Account-based marketing is hot in B2B sales because it works.
ABM can be a worthwhile strategy if your company is interested in cutting costs and increasing leads. According to a Forrester Consulting analysis by ABM software company Terminus, companies using ABM have reduced marketing campaign costs by 40%. The sales completion rates increased from 10% to 12%, the same analysis also found; that’s a sensible increase for a medium-sized or large company.
However, ABM requires some departure from traditional marketing wisdom. The right content marketing can make a difference in the success of an ABM campaign.
To give your ABM campaigns the best chance of success, avoid these five content marketing mistakes.
ABM Content Marketing Mistake # 1: Marketing is separate from sales
Sales and marketing professionals often struggle to work together effectively, which is an expected problem because of the different levels of expertise each brings to the job.
However, marketers have a responsibility to bridge the gap between sales and marketing by getting in touch first.
“It’s a mistake not to involve sales early on in the content idea process,” said Andrew Mahr, Triblio’s Chief Customer Officer. “The idea isn’t just getting their ideas – it’s getting their approval that sharing your content is important and helpful. Sales is an important channel at ABM, and if they don’t trust your content, it’s a non-starter. ”
Resolve the interruption by inviting a sales representative to join the marketing content development process as early as the planning phase. Finally, sales can validate your ideas by referring to customer questions. If you’d like your sales team to use marketing content in their account-based marketing campaigns, invite them early to join the discussion.
ABM Content Marketing Mistake # 2: You are hiding or banning all of your best content
What if one of the most common marketing industry practices – putting valuable content behind an opt-in form – isn’t the right idea?
It’s shocking to think about. After all, how can marketing prove without forms for lead generation that it is producing leads and achieving its goal for Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)?
“We work so hard to produce personalized content to educate our buyers and then hide them behind a form,” said Latané Conant, 6sense’s chief market officer. “I know that gated content can seem scary when you’re used to relying on leads and MQLs. However, if you want a truly value-adding, account-based shopper experience, you’ve shared this content for free. ”
When you share your best content, it can be discovered by more people, and ease of use is why Ungate content can be helpful. For example, an analyst on a target account can quickly review your new survey results and then forward a link to their manager.
Ungating content could be what you have been looking for to improve your results.
If the idea feels scary, test it a quarter long. Put half of your protected content on the public web for buyers, sellers, and search engines to see, and keep the other half behind opt-in forms. Talk to sales about which approach will lead to better results in follow-up, conversations, and closings.
ABM Content Marketing Mistake # 3: You lack third party credibility
Your ABM content can be forgotten because it repeats what people have seen a thousand times elsewhere. Companies that rely solely on in-house resources and ideas to create compelling content for ABM are missing out on the opportunity to build their credibility.
In particular, invite your customers to become part of the story.
“Intel created a pretty phenomenal partner marketing campaign earlier this year,” said Mahr. “In the front end, the content was presented through a co-branded CIO.com experience with different partners, each specializing in a different topic, but in the back end they used Triblio to dynamically personalize thousands of account-specific sales resources that the sales reps use were able to maintain the most committed accounts. ”
Meet with sales to shortlist your top 5-10 customers from last year. Then check the list to see if you can develop new customer-centric content campaigns.
As a bonus, such a campaign can also play a role in deepening customer relationships.
ABM Content Marketing Mistake # 4: You’re Failing to Measure Content Metrics
You have invested the time, money, and effort creating content for your account-based campaigns. How do you know which content hits the mark?
Conventional marketing analyzes such as page views, comments and time spent on the website may not provide a meaningful picture.
Let’s say you’ve published a greater proportion of your best content on the web and social platforms. How do you know what content is going through your target accounts?
The first option is to find a quality solution. Pick up the phone and ask sales (and new customers!) What content they have consumed. It will help bring some of the best content to the surface. You can take this approach further by using survey tools regularly.
The second option is IP-based measurement. Unfortunately, working remotely on a large scale means that many visitors to your website are using their home Internet connection or a virtual private network (VPN). Still, it’s worth taking the time to collect IP data so that you know what types of content to produce in your next campaign.
ABM Content Marketing Mistake # 5: You’re Going Too Safe
When your ABM content lacks original insights, it becomes difficult for sales to use it to start and keep conversations going. Safe marketing messages have a number of advantages; Such messages are easy to create as there is no demand for new ideas.
There is a downside to security, however. Your prospects are more likely to ignore you because your content isn’t new.
The solution is to invest in creating unique, high quality content. Get inspiration from a company like PwC. Take part in PwC’s CEO survey, which the global consulting firm has conducted for more than 20 years.
* * *
If your ABM strategy is underperforming, improving your content marketing campaign might be your best bet.
Take risks, present results and share primary data in your content. Your sales team will look smart and have a good reason to keep in touch with potential customers who are adding value, rather than focusing on a question like, “Are you ready to buy?”
More resources on content marketing mistakes
Eight Ways Your Content Marketing Could Sabotage Your SEO
Three Reasons Most Content Marketing Fails and What To Do About It What
Five common SEO mistakes content marketers make