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April 30, 2020

10 Account-Based Marketing Tactics to Improve Your Campaigns

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Internal Results

Account-Based Marketing is a significant investment if you expect to see results. Your whole sales and marketing team need to be on board. The majority of your resources will be directed towards the accounts you're targeting. No matter how much you strategise, plan, and painstakingly review your campaign details, one thing is always certain: one day, those tactics won't work.

It's crucial that you continue to invest in new tactics if you expect your ABM campaigns to deliver results in the long run. In this article, we've put together some of our favourite account-based marketing tactics for B2B sales and marketing teams. You'll be able to use them to get noticed by your prospects and get ahead of the competition. Without further ado, let's jump in.

Why Your ABM Strategy Needs to Evolve

What works today may not work tomorrow. Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz calls this the Law of Shitty Clickthroughs. Brian Balfour of Reforge calls it the Cycle of Growth Tactic Effectiveness.

Tactics get overused by your own team and your competitors, resulting in them being less effective. You need to innovate, or your prospects will start to ignore your campaigns.

ABM Tactics To Help You Increase Conversions In 2020

1. Build a Strong Foundation With Your Target Account List

Your ABM campaign needs a strong foundation, and that starts with your Target Account List.

Laser focus is one of the key benefits of ABM, so you should take time to ensure your target account list is up to scratch

Being able to focus on accounts who are a perfect fit for your solution is one of the most significant benefits of using ABM in the first place, so it makes sense to take a step back to consider your TAL before launching a campaign. Your TAL is going to guide all of your actions, and your final results will depend on how relevant your target accounts are.

To make the TAL selection process more manageable, considering using a B2B data service to help you identify companies that match your ideal customer profile. Choosing companies that match your ideal customer based on aspects such as their firmographic details, or technographic details, is an excellent first step. If you ignore the importance of creating a detailed, accurate Target Account List, you'll pay for it later with low conversion rates and poor campaign engagement.

2. Use Content Syndication to Warm Up Leads

Cold outreach is used in almost every ABM campaign, but it can have mixed results. Consider using content syndication to warm up leads before your sales team engage with decision-makers to help educate them on the problem you solve. This can be done through a simple email, a phone call, or across social media.

Put your most useful content in front of your prospects and help educate them on how your business can help solve their most pressing issues. If you start your ABM campaign by providing value, decision-makers inside your target accounts will trust you and your company more than if you were reaching out cold.

3. Send Personalised Cold Email Campaigns

Targeted and personalized emails account for 58% of all business revenue. Cold email is still an effective way to get in front of decision-makers within your target accounts. It's tempting to load up 500 contacts into your CRM or other cold email software and send out a blast campaign. The problem with that is you lose all elements of personalisation.

It can work, but if you've invested time into building a relevant target account list, you'll want to slow things down. The whole premise of ABM is to enable you to personalise your messaging to every account. Take your time to personalise every outreach email you send. Your results will be far better than if you didn't.

4. Use Intent Data to Find In-Market Buyers

Would it be useful if you had a way to identify which of your target accounts were actively looking to purchase? Intent data can do show you exactly that. Only 25% of B2B companies are using intent data, so it's the perfect time to start using it. You'll have the ability to identify companies who are actively searching for solutions like yours online, and be able to reach out before your competition have the chance.

Intent-based marketing is only going to increase in popularity as more sales and marketing teams realise its potential. It's also particularly useful when creating your target account list, as you can assess how likely accounts are to convert depending on the buying signals they display.

5. Use Intent-Based Advertising

Intent data can also be used to help you target ads. If brand awareness is a key priority, consider using Google's Custom Intent Audiences to target in-market buyers who are actively showing purchase intent for a solution like yours.

Target Google Ad campaigns by intent

Rather than spending money on ads that could be shown to anyone who even broadly matches your ICP, your budget will be focused and able to deliver a higher ROI.

6. Upload Your Target Account List to LinkedIn Ads

It'll come as no surprise that LinkedIn Ads can be extremely effective in your ABM campaigns. LinkedIn has a reputation for having high ad CPMs, but it's worth it. You can laser focus your ads to ensure they are only seen by your target accounts. Upload a CSV file containing details of companies you want to target, and LinkedIn will do the rest.

Upload your CSV and ensure ad campaigns are seen by your target accounts

Targeted LinkedIn Ads can be the perfect way to increase brand awareness in your target accounts, as they'll be seeing ads at the same time your sales reps are engaging with them over email, or over the phone. Note that Facebook does have a similar targeting option, but as most people use their personal email addresses, the match rate is generally too low to be worth your time. LinkedIn has data on companies, people's job titles, making it the ideal platform to run ads to complement your ABM activities.

7. Promote Your Good PR

Paid ads with direct call-to-actions can work for buyers who are already nearing the bottom-of-the-funnel, but for top-of-funnel buyers, consider running ads towards good PR your brand has received. This will help build brand credibility and improve the trust that your audience has for your company. For example, if you were mentioned by a review site, or got featured in an industry publication, run ads towards that third party site to show off your achievement.

Promoting your achievements builds credibility and adds a layer of social proof

It'll look more native than a typical ad on most social media feeds, and will be effective if used together with other top-of-funnel ABM tactics like content syndication or cold emailing.

8. Create Custom, Personalised Content

The goal of all the ABM tactics I've mentioned above is the same. Start a conversation with decision-makers in your target accounts. However, too many sales teams lose the sale at the last moment because they forget to personalise their final interactions.

80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if brands offer personalised experiences. Consider taking actions such as:

  • Creating personalised sales decks
  • Sending prospects a unique case study that relates to their pain point
  • Create a slide deck showing exactly how your solution could work for them

You don't need to reinvent the wheel, but do need to make sure your leads feel as if the sales experience is unique to them. If you can do it successfully, you'll see a big uplift in SQL to customer conversion rates.

9. Co-Create Content with Complementary Brands

Working with other brands isn't the right thing that springs to mind when designing your ABM campaign, but it can be a brilliant way to build social proof and share expertise with your target accounts. Co-creating content such as whitepapers, webinars, or blog posts will help you tap into the expertise of others, and promote your own brand at the same time.

You can invite people inside your target accounts to read your content or attend your webinar. It's not overly self-promotional as the focus is on providing value, and it's a unique offer as you may not have worked with your co-host in the past. It provides another level of validation in the eyes of your leads. If another company trusts you to create content with them, they'll be able to trust your credibility too.

10. Publish Detailed Research

If you're running ABM campaigns, it's relatively safe to say your solution has a high ACV, and your sales cycle takes time. You need to continually be proving to your target accounts that you're a trusted player in your industry. One way to do this is to regularly publish unique research that adds value to your industry and positions your company as an authority. This could be publishing whitepapers on the state of the industry, or publishing reports on strategies, industry pain points, or other relevant topics that you know your sales leads will care about.

These can be used in your sales and content syndication emails as a way to provide value, and they're likely to get shared by relevant people in your industry if the research is high-quality and unique. These can also be used for lead generation, as you can gate content behind an email capture form and offer it in exchange for contact details. Your sales team can then follow up with everyone who downloaded and read your research to evaluate if they're a qualified lead.

How Internal Results Can Help

If you're looking to scale your lead generation efforts, Internal Results can help. Our team helps B2B brands increase B2B sales conversion and their lead pipeline using a combination of content syndication, content creation, B2B data, and buyer intent data.

Our multi-channel content syndication services let you target decision-makers across all social media channels, as well as using email, telemarketing, and paid ads to make sure the right people see your content. If you want help generating more leads, our in-house team of experts can help. Get in touch with us today to see how Internal Results can help you.

Wrapping Up

You always need to be finding new account-based marketing tactics, if not, your campaigns will stagnate, and results will diminish with time. These ABM tactics are going to help you approach your campaigns from a new angle, and interact with decision-makers in ways you may not have tried before. From content syndication to intent-based advertising, you'll be able to get ahead of your competition and spend more time talking with sales qualified leads.

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