What is an expert in history called?

“In a world where people are overwhelmingly seeking out high impact content to help them make purchase decisions, should brands be aligning with experts to serve the role of influencer?”

The Makings of An Expert

What is an expert anyway? By definition it is someone having comprehensive or authoritative knowledge in a particular area. In theory that sounds nice, but let me ask you a question:

How does that translate online?

In today’s content rich digital economy there are literally hundreds of thousands of pieces of user-generated content published every minute. With the evolution of social media that number continues to grow exponentially and this is precisely why 90% of the worlds data has been created in just the past 2 years.

With so much content being created in so little time how does the average reader determine whom is an expert versus who is just an online user creating content?

Does that get determined at the site level or is there some sort of advanced criteria that you can (should) run someone against to determine whether or not they are really credible in a particular area and moreover if they are an expert?

In the old days you could go into their office and look at the degrees on the wall like with a doctor or attorney by which you could deem expertise. But today even resumes are extremely hard to decipher and with so many rapidly proliferating roles in companies like social media manager and big data specialist, it begins to feel like finding someone that truly fits the term expert would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack?

So while these experts in many areas may be hard to find, there is no doubt that people are seeking out the guidance of “Expert” content to help them make purchase decisions. In a recent article on Forbes I refer to a study performed by Nielsen that showed expert content was 88% more effective in creating brand lift than a brands’ own content.  What gives?