Coming out of startup mode, Superside has formed a clear understanding of its ideal customer, its target personas, and where it wins. This always-on design company is now translating that knowledge into an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy where personalized video is a key component of success. In just a few short months, Superside’s focus on ABM and its use of video in its ABM campaigns has spiked demand for the company’s services and helped the company build momentum within its existing enterprise accounts.
Startups spend the first few years perfecting the business model, refining the value prop, and understanding the target market. Such is the case with Superside, a Y Combinator-backed tech company with a unique subscription-based model for scale-ups and enterprise brands to access global design talent and scale design output.
Miles DePaul runs demand generation and ABM at Superside. He explains, “Our success up until last year was very much based on inbound marketing and the notion of casting a wide net. We relied on advertising, content, webinars, eBooks—the classic marketing playbook. We also found that by using inbound tactics, we were attracting smaller companies who would partner with us for six months and then run out of projects.
As we began to grow and mature as a company, our ideal customer profile (ICP) came sharply into focus. We recognized that our larger enterprise accounts such as Autodesk, Salesforce, and Shopify have the desire and volume of work to build long-term relationships. We built a picture of the type of industries, the size of the company, and the buying personas we engage with inside those companies. And we saw that they responded well to more personalized marketing. So to win more of those enterprise accounts, we needed to move to ABM.”
About six months ago, Superside decided to kick off ABM in earnest. It hired an outbound sales team to target and engage new enterprise accounts and build an opportunity pipeline. The outbound sales team reports to a dedicated ABM marketing team that provides them with ideal accounts to go after that align with the company’s ICP. The ABM team then runs dedicated and targeted campaigns to the same accounts, supporting the outbound sales effort with content, messaging, assets, and events, including tailored advertising and small, intimate VIP-style round table events, where prospects can network and share knowledge.“This aligned relationship is super important for keeping everyone focused,” says Miles.
The teams leverage a marketing and sales tech stack that includes Salesloft, Salesforce, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, HubSpot, and 6Sense.
It was a no-brainer decision to incorporate Vidyard into this tech stack and use personalized video as part of this ABM strategy. Miles had long been aware of Vidyard and had used both free and paid platform versions in previous roles.
“All these tools help us identify and research our target accounts and ideal personas. Vidyard, alongside Salesloft, is our first touchpoint. Vidyard integrates into Salesloft, making it easy to send video messages from within the platform to a prospect’s email or LinkedIn. As we began to ramp up our ABM strategy, we knew we wanted to incorporate that initial personalized touch into our sales outreach,” says Miles. “This was not about following up with someone who had downloaded an eBook. This was about building a relationship with that account from day one. And that naturally pointed to video as an important tool for building a personalized connection.”
Hear from Miles himself on Superside’s use of personalized video in its ABM strategy.
The Superside team first experimented with the free version of Vidyard—to see if their business development team would embrace the idea of personalized video.
“Once we proved to ourselves that our BDRs would use and see the benefits of personalized video as part of their outreach, the advantages of the paid tool became pretty obvious,” says Miles. “We are a visual company known for our creative work, so it was important for us to be able to brand each video and the look and feel of our landing pages.”
The ABM sales team at Superside builds pipelines. They reach out to prospective accounts that fit the ICP, engage with those companies and build interest. Once the account reaches an opportunity stage, it is handed off to an account executive to close the deal. The ABM sales team is Supersides’ heaviest user of personalized video.
“We want to position ourselves as helpful, offering value right out of the gate,” says Miles. “One of the outbound campaigns we ran focused on researching the company’s Facebook ad library and identifying areas where we could boost digital marketing performance. Reps would reach out to the prospect using Vidyard’s screen recording tool to show them ad findings in context while making a personal connection. And in that video, they would also offer up recommended improvements, for instance, highlighting how motion design can increase ROI, how to decrease their ad spend by 35%, or why frequently refreshing their ad design and copy is important. We saw a spike in interest from that outreach.”
Over the last three months, 50% of opportunities generated by Superside’s ABM team began with a video message. Miles has also observed that the team’s use of Salesloft makes it easy for reps to send video messages right from the platform. Analysis showed that outreach emails that incorporated video had open, click-through, and reply rates that far outperformed classic text-based emails.
Personalized video integrated into Superside’s ABM outreach emails drove an 8X improvement in click-through rates (CTR). While emails without video only achieved a 2.5% CTR, emails incorporating video jumped to a 17% CTR.
Video also improved prospecting email reply rates. While emails without video achieved a 1.5% reply rate, emails with video jumped to 6%, showing a 4X improvement in the reply rate.
The ABM team is now expanding its use of personalized video into other areas of marketing. For instance, contacts targeted for the company’s VIP round tables receive personalized video invitations. The results contrast with Superside’s past (more traditional) webinar efforts, which yielded minimal engagement and 1% click-through rates.
In this example below, Broden from Superside used a personalized video in an email message to invite a prospect to a webinar event.
“People get invitations to webinars every day, and those messages are mostly ignored,” observes Miles. “But a personalized invitation is so much more powerful. 80% of the people who received our personalized video invite wanted to attend the event. We are at a point now where we have far more demand for these VIP events than we can serve.”
Finally, Miles and the team are experimenting with creating account-level personalized videos targeting an entire company versus an individual to facilitate sales expansion within existing accounts.
“We can also get creative and use video messages that speak to the account’s broader issues and start an internal dialogue. It’s also a tactic that builds momentum within our existing accounts. We have some pretty big brand names as clients. There is a lot of room for growth within those companies. So, we are using a combination of personalized videos and curated videos within these accounts to showcase the work we’ve done, the problems we’ve solved, and the ROI we’ve achieved,” said Miles.
Prospective customers love Supersides’ personalized approach. Miles points to a recent LinkedIn post from a prospect that said the personalized video message he received from his Superside rep was ‘the best pitch’ he’d ever received.
The personalized video bug is now catching hold in other parts of the company. Miles has been fielding a lot of interest from Superside’s customer success team. The team is excited about Vidyard and using video to create a more engaging client onboarding experience.
Says Miles, “We’re seeing success with personalized video. It’s becoming more and more a part of our workflow. At first, video was something we used alongside email and LinkedIn, but it’s becoming far more crucial to our business. It’s now the first tool we introduce to our new hires.”
Superside is a fully remote, tech-enabled design company that delivers beautiful design at scale to scale-ups and enterprise teams — from everyday production work to large-scale strategic design solutions. Superside employs over 600 of the world’s best creative talent in over 50 countries, serving hundreds of enterprise customers including Amazon, Puma, Shopify, Salesforce, Twitch, S&S Activewear, Cisco looking for a new solution to their design challenges, as well as scale-ups looking to quickly scale their design output alongside their growth goals.
Superside is backed by Sam Altman (former president of Y Combinator), Geoff Ralston (president of Y Combinator), Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail), Y Combinator, Slack Fund, Freestyle Capital, High Alpha Capital and Alliance Ventures.