@Alex_Sessoms, https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-sessoms-mba-57351b9

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At this point in the process of creating your Account-Based Marketing (ABM) campaigns, you should have all the knowledge you need to forge through with confidence! You know a lot about your targeted accounts and have data to back these assumptions up. Like all things with ABM, there needs to be harmony between sales, marketing, and the vision, as well as image, that your company wants to present. Your content should be relevant to your customers and useful for your sales representatives to leverage. So far, in this series, I’ve given you guidance for Creating your Ideal Customer Profile, Creating your Targeted Accounts Lists, Mapping your Account Contacts, and Discovering Insights. Generating Account-Relevant Messages is the culmination of all this pre-work: it’s using what you’ve gathered and learned to speak to your account throughout the buyer’s journey as well as throughout your relationship with respective accounts.

Creating Content that Audiences Love

As Johan Sundstrand, CEO of Freya News said about ABM, “You need to create stories that the right people in your targeted companies would actually like to read and share.” This should make sense after all of the insight discovery you’ve undertaken, along with getting to know your accounts and client personas.

Remember that various roles within industries respond to different types of content and do a little extra research about what platform you should use to push what messaging. Engagio’s eBook about ABM points out that while some personas widely read eBooks, others will happily watch a lengthy video, and others still wouldn’t engage with either medium. Don’t let this discourage you though, as Engagio also reports that ITSMA research shows 75% of executives read unsolicited marketing materials which contain relevant ideas to their business.

Here are some of the mediums to consider when planning your content-driven campaigns. A combination of all of these mediums will make a well-rounded campaign that an account can’t help but notice.

  • Email
  • eBooks
  • Blog posts
  • Webinars
  • White papers
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Social media posts
  • Focused forums and content hubs
  • Events and conventions

Content Personalization

It’s important to look at personalization as a spectrum, so before we get into generating account-relevant messaging, let’s talk about the two end-types of the personalization spectrum.

Simple personalization focuses on personalizing broader content into more relevant, engaging content by focusing on targeted titles and subtitles, using images that reflect a target industry, creating a targeted landing page, industry-focused email campaigns, and other personal tactics.

Super personalization requires much more precise and tactful measures, such as making a personalized annual report for major accounts. This information allows you to approach them with the information you need to exhibit your knowledge of their business and spark their interest. It’s important to make your messaging as personal as possible, without having customers feel intruded upon.

Here are three ways to use personalization in your account-relevant messaging.

1. Personalize the Executive Conversation

One of the main goals of ABM is to get the attention of senior executives. The best way to do this is by establishing yourself as a thought leader and showing that you’re thinking about your customers’ business in an intelligent way. You can do this in a few different ways:

  • Go the extra mile to create compelling, personalized stories.
  • Show how your technology can specifically help the account you want to connect with or how your solution can help optimize the solutions they are already using.
  • Create compelling business case studies to show how other divisions within the same company are using your solution or how similar companies have seen the benefits of your solution.

2. Personalization in Digital

Along with leveraging your website, mobile presence, and channel programs, there are many options to choose from to help automate, track, and gather useful information for creating highly personalized content. Start with a content audit to find what content you already have that can be updated and recycled. Then, use the following tools suggested by Marketo in their eBook about account-based marketing.

  • Marketing Automation: Helps see how campaigns are performing, keeps all of the data in one place, and allows you to map out customer journeys for different ABM segments.
  • Management Tool: Helps manage your account lists, upload, edit, and review performance as well as sync the data to existing analytics tools.
  • Real-Time Personalization: Helps track the accounts which people are coming from and whether they are known or anonymous.
  • Predictive Scoring Tools: Predicts what an account’s next action will be and trigger automated activity.
  • Ad Tech Tools: Connects to your marketing automation platform to make digital advertising more personal and offers a more tailored experience to your targeted accounts.
  • CRM: Gives you more information to work with and help tailor your account communications and content generation.

3. Content Relevance

Relevant content is the key to engaging your target prospects. You need a flexible plan to begin generating content while remaining agile enough to make the necessary pivots along the way.

Three important pieces of content in your ABM plan should be a content playbook to map messages and content to key personas and purchase stages, a PowerPoint sales presentation for use when speaking directly to each audience and to match relevant information from previous conversations, and industry-specific content hubs which contain content for all personas and buying stages. To make sure your ABM content creation process is moving in the right direction, go through this recommended checklist from Engagio:

  • Conduct a content audit
    • Discover all of the potentially relevant content you currently have.
    • Tag content by account, persona, purchase stage, and pain points.
    • Identify content gaps that need filling.
  • Adapt existing content
    • Pick content that is relevant and usable as it is.
    • Identify content that needs simple revision to make it account-relevant.
  • Create new content
    • Prioritize themes and pain points for the account, based on your insight.
    • Identify sources and acknowledge other thought leaders.
    • Create editorial calendars and content briefs.

With this information, I hope that you have some great starting points for strategizing your campaign means and content. Making engaging, quality content is always the best way to get people interested. For search engines and brand awareness, quantity is also important, but no matter the amount of content you put out, if it isn’t valuable and engaging, it will not help establish or differentiate you from competition. Having a deep understanding and creatively engaging tone is the best way to generate successful, account-relevant content.

How do you strategize around creating personalized and relevant content for your customers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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