5 Tips on Finding Content Subject-Matter Experts (SMEs)

By Molly McInerney, Content Developer

It’s true – a great writer is hard to find. Identifying skilled, content subject-matter experts (SMEs) who are also powerful writers can seem daunting, especially in highly-specialized sectors like health and wellness. Content is emerging as a kingpin to reach and engage your audience in every stage of the decision-making process. The need for quality writers has never been in more demand. Here are some guidelines and tips to consider as you begin to develop a content marketing plan, and the resources needed for success:

Secondary Research

Prior to starting your SME search, do an online deep-dive into the content topic or topics you have interest in expanding. Draft questions you would like your content to address and identify gaps in online information to help you conceptualize a foundation for unique, engaging and informative content. This will serve as a guide for potential writers, and experts may surface as part of your search. These learnings will be a key part of your preliminary discussion with a prospective SME and will also help you determine just how qualified an SME is prior to partnering with them.

Reach SMEs at Scale

While secondary research is a good preliminary launch pad in helping you shape your voice and the story you want to tell, pinpointing creative writers to bring your vision to life can be cumbersome, clunky and beyond the skill set of your internal team. Reilly Connect’s proprietary, content marketing technology helps our in-house editors find skilled freelancers and manage multiple assignments in one tracking system. This enables our expert, in-house health and beauty editors to efficiently develop content in many forms and at scale. End-to-end technology guides the evolving copy with precision while bringing in fresh ideas that are aligned with your target audience’s interests and needs. 

Establish Rules and Expectations

Once you’ve identified and selected your potential content expert(s), you’ll need to establish project expectations and requirements. As content marketing experts, all of this can be managed within a content creation and marketing platform. From content progress to deadlines, revisions and reviews, you’ll be able to stay up-to-date with your SME’s latest drafts and comments.

Tap Powerful Influencers

Some of the most powerful subject-matter experts are also considered influencers—experienced and engaging content developers who have established an active online following on social media channels and/or blogs. Their insights and opinions have the power to sway thousands and even millions of people. One blog post from an elite influencer has the ability to drive sales, ROI and brand awareness. As influencer marketing experts, Reilly Connect has used powerful influencer marketing strategies to help clients realize high conversion rates at a much lower cost per engagement than traditional digital advertising.

Internal Editors Should Be Your Team’s SMEs

At the end of the day, the role of the content editor is more important than ever. Just like SMEs, your lead editor should have in-depth experience in conceptualization and execution of flawless, trustworthy yet creative content. Health- and wellness-oriented content needs to be credible, rooted in sound science, and sourced. Conceptualization and management of regular content can be a challenge, given the need for specialized writers in the health and wellness space. Tapping proficient editors with subject expertise can ensure a higher quality of output and end-to-end efficiency. 

Reilly Connect is an award-winning digital communications and influencer marketing agency with subject expertise in the health, wellness, lifestyle, beauty and pharmaceutical sectors.