Account Based Marketing (ABM) is becoming an increasingly important part of the B2B approach to generating pipeline and revenue. In fact, Hubspot reports that 67% of brands leveraged ABM in 2020.
After far too long operating in silos, technology has made it possible for sales and marketing to better align their activities and focus on the high-value accounts that will make a meaningful impact on their bottom line.
But here’s the problem. B2B companies are swamped with marketing campaigns and the must-have guides and can’t-do-without how tos of yesteryear are now languishing in the junk folder, to be forgotten forever alongside the torrent of unsolicited LinkedIn emails.
So, how do you grab this jaded audience’s attention? How can you create collateral and develop tactics that will set you apart from your competitors?
This post will discuss some proven tips for making your ABM content more engaging, more likely to cut through the noise, and in the end, more likely to lead to increased revenue.
Focus on the look and feel
Long form content is great in some situations, usually when the prospect has already shown interest in your brand and some trust is established. But when you are trying to reach those promotion-numbed minds and eyeballs for the first time, it’s a good idea to focus on your visual presentation. Here’s how:
- Use a picture to say a thousand words. If you want to convey important information or benefits, avoid explaining it with words if you can convey your message visually.
- Include plenty of compelling imagery. Though don’t overdo it. Keep it relevant, eye-catching and valuable to the person who is consuming the content.
- Make it responsive. While PDFs are a popular B2B format, they are a pain to read on mobile as you need to pinch, zoom, and pan around. Stand out by using a more easily accessible and digestible format like interactive e-books.
- Make it interactive. With 86% of B2B marketers saying they prefer interactive content that they can access on demand, and modern content creation tools making this a breeze to do, it’s a no-brainer.
B2B marketers have been using personalization techniques for a long time now. But these days, effective personalization involves much more than simply adding a first name in the subject line or inserting the prospect’s company name at intervals throughout the content.
Businesses are understandably tired of, and immune to this strategy so, it’s well worth tailoring your ABM assets specifically to each account. Here are some tips for developing your personalization strategy for ABM.
- Put some time aside to do your research on these high-value customers. You may only have one opportunity to impress them, so give yourself the best chance possible.
- Create a curated content journey for each customer or segment. Think about the whole sales funnel, end-to-end, not just the first encounter they have with your brand. What will they need or want from you along every step of the way? What will convince them to choose your brand and decide to trust you over your competitors? Be prepared to change and adapt this journey as it evolves and you get a greater understanding of your prospect’s behavior. More on developing and refining your ABM metrics shortly…
- Demonstrate that you know your prospective customer and that you understand their unique problems and requirements.
- Then create and deliver content that solves these problems and proves you’re the company they can trust. In the format that delivers the optimum experience, of course!
- Deploy all your personalization activities at scale by using media-rich templates your sales and marketing teams can tailor to their needs while remaining on brand.
Get your timing right
Timing is everything when it comes to successful ABM content. Once you have produced the most valuable, visually pleasing and perfectly targeted piece of content, it needs to arrive at your prospect at the time of day or week when they are most receptive. Or at the stage of the buying cycle when they need it most.
To help you streamline your content creation processes you need to avoid bottlenecks in production and delivery as much as possible. That’s where the aforementioned planning and research comes in.
If this all seems like a lot of work, don’t worry — it really isn’t. Once you have devoted some time to segmenting your accounts and scheduling your content marketing, you can look into automating delivery processes. Plus, if you decentralize the creation of your content, you can collaborate, share and publish much more quickly, while still remaining in control.
Drive your ABM content strategy with data
As with all sales and marketing strategies, taking the time to analyze your data and adapt your campaigns accordingly is vital. When you are deciding on the most valuable data to measure, try to move away from vanity metrics.
Instead, prioritize more specific metrics such as which pages or topics individual customers are focusing on. This can help inform future ABM content strategies, and it can give your sales team valuable insights into the best approaches when following up with individual prospects.
- Start by collecting detailed metrics on the performance of your ABM content to see what works and what doesn’t. Take the time to analyze each campaign and each audience segment within these to make sure you get the most valuable insights available.
- Once you have completed the above activities, analyze the trends at both the account level and aggregate level (all your targeted accounts) to get a complete overview of your performance and results.
- Then do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
- Synch your data to your company’s CRM so your sales teams can follow up with leads based on their unique content engagement.
- Lastly, keep returning to your analytics and continue learning and capitalizing on your successes as your ABM content strategy matures.
At this point you will be grateful that you decided against using PDFs in your content marketing. You might be able to see who downloads a PDF, but you can’t see if they actually read it, or what parts they read, so you won’t be able to feed these valuable insights into your ABM campaign results.
A significant part of the sales journey happens before the prospective customer even speaks to a sales person. So, equipping your sales team with beautifully warmed-up, engaged and interested leads — plus unique audience insights — is gold dust.
As we mentioned above, revising and refining your ABM content can seem a bit of a challenge especially when you are already dealing with all the other marketing tasks that you have to manage.
But trust us, once you have your plan in place you’ll see real, tangible improvements in your customer engagement metrics — and your conversions. What’s more, you’ll have a library of valuable, relevant, and targeted ABM content to build on, adapt, and repurpose for future campaigns.