What is account-based marketing (ABM)?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that focuses on directing your marketing and sales towards a set of high-value target accounts.
ABM is especially important in B2B marketing. It makes all the hard work and effort you put into your marketing highly targeted. You’ll be creating everything with a specific focus in mind. The revenue of B2B companies using ABM strategies can be over 200% higher than those who don’t!
Essentially, ABM allows you to personalize and target your content, marketing campaigns and sales pitches to accounts that have been identified as high value. This is a lot more efficient than just marketing to a large but general audience where the chances of potential buyers seeing the value of your brand are highly diluted.
It’s important you develop an effective and detailed ABM strategy which closely aligns your marketing and sales teams. If you’re wanting to implement an ABM framework but not sure how, check out our guide to everything you need to get started.
Choosing the right channels for your ABM strategy
So, you’ve decided to implement an ABM framework. Great stuff! You might have even identified your target accounts and created personalized content tailored to each of them. But where do you post this content to ensure your target customers will actually see it?
This is where ABM channels come in. ABM channels are essentially the platform you use to deliver your content to your targeted accounts. You need to know where your target audience spends their time online and then maximize your efforts on these channels.
If you are investing your time and money into advertising and promoting content on channels where your targeted audience don't spend much time, your brand will most likely remain invisible to your ideal buyers, and you won’t be getting much ROI on all the work you’re doing.
This article will provide you with the best ABM channels that will increase the visibility of your brand to target accounts ensuring your marketing efforts don’t go to waste.
The best channels for ABM
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can make for great ABM channels, but when it comes to B2B marketing, LinkedIn is the channel B2B buyers use the most regularly regularly and is also the one they trust the most.
Leveraging your brand’s LinkedIn profile as an ABM channel is definitely a smart move.
There are a variety of ways that you can use LinkedIn to help with ABM.
You can use it to research accounts and identify which ones you are going to target. LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help you profile your target accounts, find out about the employees currently working at the company and identify the ones likely to be involved in deciding whether to purchase your product/service.This helps with creating personalized content tailored to each individual account and will also guide your sales team on who to make contact with first.
LinkedIn Sponsored Content and LinkedIn Sponsored InMail campaigns are also great for ABM. You can create a list of your ideal accounts and have your content and marketing campaigns promoted to these specific targets. You can even promote content to specific people in the company based on job function or seniority to increase the awareness of your brand among the decision makers.
One of the best things about LinkedIn is that you can track engagement by account. You can identify which accounts aren’t engaging as much with your content and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Email marketing continues to be one of the best channels for ABM. It’s the main channel for B2B marketing with good reason, it has the potential for a huge 4,400% ROI.
When it comes to emails, to make your marketing effective, highly personalized content is key. In fact, personalization can lead to more than 200% increase in conversion rates!
Go further than just addressing them by their first name; add their company name, their specific role and industry they are in. Talk about their specific business, what they do and congratulate them for their recent successes. From this, you’ll then be able to show the value and worth of your brand in terms of their specific needs.
Do your research on each of your accounts: look at what their current struggles and challenges are and address these in your email by explaining how you can help. This not only highlights your brand's worth but also shows them you have taken the time to learn about their business.
Telemarketing is one of the best ABM channels that allows you to connect with your target accounts on a 1-1 basis.
Just like email marketing, it’s vital to research each individual target account first to identify their current challenges and struggles. It will make the call more informative and engaging for your potential buyer as you can explain how your product/service will specifically help them. You could also look to see if the account has engaged with any of your content to get an indication of what they are specifically looking for e.g. have they recently downloaded one of your whitepapers or attended a webinar on a specific topic, etc.
Prepare well for the call and ensure you know exactly what you want to tell the client about your product/service. It’s important to not sound scripted or robotic when talking as this can result in the client losing interest and potentially ending the call. Allow for the conversation to flow naturally to keep the client engaged throughout.
Telemarketing is also a great way to gain additional data about your target accounts, which you can further implement into your ABM strategy.
Although digital marketing channels are currently seen as the main way to increase brand awareness, the use of direct mail in ABM still remains valuable for targeting individual accounts. Marketing campaigns that include the use of direct mail are 40% more likely to deliver higher acquisition levels compared to campaigns that don’t!
Sending personalized letters to individual accounts introducing your brand and product/service is a great way to increase brand awareness. You can then follow this up with tailored infographics to show your brand’s specific offer to them. You could also include coupons with discounts for their first purchase.
Direct mail can also be used to send out regular educational content to current clients to enhance their journey with you and reduce the chance of customer churn.
Direct mail isn’t utilized by all businesses, so by using this as a channel, you will stand out from your competitors, giving you space to show your target accounts that you’re a brand worth investing time and money into.
Digital paid ads are excellent for ABM as they allow you to reach your target audience over a variety of channels.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn offer paid advertisements and allow you to select which accounts you want them to be seen by. Facebook allows you to filter by email address, phone number, age, location and gender to target accounts that match your specific account profile.
LinkedIn also provides a filter where you can pick and choose the characteristics of your target accounts. You can then promote your content to accounts within that profile enabling you to reach a broader audience and stay highly targeted.
You can also utilize paid searches on search engines such as Google or Bing. Google Adword, for example, allows you to provide the email addresses of your target accounts and will then promote your ads to them whenever they are signed into Google.
Host live events and meetings
Face-face contact is important in ABM. Hosting in-person meetings or live virtual events enables you to connect more with your target accounts and is a great way to learn more about them.
Be authentic when talking about your brand and the product/service you offer. Discuss their current challenges/needs and address any queries they may have about your product.
Try to create a relaxed atmosphere in the meetings and allow for light casual conversation as this can help greatly in building a personal 1-1 relationship with your potential buyers.
Choosing the right channels is one of the hardest challenges in ABM but also one of the most vital. It can make or break your strategy.
Ensure you are continually tracking the engagement of your target accounts on each channel to identify the ones that are worth prioritizing. Putting time and effort into making sure you are utilizing the right channels will maximize the overall success of your ABM strategy and increase your visibility to your target audience.
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What channels have you found the most useful for ABM? Need advice on choosing what to focus on? Join the conversation at the B2B Marketing Alliance!