Joana Inch has been involved in digital marketing for 15 years, 10 of which were the founder of digital marketing agency Hat Media Australia, based in Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia. Her real passion lies in technology and SaaS. She helps corporate clients and startups to develop, scale and grow new and innovative digital strategies. Joana regularly hosts events and webinars on Selling SaaS and Marketing Automation for Microsoft for Startups and has launched an online learning course to help startups get started. She just wrote the book Go to Market, which focuses on the three building blocks – nailing your niche, clarifying your message, and mapping your buyer journey.
ABM has been the buzzword in digital marketing for a while now, but I don’t think a lot of companies are really getting to use their power yet. The main elements of ABM are:
- Identify the correct accounts
- Listen to these tracked accounts
- Personalize your content on these accounts to really use them.
This is the third step that most businesses struggle with. They are still creating content for the masses instead of focusing and really personalizing their content.
In addition, in today’s competitive marketplace, it is difficult to deliberately attract consumers’ attention. Using ABM techniques like hyper-personalization can help acquire high-quality leads, which leads to higher conversion rates and an increase in company revenue.
Hyper-personalized content and ABM
We know that using an ABM content strategy can help you achieve your goals faster and that the key to ABM is building and maintaining relationships with your unique prospects and contacts. This is especially helpful when you are not just providing simple facts and dates about why they should work with you, but are putting those facts together into a larger narrative that your audience can easily follow.
Case studies are the most obvious examples of storytelling in the B2B arena. You use hypothetical advantages and bring them to life using real application examples. However, case studies are far from your only opportunity to tell stories in this medium.
As you personalize your content, consider how to give it the traditional story arc:
- The problem – the moment the audience realizes that they have a problem and tries to find a solution;
- The fight – the time when the audience is trying to solve their problems but is faced with significant adversity to overcome;
- The resolution – the climax when the audience finds the bottom line that brings the story to a happy ending.
This structure allows you to grab your audience’s attention and hold out until the final resolution – that is of course your company. Case studies can follow this concept, but also anything from an email to a single post on LinkedIn. To create a story, you need to incorporate the emotions of your prospects, which will make them more likely to pay attention and ultimately become your customers.
Implementation of hyper-personalized content
This starts by narrowing down the above vulnerabilities to the specific situation in which your potential customers would benefit from your software. Create content, from individual care messages to entire case studies and white papers, specifically geared towards them.
Gartner says companies that personalize their digital marketing outperform those that don’t by more than 30 percent. It’s not just about adding dynamic content or replacing a prospect’s first name in an email, however. Hyperpersonalization is:
- Data driven, based on visitor and account data, to deliver content specifically designed for this audience;
- Predictive, based on data points that suggest and predict the intent to increase relevance to the customer;
- Interactive so that the recipient can customize their experience to their liking.
It’s not easy to hit all three points, but it’s far from impossible. Put simply, it requires a unique marketing strategy for every account and even for every lead you want to target.
It starts with data. Learn as much as you can about each lead in your database, from their professional background to the nuances of their current position and how they would be involved in a potential partnership with your company. Reconnect that lead data with the larger account data to create the context and see the bigger picture.
From there, the process is similar to creating buyer personalities. Except in this case, you are profiling actual people. These profiles become your content guides. They provide a foundation for brainstorming potential topics and a resource to ensure that you are creating your content specifically for the needs and wants described. Your hyper-personalized content can then be distributed through your lead nurturing channels.
Consider the possibilities of messages with multiple origins
You will likely meet your prospects on more than one channel. The more channels you can reach, the better. However, you may not know that the sender of the message is just as capable as the message itself.
Switching senders can send a strong message to your potential customers. If ABM is true one-on-one marketing, your prospects are likely not responding well to a message coming from a faceless corporate account. The same applies if the only contact person is a salesperson.
ABM offers the possibility of varying the sender and building a complex maintenance stream. In the course of this stream, your potential customers may receive messages from the sales team, a customer success specialist and a member of the c-suite relevant to them. This increases trust and creates the feeling of being sought on the side of your contacts.
Of course, and again, this type of strategy is complex and takes a lot of time to plan and execute. You need to answer a few key questions:
- Who would your prospects like to hear from?
- What types of messages might be relevant from these particular senders?
- Can you guarantee that should a lead contact the sender in response or indirectly, that sender will be both responsive and consistent in their messages?
The answers to these questions make a multi-sender campaign extremely powerful. They also allow you to stay in line and only include people in your business who are actually relevant to your potential customers. The result is a bigger and bigger campaign designed to grab and hold the attention of your potential customers.
One final point to keep in mind is that data is king.
It is then important to measure the results of your content. How effective is it? Analyze engagement, downloads, and clicks. Realign your top accounts with additional fine-grained content to bring them closer to conversion.
And hyper-personalize, measure, repeat.
– This excerpt is from Joana Inch’s new book Go to Market