Four Ways to get Thought Leaders to Write Content

One of the key challenges technology marketing executives face today is producing a consistent stream of differentiated and compelling content for external distribution.   In today’s Web 2.0 world there are more communication channels than ever before.  Not only do marketing departments have to produce content for tradeshows, direct mail, web download, e-newsletters and live webcasts, but they must also experiment with the various new media being popularized in business forums such as e-books, video, podcasts, weblogs, micro-blogging, social bookmarking and social networking sites. 

Users are Demanding Original Opinions

End-users are not only seeking information in new channels, but they are expecting to see more original ideas and content from technology vendors.  Traditional instruments such as product collateral, press releases, case studies and licensed analyst reports are no longer differentiated with today’s LinkedIn society.  Customers are expecting their vendors to have their own opinions on technology evolution, regulatory policy, current events and vertical industry trends.   In the Web 2.0 world, user-generated content is king.

Subject Matter Experts are Oversubscribed

Of course, the challenge that most marketing professionals will confront with generating original end-user content is the shortage of thought leaders in their organization.  Most companies have only a handful of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) whose time tends to be over-subscribed by a factor of two.  These SMEs are the most likely candidates to have something original to say that the market will want to listen to.  However, they are also the least likely to have time to put pen to paper on their latest ideas.  I have wrestled with this challenge in my capacity as a marketing professional over the past few years.  While I have not discovered any magical formulas to replicate subject matter expertise or free up time from thought leaders, I have found several techniques that encourage in-house opinion leaders to document their latest ideas. 

In my next four posts I will explain four best practices that I have identified for getting SMEs to create a regular stream of compelling and differentiated content.

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