Account-based marketing is designed to reach a specific set of potential prospects within a target company. Rather than marketing to an individual, campaigns are designed to reach a group of stakeholders and decision-makers within an organization in an orchestrated manner.
ABM relies on close coordination between sales and marketing in order to execute a unified approach to winning new business and expanding existing business in key accounts.
In my opinion, Content is the best way to express the value of your solution to both prospective and existing customers.
But it is not just producing more content, you probably have a ton of content already. Mostly, it’s pointless to send generic broad-based content to your target accounts.
When you are marketing to an account, rather than an individual lead, highly targeted, specific and personalized content is needed.
Regardless of your resources, with the help of tricks and tweaks, it is not hard to produce relevant content at scale to support your account based marketing plays.
Here are some ways on how to create personalized, relevant and most importantly scalable content strategies to support and engage your targeted customers in the ABM process.
DO THE RESEARCH
The awareness towards the account you have built while account mapping and profiling will help you create effective content in the mid-late stages of the buyer journey. Even though, you did not start with persona targeting, understanding decision maker persona will help you better understand the account journey through the funnel.
Doing account specific research is recommended to map your content to the accounts, and even the key personas involved in account’s decision making.
Examples of account specifics are industry type, business initiatives and competitive dynamics etc.
Also, there are few persona-centric questions to ask while you create relevant and interesting content. They are…
- Who are the decision makers?
- What are their fears and what do they care about?
- How do they consume content?
Documenting such persona specifics for all your target accounts is crucial and so is understanding the trend across the accounts.
While content falls under marketing’s responsibilities, you may want to get sales input as well, as salespeople know which content works best when it comes to closing the account.
Understanding the Content That Already Exists
Producing new content is resource intense — time & money. Before you start creating brand new and original content, it is highly recommended to comprehensively understand the existing content.
If you don’t have the list of content details like the date of creation, which audience it was created for and whether it’s early, mid or late stage content etc., it is worth making one.
This will help you in understanding the content which works, which is obsolete, or which needs an update. It will also help in identifying the content gaps.
Develop a Plan
Now, as you have an understanding of existing content and the content gaps, start with developing the content strategy.
Build a plan on what message or content you will use across the sales funnel to reach your audience.
Marketing will have bigger responsibilities here like distribution of content across various channels, but sales will still be integrating content while engaging with customers.
Personalization at Scale
It is challenging to be scalable, regardless of the team size, thus it is extremely important to have a mix of personalized content strategies.
The content you’ll need for each stage of the sales funnel does not have to be created from scratch.
Revisiting your content library and determining what can be repurposed or tweaked to resonate with the targeted audience is the best way to do content personalization at scale.
For example, you can personalize a generic content for your target accounts by adding in more industry examples and changes some of the terminologies? You can up-level the messaging on a whitepaper to speak to a different persona? There are different ways to spin your content to speak to a specific company or industry.
Like anything else in marketing, you can profile audience attributes, analyze their behaviors, understand your existing assets, and create a plan, but you must be ready to iterate.
Build a testing process. If any sort of visual, message, or asset does not work for your target audience at a specific stage of their buying journey, try something else. The best ABM, including content for ABM, adapts to your target accounts’ needs to finally deliver ultimate value.
Content personalization strategies range from…
- 100% personalized content.
- Highly personalized content.
- Highly customized content.
- customized content.
- Industry-specific content.
- Multi-sector content.
- Generic content.
As mentioned, there are different ways to create your content at scale to engage with targeted customers.
It is certainly important to produce brand new original content for key accounts and decision makers within those accounts, but the other way around, you can save a lot of resources.