It’s perfectly normal to stick to a marketing strategy if it has proven to be successful for your business. However, one of the most effective ways to keep your marketing strategy dynamic is to inject fresh ideas, talking points, tactical approaches, and creative messaging. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a relatively new concept in B2B marketing strategies and may be a new program type for your business, with that being said you cannot “set it and forget it”.
Since ABM tactics focus on delivering personalized marketing to target key accounts, it is important to explore new ways to communicate and engage these accounts. In ABM, a one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it. You must treat each account individually, focusing on their specific needs, challenges, buying triggers, and preferred communication channels.
Here are some ideas on how you can take your ABM strategy to a whole new level:
Use Personalized Content
Content personalization has become a major player in the digital marketing game. Customizing content based on your audiences’ interests and challenges aids in more accurately targeting your specific market segmentations and increases the chances of them converting. Ultimately, the goal of personalization is to provide your target prospects with a clear understanding of how your products can benefit their business.
Remember to fully utilize the content you are personalizing for your ABM strategy. Increase the size of your marketing net and make sure that your target accounts engage with your content across multiple touch-points:
- Apply personalization to social media outreach
- Utilize advance programmatic ads to speak directly to your target accounts
- Tailor nurture campaigns to include materials relevant to each account
- Develop landing pages specific to one target account, or multiple accounts who have similar needs in a specific industry
Tell your Story to Better Connect with your Target Accounts
Your ABM strategy doesn’t need to be cut and dry, especially when you want to stand out from the crowd. Storytelling is a perfect opportunity to get creative in showcasing your brand and developing a relationship with potential customers. This type of approach provides an experience for your audience; they can learn more about your brand, the solutions you provide, and the benefits they can expect to see if they do business with you.
Storytelling in your ABM focused content can take on many forms. This doesn’t have to be in your standard white paper format:
- Combine product videos with case studies relevant to the target account’s needs.
- Speaking of case studies, utilize relevant success stories when reaching target accounts. Allow them to see themselves as the business in the case study.
- Highlight the customer experience the target account can expect to have with your business.
- Share your company culture and milestones.
Build Personalized Resource Centers
Prospects always appreciate having access to content that provides answers to pressing questions about their industry. A resource center acts as a comprehensive database of industry-related information. You can organize a resource center by topic, format, or any other criteria to make it easier for users to find the content they need. Your online resource center should also offer a way for your users to filter their search by keywords, date of publication, and popularity.
To bolster your account-based-marketing initiative, it is recommended to develop a resource center that speaks directly to your target accounts. The resources offered could be categorized in several different ways. Categorizing allows you to drive target accounts to the content most relevant to them:
- Industry vertical categories: Best for ABM campaigns that are focusing on three or fewer target verticals.
- Account specific categories: If you are going after a big fish, why waste those valuable assets created for your ABM campaign? Create a landing page resource center specifically for them.
- Challenges and benefits categories: Are you targeting multiple accounts that share similar challenges, create a resource center where they can learn more about the benefits of implementing your products and solutions.
Personalize Your Website or Create Microsites
For most people working in B2B, a website is their go-to channel to learn more about the products and services offered, and to make contact with the business. An optimized website should be high on your priority list. A personalized website experience should be high on your ABM priority list.
Standard personalization on landing pages and microsites will include many of the recommendations mentioned above. The addition of a resource center specific to your target account’s needs, landing pages speaking directly to them or their industry, etc. One of the best examples is Bayer’s microsite for Aspirin:
Personalization gets really powerful when it is implemented dynamically on your main website. Working with 3rd party providers and partners, you have the ability to personalize your target account’s experience the moment they click through to your website. This level of targeting requires a large catalogue of content.
- Website visitor profiling tools such as Demandbase and Clearbit provide real-time actionable data.
- Diversify your content assets to include; blog posts, infographics, video or slide presentations, etc.
- Your structural flow should accommodate a straightforward user experience. Easy navigation is said to encourage leads.
- Perform A/B testing on keywords, copy, placement of CTAs, pricing info, layout, images, landing pages, and contact forms.
- Boost the quality of your content by having an editor check your copy for accuracy, coherence, and tone.
Send Direct Emails to Contacts in Your Target Accounts
Traditional marketing tactics such as direct mail work best when spoken directly to the recipient’s challenges- and provide a solution. This tactic should be adopted to account email outreach messaging.
Instead of sending email blasts or including your target accounts into a marketing or sales email sequence, taking the time to convey a distinct personal message is more compelling. Be sure to include specific information in your email that pertains directly to the recipient:
- VIP event invitations.
- Exclusive offers tailored to that account.
- Whitepaper’s or other collateral that through your research you have discovered will be of interest to the account.
Explore Experiential Marketing
Account based marketing is about reaching the customer with messaging and content you know will directly address their challenges and needs. Experiential marketing combines real-world and virtual touch-points to promote higher campaign engagement. Modeling your ABM campaigns around the tenants of experiential marketing can not only increase the likelihood of a conversion, it can strengthen your brand loyalty with target accounts.
To accomplish an experiential marketing ABM program, focus on the following tactics:
- Realign or create new content messaging to speak to the new focused value proposition.
- Create a customer value proposition on an account-by-account or vertical basis.
- Focusing on an emotional connection between the customer and your brand and solutions is key.
- Apply your content marketing matrix to a digital and real-world customer experience framework.
- This could include touch-points among all of your standard digital marketing channels, in-person events, and one-on-one meetings.
Getting Creative with Your ABM Strategy
Account-Based-Marketing may not be a new concept in the B2B space, but there’s always an opportunity to freshen up your strategy with personalization to gain brand recognition and higher conversions. Dive into your data, resource assets, and current trends in the industries of your target accounts to better focus your efforts. And remember, while account-based-marketing can be a difficult tactic to develop, launch, and monitor, the benefits can easily outweigh the work.