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The 2015 MBO Conference was filled with incredible insights on marketing and technology from the best that the industry has to offer. Josh Miles’ speech covered company culture and developing your team into content creators for your marketing staff. This post features notes and takeaways from Josh’s speech. To learn more about the MBO Conference, download our MBO Conference Recap.

“What if, as marketers, you could convince subject matter experts to work with you on creating content?”

You probably have a lot of subject-matter experts at your company, but they’re probably not on your marketing team. So how can you get your marketing team to work with your experts effectively?

When you have highly-talented subject matter experts in your organization, it can be extremely difficult to market them. Why’s that? Well, there are several reasons…

  1. They’ve probably never done it before
  2. Marketing is not billable, and
  3. They’re busy… Really busy.

While it’s difficult, it’s also extremely important. Having great subject matter experts on your team buys you a “halo effect,” driving business not because people like your brand, but because they like the brilliant people you’ve hired.

At the end of the day, your subject matter experts are downright necessary in 2015, because of the rapid growth of technology. When all of your prospects’ questions are Google-able, you have to move upstream to deliver value. This means that, like it or not, you need to be marketing your best employees and helping them build their personal brands if you want to grow.

If you do this well, you can create “combustible content.” What does that mean? Combustible content isn’t exploding today, but has the potential to explode in the future. It may be something your experts have been creating all along. Whether it’s a conversation, a personal tweet, or an email, your experts have been creating great content for YEARS! If you can’t find great content, you can probably find great topics for content by checking your sales staff’s sent emails.

  • Walking them through the content marketing process, helping them understand what “Combustible Content” is and why it matters.
  • Helping them promote their personal brand and showing them what’s in it for them.
  • Finding things that they’ve that can serve as great content moving forward. Is there anything else that comes to mind that you can create alongside your experts?

Remember, this will be a process. You have to sell this to your busy, important subject matter experts. They have to buy in to the idea. They’ll have questions and concerns, but once you start, you’re more likely to succeed. As Seth Godin says, “The enemy of creativity is fear, but the enemy of fear is creativity.”

Ways You Can Capture Expertise From Your Team

  • Have them write.
  • Interview them.
  • Ghost write for them.
  • Capture images or video.
  • Teach your company how to help by teaching your company what constitutes great content.
  • Create a system for sharing with marketing and teach your SME’s to be ambassadors for marketing.

If none of this is resonating with you, that’s okay. If sharing expertise isn’t part of your culture, maybe expertise isn’t part of your brand. There’s no need to force thought leadership if it doesn’t fit with your brand and how you want to share your story.

  • Creating great, combustible content goes much further than blogging. You need to create a culture of subject matter experts who have great ideas that they want to share.
  • Content marketing is tough… 54% of marketers say they can’t figure out how to make enough quality content, 50% can’t produce it consistently, and 49% can’t figure out how to measure it effectively.