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Ron Sela
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A new era of B2B content marketing has begun with the advent of account-based marketing. This B2B marketing strategy empowers you with the best possible return on your investment, along with driving enhanced sustainability and profitability over time.

Account-based marketing (ABM) is also popularly referred to as key account marketing, where a business identifies and communicates with particular high-yield customers and companies on a targeted basis.

This B2B strategy tends to be more targeted in its approach, as it attempts to sell more products to individual clients or companies –– optimizing the value derived from each customer or company.

To work, account-based marketing needs to develop seamless coordination between the sales and marketing functions of an organization.

Companies benefit tremendously from this style of marketing because:

  • It reduces wastage of resources.
  • It helps to align sales more quickly.
  • It enables easy goal and measurement tracking.
  • It offers a clear return on investment and business results.
  • It is optimized and personal.

 

How To Market To Your Target Accounts?

For account-based marketing to succeed, target accounts must first be built. You must be able to identify the list of companies you wish to target for your business.

This step requires you to make a substantial effort because you are naturally looking for high business value from these identified customers. Quantity is certainly not the priority in this case.

You’ll need to look at quality lists to derive the best value when it comes to targeting customer accounts for your business.

Keep in mind that you can end up with some different lists for your organization set by various priorities. You should ideally always measure the scope of your results because your ABM strategy is ever evolving.

As you go through some different phases, you may need to tweak efforts and make decisions that impact overall results.

Creating Content for Target Accounts

As soon as you have settled with your list of target accounts, you have to begin drawing up a marketing strategy to address them. Did you know that nearly 65 to 90 percent of buying transpires before prospects ask for demos and download whitepapers?

How can you influence your prospects to make buying decisions before having proper information? Through high-impact content!

Your ABM strategy must involve a robust content marketing plan to produce valuable content in the form of blog posts, e-books, videos, research studies –– all of which must remain reliable, engaging and consistent. You will need to address the changing needs of your customers at all times, so your content must be tailor-made.

However, catering your content to 30 different individual customers probably sounds daunting. This is where a robust ABM strategy comes into play. Since ABM is a specific B2B target strategy, it only focuses on specific accounts expected to generate revenue for the business.

ABM moves from targeting sole personas and focuses on high-yield customers as a whole. Accounts are usually categorized as:

  • Company size
  • Industry
  • Company status
  • Company name

This ABM effort requires a strategic shift in mindsets, moving from an overall advertising campaign to a targeted customer approach based on every individual account.

Targeted marketing is used to attract visitors to your website where they will gain from personalized and highly targeted content.

How to Optimize the ABM Process?

Along with developing your content, you need to segment your accounts. Segmenting your accounts helps you better address your target group.

With today’s advancement in technology, marketers using ABM can track their target accounts through an IP tracking system. Keep in mind that since ABM is a highly targeted tactic built on research and learning, you may not achieve immediate results.

The key is to look at it as a long-term priority for propelling your business to new levels of success with highly targeted marketing approaches.

There is a myriad of strategies to optimize account based marketing, but one of the key tactics is to make your content relevant and personal to your customers.

You must find ways to offer products that address the personalized needs of your customers. You must also personalize your customer’s user experience on your website.

Enabling personalized landing pages have proven to be useful in this regard. Marketers should ideally create customized landing pages with specific images and offers relevant to particular accounts.

This is an intelligent way of striking high-income deals in specific categories without much effort. Keep in mind that an ABM program usually targets smaller account numbers, so any campaign needs to deliver a high rate of conversion to be successful.

Make sure you can create specific sales offers that are designed to get you entries into doorways of companies. Getting meetings with potential prospects will enable a more successful ABM strategy.

You can then assign salespeople to specific areas based on their ability to close business deals, making your approach more targeted and specific than ever before.

Social proximity planning is a technique used to assign an account manager to a specific customer accounts based on their social connection to it.

This has proven to be highly effective when it comes to generating sales income for organizations.

Other methods for optimization include using social intelligence to gain intelligence on:

  • Factors that matter to prospects.
  • Prospect lists built on roles and responsibilities.
  • Leads on prospective accounts.
  • Establishing relationships based on social connections.

Unlike formal press releases and articles, social intelligence data helps to unlock the things that your key prospects desire.

This is invaluable when it comes to creating specific account-based marketing campaigns because you can use this information to target them more exclusively and relevantly.

How to Leverage Account Based Marketing?

Account-based marketing can be leveraged in a bevy of ways thanks to the multi-channel world of today.

You should ideally use a variety of channels to communicate effectively with your target audience. Popular channels of communication include:

  • Email
  • Web
  • Print
  • Mobile

You should also come up with a robust channel communication strategy because some have proven to be more effective than others in certain circumstances. For example, email may not work as well in health care as it does in technology.

You need to finally measure, analyze and optimize your ABM strategy to examine its effectiveness for delivering the best business results for you.

Keep in mind that any ABM strategy requires sustained efforts from marketers and is constantly evolving to meet ever-changing demands of customers.

When adopting an ABM strategy, your message and content should always be based on the needs and attributes of your targeted accounts.

 

Image: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_jamespintar‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Profile photo of Ron Sela
Ron Sela is a digital marketer and conversion optimizer, focusing on maximizing ROI with content marketing campaigns.You can find and connect with Ron on Twitter at @RonSela and read his thoughts on his personal blog at RonSela.com.
  • Jeff Ogden

    ABM is quite interesting for me, because we lived this about 15 years ago, but we did not have a name for it. I targeted GE and designed, with the help of Marketing, content in their terminology and with screen shots of samples. It was not our company main area, but the account grew by 284% in one year, after shrinking in prior years.

    • That’s really interesting. Many things are just done, and names are assigned later. You just got on with the job in hand whereas now, people are being encouraged to do that for small clients also. Great results from your work!

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