June 11, 2019 - by Peter Evans
If you’re operating in a knowledge-based industry, you’re in the business of selling expertise. Unfortunately, many organizations in these expert-rich sectors take an ad-hoc approach to planning and executing their expertise marketing initiatives. As a result, they often lack coordination across departments and fail to leverage valuable assets such as talent, content, technology and media channels. By following some simple rules, you will see significantly better results.
It Starts with A Conversation
First we need to talk about cross-team collaboration. Expertise marketing is a team sport, so it’s vital that your star players are ready. Throughout your organization, there are a broad range of people who are eager to support this type of initiative.
Don’t focus too much on roles or seniority levels. At this stage, it’s about having candid discussions with the people around you and then expanding the conversation. You could start by discussing the value of expertise with stakeholders in your organization and sharing how it would help you meet your targets. Or you could reach out to department leads and team managers to get their insights and generate ideas. Most importantly, you need to get to know people outside of your immediate circle and discover the hidden talent within your organization. Sometimes the best results come from surprising places.
The ExpertFile Approach
As we go through the key elements of an expertise marketing program, you might find that you’re already following some of our best practices. However, when we start working with our clients, we often find that their expert content is disconnected and scattered across various teams and channels. If this sounds like you, that’s ok – you just need a bit of help putting the pieces together.
Below, we’ve provided an overview of our proven approach and its alignment with the 5 key elements of expertise marketing:
- Strategy & Talent: The first step is to assess your expertise “bench strength” in your organization at various levels. Using a range of evaluation tools and techniques, we set out to identify any hidden expertise in your organization and establish what each expert can contribute. By engaging experts to share their expertise early on, we can define a strategy and open up doors for a range of high-quality content.
- Storytelling: Now, we need to establish your strengths and how we can best position your experts for your target audiences. Not only do we want to create stories that highlight your core offering, but we also need to showcase your experts in the context of breaking news and emerging issues. This ensures that you are always putting out timely and relevant content for high-value audiences like journalists, conference organizers and other media professionals.
- Digital Experience: Once you know which topics are best for your organization, we need to boost audience engagement with rich online experiences. We audit any existing channels and develop comprehensive “content footprints” for your experts. These footprints map out the future state of your expert content – such as new webpages, speakers’ bureaus, improved expert profiles, multi-media and/or social content assets.
- Search & Discovery: All the planning in the world won’t help you if your content isn’t visible. At this stage, we look to optimize your channels and maximize your reach with new and existing audiences. By publishing your expert content in searchable formats, we can make your organization more approachable and discoverable across your owned channels, search engines, social networks and newsroom platforms.
- Measurement: To show momentum it’s essential that we measure and track important content metrics to ensure the expertise marketing program is meeting expectations. We focus on key metrics such as expert content contributions, visitor engagement and direct expert inquiries. And because we consider this from the onset of a project, we’re able to accurately report on your return on investment (ROI).
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.