In search of experts and experience: How brands might benefit from Google’s shifts

Emphasizing experts could help brands align with Google’s changes around AI – and differentiate brand sales and marketing efforts.

Is expertise the new currency in a world of AI-generated content?

Here are how search leads from ESPN, Amsive Digital and The Washington Post are thinking about use of their experts

  • “…Give your brand staff a real, true voice with opinions and perspectives”
  • “We want to elevate the experts that we have on staff and make it crystal clear to all Google platforms that our content stands out from the pack.”
  • “We make sure that Google and users are aware that we’re offering insider knowledge that they can’t get anywhere else.”
  • “One of the real flaws so far is not being able to trace back the source of information. So there’s going to be an increased need on behalf of readers to understand where their information is coming from and why they should trust it.”

If this is true – it’s also convenient. That’s because the companies that can activate and promote their experts already have a better ability to get meetings and make the sale than those that don’t. Typically, sales and marketing really benefit from getting a brand’s experts and their expertise out in the market. 

The problem is: it’s really hard to activate experts against your strategy. 

Tell me if this sounds familiar: 

  • Your experts are too busy to create content for marketing 
  • Your experts don’t know how to create content for marketing 
  • Your experts have information “locked” inside their heads that is hard to extract
  • It feels structurally impossible to get your experts more engaged in marketing and sales 

Most often, when we’re brought into this situation and hear the 4 issues above, it’s because there is way too much onus on the experts themselves to start acting like thought leaders. And they’re too busy or have no idea how to do it, or both. 

The key to solving this problem is to unload 95% of the work of being a thought leader back onto your marketing team by setting up a strong system for activating your experts. 

Here’s what we’ve learned from setting up systems that unlock expertise at brands

  • Get to know experts’ areas of expertise first. Put the effort into relationships out the gate. 
  • Show them the promised land. Explain the ambition for your content strategy, how the experts support it, the time commitment and most importantly – what’s in it for them. 
  • Get their commitment. At the end of the first meeting, schedule a 1:1 interview. 
  • At your 1:1, ask them about solutions for a specific pain point. The topic should be something that matches their expertise, is of interest to the audience (ideally, it speaks to a current pain point that you will help solve) and is on-brand. 
  • Produce the entire project on their behalf and share back with them for review. That’s right – you’re using the extracted expertise to build content that people in your audience will actually consume. This is critical. 
  • Share the performance on the piece with them to show the reach and engagement you’re getting. Include any positive comments. This is about encouraging them to be a regular contributor. 


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