Account-based marketing (ABM) is a form of B2B marketing that aims to convince selected customers through individualised campaigns and content. Classic B2B marketing usually addresses a broad set of potential customer groups with a specific message to generate leads. In other words, it spreads more widely. Account-based marketing pursues a more targeted approach, but thus also means a greater organisational and financial effort.
ABM focuses more on the right leads rather than simply trying to generate more leads. This means that not only the respective corporate clients are analysed and approached, but even more so the related contact persons.
Of course, this also requires better and closer coordination between marketing and sales teams. Account-based marketing must therefore first of all bring sales and marketing together. Together, they must create customised and personalised messages that address the specific vulnerabilities, goals, motivations and interests of customers. The goal is to enter into a real sales conversation in a real customer dialogue.
The key to better personalised marketing is understanding potential prospects. Social media helps in this first step of preparation to build a common understanding and sales and marketing through social media listing. Here, teams can quickly and validly work out key terms, stand-out topics, hashtags or even sentiments (what do potential customers like and what explicitly don't they). What customers are already discussing your brand or company can also be helpful in creating more targeted messages. Not only the obvious social media platforms are interesting here - review sites, forums or comment sections of industry sites can also be analysed. Try to summarise the significances in the following areas:
· Sentiment Analysis
· Total Mentions
· Active networks
· Pain points
· Relevant topics and hashtags
Every industry has its outstanding influencers, most of whom also have a high following today. It is often helpful to follow them, share their content or provide them with exclusive information or even enter into collaborations. Create an influencer list and discuss the options in the team.
Social media also helps in identifying your key accounts. Here you can often find out more about relevant employees, partner networks or current topics of your potential key accounts.
Social media platforms are above all dialogue platforms. Companies should learn to listen better, especially and even more so in ABM. Customer reactions on social media platforms help ABM concepts not only to distribute their marketing messages but also to optimise them. What hashtags do customers use to describe their experiences, what do customers react to most often, what questions and comments are asked. The currency here: dialogue intensity - as in the entire ABM process.
It is best to keep a few important points in mind here:
Keep your brand tonality consistent. No matter whether you publish organic post and/or dialogue offers on your profile or whether you launch campaigns. Integrate a tone of voice and train your team on documented community management guidelines.
Share your knowledge. You are an expert in your sector - involve your community.
Give answers - as often, as quickly and as specifically as possible. Create groups on LinkedIn or other platforms to moderate a forum on specific topics. Your website should also be integrated: Expand an FAQ page on your website and use it to link to specific answers. Feel free to create one or more special landing pages on an important topic.
Integrate as many teams and departments from your company as possible - including top-level management! A close company is more successful in social media.
Be transparent - you don't have to reveal trade secrets, but also discuss problems and challenges of your industry and company.
81% of B2B customers (Demand Gen Report 2020) share new content, exciting insights or quotes via their own email, intranet, MS teams or own social media profiles -make it easy to share. Use shareable formats and make them available that way.
So, to initiate dialogues and engage with potential key accounts as directly and personally as possible, it's no surprise to use social media platforms to distribute messages where customer personas are also most likely to share their interests and personal details.
Don't overdo it - plan - create an editorial calendar and adjust it as needed. Try to assess exactly whether the topic and type of post are really relevant or whether they are also formulated in an entertaining way.
To reach traffic numbers and goals faster, invest in social ads or social PPC (PayPerClick) to deliver your content to the right people at the right time. Most social media platforms offer sophisticated targeting options; on LinkedIn, for example, you can select by job title, company name or even industry. Your content can be delivered in a variety of formats, including personal emails (InMails).
Keep in mind that more and more B2B customers also prefer mobile-optimised content (44%according to Demand Gen Report 2020), especially if traffic is generated via LinkedIn or Facebook, the target groups are often on the move via your apps. Additionally, for the formats you want to play out, it is true that users demand different assets in different phases of the customer journey: 81%, for example, prefer listicles in the early stage just as 62% prefer videos. Case studies or interactive content work best in the late stage. Uhura uses a content matrix to identify content and formats for better planning for content along the Customer Journey.
Measure the KPIs that are really relevant to your objectives. Try to see the real impact relationship - are CPMs (cost per thousand) for views on LinkedIn really a relevant cost KPI or can you relate this to your leads or qualified leads? Of course, engagement rates and traffic numbers are important - but always put them in relation to your sales pipeline. Are they pointing in the right direction or should you revise the messages and target groups to get closer to your requirements? It is important that you adjust quickly and do not hold on to once decided but possibly suboptimal concepts for too long. Uhura constantly questions how campaigns can be optimised on the basis of data and advises its clients based on facts.
Social media works effectively in ABM marketing. Social media helps in analysing and developing a better understanding of prospects, in entering into an effective dialogue in the context of account-based marketing and in the optimal distribution of content and messages. It is important to combine brand, content and dialogue into a consistent presence as part of a strategy development -sales and marketing teams need to be closely integrated.
Uhura Digital advises and supports companies in the optimal implementation of social media and B2B marketing activities, from analysis and strategy development to implementation and optimisation.