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Are You a SME?

We are all subject matter experts (SMEs) for something. Few of us really leverage that expertise to its best potential in our online marketing.

Highlighting your expertise can benefit any business. It shows that you have a high level of knowledge about your field. Further, algorithms used by search engines and social media platforms, look for and elevate content from SMEs.

Know Your Niche

The first step in leveraging your subject matter expertise is to define it well. You want to have a clear focus on what it is that you know especially well. Narrow expertise is fine, and may even be helpful.

Concentrate on a highly specific area of your industry. Don’t recommend everything you come across or try to spread your reach across the entire field. Stick to what you know well.

The more specific you are, the better. For example, if you want to become well-known in the auto industry, don’t start a blog that discusses all things about cars. Focus on one aspect, like the safety issues and features or car repair.

Create Quality Content

Share content online that demonstrates your expertise and the valuable insight you have. Content can be blog posts, articles, interviews, images, infographics, podcasts, etc. Pick ways that you are most comfortable with, because you will need to create a consistent stream of content.

Make sure that every piece of content you create delivers genuine value to people who read it. An expert should add value over the other information already available. That’s the key to gaining attention.

Share Subject Matter Expertise Widely

Share your content everywhere that people who are interested might be. You can’t just post on your own blog and social media pages. You need to get your name out there.

Join related groups and post. Guest blog. Comment on content from other experts in your industry. When people look for content related to your industry, you want your name to be part of what they find.

Think Network

You need a network. Your network should include industry professionals who will help increase your knowledge, standing, and connections.

Social media is key when it comes to this. See who the people you admire are following to get ideas about who else to connect with online.

Networks are a two-way street. Connect and also interact. Regularly engage with your followers and share new information with them.

Hey, Have You Noticed Business Is Getting Informal?

In my first job writing print publications for General Motors I caused a stir by dropping the use of courtesy titles. My, how far we have come since then! If you feel like business communication is much less formal these days, you are right. The trend has only been fueled by the pandemic.

People expect businesses, government, and every organization they interact with to get real, be transparent and have a personality. Regular headlines about consumers calling on businesses to take a stand on a wide range of issues is proof enough. Millennials are famous for wanting to be able to relate to brands, but they are not alone.

Today’s Brands Need a Personality

Authenticity strengthens connections between businesses and people. This impacts everything from what we say to how and where we say it. Expectations for everything to be polished and tight are gone – a video taken with a cell phone can have as much impact as a professionally scripted and  produced commercial.

Your customer expects you to express things your way and to connect with them in a way that is relevant and unique. Being personable is the way to create relationships with your audience.

Be Real

It is time to stop wordsmithing press releases and to put aside jargon. Put away the thesaurus.

Communicate like each person who comes across your content is next to you having a conversation. Use the same words. Reflect your thinking in a way that helps them understand your perspective in big and small contexts.

It’s OK to make announcements on social media. It’s fine to show less-than-polished views inside your business. It’s great to talk about topics because you know they are important to your customer.

In fact, these things are expected. Businesses that meet people in these ways are poised to succeed.

Research Shows COVID Impacts on Buying

Numerator has been providing continued analysis on consumer behavior and sentiment during the pandemic by conducting ongoing surveys of shoppers.

As COVID-19 cases are rising across the country, shopping behaviors are changing.

  • More than half of consumers are eating and drinking at home more frequently (56%)
  • People are going out to restaurants and bars less frequently (60%)
  • 51% of consumers have increased their use of online shopping
  • 52% have decreased how much they shop in person at stores

What Changes Will Stick?

Consumers say they expect these behaviors to stick. What will really happen will only be known over time.

Asked what they will do when COVID restrictions end, Numerator found:

  • 26% say they will continue to eat and drink at home more frequently
  • 23% expect to shop online more frequently
  • 18% will continue using click-and-collect / buy online pick-up in-store services more
Marketers need to stop waiting for it to be over so things can get back to what “normal” was pre-pandemic. People have changed.

Plan for Things to Stay the Same

When asked how long they expect it to take before they can return to normal activities, about a third of people said they anticipated 6-12 months and another third thought it would take a year or more.

People have largely moved on from thinking that COVID is a blip on the radar. They see it as something that will last a while, so they see changes in their behaviors as being long term rather than temporary.

Marketers need to help consumers to navigate these changes. Those that do will likely generate connections that will last long past COVID restrictions.