For the month of May, we’ve been focusing on Account-Based Marketing to educate and enlighten our audience on the advantages. In this blog post, we will take a deeper dive in order to better understand ABM and how it can affect your content marketing. Before we jump in, we need to first understand our current content approach and how ABM uses content.
As you may know, content marketing has been around for awhile and some might say that it is the currently the most influential form of modern marketing. Traditional content marketing uses this model:
- Finding a problem
- Understand the problem
- Address the problem (create content)
Unfortunately, there is such an overwhelming amount of content available out there which can make the traditional content generation model less effective. This is where Account-Based Marketing can come into play. Taking an ABM approach creates targeted content for specific accounts and roles. This will make your content creation process might look like this:
There are a couple key components of ABM that can make content ideation and creation much much easier for your team.
Understand Your Approach
First and foremost, sales and marketing need to be aligned in order to make content creation easier. When marketing knows your sales goals and target accounts, their approach to creating content will be more effective.
Once these two teams are aligned, you will be closer to creating account-specific content for your brand. As a content marketer here at ion, I understand the goals and strategy for both sales and marketing. By knowing these strategies, I will aim to be consultative and to add value by offering ideas and strategy to advise our users. Additionally, the content will focus on specific target accounts in order to increase engagement.
When you’re creating specialized content, marketing should support sales through their pitch and conversation. You also have to keep the target account in mind since they are the ones that need to benefit the most. To help with understanding the target, I visit social media channels such as LinkedIn to talk to people in a similar space. Social listening is a valuable tool for understanding what topics interest your accounts. Here at ion, we have noticed that the insurance industry has seen a lot of success using interactive content. Because of their business model, insurance companies focus on generating quality leads by leveraging calculators to engage their audience. We take these two things into consideration whenever we create content specific for that industry.
Let’s Get Cookin’!
So now that we know what kind of content would be most valuable for our user base, it is time to get started. But, where do we start? In the previous paragraphs, I noted that we’re creating content for each account and in some instance for specific roles within an account… that’s a lot of content, right?
This is a common problem with account-based marketing. We want to create quality content for specific accounts but how do we stand out amongst all the content that is already out there?
First and foremost, define what an account means to your marketing and sales team. Is it an industry? Is it a specific brand? Or a group of brands?
There are a few ideas I have in mind to help brands create content more efficiently. Before you dive in and start creating content for each account, you may want to consider the common pain points and/or goals for each account.
Let’s use lead generation as an example since most, if not all, B2B brands are concerned about lead generation. The big difference between each sector/account are the topics and data that you capture (form info). So, how do you tailor this to each account? TEST AND OPTIMIZE!
Start with an original piece of content that focuses on a valuable topic such as a white paper on lead generation. Test your content for each account that you may target in your marketing automation or CRM. I’d say start with a small number of accounts in order to not overwhelm yourself.
Each version of content should include something unique to the specific account. That can range from logos of similar brands within their industry to add trust or experiment with messaging to learn what resonates with the account. Once you determine a winner, don’t stop testing! There is always room to learn more.
If you’re fortunate enough to have the resources needed to create content from scratch for your accounts, how would you even start? Begin with your data! Chances are you have data and insight that could assist with content creation for your accounts. Use this data and research to create compelling content that speaks to your individual targets. When creating content for ion’s accounts, I refer to tagging data and referral URLs to understand where users are coming from and how they’re interacting with our brand.
For example, if you have groups coming from The Content Marketing Institute and immediately going to your About Us page, then maybe you need content that helps this audience understand more about your brand. I’ll admit this tactic is hard and takes time, but it can be effective at understanding what resonates most with your audience.
Lastly, let’s discuss creating content that leverages modern web practices to create a dynamic experience. This tactic uses technology to create content that can be changed based on user behavior or account. Dynamic content is often referred to as “smart content”!
Stay tuned to our next blog post, “Why Interactive Content and Account-Based Marketing Go Hand in Hand” where I’ll highlight how interactive content can help to minimize your ABM woes.