Written by Michael MacMillan, Principal Consultant at Parse.ly partner MacMillan Search
In today’s ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing, businesses are perpetually seeking innovative ways to create compelling, authentic, and valuable content that resonates with their audiences.
One of the biggest recent trends is the integration of subject matter experts (SMEs) into the content creation process to craft more thoughtful, in-depth, and insightful content that’s driven by industry insiders who genuinely understand their customers’ queries.
The other biggest trend? Artificial intelligence (AI) tools. They’re becoming instrumental in transforming the expertise of SMEs into engaging, high-performing content that connects better with readers and establishes a more authentic brand voice.
You’ll find that streamlining the entire process—while keeping the “human factor” in compelling storytelling—isn’t as challenging as it may seem.
Let’s explore the shift in content and how you can use AI to streamline your SME content process.
The shift to subject matter expert content
Traditionally, content teams have focused on producing high volumes of content, often prioritizing quantity over quality to drive business growth. However, as we learned in WordPress VIP’s Content Matters 2023 Report, this landscape is changing and there is a growing need for businesses to adapt their content strategies to remain competitive.
One of these shifts is the move towards subject matter expert (SME) content. The queries that would surface this type of content in search results are less likely to show up in tools like Moz, SEMRush, or Ahrefs. Yet these lower-volume, higher-intent queries will resonate more with target audiences.
Why subject matter expert content?
Creating content informed by subject matter experts offers several benefits.
- It ensures the information being shared is accurate and valuable to the audience.
- It’s more likely to perform well in search engine rankings, as it provides unique, in-depth insights that other, more generic content may lack.
- It can save time for busy support and sales teams by addressing common questions and concerns that are answered repeatedly.
It also leads to a more efficient sales process and better overall customer experience.
The challenge: Engaging busy experts
Creating engaging SME content typically requires collaboration between content creators and members of sales or product teams. Unfortunately, those individuals are typically too preoccupied to write original content, even if given a content brief. This is where a more innovative approach to content creation comes in—the interview process.
The interview process: A new content creation strategy
The interview process involves content creators acting as editors, interviewing subject matter experts, and combining this information with SEO aspects like keyword research. The goal is to create content that is informed by both the expert’s knowledge and the necessary SEO components.
Using tools like otter.ai to transcribe interviews streamlines this process. This provides content creators a solid foundation for crafting a compelling blog post or piece of content through other generative AI tools.
Note: Final content should still be edited and refined by a human to ensure accuracy and readability.
AI-assisted content: The future of content marketing
As AI tools like ChatGPT, Jasper, and others become increasingly prevalent, they will inevitably become an integral part of the content creation process. However, this doesn’t mean replacing human content creators, far from it. Instead, AI tools can be used to support and streamline the content creation process, generating content that still requires human input and review.
We expect this AI + SME approach to be a significant trend as businesses strive to create content that truly resonates with their audiences.
Embracing the shift: Practical steps for businesses
To make the most of this shift in content strategy, businesses can consider the following steps:
- Identify SMEs within the organization and tap their expertise for content creation.
- Develop an interview process that captures SME insights while incorporating SEO elements.
- Use AI tools to edit and optimize the content, ensuring a balance between human expertise and technological efficiency.
- Continuously monitor the performance of SME content and AI-assisted blogs, refining the strategy as needed to stay ahead of the competition.
As the SEO landscape continues to evolve, businesses must be ready to adapt their content strategies to stay competitive and deliver value in cutting-edge ways. By leveraging the knowledge of industry insiders and combining it with AI editing tools, you’ll create content that is not only engaging and informative, but that also resonates with your target audience.
About the author
An SEO expert, MacMillan focuses his energy and skill on the tough technical challenges B2B software and service organizations face. With two decades in digital marketing, the last one exclusively working in SEO strategy, he brings a problem-solving mindset and creative approach to every project. His impact extends globally, having transformed SEO strategy for some of the world’s largest SaaS companies, and mentoring dynamic teams of marketers and rising SEO professionals.