Sales enablement isn’t a new concept; it’s been around as long as the dawn of sales team technology. In 2011, the term caught a new wave of attention thanks to the release of the book “Cracking the Sales Management Code.”
As digital marketing grows in popularity, so does the concept of aligning marketing teams with sales teams for maximum returns. While brands are still wrangling with content creation processes and promotion, few are leveraging their content to reach the full potential of sales.
What is Sales Enablement Content?
Sales enablement content drives prospects through the four stages of the buying cycle:
Awareness content introduces your brand to new prospects. Not only does it help build your brand, but it establishes your brand as a thought leader within your industry.
The first step toward leveraging sales enablement content is to identify website content that drives awareness to your products and/or services and measure effectiveness. Measuring content effectiveness can be done in a variety of ways, the most common being:
- Social media reach, engagement, and shared count
- Video views and engagements
- Website asset downloads and views
- Landing page views
Once you’ve compiled a list of website URLs that contain awareness content and drive website visits and engagement, make it easy for website visitors to click-through to consideration content.
If your website lacks awareness content, it’s time to invest in content creation. Look at competitor websites for ideas or download our free list of awareness content ideas.
An Accenture study found that 94% of B2B buyers conduct online research during the buying process. This is where consideration content comes in; prospects need to be able to find content that answers their questions, speaks to their objections, and helps move them along in the buyer journey.
Sales teams can give insight to content teams and identify topics that will resonate with the target audience during the consideration stage. Make sure that each awareness URL offers click-through options for prospects who are moving to the consideration phase.
Content teams can also use online tools to identify frequently asked questions and consideration content topics within their niche or industry.
Type industry topics and terms into Quora, and discover a variety of related questions. Questions are ranked in terms of popularity.
BuzzSumo sorts content topics by the popularity of Facebook engagements, Twitter shares, LinkedIn shares, Pinterest shares, and backlinks (websites linking to the content topic).
Google Trends gives content marketers insight into industry topics with high search volumes.
Finally, create consideration content with several buyer personas in mind.
There’s more than one buyer journey, and your website content should resonate every buyer persona. #contentmarketing
If your website continually pops up for consideration-related keywords, buyers will begin to trust your brand as an authority, setting the stage up for conversions.
Conversion content is much more than phrases like “Buy Now” or “Today Only” peppered with too many exclamation points. While conversion content varies by industry and buyer persona, several content marketing studies have identified leading types of conversion content.
In 2016, Google reported that more than 50% of internet searches come from mobile devices. If a prospect has typed in a conversion keyword phrase and the page takes too long to load or is difficult to read on a mobile device, they may bounce and go to a competitor website.
Mobile-friendly content is important for all sections of a website, but it’s essential for landing pages and content designed for conversion traffic. Make sure images load quickly, checkout speed isn’t hindered by image-heavy product summaries, and advanced search features are available to mobile users.
Establish Trust with Testimonial & Social Media Content
Conversion content isn’t limited to product or service pages. A study by BrightLocal reports that 84 percent of consumers find online reviews as trustworthy as personal recommendations. If you type in your brand name followed by the word “reviews,” what do you see? In addition to Yelp and Google Reviews, a branded website landing page should capture reports from all of your raving fans and happy clients/customers.
Give your brand a presence on social media. Even if those channels aren’t conversion machines, smart brands know their clients/customers are on social media, and they meet them there.
Conversion Optimization Content
The internet is full of conversion optimization how-to guides and case studies. Use guides that come from places of authority and testing. Optimizing for conversions is not the same as sales copy; it’s the use of web design, color, and layout to guide website visitors through a website sales funnel.
Many brands shy away from conversion content because they view it as “salesy” or “pushy.” While conversion content can be described with those terms, conversion content is much more than words on a page that tell visitors what to do.
Brands that focus content marketing strategies often omit a very valuable member of their target audience: their existing customer base. While they may target them through email or print mail, the website often lacks content that appeals to existing customers or clients, especially in the B2B space.
Harvard Business Review shared a study that shows increasing customer retention rates by five percent can increase profits by 25 – 95%. Another study estimates that it costs 5 times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
What is retention content?
Retention content is created to appeal and attract customers who already know and love your brand and targets them online. A loyalty program is a popular retention tool, and so are contests, digital gamification, and more.
Get the complete list of retention content ideas here:
Content at every sales stage should meet the following criteria:
Studies suggest that consumer comprehension may be compromised if the content exceeds a 7th-grade reading level. Test all content with a free readability tool: Readable.io (Note: The readability score of this post is the 11th-grade reading level. Since the majority of Clickseed clients are college graduates, it works for our brand. Don’t forget to consider your target audience when evaluating readability).
Readability applies to more than long copy; it also applies to headlines. CoSchedule offers a free Headline Analyzer tool:
Formatting & Images
Content at every stage of the buyer journey should use visuals whenever possible. These visuals can be graphs, charts, stock images with quote overlays, suggested tweets, etc. Avoid publishing 1,000+ words on a web page with large paragraphs and few headings, and your content will perform well.
Search Engine Friendly
Brands that engage in heavy PR or content marketing campaigns shy away from “creating content for search engines.” When it comes to creating content for sales enablement, content marketers must ensure that these pages are being crawled and indexed by search engines.
Each search engine offers suggestions and guides to ensure your sales enablement pages are crawled and indexed:
The list of possibilities in creating and leveraging sales enablement content are endless. Make sure that your content focus on resonates with your target audience, drives prospects through the sales funnel, and helps them circle back for additional products and services.