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Content Strategy

How to Do Account-Based Marketing: The Definitive Guide

ABM marketing

Visualize a world where you can begin the sales process by selling to your best-suited, most valuable accounts. You no longer have to waste time drawing in unqualified leads that don’t match with what you offer. In other words, you could immediately jump into engaging your key accounts without any delay.

Account-based marketing (ABM) lets you do just that. With AMB, you can quickly identify which companies are the best fit for your product or service and ensure that both Marketing and Sales teams have unified goals throughout the sales cycle. This will enable them to get into the essential processes of connecting with these organizations faster, as well as delivering an outstanding customer experience.

Looking to take your account-based marketing efforts to the next level? This definitive guide provides everything you need to know about this powerful strategy, from identifying accounts and creating targeted content to measuring success and scaling your program. Let’s dive in.

What is account-based marketing?

Once a nebulous term, ABM is an overarching B2B marketing strategy. It’s not a tactic. It’s not a tool. It’s an approach to prospecting that brings together marketing, sales, and customer success. It unifies these functions to identify, target, engage, and delight key accounts and is used as part of an overall growth marketing plan.

The goal is simple—create personalized campaigns tailored around individual accounts and the people involved in them. By focusing on high-value accounts and engaging with key decision-makers who have the power to purchase, ABM can significantly increase lead generation, revenue, and customer retention.

ABM breaks down into four steps:

1. Identifying accounts

Start by identifying the right accounts to target and creating a list of contacts within them. Ask yourself, “who are the accounts we want to focus on?”

2. Creating targeted content

Develop content tailored to each account based on the data you collected when researching your prospects. Use content syndication platforms like Outbrain and Taboola for display advertising and retargeting to help build up your databases of prospects. Your content distribution strategy should include a multitude of channels and efforts for maximum reach to your ideal audience. 

3. Engaging prospects

Connect with stakeholders who align with your message. Engagement is all about sales alignment, and it necessitates a partnership with the Sales team. For example, here at Omniscient Digital, we created a custom landing page focused on one of our target accounts. We ran targeted ads to those key personas of that account and drove them to a landing page to consume content. From there, we partnered with Sales to use a tool and analyze the backend information on who came to the site and what they did while there. Then, Marketing and Sales worked together to determine the best-fitting follow-up steps for each of those contacts.

4. Conversions

The most important part of ABM is measuring conversions and understanding what works and what doesn’t. This way, you can adjust your strategies accordingly to drive better results in the future. Utilize your sales and marketing partnership and data-driven tools like analytics and attribution software to gain insights into the customer journey so that you can measure, analyze, and optimize your ABM campaigns.

Account-based marketing strategies

Crafting an effective account-based marketing strategy is key to achieving successful outcomes. To begin, consider following these steps for creating and implementing a top-notch ABM plan:

Create alignment

Establish a unified goal between marketing and sales teams. This will ensure you target the same accounts and that everyone works together to maximize revenue opportunities. It’s important to the define goals of marketing campaigns and keep communication clear to ensure you obtain leads to which the sales team can effectively sell.

Develop a buyer persona

Knowing who your ideal customer is and how they buy will help you design relevant content and create an engaging experience at each stage of the sales funnel. You should also consider what channels ideal customers use to research and purchase products, as well as their pain points or challenges that you might be able to address with your solutions.

Hone your messaging

Your messaging should be tailored to each audience and demonstrate why they should do business with you versus a competitor. Ensure your messaging resonates with the customer, speaks to their unique needs, and includes visual elements like video and animation. Develop a plan that maps out what content needs to be produced to engage with each audience. This can include webinars, emails, social media, billboards, and other outbound marketing tactics.

Determine best tactics

Think outside the box to determine where you can best pique the interest of specific audiences. For example, outside of email and landing pages, try placing an ad in the account’s office elevator or sponsoring a local event. No buyer’s journey is exactly the same, so reaching specific companies with a personalized marketing approach will help deliver better results.

Measure and optimize

It’s important to track the results of your ABM efforts so you can better understand what is working and what isn’t. Utilize data-driven tools like analytics and attribution software to gain insights into the customer journey so that you can measure, analyze, and optimize your ABM campaigns.

Account-based marketing tactics

Unlike an ABM strategy, tactics are the specific actions you take to reach and engage your target accounts. Here are some effective tactics to use with your ABM strategy.

Develop prospect-specific offers

Once you are clear on your ideal customer profile, ensure you tailor your offers to each of your target accounts and clearly demonstrate the value they can get from working with you. For example, you could share a personalized report that would be valuable to that target persona.

Personalize website experience

Because of the targeted nature of ABM, it’s important that your campaign delivers high conversion rates. Personalizing landing pages is an effective tactic to do this. You can create custom account-specific landing pages with custom copy, images, offers, and other personalized content.

Test direct mail

Direct mail can be an incredibly profitable approach to marketing your business. Not only does it provide a tangible connection with customers, but it gives them the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and familiarity with what you have to offer.

Build relationships with buying committees

ABM requires you to build relationships with the decision-makers at a target account. This is your time to educate them on the value of your business and your product or service through tailored engagements. Sales and Marketing should work together to develop a plan to provide valuable content to specific buying committees that includes a follow-up plan as well. The purchase decision is often a long one, so building strategic initiatives to form relationships with stakeholders will help drive the results of your ABM success.

Leverage account-based marketing tools

To streamline your ABM efforts, consider leveraging tools that allow you to automate your processes. Automation helps ensure you’re targeting the right accounts, personalizing content and offers, measuring results, and more.

Here are some of the most popular tools to use for account-based marketing automation:

  • Outreach: This sales acceleration platform helps you nurture leads through account-based outreach.
  • Terminus: This platform allows you to target and engage with prospects across various marketing channels.
  • Demandbase: This ABM platform allows you to track and measure ROI from targeted campaigns.
  • HubSpot: This comprehensive platform allows you to manage campaigns, track contacts, and generate leads.
  • Mutiny: This tool helps you create personalized experiences that are tailored to the individual customer.
  • Alyce: This platform allows you to run interactive experiences that build more meaningful relationships with your contacts.

When looking for a tool to help with your ABM efforts, be sure it has functions for identification, engagement, and analytics. This will ensure you have all the features you need to effectively manage and measure your campaigns.

Make account-based marketing work for you

It’s important to note that no two ABM strategies are alike. Each organization will have different goals and objectives, and what works for one might not work for another. The key is to find the right combination of tactics that will yield the best results for your business. 

By taking the time to develop a comprehensive ABM strategy and leveraging the right tools, you can successfully increase ROI and develop relationships with your target accounts.

Looking to use content marketing to elevate your ABM strategy? Book a strategy call with us to discuss how to turn your content into a growth channel.

Author: Stephanie Trovato

content measurement