How to Create Effective ABM Advertising Campaigns

October 28, 2020

Account-based marketing (ABM) has taken the marketing world by storm over the past few years. After all, who wouldn’t want to pursue a marketing strategy that allows you to target your very best leads and accounts?

No unqualified leads or wasted advertising spend to worry about. Instead, you get to identify and engage with your target accounts from the start. It’s a business’s dream come true.

Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of misinformation that exists around ABM. Some people treat it like some sort of magic bullet that will solve all of their marketing problems (it can, but you just have to dive a little deeper). 

While many others see the process of switching from traditional marketing to ABM as an insurmountable hurdle. The reality is that neither approach is accurate. 

While there's no one-size-fits-all formula to making ABM advertising work for your business, launching your ABM campaign isn’t as difficult as some people make it out to be. 

The key is to have a clear strategy right from the start. This will make the transition to ABM easier, increase your odds of success, and make your campaign more effective. 

5 Steps to an Effective ABM Advertising Campaign

So what are the practical steps you can take to utilize ABM for your business? Let’s look at five actionable steps that will help you create an effective ABM advertising campaign. 

1. Align Marketing and Sales

In the beginning, your sales team may not be a big fan of ABM. After all, this strategy gives them fewer leads to work with which seems contradictory to the very nature of sales. 

But it’s vital to align the two teams because your ABM strategy will not be effective unless sales are on board. There needs to be a shared goal and strategy that both departments can get behind. 

The best way to get sales on board with ABM is by showing them that ABM can solve their biggest job frustration -- low-quality leads. That’s because ABM qualifies leads at the beginning of the sales cycle, not the end.

Once your sales team can see the value that ABM has to offer, getting buy-in from them will be much easier. 

2. Use Segmentation by Buyer Personas

To run an effective ABM campaign, you need to have a clear picture of who it is you’re targeting. You’ll do this by segmenting your audience via buyer personas.

Before you start identifying your buyer personas, you’ll need to have an ideal customer profile (ICP). An ICP helps you identify the companies you want to work with based on factors like:

  • Company size
  • Revenue
  • Industry 
  • Geography

And a detailed ICP will also help you identify your buyer personas. These are the individuals you will be targeting within each company. Once you have your buyer personas, the marketing team can begin developing a personalized campaign to target those individuals.  

3. Implement a Full-Funnel Advertising Campaign 

The marketing funnel is the path users take from first being introduced to your business to eventually becoming a customer. There are many ways to define this and break it down, but in the interest of simplicity, we’ll focus on three main stages:

Awareness: During the first stage, you identify your target accounts and help them become aware of your company. You can do this through content like an eBook, white paper, or blog post.

Engagement: From there, you’re going to nurture the relationship with your leads through more detailed content. This could be something like emails, buyer guides, or retargeting ads.
Conversion: The conversion stage is where your leads convert to a customer. You can utilize content like case studies and special offers during this final stage.

It’s important to structure your campaign so that you have ads for every stage of the funnel. This allows you to meet your prospects where they are right now and create a more personalized experience. 

4. Create Personalized Ads

The reason ABM advertising is so effective is that it creates a personalized approach for your prospects. In the beginning, you do the hard work of understanding your leads and then you focus on creating personalized interactions with them.

Over 90% of businesses agree that personalization is a key component of their success. And on average, personalized ads increase sales by 7.8%.

Using customer data, you can create personalized ads that will feel relevant to your prospects. Personalized advertising will make your leads feel understood and like you understand their challenges. 

5. Utilize Customer Intent Data

And finally, you’re going to want to utilize customer intent data because this will help you develop the right ads. Intent data is often overlooked but it is one of the best tools at your disposal.

That’s because intent data gives you in-depth information about your customers’ research habits. This allows you to create marketing content that is in line with their current behavior.

Intent data helps you identify the types of content they prefer so you can create messaging that will resonate with them. It also helps you determine when and how you share this content with your prospects. 

Plus, intent data can help you identify when your prospects may be looking for a solution like the one you offer. It can also help you predict customer churn ahead of time. 

And it sets the expectations from the start that your business will anticipate and meet their needs ahead of time. Who wouldn’t want to work with a business like that? 

Next Steps

Creating an effective ABM advertising campaign doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. With the right strategy, you can build a campaign that will help you identify and target the right kind of high-value leads for your business.

Utilizing the above tactics and using an ABM platform like RollWorks will help you remove any friction so your campaign runs more smoothly. 

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