7 Effective Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Tactics to Boost B2B Sales
Implementing the right account-based marketing tactics are key to engaging with today's B2B buyers. From video to physical gifts, we share the top ABM tactics to capture your prospect's attention.
Business buyers expect more personalization than average consumers. However, personalizing marketing efforts can be difficult when decision-makers are groups instead of individuals. That’s where account-based marketing tactics come in.
In this post, we’ll discuss 7 effective account-based marketing tactics that can help B2B businesses boost their sales and engagement.
- 1. What Is Account-Based Marketing?
- 2. 7 Account-Based Marketing Tactics for B2B Organizations
- 2.1 Tailor Content Topics to Target Audience Needs
- 2.2 Slice and Dice Your Data
- 2.3 Use Video to Stand Out from the Crowd
- 2.3.1 Email and Newsletter Campaigns
- 2.3.2 Screen Share Videos
- 2.3.3 Personalized Videos
- 2.4 Separate Customer Testimonials into Tiers
- 2.5 Record Explainer and Thought Leadership Videos
- 2.6 Go the Extra Mile with IRL Gifts
- 2.6.1 Go Even Further with Video
- 2.7 Target Key Accounts with Digital Ads
- 3. It’s Time to Put These ABM Tactics into Practice
What Is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach where B2B marketing efforts focus on highly targeted accounts that have been identified as a good fit for the business.
Also known as key account marketing, ABM requires close alignment between marketing and sales to identify and market directly to specific individual organizations that fit the ideal customer profile (ICP).
ABM uses a variety of ‘outbound’ tactics to stimulate interest from the ICP, like targeted advertising, direct mail, video prospecting, and social selling.
According to the Information Technology Services Marketing Association, 84% of companies report higher ROI with ABM than other marketing types.
B2B marketers take note—you don’t want to be left behind!
7 Account-Based Marketing Tactics for B2B Organizations
Choose a few of these proven account-based marketing tactics that make sense for your business and start testing them!
1. Tailor Content Topics to Target Audience Needs
Whether you’re creating blogs, webinars, eBooks (or video books), or guides, choosing content topics based on your target accounts’ pain points and needs is an effective way to capture their attention.
Rather than using generalized topics, drill down into the specifics that you know your most important prospects care about.
And in your targeted tactics, try to answer the question, “How can I help?”. Focusing on the direct needs of accounts that match your ICP will maximize your chances of winning key accounts. Quality over quantity is the measure of success here.
2. Slice and Dice Your Data
If your business generates original data to create reports and other content, it can be a virtual goldmine for your ABM activities.
When creating a large-scale report, think about how to segment the data and repurpose it to tailor it to a targeted account.
Take your main report or asset, separate out, and repackage stats specific to certain industries, business sizes, maturity levels, and more. Not only does it work for our ABM activities, but it also can give you more bang for your buck out of the data.
3. Use Video to Stand Out from the Crowd
There are so many ways to supercharge your ABM efforts with video. Personalization is key with account-based marketing tactics, and what is more personal than sending a direct video message to a prospect. It’s a quick way to put a face to a name and build trust with a target account.
Email and Newsletter Campaigns
Video within your email nurtures is a great way to introduce your brand to cold leads and drive higher engagement scores than text-based emails alone.
Proving to be an extremely effective way to increase open and response rates and catch the attention of your busy prospect, video marketing email is a valuable tool. You can boost open rates by crafting a compelling subject line with the word “[VIDEO]” in it.
Screen Share Videos
Screen share videos are a unique way to walk a prospect through an idea, your product, or a website. While recording a screen share video for a prospect, it’s a great time to reference known pain points you can help solve and engage qualified prospects in your offering on a deeper level. Establish your expertise in their problems with real-time examples through video.
In this example of a personalized screen share video, the rep shows exactly how his company’s software works for an existing customer.
Personalized videos are an easy way to make a prospect feel special. Create a selfie-style video instead of a text-based email. Hold up a whiteboard with your prospect’s name written on it at the beginning of the video. That way, when you choose a thumbnail, you can choose a still that shows the prospect’s name or an animated thumbnail that shows footage of you waving while holding up the whiteboard.
Within ABM targeting, you don’t always have to be personalized on a one-to-one basis. And account-level personalized video has that same customized feeling but is more scalable as you can send it to all individuals within the account.
In this account-level personalized video example, the rep can reach multiple contacts within the account with less effort.
4. Separate Customer Testimonials into Tiers
Likewise, there are a lot of opportunities to customize customer testimonials so that the content feels relevant for a targeted account.
Create some keystone testimonials that look at some of your product’s more common use cases and can be shared broadly to start. Then, create targeted customer stories for specific market segments or key accounts.
You can’t do high-production video shoots for all of your customer testimonials. So why not get some of your customers to record their own videos? This way, you can still share dynamic video content to complement your written story without having to blow the budget.
In fact, we use the low-budget approach often. Here’s an example we did working with MediaValet. The rep simply used Vidyard, her headset, and a webcam to record this testimonial. Our video team then added a few edits and graphical elements.
Create a library of these micro-testimonials that your sales team can draw from to share real examples for your account-based marketing tactics.
5. Record Explainer and Thought Leadership Videos
To achieve the best video results when using account-based marketing tactics, aim to create a library of video content. This is similar to the library of posts you might have on a blog that nurture programs can incorporate or sales teams can utilize.
Explainer videos are an excellent content type for ABM because they often address customer (or prospect) questions. Similarly, thought leadership videos can be effective in establishing your organization within the industry.
6. Go the Extra Mile with IRL Gifts
A next-level step for teams who’ve had luck with direct mail sending physical gifts to prospects. When done right, this can foster a connection with prospects at key accounts—and get the target company talking.
That’s the key. You need to do your homework and learn enough about the prospect to be able to select and send something they’re sure to love.
Sruthi Kumar, Global Marketing Manager at Sendoso (a platform that delivers direct mail, swag, and gifts), sent out bottles of wine to her top targets one quarter. Her company’s logo is etched on the side. It worked beautifully because it was something the prospects were excited to take home.
A coworker of hers went above and beyond for a target account at Amazon. She found out her prospect was having a baby and that she owned a bulldog. She sent her a onesie that says, “My Big Brother is a Bulldog.” Not only did the prospect love it, but it also got her team members talking and helped to build brand awareness.
Go Even Further with Video
Direct mail is one of the most personal marketing channels, but how do you scale for ABM? With video!
- Enable your sales reps to create one video per rep to help put a face to the name for prospects when sending out IRL gifts.
- Next, have sales reps make unboxing videos of gifts for a more personalized follow-up. Recognition of the gift in the video thumbnail will drive views!
- Track each view and deliver a personalized asset to those that view the video and accept the gift.
7. Target Key Accounts with Digital Ads
As with any campaign, ads are a great way to gain coverage. Digital ads allow you to get your message in front of everyone you want to see the message.
And, of course, ads are measurable, allowing teams to track results and see what’s working (and what isn’t). Sales teams can use data to prioritize their efforts and target the right people at the right time.
When Allie Butters, Director of Marketing at Terminus (an ABM platform for sales and marketing), and her team served ads to prospects, they got higher open and response rates on emails sent to those same people.
In one instance, Allie put together a highly-targeted ad for project management software company LeanKit. When a prospect clicks, they’re taken to a customized UberFlip stream of content tailored to them. Allie also coordinated with the sales rep to send out personalized video using Vidyard.
While looking for the right mix of account-based marketing tactics, consider how they interact with one another. Like in Allie’s example, ads worked in tandem with tailored content and personalized video.
It’s Time to Put These ABM Tactics into Practice
Now you have the basics of different proven tactics to implement for your ABM programs, pick a few and test them out. If you want to learn more about using video within your account-based marketing and selling programs, book a call with one of our video specialists.
This post was originally published on October 4, 2018. It was updated on April 12, 2023.