These account-based marketing tactics are a guest post by Marcus Svensson, a Growth Hacker at Albacross – a platform that shows you which companies visit your website.
One of the most important lessons in marketing is that when you try to connect with everyone, you risk connecting with no one.
It’s beneficial to get specific when picturing your target audience. And for many B2B companies, going a step further with account-based marketing (ABM) and identifying specific brands, and contacts to reach is proven to obtain great results.
When it comes to ROI, ABM outperforms other marketing tactics, according to 80% of marketers doing ABM.
What Is An Account-Based Marketing Tactic?
Account-based marketing is a strategy where you invest your resources into a more narrowly defined target to increase your capacity for personalization and reduce waste. Account-based marketing tactics are particularly key for B2B marketers, and realistically fall into one of three tiers:
Hyper-targeted one-to-one: Identify a select few accounts you want to win over (e.g. We’re going after Subway and McDonalds). “Marketing works closely with sales teams to identify strategic business issues for individual accounts, develop personalized value propositions, and implement customized programs and campaigns for ‘markets of one.'” – ITSMA
- Very targeted one-to-few: Identify small clusters of similar accounts. (e.g. 5-10 accounts that share similar challenges, goals, and business attributes).
- Broad/Programmatic one-to-many: Identify account types that match certain qualifying criteria and engage at scale. (e.g. 500-5,000 accounts with X annual revenue, 1-50 employees, founded 4 years ago or less)
With that in mind, the account-based marketing tactics below can be applied and adapted for any of the strategies mentioned above:
1. Think “Customer First” When Building Strategy
Is your current marketing strategy based entirely around collecting top-funnel leads?
Marketers often prioritize lead generation, however, the best source for sales-boosting insights may be to look into the clients you already have.
Audit your current customer base and look for patterns in those with the highest lifetime value (LTV). Are your most valuable customers tend to be in a certain industry, or have a certain pain-point? Do your most valuable clients tend to enter your funnel from management level contacts or entry-level? What is it that your current customers find to be most valuable in working with you?
Pull out those insights and leverage any common patterns to help create more relevant content that is more likely to resonate with a high LTV audience – AND it could help in retaining your existing customers and reducing client churn (which can boost profits by anywhere from 25-to-95%).
These “customer-first” insights will help you identify which accounts or account types you should be targeting.
Pro Tip: Reinforce your relationship with your current top clients by partnering with them for webinars, case studies, or conference presentations. This can serve as churn reduction, case study material, and great social proof for your ABM campaigns.
2. Leverage Social Media As A Touch Point
Social media allows marketers to connect with their audience outside of inbox blasts.
Once you’ve created a list of ABM target accounts and highlighted some of the main contacts via LinkedIn or their website, you want to find all the associated accounts available on Twitter, Facebook, and other relevant platforms. Follow and engage with your contacts and start focusing on what they do.
You want to become as familiar as you can with how your audience uses social media before you interact with them more directly:
- Joining groups or Twitter chats that they are involved in.
- Sharing their content and re-tweeting anything useful for your customers.
- Replying to their posts, especially when you have something valuable to say.
- Sending direct messages to them via relevant platforms.
Pro Tip: Rather than seeing social engagement a separate channel, think about who it can fit into your existing campaign structures to amplify your effectiveness. For example, social engagement can help increase the success of your outbound email campaigns if you have a ‘send personalized LinkedIn invite’ stage as part of a programmatic drip campaign.
3. Create Custom ‘Account-Based’ Content
There’s tons of free content on the web.
However, content that is created particularly for one business—not just for those in a specific job title in a company—is a rare thing. It can be a great way to set your brand apart from the rest.
For instance, a company that sells an SEO analytics tool could produce an SEO audit for a target user, including useful data on their current rankings, competition analysis, and the best areas to target moving forward. Furthermore, the company could pair it with a free tutorial on speed optimization. That’s the type of content your clients are likely to open and appreciate. It gives them immediate value without giving away a-to-z about your product or service.
Identify something valuable you can offer with information about the business already accessible to you, then put some time into developing a customized report that looks appealing and provides actual value.
It takes a while, but when you’re focusing everything on a small list of potential contacts, creating something unique and valuable that stands out is likely to pay off well enough to be worth it.
Pro Tip: Make sure your landing pages and overall website experience is as personalized as possible!
- Hubspot allows for CTAs (and more) to dynamically update based on contact attributes
- Unbounce & Instapage both allow for dynamic content based on unique URL parameters
- Google Optimize can show different experiences based on cookies, referral source, and more
- Most email platforms these days allow for ‘merge tags’ – definitely use them
*Worth mentioned again… leveraging existing customers to create partnerships that spawn webinars, events, or case studies rich with social proof is also great tactic 😉
4. Personalize Your Campaigns, Everywhere
Email marketing, AND paid advertising, are best when they feel personal.
Emails having personalized subject lines get opened 26% more often, and businesses that use a segmented list to boost relevancy for their subscribers have seen a 760% increase in revenue from email marketing.
- Use merge tags
- Use segmentation
- Match bespoke content to each segment
- Personalize both outbound and inbound campaigns
Paid ads having personalized creative and messaging also tend to stand out from the crowd to increase performance.
- LinkedIn ads allow you to target by company or contact attributes, or even company name
- Many CRMs integrate with Facebook ads to transform contact list segments into custom ad audiences
- Personalized retargeting messaging can be matched with dominant list attributes (e.g. “Your company has over 100+ employees, we help X”)
Pro Tip: Look for scattered opportunities to enrich your contact data to enhance your personalization options. For example, if one ebook asks for name and email, perhaps another asks for email and job title, and another might just ask for a phone number or Facebook messenger subscribe.
5. Match Your Retargeting To Your Nurture Journey
A great advantage of using paid ads is the retargeting feature.
For B2B marketing, you may require 6 to 8 touchpoints before closing a sale. As such, you should try using retargeting to guide people through each stage of their buyer journey.
Customize your ads based on what their most recent conversion action – whether it’s a key page view or content offer or meeting booked or proposal sent. That way, you can keep your messaging relevant to their position in the buyer’s journey and nurture them to reach the next stage with less friction.
In the image below you can see some examples of ad creative based on three key retargeting stages: awareness, interest, evaluation.
(source: Terminus via LinkedIn SlideShare)