How to Build a Highly Effective Account-Based Marketing Campaign to Target the Best Customers
For many marketers, a highly-effective inbound marketing campaign that produces great ROI is a sort of “holy grail” because with inbound marketing, you can sit back and let the customers come to you. These customers will practically qualify themselves by showing what they are interested in, and instead of pitching them, they’ll often be pitching you.
Inbound marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods, but there are limitations because a lot of marketers and organizations try to launch inbound marketing campaigns, but they fail to secure the results they want to see.
In some cases, it’s because they aren’t showing enough patience; often, inbound marketing takes time, but as time goes by, momentum builds. However, the leads generated by inbound marketing often aren’t qualified, which means they might never end up making a purchase or it might take months, even years to successfully convert them.
Inbound Marketing Can Generate a Lot of Hits, But They Won’t All be Qualified
With inbound marketing, you can drum up a lot of traffic, however, not all this traffic will be relevant for your business’s goals. If you’re targeting a very specific audience, say academic professors, business leaders, or lawyers, it can be even more difficult to hone in on qualified leads. At the top of your funnel, where hits are flowing into, you’ll most likely be drawing in a lot of irrelevant hits.
The results will be even worse if you’re inbound marketing campaign hasn’t been honed specifically to target the audience you’re trying to draw in. Let’s say you’re trying to target the CEOs of major companies, so you write a great white paper entitled “10 Steps to Business Success in 2018.”
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This great white pater is more likely to draw in new entrepreneurs, small business owners, and lower level worker bees because by this stage in his or her career, the CEO likely isn’t looking for generic business success tips; he or she has already been around that block a few times.
How to Connect with the Big Honchos
So how can you connect with the c-level executives? How can you reel in the big fish, the decision makers, the people with all the resources? You can target them more specifically with your inbound content. For example, if you’re targeting the c-level executives of manufacturing firms, you might write something like “Top Five Manufacturing Trends For 2018 That Every CEO Should Know.”
That’s fine. This targeting may improve results, however, it’s not enough because if you’re really going to go after the big fish, you need to set aside the net and instead rely on a spear. You need to target your fish directly and you need to pursue them with focused effort. This can be referred to as account-based marketing.Inbound marketing takes time, but as time goes by, momentum builds. Click To Tweet
How to Leverage Account-Based Marketing for Success
What does account-based marketing mean? More or less, you identify your more promising, most-qualified, and highest potential leads, and then you pitch them one-on-one. When you pitch a customer one-on-one, you try to figure out their wants and needs before you even approach them. This might mean digging through surveys they filled out or heading to their company website to see what you can learn.
Then you skip past the mass email campaign and write up a custom email that addresses their potential issues or pain points or perhaps you give them a ring or send a personalized text. It’s important to sit down and ask yourself the best way to connect with them without being intrusive, what’s important is customizing your pitch.
You’re going to spend a lot more time customizing each message, however, when done right account-based marketing will increase open rates, click-through-rates, conversions, and ultimately revenues. Account-based marketing is an investment, but one that can generate a fantastic ROI.
How to Use Linkedin to Jumpstart Your Account-Based Marketing
By now, you’ve probably realized that there’s a big downside to account-based marketing; it’s time and resource intensive which is why it’s important to whittle down your audience and to focus on the most promising leads.
One great tool is Linkedin. As a professional networking site, you can hunt down the relevant CEOs, C-level executives, and other decision makers. You can identify them and then target them directly.
Along the way, you can reduce the time needed to customize each message by focusing on niches one at a time. For example, you might target Chief Marketing Officers one week, Chief Operational Officers another week, and CEO’s the next. Linkedin makes it very easy to target specific professionals with certain job roles or titles.
Or perhaps you target specific industries one at a time. Let’s say you developed software to help dental offices manage their workflows, so in the first month, you message orthodontists. In the second month, you go after prosthetic specialists, in the third month, you target surgeons and in month four, you go after general practitioners. This will make the workflow easier because you’ll know the general pain points of each subset and will be writing similar messages per cohort.
Other Rocking Account-Based Marketing Efforts
Let’s wrap up by taking a dive into some other highly-effective account-based marketing efforts. This list is far from exhaustive, but it’s a great start.
Conferences: Conferences aren’t cheap, but they can produce a great ROI. A lot of decision-makers, even CEO’s, will attend conferences that catch their eye, because it often provides them with a short break from work and they can also hob-knob with like-minds all while making connections and cultivating skills. And best of all, they can often attend conferences on the company’s dime.
Direct Mail: Email inboxes are cluttered, and clicks can be hard to come by, however, physical mailboxes are much less crowded these days. By sending direct mail, you may be able to cut through the noise. Further, it’s a bit more difficult to toss out a physical letter than to delete or ignore an email.
These are just a couple of examples of how you can leverage account-based marketing to produce results. The underlying principle is to directly target your highest-quality leads and to pitch them with personalized efforts and by doing so you may be able to establish a relationship, which in turn can generate sales.