s blog, the ‘About Us’ section of a website is the second most visited area next to the homepage and the reasons for this are simple: people want to see who is behind the scenes. From prospective customers to journalists looking for an expert source, there are a wide range of audiences who want to know who you really are before they engage with your business. Here are just some of the audiences who are taking a close look at your expertise:
- Customers & Partners: Subject-matter experts are consistently rated as one of the most influential sources of information for buyers (Source: ITSMA), and a whopping 78% of B2B buyers start with a Google search (Source: Demand Gen).
- Media: Experts who serve as media sources are in high-demand with newspapers, broadcasters and digital outlets – and it’s not just research they want. They often require a plain language explanation of how something works, or insights to help them localize a story for a regional audience.
- Conference Organizers: Conference organizers and industry associations are constantly looking for experts who can educate their attendees as a panellist, workshop leader or keynote speaker.
- Alumni & Donors: For institutions, showcasing the relevant work that experts and staff are doing helps alumni better connect to your mission and makes it easier to fundraise and drive larger donations.
- Government & Foundations: Government bodies and foundations rely heavily on experts to conduct research, develop policy and implement the various programs they fund. They are increasingly focused on reporting the social and economic impact stories of the research they are funding.
Better Digital Conversations
When we look at audience engagement, your success boils down into three critical stages: Attention, Interaction and Trust. Each of these areas can be addressed by making experts and their content more visible with a sustained, amplified digital presence. Don’t underestimate the value of rich expert profiles; today’s audiences will quickly scroll past a list of names and titles. Expertise marketing is about providing individual credentials and sharing what their collective experience represents for your organization. The richer offering, the more trust you can build.
Plus, experts who serve as brand ambassadors are more likely to drive personal, relevant and authentic connections with key audiences. The following framework outlines how you can create an expertise marketing program that empowers your people to better navigate the customer journey:
Creating Touchpoints for Expertise
Whether it’s a research page on your website or an upcoming speaking engagement, you need to develop touchpoints for key audiences to interact with your experts and their content. This often requires businesses to step back and determine how visible your experts are across your physical and digital environment. As you go through the auditing process, you not only surface gaps in your delivery but in many cases, you’ll also find a wealth of expert content hidden in personal websites, social media and external publications. It surprises many businesses to discover that your experts are already engaging with audiences – just not from within your organization.
Make your expertise more coherent by turning a disconnected group of experts into a powerhouse of brand ambassadors. In addition to aggregating their existing content, you’ll need to speak directly with your experts and develop an expertise marketing program that aligns with their professional objectives and incentivizes their continued efforts. This collaborative approach will mutually benefit both your business and your experts while simultaneously generating excitement and buy-in throughout the whole organization.
Download The Complete Guide to Expertise Marketing
For a comprehensive look at how expertise marketing benefits the entire organization and drives measurable return on investment, follow the link below to download a copy of ExpertFile’s Complete Guide to Expertise Marketing: The Next Wave in Digital Strategy or download one of our tailored Guides for Corporate & Professional Services, Higher Education Institutions, Healthcare Institutions or Association & Not-for-Profits.