Do You Have to be a Subject Matter Expert to be a Content Marketing Writer?
When friends find out I’m a content marketing writer, they guess that I must spend a lot of time researching.
And it’s true. I do spend a lot of time digging into different topics and industries. But probably not as much as you think.
Because here’s the reality: Even if I spend weeks and weeks studying a particular subject area, I’m never going to know as much about it as an expert in that area.
For example, I’m never going to know as much about ERP software solutions as my ERP software consultant client.
And I’m never going to know as much about personal finance as my wealth management client.
Or as much about pay per click advertising as my PPC consultant client.
And fortunately, I don’t need to.
Marketing Writing and Technical Writing Are Different
As a marketing writer (as opposed to a technical writer), I don’t need to have a complete understanding of any particular subject area.
What I do need to know are my clients. (What’s their story? How are they positioned?)
I need to know about the products and services my clients are promoting. (What problems do they solve? What differentiates them from other solutions? How are they positioned in the marketplace?)
I also need to know about my clients’ customers. (What problems do they have? What questions do they ask? What other options might they consider?)
Marketing (especially business to business marketing) is about starting a conversation, not making an on-the-spot sale. It’s about cultivating relationships, building trust, demonstrating expertise and providing value, well before the conversation moves to “Hey, buy our thing!”
And when the copy gets more technical (as it does, occasionally), I’ll run it by the client to make sure nothing is amiss.