However, in most cases, these writing assignments aren't getting done--which is frustrating to both the SMEs and the content marketing managers who oversee the projects.
The question becomes: Should SMEs write technical sales materials? Use the criteria below to guide the decision within your marketing environment.
Time and workload demands. The expectation that your SMEs should become prolific writers is added to their already full task list for their real jobs of managing product development, supporting customers, or designing new technologies.
It's no surprise that, in spite of an SME's interest or good intentions, a new writing assignment quickly falls to the bottom of the priority list. Besides, it's important to ask, is writing a blog post or white paper draft really the best use of time for a highly-paid technical employee?
Lack of writing skill and training. Most SMEs didn't expect to become marketing writers in their professional careers. They may lack the knowledge and skill necessary to be confident, efficient, and effective when writing marketing content.
Second-language writers and readers. Language factors are a concern given that much marketing content for technology products is written in English, but many readers have a different native language. Indeed, your subject experts may speak English as a second language themselves. Or, they may not understand how to write for readers who have a limited understanding of English, which means their content may cause reader confusion or image problems for your company.
Writing for search engines. SMEs probably don’t know how to write for search engine optimization (SEO), using the right keywords in appropriate ways to get good search rankings and attract more prospects to your content.
Limited understanding of restrictions and requirements for promotional text. Your SMEs may not know about the problems that can be created by certain language and claims in their content. Additionally, a SME may not know about marketing language requirements that help your company protect its brand.
Copywriting Help for SMEs
A cost-effective solution to these challenges is using an experienced technical copywriter to help your SMEs develop their blog posts, white papers, technical articles, and Web content.
The writer frees a significant amount of time and brain space for the SME, who only needs to provide useful, clear input and later, clear comments when reviewing the writer's draft.
You can also help SMEs by sharing the tips in this guide: The SME's Guide to Working with Writers