In this article you will learn the best channels for account-based marketing as well as how to overcome ABM challenges and optimize your efforts. Implementing a successful Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy for your business can feel overwhelming. You already have a lot on your plate, and now you have to figure out how to deliver more personalized content to targeted accounts, one of the core goals and challenges for Account-Based Marketing (ABM).
Your Best Channels for Account-Based Marketing
There are many benefits to ABM, and it can be well worth the effort. Marketers can struggle with producing qualified leads and opportunities from their ABM activities, making it difficult to prove Return on Investment (ROI). This is often the result of poor channel selection.
Be sure to check out our on-demand webcast on ABM + Demand Generation for a deeper dive into this subject.
Picking The Pond Makes All The Difference in ABM
Think of it like finding the right ponds to fish in. You can have the best bait and tackle (your content), but if you fish in the wrong pond (channels), you’re not going to catch any fish.
Why is ABM Channel Selection Important?
If your target accounts don’t know you exist, and you aren’t showing up in the channels where they spend their time, you’ll continue to be the best-kept secret. The truth is, prospects don’t always buy the best solutions; they buy the ones they know about from people they know, like, and trust. When executed correctly, ABM can deliver the information your targeted buyers need to help them make informed decisions.
Best Channels for Account-Based Marketing
ABM programs move prospects forward in their decision-making journey. It may surprise you that often the best channels are ones you are using today. However, you need to leverage the channel correctly and consistently to get positive outcomes. With the right content and strategy in place, you’ll be in a good position to select the best channels for your targeted accounts. .
It’s a combination of multiple pieces of content across multiple channels directed at targeted prospects that ultimately moves the customer from unware to aware and ultimately into your pipeline. According to HubSpot, the top B2B companies engage in at least 3 channel and touch prospects 15 times digitally during the sales process.
Leverage Your Blog as the Central Hub – Your blog should be the hub of your multi-channel ABM campaigns. There you can generate articles that focus on solving problems, optimize for SEO, and promote the blog content on social/content sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium, etc. Your blog content can also be repurposed and become a source for your gated lead magnets. A well-thought-out content strategy can link multiple articles into a gated lead magnet.
YouTube Provides Access to People Who Would Rather Watch The Internet – YouTube is the second largest search engine but can only be utilized as an ABM channel if you have video content. On average, prospects watch nearly two hours online video every day. Google offers many advertising options for this channel, including CRM/email, interest-based targeting, and retargeting. Additionally, once you’ve invested time in creating blog content, you can repurpose that same content for a YouTube channel. Other video formats include webinars/webcasts, video-podcasts, social media lives, and social native videos. Just like typical content marketing, some of your video content should be “free” to access, and some should be gated.
LinkedIn Can Be Powerful if Used Correctly – LinkedIn is a channel that has sales and marketing benefits. Sales teams can use LinkedIn to reach out and connect with targeted accounts as well as marketing qualified leads, and send direct messages to these contacts with links to useful content. Marketing teams can use LinkedIn to run full-funnel intent-based campaigns starting with promoting blog content to lead gen ads to event marketing.
Email is Still the Only Way to Access Targeted Prospects’ Inboxes – Email remains one of the best channels for ABM, but it needs to be personalized. While that certainly includes the prospect’s name, personalization should go much further and include the company name, role or function, and industry. Personalization is possible with a good marketing automation platform. Studies show that personalization increases conversion rates by more than 200%.
Content Syndication Can Be Your Secret Weapon – Last but not least, content or asset syndication is a top channel for ABM. Marketers can promote content and gated assets, such as lead magnets to their ABM list via content syndication networks. If marketers are able to identify contacts that are repeatedly consuming content from a variety of sources, it is an indication of a high level of interest and a chance to further prioritize that prospect account.
Sales and Marketing Alignment Are Critical In Account Based Marketing
The final piece to the puzzle is marketing and sales alignment. Once you have developed personas/messaging, produced content that matters to them, and promoted it in the right channels, it will be sales’ job to identify contacts, share content, and nurture relationships, ultimately moving online engagement into real-world opportunities. Use the matrix below to align sales and marketing efforts within targeted accounts.
Check out our recent webcast on B2B Digital Marketing for more insights and specific examples on how other B2B companies are leveraging ABM and digital marketing.
How to Optimize Your ABM Efforts
To maximize the impact of your ABM efforts, make sure you create content that is focused on helping your prospects solve their problems. It’s important that marketers are providing buyers with the right content to help them along their journey, amplifying why your product or service is valuable to them, and demonstrating how it will help them navigate or alleviate a pain point. In doing so, you will position your company as an authority for them to turn to. Use the following matrix to help you plan the best channels and content for your campaigns.
With buyer-centric problem/solution content ready to go, now you need to pinpoint your Target Account List (TAL) and tailor campaigns and messaging to get their attention. ABM campaigns should be built to scale down to align with the marketing funnel:
- Stage 1: Top of the Funnel – Awareness campaigns to promote thought leadership, problem/solution content to key positions within targeted accounts. The goal is to stay top-of-mind while reinforcing your value proposition. The objective is to produce impressions and qualified visits to your website. Think of this as one-to-many.
- Stage 2: Middle of the Funnel – Resources to help the buyer evaluate their best options work well in this stage. This one-to-few approach leverages intent-based lead generation campaigns designed to get in front of individuals who previously interacted with your awareness campaigns or visited your website. The goal is to produce Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) by promoting gated lead magnets (downloadable pdf, webcast registration, guide/ebook, etc.).
- Stage 3: Bottom of the Funnel – This is where you move the prospect to a point of decision. With MQLs in your sales and marketing system, sales reps take the lead by building one-to-one relationships and learning about the prospects’ unique challenges and how your company can help them solve their problem with your product or service.
- ABM is critical to B2B Success in 2021 and beyond.
- The key to ABM success starts with an alignment between sales and marketing.
- The traditional channels that deliver the best ABM results include blogs, YouTube, LinkedIn, and email.
- Succeeding at ABM will depend on an integrated approach, with sales and marketing teams creating account-specific messaging.
Don’t Get Left Behind
ABM is critical to B2B Success in 2021 and beyond, but it must be implemented correctly, and it requires sales and marketing alignment. In order to maximize the impact of your ABM strategy, you need to identify target decision-makers and engage them with personalized content. At Vende Digital, it’s our mission to connect you with your next customer. If you’re frustrated with your digital marketing performance, schedule a complimentary Discovery Meeting to discover how we can help. We’ll review your digital footprint and provide you with fresh ideas and actionable insights. Contact us today to get started.