What is Account Based Marketing?
ABM is a strategy where important business accounts are targeted directly as units of one.
Simply, instead of just casting your net and capturing any fish that happens to come in, you’ll be fishing with spears - you’re getting the exact fish you want.
ABM pushes sales and marketing teams to work more closely together. Instead of casting a wide net with their lead-generation activities, marketers using Account Based Marketing strategies work closely with sales teams to identify key prospects. They then tailor customised messages to the decision makers within said target accounts.
And what better place to reach B2B decision makers than LinkedIn?
Why is LinkedIn best for ABM?
ABM is already delivering value for a wide range of different businesses via the LinkedIn platform. 62% of B2B marketers say that LinkedIn successfully generates leads - that’s twice as many as the next social platform.
And it’s through the many tools that LinkedIn offers that these businesses can integrate data from sales and marketing for a real-time analysis of how target accounts are engaging.
If you’re a B2B organisation and your business aim is to achieve higher-quality, relevant leads, then LinkedIn is the platform you really should be using. Here’s how to use LinkedIn to kickstart your ABM campaign.
Select your target accounts
Analyse your existing customer base to get an idea of the ones that fit your definition of an ideal customer – these are the accounts you’ll be trying to target with ABM.
This description can be a mixture of overarching descriptors, but it often comes down to finding high value accounts that are profitable long term.
Once you’ve identified your matches, you can still narrow down the targeting further with additional criteria such as company and job title.
Use account targeting to identify and reach decision makers.
Profile your priority accounts
It’s not enough to have a list of accounts you’d like to target and press the start button on your ABM campaign. You need to invest time into profiling the business, identifying the key stakeholders & decision makers, and developing an individual plan for them.
Individual contacts are important, but in the context of the whole account. You need to link the concerns and needs of each decision maker involved in the purchasing decision back to the objective of their company.
Your main goal when connecting each stakeholder is to drive a general agreement that leads to a buying decision.
Define and create custom content
The ability to provide personalised content will be the pivotal point of your ABM marketing strategy.
Personalised content is where the information from sales is used in the marketing plan. Central decision makers will engage with content that reflects the organisation’s needs and the priorities or their own job role. Show them that you’ve really done your homework.
Calling out specific job titles will make it personal and maximise the engagement it can produce. Data from LinkedIn shows that 87% of B2B buyers in Europe say that they are more likely to consider products or services from a brand that shows them content specifically relevant to their role.
Delivering personalised content on ABM
LinkedIn has unique targeting capabilities that play a prominent role in so many ABM strategies. Account Targeting ensures that when you adapt content to fit a priority account, you can deliver that content solely to that account.
You can also add in layered profile data to customise content to the needs of different functions. Just as you can do with Google Ads or Facebook. A/B test different content options for these function-specific audiences, then optimise your ads based on personalised approaches that work for you and more importantly, your audience.
ABM metrics are super clear, because you know exactly who is engaging, and what that engagement leads to. It’s much easier for organisations to track the value of their ABM strategy over traditional marketing campaigns with multiple touch points.
Account Based Marketing also helps sales and marketing teams to understand how relevant engagement with priority individuals directly translates to revenue within your business.
Simply, you can see which approach is more profitable for your business when it comes to converting leads.
Execute your campaigns
ABM campaigns use strategies that make sense for the individual account. After your initial research and profiling the business you want to target, you should now have a good idea of which is the best method to reach out on.
LinkedIn campaigns can use email ads, direct mail, ads and more. Consider which is the best approach to guide your outreach.
Measure, optimise, repeat
Measuring the results of your ABM campaign is different to measuring the impact of usual lead-generation tactics.
B2B sales cycles are typically longer than a normal B2C marketing campaign. With ABM, you’ll care about moving accounts along through the purchase process, not individuals. The B2B sales cycle will involve personalisation and building a relationship with the stakeholders.
Measure your campaign by:
- Tracking engagement
- Take note of opportunities created
- The deals you’ve won and their value
Your marketing team will need enough time to gather this data to then adjust your strategy and optimise as necessary.
Keep measuring and optimising until you find a strategy that works, and keep going still. There are always ways to improve your approach to win your priority accounts.
The idea of Account Based Marketing is similar to traditional digital marketing in the sense of reaching your audience with the right content at the right time. It does, however, give you an opportunity to target businesses (and people within) that don’t know they need you yet.
If the thought of using LinkedIn to reach your chosen accounts still baffles you, get in touch - we’d be happy to help.