Account-based marketing (ABM) is a powerful tool that can help you identify, develop, and engage continuously with all your customers and give them a personalized experience with your company. Follow these 5 steps to create an ABM strategy that empowers your business and sets you apart.
1) Pinpoint high-value target accounts
Think about which customers and accounts you want to target before you assess how you will target them. In our experience, it helps to ask yourself a few questions to help you determine which accounts are best-fit for your ABM and then what tactics and activities will work best on them. For example, does the account fit your ideal customer profile (ICP)? What vertical industry are they in? Tactics and content that work well in healthcare will differ greatly from construction. Where in the world are they? Your ABM will need to vary if the target is in North America rather than APAC. What size are the accounts you’re targeting? What are their pain points, what are their goals, and, significantly, what are your goals?
2) Harness the power of intent data
Intent data operates as a priority-level indicator for accounts that fit your ICP. When you’ve established your ICP based on factors like pain points, challenges, and goals, you can use intent data to target and identify accounts that might be interested in your products or services and ready to buy.
Other influencing data includes companies you know have visited particular pages on your website, attended webinars, filled out contact forms, or consumed other online content. Then you can prioritize accounts by aggregating their current intent signals against a desired baseline.
3) Unite your sales and marketing teams
In our experience, it’s important to get this right on day one. If your sales and marketing operations aren’t hand in glove with your whats, whys, and hows, you risk your ABM efforts remaining confused and stalling before you get started. Regular communication between your sales and marketing teams about target customers, tactics, and content is a must. Feedback and constant improvement can help you keep your ABM moving forward effectively.
4) Deliver personalized, impactful content
However, before you start producing new content, make an inventory of your existing content and creative assets. That will help you identify all your currently usable assets and any gaps in your library. At this point, we advise allocating content and assets to appropriate channels and stages of the funnel.
You might also want to see if there are assets that could be translated into other forms of content. Perhaps an existing whitepaper can be turned into several blogs and an infographic. Then draft an editorial calendar that helps you strategically release content to the right audiences at the right times. Where you see opportunities for new content, think about working with an expert content marketing agency that can help you develop new assets. But always remember to keep your content personal: it’s what your customers want and expect now.
5) Optimize, orchestrate, and evolve
Don’t expect to get everything right the first time. That’s OK, though – your ABM work should continuously improve, and you’ll improve over time. And you can get better by optimizing your strategy as you go along, across the whole spectrum, from content to channel to tactics. Work out what’s working best for you and compare your ABM activities against traditional B2B marketing.
Again, in our experience, it’s a good idea to ask yourself certain questions to evaluate your ABM work. Which of your target accounts have the highest and lowest engagement rates? Which content formats deliver better results with target accounts in particular verticals? How are your ICPs working out? Are there specific subject lines or email content that targets respond to better?
By following these 5 steps, you can create a robust and effective ABM strategy that enhances your marketing efforts and accelerates growth. Stay ahead of the curve by adopting ABM and watch your complex sales soar.
What next? Get better at creating content
So you’ve meticulously planned your ABM campaign but there have been significant delays because the content assets aren’t ready in time. What do you do? Discover how to create the ideal whitepaper in 8 weeks with our handy timeline.
Perhaps you have a more fundamental problem: how on earth do you create an interesting whitepaper for your ABM campaign, that can engage and persuade rather than be TL;DR? Follow our guide to creating whitepapers that can convey complex technology messaging in a clear, concise, and comprehensible manner.