Whether your content operations team wants to train subject matter experts to create content or expand your dedicated content team’s skill set, it’s essential to give them the resources they need. Choosing the right content marketing training for your team’s situation can make the difference between success and failure for your team.
Elevate your company’s content game to a whole new level. Learn how to choose the best training program for your content marketing staff.
Content Marketing Training for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
There’s no substitute for the expertise of the people who create your products and services. However, translating that expertise into content that connects with your target customers can prove a challenge.
For SMEs with Writing Experience
If your subject matter experts have a university education, such as chemists, engineers, physicians, or lawyers, they probably have had to write a fair share of material during their college years. But there’s a world of difference between the academic papers and legal opinions they write in their day job and content that converts.
If your internal content teams need the expertise of your SMEs for a piece of content, content collaboration is usually a larger company’s preferred option. However, today’s time-strapped content teams might not be able to devote enough time to understanding a highly technical topic.
Retraining your SMEs to adjust their writing style to produce at least a first draft of a blog post, for instance, only takes a few adjustments.
- First, teach them to ditch the technical jargon: Ask them to experiment with explaining hard-to-understand topics as if they were talking to a seventh grader. Advising them to seek out easy-to-understand synonyms can help them jumpstart the process.
- Teach them to write from the prospect’s perspective: In research papers, a writer’s goal is usually to prove a theory. That’s exactly what a good blog post does — with one huge difference: The goal is to prove that something will benefit its user.
- Advise them to lose the passive voice: Academic papers are often yawnfests simply because they use passive-voice verbs to give the illusion of objectivity. When they learn the power active-voice verbs give to the written word, even their academic papers might get more views.
- Finally, coach them to use the third-person point of view sparingly: Except for white papers and some ebooks, writing for content marketing requires that you address the reader directly. A conversational tone — using “you” to refer to the reader and ‘I” or “we” to refer to you or your company — is best for most pieces in the content marketing genre.
For SMEs Without Formal Writing Experience
Many subject matter experts in tech, the trades, consulting, or agriculture haven’t much formal writing experience. They’re geniuses in their specialty and great conversationalists, but they’re not too comfortable with a pen or mouse in their hands.
Provide them with voice-to-text tools that can transform their conversations into text. From there, give them access to a content creation and governance platform, like Writer, to check their work for adherence to brand guidelines, grammatical rules, and correct spelling.
You’ll likely find that their creativity and conversational style, coupled with their expertise in their field, can give rise to great content that your audience will love. And, with these platforms helping them, they’ll develop their skills in writing in no time.
Alternatively, pair them with a videographer who can teach them to create useful how-to and explainer videos.
A HubSpot/Wyzowl study found that 87% of companies that used video marketing in 2022 experienced a positive ROI, compared to 33% only seven years ago. A rise in sales from videos over the same period makes video content marketing a great strategy to showcase your SMEs’ expertise.
Image via Hubspot and Wyzowl
Content Marketing Training for Former Journalists
While a journalist’s sense of curiosity and their ability to dig for information make them an excellent candidate for a role as a content marketer, they do need to learn about the difference between news content and marketing content that drives sales and customer loyalty.
Learning about the sales funnel and its importance in creating personalized content for each stage of the customer journey is an art in its own right. Familiarizing themselves with the nuances of customer personas and their needs as they move along the path to becoming a customer is essential for journalists who want to take on a role as a copywriter.
Like academics, journalists should also drop the third-person focus they needed in their former role. Learning to focus on the audience and their needs requires a more conversational writing style, using “you” statements to speak to the audience directly.
Even better, teach your former journalists-turned-copywriters to develop a sense of empathy. Being able to step into their audience’s shoes and understand what they want to know will transform them from a “just the facts, Ma’am” writer into one who can reach their audience’s hearts.
Content Marketing Training for Former Authors
While most published authors have a fantastic grasp of how to move their readers’ emotions through storytelling, they often don’t have a clue about SEO and the importance of keyword research. If you’ve hired a former author to perk up your storytelling game, be sure to fill them in on the need to optimize content for search.
It might frustrate them at first, but they’ll soon learn to funnel their creative juices into producing compelling brand stories that shoot to the top of the search results.
Content Marketing Training for Experienced Copywriters
If your content teams are like most creatives, they’re hungry to learn as much as they can about their craft. Expanding their skill set into other areas can help them become even more valuable to your company.
Expand Their Skill Set into the Visual Realm
Although they might never become expert graphic designers, they can use platforms like Canva to create simple visuals that can add depth to their written content. Additionally, if they haven’t worked in the video realm, a course in scripting videos can mold them into more well-rounded writers.
Enhance Their Editorial Skills
The constant back-and-forth of editorial revisions can eat up a lot of time better spent creating killer copy. Refreshing their knowledge of the English language and all its nuances can help them save time and headaches for your editorial team.
Hone Their Storytelling Abilities
Finally, a refresher course in the art of storytelling can inject even more energy into their written work. Whether it’s a formal course in creative writing or an online class for professional enrichment, it’s well worth investing in your team’s creativity. After all, research shows that an audience is 7 times more likely to remember facts if a story is used to drive home the point.
Teach Them to Focus on Results
Creative souls are often averse to anything involving numbers. However, learning the science behind content analytics and how to refine their content to achieve the results your company needs is a necessary ingredient in successful content marketing.
When they can see the impact a piece of content they wrote made on an audience, it will inspire them to dig into the numbers more often, challenging themselves to outdo their previous efforts with every piece they create.
No matter who you’ve hired for your content teams, training them will go more smoothly if your content marketing platform allows them to consult with you and other experienced content marketers even as they write.
DivvyHQ gives you the ability to coach your latest hires, from ideation to publication and everything in between, empowering them to learn on the job. With its robust analytics feature, your content creators can see the improvement their new skills yield in the number of shares, backlinks, and sales their content generates.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it for free for 14 days and see the difference it makes for yourself starting today!