Remember, account-based marketing is an approach to marketing in which you send highly tailored messages to a select group of targeted accounts who are a good fit for your company. Rather than waiting for those leads to come to you, ABM meets them where they are in order to demonstrate how well your solution can solve for their specific challenges. As such, it seems to be a rather outbound approach to marketing. However, as with anything, it's possible to tie account-based marketing into your inbound marketing philosophy to make it even more successful. Here are eight inbound tactics for account-based marketing to add to your next campaign.
How to Find Contacts For an Account-Based Marketing Campaign
The first goal of account-based marketing is to find the best people at each target company to start a conversation with through this campaign. Though targeting a completely cold lead who has never interacted with your company would be an outbound approach, you do have some other, more inbound options.
- A lead who engaged with your company initially, but has stopped and gone warm
- A lead who just isn't the correct person to talk to at a high-fit account
- A lead who was in a decision-making position at a high-fit account but has since left their position
Unfortunately, these situations happen all too frequently and can make facilitating an inbound marketing and sales process difficult. Fortunately, they are also great targets for an account-based marketing campaign. With this type of campaign, you can re-engage older leads and target your decision makers at these high-fit organizations.
So now that you know the types of inbound leads who are a good fit for an ABM approach, how do you fill in the rest of the information?
1. HubSpot Contact Record
First, use the contact record of the original lead to see what that person was engaging with and looking at. If they were originally interested in unifying their marketing and sales teams or migrating to a new marketing automation platform, for instance, you can use that information to begin the conversation with your new targets.
If there are any holes in the contact record or you're concerned some of the information may be outdated, you can supplement the record with Datanyze, or another sales intelligence or enrichment tool. By filling in the gaps, you'll be better equipped to approach this organization and have a relevant and helpful conversation throughout your ABM campaign.
3. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Now, you need to actually source new leads from this target organization. With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you're able to more granularly segment and search for the right contact at your high-fit companies. Of course, some of these same capabilities exist within your regular account as well.
When you find a good-fit contact at your target company, you can then use that connection to mine other relevant contacts from the company in order to generate a long enough list for your account-based marketing campaign. Our sales team recently learned they should be approaching 20-30 contacts from a single company — not only to find those decision makers, but also to develop a solid understanding of the general hierarchy of the company. With this added understanding, they can deduce who needs to be involved in a sales process, who will probably be brought in anyway and all of the appropriate people they need to speak with.
Tactics of an Account-Based Marketing Campaign
With a traditional marketing campaign, you cast a wide net in the hopes of attracting your ideal customer. An account-based marketing campaign is the total opposite: you're formulating a hyper-targeted campaign that will only be sent to a handful of people in comparison. As you'll be taking fewer shots, you need each one to be effective, compelling and seen. Therefore, when you're brainstorming tactics of an account-based marketing campaign, think of disruptive and attention-grabbing approaches. Here are few ideas to get you started:
1. Direct Mail
People often forget about mail as a marketing opportunity, but in reality, your prospects' inboxes are stuffed while their mailboxes are empty. Though it's often used in outbound marketing, it can still be deployed with an inbound mindset. You've already identified the contacts you want to target, so put yourself in their shoes and figure out how you can make your company stand out from their usual pile of mail.
2. Nurture Campaign
Create a workflow designed to enroll anyone in your database from the target company and send them through a highly personalized nurture campaign. In the campaign, you could incorporate information from their mission statement and explain how your organization's solution aligns with their goals. This would also be a good place to use case studies of any current clients who are struggling with similar pain points and truly demonstrate how you can solve for them.
Develop a competitive battle card filled with targeted information for each of your target companies. When on a call or giving a presentation with a contact from a target account, your sales representatives can easily explain how your business solves for their exact problems in comparison to your top competitors.
4. Content Marketing
Write blog posts or premium content offers designed to help a specific company. You know they're facing a challenge that makes them a high-fit for your solution, so target that in your content strategy — and then maybe add those pieces to your nurture campaign. However, if you plan on devoting some time to a gated content offer, it might work better to create one for a set of companies experiencing a similar problem, so that your valuable piece of content can be used more than once.
5. Social Media
Interact with your target accounts and their employees organically on social media. Share your targeted blog posts with them, engage with their own content and build a positive relationship with them online. You could also pepper their social feeds with paid advertisements that get served to employees of that company and easily keep your own company top of mind.
6. Personalized Video
In general, video itself is rather disruptive and attention-grabbing, so add that with the personalized experience found in a tool such as Vidyard and you have a winning combination. This can be especially helpful if you're reaching out to your newly discovered contacts as it immediately puts a face to your name and presents them with a more digestible message and personalized CTA. Since partnering with Vidyard, our sales team has experienced an 80 percent open rate!
7. Event Marketing
Host events designed to "lure" key contacts in where you can meet with them in person. This sounds frightening, but everyone loves a good cocktail party, presentation or panel to expand their network and knowledge.
8. Work With Your Partners
If you didn't already know, we're Diamond-tier HubSpot partners and we work with them closely to identify any shared opportunities and leverage our partnership to move deals across the line. If you have an existing partnership, start coordinating in the same way, referring contacts to each other and making the most of that relationship to drive your account-based marketing efforts.
Of course, before you can get into the nitty gritty details of your account-based marketing campaign, you need to identify those key accounts and create compelling messaging for each one. Then, you can decide how you want these prospects to see and interact with your messaging. From dimensional mail and targeted blog posts to personalized video, you need to be personalizing the experience that each of these individuals has with your organization.
Account-based marketing is all about mastering the tension between personalization and effectiveness. You want the message to be targeted, but sent to enough appropriate contacts to still see a return on your efforts. Therefore, it's best to run a sample campaign and gauge its success before rolling this approach out to every single company on your wish list. For additional insight into how account-based marketing can complement a demand generation program, download our Essential Guide to Demand Generation: