Expertise Marketing and Content Marketing - Is There a Difference?

· 4 min. read

We often get asked the question about how Content Marketing compares to Expertise Marketing. It’s ironic that still to this day many of our academic clients don’t refer to what they do as “content marketing.” But corporate customers are well acquainted with the importance of developing content to build reputation, relationships and revenue. Adding to the confusion are all the names that are bantered about by marketing departments and agencies - There’s inbound marketing popularized by companies such as Hubspot. And there are more bespoke “Thought Leadership” programs that are often developed by outside agencies such as Weber Shandwick and Edelman.

While there are a lot of common elements to these programs there are some important differences that we focus on when developing and launching Expertise Marketing programs with our institutional and corporate clients. Here’s a deeper dive to help you better understand the value of Expertise Marketing.

Introducing Expertise Marketing

Expertise marketing is the practice of making the knowledge and skills of your human resources more visible to your partners and audiences. It draws attention to the value that your people can bring as brand ambassadors and strategically leverages the work your experts are doing to tell a more personal story. In many cases, expertise marketing can also be used to showcase your strengths in research and innovation. Creating a stronger digital presence, expertise marketing more effectively uses your channels to connect with audiences such as media, customers, partners and donors. It builds a sense of trust with your customers and above all else, it helps establish your reputation as an industry leader.

ex•per•tise mar•ket•ing

1. The practice of collectively promoting an organization’s experts as brand ambassadors to demonstrate their skills or knowledge.

2. Best practices to publish and connect

The Value of Expertise Marketing

  • Reputation - Positions research, client work, thought leadership perspectives and achievements in the context of relevant topics that are in the news.

  • Market Awareness - Expertise marketing makes it easier for key audiences to find expert content and people in search engines and on the organization’s website.

  • Audience Engagement - Provides more intuitive search features for visible content which can be expanded to include assets such as video, social, and publications to drive richer conversations with audiences. Metrics on performance in areas related to expert development, content contribution and audience engagement page views and inquiries can be tracked.

  • Demand Generation -  Increased number of direct leads/ inquiries from audiences such as:

  1. Customers/Students
  2. Industry Partners
  3. Alumni
  4. Donors
  5. Media
  6. New Employee Recruits
  7. Conference Organizers

Talent - Better engage stakeholders, researchers & subject-matter experts in the development and distribution of content while improving recruitment and retention of talent.

Internal Collaboration - Better coordinate the knowledge and resources across internal communications teams and other departments as they engage experts. Provide a faster, more efficient way to generate content for breaking news and events.

Content Contribution - Increase the size of the organization’s digital footprint by aggregating more content and distributing it contextually to multiple websites and third-party databases.

Efficiency - Help employees get their jobs done faster and more efficiently. Enable them to find information faster, speed up internal processes and foster collaboration among people in multiple locations.

Leverage Current and Future Infrastructure - Properly integrated, new technology investments should integrate seamlessly to leverage existing/proposed infrastructure such as content management systems (such as WordPress™) and marketing automation systems (such as Hubspot)

How is Expertise Marketing Different from Content Marketing?

  • A More Human Approach: People buy from people. That’s why content that is more personalized and attributed to specific experts who are well-identified as expert sources is far more trusted than most company-sponsored content.

  • A More Collaborative Process that Engages Employees: A more structured “win-win” model empowers experts to contribute their knowledge. Expertise marketing is a proven way to build culture and celebrate diversity which assists with talent retention and recruitment.

  • An Efficient Way to Create More Content to Boost SEO & Website Traffic: Engaging your experts creates a larger hub of “owned” content that is proven to boost PageRank in search engines and site traffic. Expert content is used by organizations to enhance their “About Us” page, staff/faculty/physician directories, newsroom pages, research pages and speakers bureaus.

  • Optimized Content Formats Better Connect with Audiences: A variety of short format, long format and visual content formats (such as expert profiles, blogs, Q&A and videos) are designed to engage specific audiences at various stages of the customer journey.

  • Improved Calls to Action & Analytics Boost Demand Generation & Leads/Inquiries: Experts become more approachable as “lead magnets” that generate measurable inbound opportunities, avoiding common issues of lost customer leads due to poor processes and workflow.

You might be surprised at how much value expertise marketing can bring to your organisation. The chances are, that the time you are currently spending on ineffective content marketing strategies will be greatly reduced with a redefined focus on expertise marketing. By putting the focus back on the skills and relevance of your experts, as people, you're not only making them more visible but also establishing your brand reputation which will simultaneously generate more leads and increase efficiency.

Connect with:

Peter Evans

Co-Founder & CEO

Recognized speaker on expertise marketing, technology and innovation

Justin Shaw

Chief Higher Education Consultant (Communications Management) and UK Development Director

Specialist in higher education, communications, reputation and marketing of academic experts

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