Making Content Strategy Central to Your Sales Enablement Deployment

Implementing sales enablement focuses on achieving a measurable goal for growing your organization's revenue. As part of an overarching content marketing strategy, the content you create and deliver is a major influence on attaining that revenue goal (even if your prospects don't directly fork over money to buy your content).

When Mercedes-Benz launches a new combination TV and radio campaign or reaches out to you via direct mail, the objective is to get you to buy a new car. But the campaign's goal is one along a continuum that may result in a sale. The importance of this campaign's proximate goal can't be understated, though: it's to convince you to visit a dealership for a test drive, rev the five-speed engine, crank the stereo to 11 and revel in the aroma of the Corinthian leather interior.

As in the Mercedes campaign, your content assets communicate value by answering questions any buyer, whether in the market for a luxury vehicle or an enterprise payroll system, may have during the shopping process. Set discreet goals for each content asset to make buying pleasurable and as easy and efficient as possible at every stage of the buyer's journey, as we saw with Mercy Hospital.

In addition to unpacking and addressing buyers' wants and needs along the pathway to purchase, set a mission for your content marketing strategy to inspire your team with a shared sense of purpose and enthusiasm — and a big dose of clarity. You can accomplish this in much the same way you set your organization's revenue goal when aligning your Sales and Marketing departments. The results of this exercise serve as an inspiring reminder to your organization why you're investing so much time and energy into relentlessly producing content and targeting it to your information-hungry buyers.

Michael Brenner, a marketing consultant, in-demand keynote speaker and former chief marketing officer, offers a simple but powerful formula to frame the mission of your content marketing strategy:

"For [Who] on [What topic] will you become the PRIMARY destination to deliver [What customer value]"

Brenner often cites the example of AMEX Open Forum. This popular online destination provides expert information and opinion on everything from business strategy to corporate finance. Originally its mission was "Help Small Businesses Do More Business," but AMEX tweaked that to the more engaging "Insights, Inspiration and Connections to Grow Your Business."

That statement is easily unpacked using Brenner's formula:

For Who? = Small Businesses

On What Topic? = Insights, Inspiration and Connections

To Deliver What Customer Value? = To Grow Your Business

The purpose of crafting a mission for your content strategy is to inspire your organization to create more value for buyers and customers through your content. Think of it as a different type of value that what your products or services deliver. It will brand your company as one that cares about its customers while reminding everyone in your organization who's responsible for content creation that their hard work is indispensable and appreciated. And you'll promote your Marketing department from cost center to indispensable revenue contributor, music to the ears of your CMO, CFO and the rest of the C-suite.