By Kristen Deyo

If you’re like most of today’s B2B marketers, you probably recognize that account-based marketing (ABM) has become an important element of any effective go-to-market strategy. In fact, in a survey conducted by the Digital Marketing Institute, it is estimated that 92 percent of companies consider ABM crucial for B2B marketing success. So, what role does ABM play in your existing content marketing strategy or how can you get started? Here are some tips to help you navigate the ABM waters and start using ABM principles in your current content marketing strategy.


Why ABM?

If you’re a B2B marketer, chances are you’ve leveraged ABM principles even if you haven’t realized it. By their very nature, B2B companies are forced to prospect and sell to a targeted list of people. Thus, most B2B organizations have used a combination of inbound, outbound, and account-based tactics to help drive success. So, it should come as no surprise that 60 percent of companies plan to invest in ABM. Here are just a few benefits of ABM:


Clear ROI

According to a benchmark survey conducted by ITSMA, 87 percent of marketers measuring ROI say that ABM outperforms other marketing investments. In the same survey, ITSMA also found a direct correlation between the length of time ABM had been implemented and the “proportion of companies achieving a higher ROI.”

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Sales and Marketing Alignment

Organizations that leverage ABM are more tightly aligned than those that don’t. According to Bizible, marketers who use ABM are 42 percent more likely to report alignment with their sales team compared to those not using ABM. ABM forces sales and marketing teams alike to not only speak the same language, but to also collaborate on key ABM tactics and align on sales initiatives.


More Personalized, Relevant Experiences

One of the most important parts of ABM is creating personalized, individualized, and targeted content for a specific person or role within a target account. ABM challenges marketers to flip the funnel by identifying target accounts and building a plan around directly engaging those accounts before and after they become customers.


Better Reporting, Deeper Insights

Organizations that invest in ABM are often better at measuring success than companies that don’t. In fact, according to Bizible, 32 percent of marketers doing ABM say their organization is “effective at measuring marketing performance, compared to just 15 percent who are not doing ABM.”

 

The Role of Content Marketing

An effective ABM strategy cannot be executed without content. Period. In fact, I would argue that content is the cornerstone of any effective ABM strategy. Sure, identifying ideal account profiles and building buyer personas are mission-critical—but it’s how well we deliver content in context at each stage of the Buyer’s Journey that’s going to move the needle forward. In fact, according to one DemandGen report, 89% of respondents stated that winning vendors “provided content that made it easier to show ROI and/or build a business case for the purchase.” Thus, great content is not merely derived from brainstorming sessions or recommendations from thought leaders; instead, great content is derived from the needs of your audience.

How can you get started? Here are some ways you can start incorporating ABM into your content strategy.

Personalize Sales Enablement Content

Data from McKinsey & Company shows that personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent and increase revenue as high as 15 percent. Give prospects that personal touch when conducting sales outreach. One example is to sync with marketing to include custom fields or personalization tokens for email outreach or downloadable offers.


Tailor Your User’s Web Experience

Given the hyper-focused nature of ABM, it’s critical that ABM programs deliver content that drives conversion. Personalizing landing or web pages is one effective tactic for doing this. B2B marketers should create targeted, account-specific landing pages that display custom copy, images, offers, and forms depending on the person or target account that is visiting the page.


Mention Target Accounts in Your Blog and Social Content

Blogging should be an important part of your B2B marketing strategy. Consider incorporating your target accounts into blog content to build rapport. In order to continue to stay top of mind, mention your target accounts on social. It’s all about delivering content in context—across multiple channels. You can take it one step further by creating Twitter lists or streams to keep tabs on the conversation.


Generate Content Focused on Booking a Meeting

While marketing content is often aimed at generating leads, sales content is focused on helping sales teams generate a meeting or call with a prospect. ABM only works when sales and marketing are working together to help build non-digital relationships with target accounts. Free consultations and/or evaluations are great examples of this type of offer.


Choose the Right ABM Technology

ABM is not like other traditional marketing tactics. Effectively implementing ABM is resource-intensive and a long-term investment. Leveraging ABM technology and tools can help organizations alleviate some of the burden and can help facilitate your ABM strategy. For example, ABM platforms like Terminus use advanced targeting methods to locate your target companies and deliver relevant ad content.

ABM is more than a buzzword—it’s increasingly becoming a B2B marketing standard. And delivering personalized, relevant content is the cornerstone of ABM success. We’d love to hear from you! Is your organization using ABM? If so, what are some of the tactics you’re using in your own content marketing strategy? 

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Kristen Deyo

About the author

Kristen Deyo is a Marketing Strategist at SmartBug based in Ontario, Canada. She has 5+ years experience in inbound marketing, demand generation and is passionate about helping organizations reach their revenue goals. She holds degrees from Queen's University (Cha'Gheill!) and the St. Lawrence School of Business. When not digitally plugged in, you can find her enjoying a good happy hour or planning her next adventure. Read more articles by Kristen Deyo.

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