Are you already enjoying account-based marketing and maybe seeing the first results of your efforts? We see with many organisations that make the extra effort to properly understand and respond to an account, that this can lead to many positive results. In the meantime, there are always possibilities for improvement. In this blog I’ll give you some tips you can use to further develop and improve your ABM initiatives. I have divided them into three groups:
Expand (expand your network within your target accounts.)
Attract & Engage (get on the radar of your chosen accounts)
- Account-based advertising
- Communicate with your accounts on social media
- Use your own colleagues to engage
- Be clear and targeted in your language
Convert & Measure (convert and make your successes measurable)
- Make use of ‘the free consultation’
- Do not place content behind a form
- Use intent data
- Continuously share account insights with Sales
In ABM you want to have the best possible picture of your target account and the people involved. Who belongs to the DMU? Who do you already have a connection with?
Research which colleagues are connected already with the accounts
We often overlook the relationships that other colleagues might have with your target accounts. LinkedIn Sales Navigator has a TeamLink feature that provides insight into the first-degree relationships between your colleagues and contacts at your target account. This may be just the entry point into the target account you need.
Track accounts and contacts
It is very valuable to keep up-to-date with developments at accounts. Think about changes in management, possible acquisitions, new products or other news they come out with themselves or in the media. With a tool like Google Alert or Mention you can easily set up alerts for this and receive updates directly in your mailbox.
Attract & Engage
In ABM your marketing activities are tailored to individual target accounts, with the aim of introducing them to your company, your product, services or specific proposition.
Within account-based marketing, you would like to target your accounts with relevant and personalised messaging and advertising. The channel that comes up first in B2B is LinkedIn.
But besides LinkedIn there is also the possibility of account-based display advertising like you know from Google Ads or DoubleClick. The main difference is that you target your ads to companies rather than an individual. This functionality is offered by a select number of parties such as PowerLinks, Demandbase en Terminus. The setup is similar to programmatic advertising.
In line with account-based advertising you can consider ‘pretargeting’. This is the opposite of retargeting. Using ‘pretargeting’ your goal is to create awareness with your target accounts for which you are still an ‘unknown’. Next step is to activate the first steps of the ABM campaign with these accounts. So to speak, warm up the account before you start the fireworks.
Communicate with your accounts on social media
One of the most direct (and free) ways to connect with your target accounts is through social media. Of course, you can send direct connection requests to key contacts at target accounts. Even more effective is to start by following the contacts and liking or responding to shared posts. However, always do this from your expertise and when you can really offer value.
Use your own colleagues to engage
Who do you connect to as a marketeer? Someone from HR or a fellow marketeer? Apply this also in your account approach by linking individuals from your own organisation based on function, role or specific knowledge to those within your target accounts.
For example, consider inviting individuals to a webinar or knowledge session conducted by peers. Make sure your request is genuine and that it connects to the questions and challenges of the people invited. Good understanding of the target account is important here.
Be clear and focused in your language
Both Marketing and Sales spend a lot of time and energy trying to reach your target accounts with a story that makes an impact with the target audience. Make sure your message is clear and to the point.
For example, focus on a particular problem that you know your account is struggling with. Or highlight specific savings or benefits they could receive if they choose your solution. This focus can make just the difference and shows that you, as a party, understand their world well.
Personalisation plays an important role in ABM campaigns. The better you can tailor content to individual target accounts, the more relevant. Apply this where you can, but always take the account as a starting point:
- Segment and personalise email campaigns
- Create customised content for individual prospects
- Include names of target accounts in ads, website text or premium content
- Personalise your landing pages for target accounts
- Send a personalised gift
Convert & Measure
Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQA) is an important goal within an ABM programme. But how can you measure this and how do you ensure the eventual conversion to MQA?
Take advantage of ‘the free consultation’
Like in any lead generation programme, your ultimate goal is to have a meeting with a target account. Try to incorporate this into your ABM programme. In such a meeting, you can display your knowledge for free as well as help your target account move forward.
The best-known form (for conversion) is the free consultation or advisory talk. The use of this will be even more effective if it is a logical follow-up to an online scan or audit. You can then directly use the results of the scan or audit to guide the conversation.
Use a tool like Calendly to let the target account easily schedule an appointment themselves.
Don’t place your content behind a form
A common method in lead generation is to place your content behind a form. With ABM, this form is even less desirable because you create a barrier you don’t want:
- Instead, you want them to access knowledge. Helping the lead is more important than getting additional data.
- No one (especially C-level) fills out a form for fun. Omitting the form will not only increase your reach but also your appreciation: “Hey, a party that really helps instead of just wanting my data.”
- If you already recognize them in your marketing automation platform, you can find out if they download the content even without a form.
In short, let the target account take in your content without a form and provide relevant call-to-actions to the free consultation or another step in your marketing program.
Use intent data
Intent data gives you insight into where the target account is in the buying journey. For intent data, think about interaction with your website, content or assets. For example, a visit to your pricing page says something about the intent to purchase.
Using intent data, you can further tailor your messaging to your target accounts and prioritize based on those intent indicators.
There are also external websites that provide intent data. For example, consider G2 or ZoomInfo. A target account that repeatedly views intent-based content can then be targeted via account-based advertising.
Continuously share account insights with Sales
By using the right ABM marketing automation, Sales not only has visibility into the engagement of individual contacts but also of accounts as a whole. This allows Sales to see at a glance the engagement of each individual account. That knowledge is crucial for creating support for your programme and to optimize based on tangible results.
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