Account based marketing covers a set of strategic tactics to bring in very specific leads and accounts into your sales funnel. ABM allows you to optimize your marketing spend and resources towards a smaller net of leads, increasing your chance of closing qualified sales and possibly decreasing your cost per lead.
First, make sure you understand ways to fail at account-based marketing. In this article, we’ll cover strategies for successful ABM campaigns for B2B companies.
Whether you inherit, purchase, or organically generate a list of target accounts, these tactics will work for capturing your desired business leads — and in legal, permission-based ways.
Use LinkedIn Target Audiences With Ads, InMail
LinkedIn is a great lead generation channel for account-based marketing as you can target very granularly based on different factors. You can run one of several different types of campaigns, such as boosted posts, ads, or sponsored content. And you can even collect leads natively in the platform with Lead Gen Forms. Ironpaper has seen great success with this native lead capture medium.
In order to reach your ABM target contacts, you have several methods. First, you can upload the email addresses directly into your targeting. However, there are two caveats. One, many people use their personal email address for LinkedIn, so if you have a list of business email addresses, you may not be able to “match” all of your contacts. And two, you will need a minimum of 300 email addresses or companies to match in order for the campaign to run. However, LinkedIn recommends at least 1,000 accounts or 10,000 contacts to achieve a large enough audience reach.
If you have trouble reaching the minimum number of account matches, you can use the second method: build an audience based on specific factors such as company name, company size, job function, or even specific job role and seniority. By playing around with these factors and building a custom audience, you can capture your target leads by design and others meeting your criteria.
You can also send sponsored InMail to get directly into the inboxes of your target accounts. Ideally, send a personal message and include a conversion opportunity, such as a content offer, or a LinkedIn lead generation form.
Create Specific Content for Attracting, Converting, and Nurturing Target Accounts
Content is a great investment in lead generation, especially for account-based marketing. You should make sure to have targeted content offers for your target leads throughout the funnel:
Awareness-stage content to capture people early in the buying journey, such as a report or eBook, which lives on a landing page with a form
Consideration-stage content to draw interest in your company, such as case studies
Decision-stage content such as sales one-pagers and demo videos, which you can send in email nurturing after capturing the lead
You can take existing content and repurpose it for a specific slice of your target audience — for example, repurpose a report as the “[Job Title]’s 2018 Benchmarking Report.” Your ABM target account leads will take note if they see content that is tailored for them.
To draw the right leads to your content, use SEO best practices and optimize your content around key terms. You can also use the other paid methods listed in this article to quickly draw in the right leads to your content funnel.
Personalization of Your Website for a Segment of Accounts
Personalizing your website content, imagery, and conversion points is highly recommended for account-based marketing. If you have a CMS that allows for real-time personalization, like HubSpot with its Smart Content feature, you can automate different content blocks based on lead factors. One example is targeting based on a specific list of contacts. For example, create a list of contacts who has already expressed sales interest and change the website copy from “Download content offer” to “Get a free quote.”
If your CMS does not allow for real-time personalization, you can create separate website pages or even a subdomain (such as info.[websitename].com) and optimize its content for your target accounts. Make sure to set up tracking URLs so you can measure the effectiveness of your ABM campaigns in driving leads to these pages.
Uploading Email Lists and Remarketing With AdWords
Similar to LinkedIn, you can upload lists of email addresses to AdWords for targeted campaigns on the search or display networks. But keep in mind that you need at least 10,000 email addresses to build your audience. Additionally, you can also layer your email addresses with retargeting pixels placed on your website globally or on specific landing pages. But we recommend starting with no more than 2-3 targeting “layers” to begin.
We recommend running a campaign based on what your audience has already expressed interest in. If you gather your list based on 1-2 specific website page visits, you can construct your ads around those key terms to gain interest.
Tip: Even before you run (or plan to run) a remarketing campaign, make sure your tracking pixels are in place from the major networks, such as the Google retargeting pixel and the LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter pixels. It may take up to 3-4 months to gain enough traffic to use these audiences for remarketing organically. However, if you are running a driver campaign with a high budget above $1,500/day or so, you may be able to generate enough traffic in a few days or weeks for remarketing.
Website Revisit Alerts With One-to-One Email Follow-Ups
If your CRM/CMS allows it, set up website revisit alerts to show you when target account leads are revisiting your website. Make sure these notifications are highly visible to you via push notification to your desktop, or email. Then, have your business development or sales team follow up promptly with an email.
Your follow up email should be highly personalized. Introduce yourself, and write in a helpful and targeted way as relates to the content the lead was visiting, downloading, or reading. You can avoid being too creepy, but you should definitely strive to be relevant. For example, if a lead was downloading an eBook, don’t jump right into pricing information. Discuss the topic at hand and offer tailored advice and ask questions such as, “Do you have any questions about this topic?” or “Are you struggling with this problem?” Do not push a sales meeting before you’ve made initial contact and established some rapport with the lead. The old ways of going straight to the sale are not effective anymore.
Uploading Target List to Twitter Tailored Audiences
Twitter works much like the other account-based marketing channels we’ve outlined here, i.e. LinkedIn and AdWords. The Twitter platform will match email addresses to the users’ Twitter handles. Keep in mind there is a minimum of 300 matches required to launch your campaign.
As with all ABM campaigns, make sure your content is targeted to the leads you want to capture. For example, you can create a graphic that includes a company’s name — or a company’s competitor’s name — to capture interest immediately. Or, use statistics in your sponsored Tweets which are highly relevant to that account’s pain points and industry.
Use a variety of account-based marketing tactics, like these 6 account-based marketing examples for B2B companies, to drive results with a specific set of leads. Make sure to invest in targeted downloadable content, website positioning, and at least 2-3 different ABM channels listed here in order to get measurable insights and see the impact of your efforts.
Also, in order to be successful with account-based marketing, companies need to connect the dots: between teams, data sets, marketing and sales, and between expectations within the organization. ABM requires these connections in order to be successful. Take a look at our ABM model for growth below. As an ABM agency, Ironpaper builds a strategic roadmap for growth starting with fundamentals, as represented in the model below.
When in doubt, contact a lead generation agency for ABM support.