How to Create a Successful Account-Based Marketing Strategy
The goal of every business is to reach potential customers in the most effective way –– and as marketers continue to improve their methods for attracting them, they have also become more adept at identifying high-value customers.
In recent years, account-based marketing has become a popular strategy for improving outreach efforts and helping close more high-quality deals. According to the ABM Leadership Alliance, the average annual contract value grew by 171% after implementing an account-based marketing approach. With increased sales and larger profit margins, companies that implement ABM will experience faster growth and improved efficiency.
In this post, we will discuss the strategies behind account-based marketing and how to successfully implement them into your marketing efforts –– enabling you to maximize your business opportunities.
What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is primarily a B2B marketing strategy where all of your marketing efforts are targeted to a single account, rather than an individual consumer. The main objective of ABM is to build personal relationships with contacts at the companies you have chosen as ideal customers –– driving them to partner with your organization. This is achieved through personalized messages and curated content that addresses their pain points.
3 Steps to Implementing an Account-Based Marketing Strategy
1. Conduct Account Research
As with any marketing strategy, the first step is to conduct research on your target audience. Begin by asking yourself, “What businesses should you invest your time and energy into?” Then, determine which characteristics make these accounts an ideal candidate for you to focus your attention on so that you may be able to target them directly.
Similar to demographic information that is used to understand consumers and their behavior, firmographics are the descriptive characteristics of a business and its structure. These can include the industry they are in, the number of employees they have, yearly revenue, and other specific information about the company itself. With this information, you will be able to focus on accounts that are more likely to convert, without spending time on accounts that do not match your target account
2. Identify Contacts
After identifying the key accounts you want to target, you will need to determine the specific contacts within them who meet your criteria. These should be the decision-makers, or influencers to the decision-makers, within the account. Similar to how buyer personas are created, you will conduct additional research and create an ideal customer profile (ICP) for the vetted contacts. Typically, ICP’s identify their job titles, pain points, and how your business can solve these problems for them. Providing your team members with these profiles will assist them as they organize and coordinate their sales and marketing efforts moving forward.
3. Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams
Arguably the most important part of the process is the transition from the marketing department to the sales team. Once you begin to develop a relationship with your contacts and start to notice interest on their part, it is time for your sales team to make their move.
Before you start your marketing campaigns, determine what qualifications must be met by the account before it is ready to progress to your sales team. Once you launch your campaigns, it is important that both departments have access to all critical information. This information could be specific actions taken by your potential customers that prompt your sales team and start to move them along the buying process.
Marketing Strategies to Obtain Results
After you have identified the accounts and contacts, you will then begin to execute your marketing campaigns. Here are four methods to use to see success with account-based marketing strategy and make your audience ready for your sales team.
1. Paid Advertisements
The value of paid advertising is often overlooked when concentrating on certain accounts. If properly executed, its targeting capabilities make it one of the most effective ways to reach out to your target audience.
To do so, you will need to obtain a list of potential target audiences within the accounts you have identified as high-value potential customers. If they see ads on social media or search engines, they will be directed to landing pages containing information relevant to their needs. Once the users you are targeting have made their way to the landing pages you have created, they can then be included in retargeting campaigns in the future.
2. Personalized Landing Pages
After successfully directing users to your landing pages, the next step is to move them along the buyer’s journey and try to drive a conversion. Creating a personalized user experience on these pages will add value to your overall efforts.
Ideally, you will want to create a separate landing page for each account you are working on. But, if that’s not possible, be as specific as possible in the messages on the page. A highly targeted message related to their industry can be just as effective, as long as you are addressing their needs and building trust, establishing yourself as a business to partner with.
3. Content Marketing
Known as a central pillar of inbound marketing, content marketing is another approach to incorporate in your account-specific efforts. Fundamentally, you will be generating specific content that your audience will find useful as they look for solutions to their pain points.
When creating content for your targeted accounts, be sure to incorporate relevant and engaging topics that pertain to your target audience’s challenges –– then express how your organization has the capabilities to solve their problems. Two forms of compelling content that can showcase your success working in industries similar to your target accounts are case studies and whitepapers. If your contacts are interested enough, they will engage with the content by downloading –– giving you the sign you need to take the next step.
4. Social Media
Using social media as another marketing tool can help you establish relationships with decision-makers within companies. Its interactive capabilities allow you to engage with potential clients helping you stay top of mind in a natural and personable way. Utilizing social media in B2B marketing is an effective way to get the targeted content that you’ve prepared in front of your key accounts.
Recently, social media marketing has taken the spotlight with its progressive advertising capabilities. Even LinkedIn, known as a predominantly professional networking platform, has adapted to incorporate social advertising. Micro-targeting capabilities allow your social ads to be shown for specific roles at the companies you choose, which enhances the effectiveness of account-based social media marketing.
The Right Partner For Your Needs
Choosing the right marketing strategy for your company can be challenging, but if you are in the B2B market, account-based marketing should be your go-to approach.
Here at Pinckney Marketing, we tailor a B2B marketing strategy to your organization’s individual needs, helping you form valuable relationships with your most desirable target accounts.
After sitting down with your team to understand your objectives, our specialists will work together to create a cohesive and personalized strategy –– one that implements all areas of digital marketing in order to start conversations and strengthen relationships with your target accounts.
To discuss if our agency is the right fit for your organization, request a time to meet with our leadership team. In the strategy session, we will discuss which approaches and techniques we believe are the most effective means for helping you achieve your business goals. Click the button below to schedule your meeting.