Do you dream of delivering a buying experience that’s tailor-made for your top accounts?
I certainly do.
Hi there 👋 I’m Meghan, the Director of Go-to-Market at Drift. And I’m here to tell you that the key to impressing your buyers is account-based marketing (ABM).
ABM takes personalization to the next level by treating buyers as if they’re a market of one. This means all of your outreach is personalized to that buyer’s needs and interests so that you can build a lasting, authentic relationship with them.
And it works. According to ITSMA, 87% of B2B marketers said that ABM provides the highest return on investment (ROI) out of all marketing techniques.
The problem is that most marketers don’t know how to do ABM. For 45% of marketers, the biggest challenge is providing that personalized customer experience they’re aiming for.
So, how can you create an effective ABM strategy to awe your most valuable buyers?
When you’re starting with a blank slate, it’s hard to know what ABM tactics will actually work. That’s why I’ll be sharing five tactics that have worked for us — which you can steal to make your own winning campaigns 👀
Our team presented these tactics on a webinar with Ambition. If you want to watch the full presentation, click here. Otherwise, keep reading for all the insights 💡
How Do You Make Your ABM Campaign Great?
A successful ABM campaign is all about personalization.
To design a great ABM campaign, you need to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. That means focusing relentlessly on the customer journey and engaging the buyer throughout.
Here are a few key qualities to keep in mind when designing your ABM campaign:
With ABM, you should always remember who your buyer is and what they are telling you, especially their goals and pain points. Your outreach should then build on their input so that you’re always suggesting the next course of action or providing more opportunities for conversation.
5 ABM Tactics You Can Steal for Your Next Campaign
It’s one thing to know what goes into a successful ABM campaign, but it’s another thing to put those ideas to work.
So, here are five ABM tactics that we’ve had a lot of success with that you can swipe for your team today:
1. Tailor Your Website to Target Specific Verticals
A generic landing page is good for an unknown visitor, but your ABM buyers aren’t faceless individuals.
Think about how you’re organizing your target account list. Rather than looking at each account separately, you’re probably categorizing accounts around specific niches, like industry or funnel stage. That’s information you can leverage to make your buyers’ site experience both easy and engaging.
For example, you can use your verticals to build a series of personalized landing pages. The level of personalization can range from the content you display (such as case studies specific to your account’s industry) to the copy you use to engage your buyers.
For a more personal touch, you can use Drift Intel to send personalized messages through chat. Intel helps recognize and target specific industries among your ABM accounts, so if a target account lands on your website, you can greet them with a playbook tailored to their industry.
Here’s an example 👇
Intel not only allows you to send personalized messages but also streamlines the buying process by alerting the account owner as soon as their target is online.
With personalized webpages, your target accounts can quickly access content that is relevant to them and instantly hop into a chat with the right person. The best part? You’re doing all this even before you’ve had a conversation with your target account.
2. Host Virtual VIP Events
Want to draw in ABM buyers with something more intimate and exclusive?
VIP events are the flagship ABM tactic — and, in our current remote/hybrid world, it’s important that you replicate that experience virtually.
Events come in all shapes and sizes but the key to a successful VIP event is making space for your guests to have open conversations. At Drift, we’ve hosted events that bring together our top customers so they can discuss how they’re using our product and how it fits into their strategy.
Use the virtual space to your advantage. If you’re using Zoom, for example, you can put your guests into breakout rooms so they can share tips and ask questions in a casual setting.
The best ideas come from conversations between people who share the same goals. Whether you’re bringing together marketing leaders or companies in the fintech industry, you can guarantee that your customers will be having exciting conversations with each other.
For that exclusive feel, promise not to record the event and make good on that promise. That’ll give your ABM buyers that extra “I’ve got to be there” push.
Virtual VIP events are a win-win because they help your customers become more successful and that means they’re more willing to advocate for you and your product. By keeping the conversation natural and free-flowing, you’ll be able to foster long-lasting, authentic relationships with your VIP guests.
Psst! Want to know more about how Drift runs virtual events? Check out our ultimate guide to virtual events management here.
3. Engage Executives with Personalized Outreach
A typical buying committee for a B2B solution consists of six to 10 decision-makers. All of these decision-makers have different goals and concerns related to your product. So your engagement with them isn’t going to be one-size-fits-all.
To give individual stakeholders their own “wow” moments, you can engage in executive outreach. This could be something easy like a friendly introductory video or an invitation to a fireside chat.
One way we like to engage executives from our target accounts is by inviting them to star in our podcasts.
With Pipeline, for example, this involves identifying customers from our target account list who would bring a unique outlook to the show, checking in with their account reps about outreach, and then sending out personalized emails that touch on the executive’s interests and accomplishments.
Here’s an example 👇
Through executive outreach, you can personally connect with some of the biggest decision-makers from your target accounts. These interactions — however small or large — are great opportunities for you to understand who your stakeholders are and how you could help them address their company’s pain points.
4. Turn Your SDR into Your Buyer’s Best Friend
You don’t want your target account to jump into a conversation with someone they don’t know. That’s why you want your SDR to be everywhere.
This doesn’t mean that your SDR is spending all their time with one account though.
For example, when a target account arrives on our website, their assigned SDR will greet them with a personalized message. But, in reality, that message is coming from our chatbot. It’s just using the SDR’s name and picture.
It’s all about turning your SDR into a familiar face.
During the initial stages of the buying process, every interaction that your target account has with your company should involve your SDR — whether that’s a follow-up email, an invitation to a webinar, or a gift sent through the mail.
Even if there’s an entire village working behind the scenes, your buyer should only have one touchpoint. So, although SDRs mostly work on cold outreach, they’re going to be the ones to chat with target accounts, answer questions, and participate in those first sales meetings.
By choosing one spokesperson to represent your company, your outreach is both personalized and humanized. Your target account doesn’t have to interact with faceless individuals or (on the flipside) a sea of sales reps. All they have to do is remember their SDR is their best friend.
5. Send Personalized Follow-Up Messages
In an ABM campaign, a single tactic isn’t going to be enough to effectively engage your target accounts.
While executing on all of the previous tactics mentioned might be difficult, there is one play you can use to keep the conversation going: the follow-up.
In our current B2B world, your buyers have an increasing number of solutions to choose from. Sending a follow-up message after an event or a one-on-one meeting ensures that your solution stays at the top of your buyer’s mind.
Here, personalization is key. You don’t want to send generic greetings or top-of-funnel content to your target accounts. Instead, you should show that you’ve been paying attention to what your targets have been saying.
Pro tip: Instead of an email, try following up with a video. After a meeting or event, we like to send buyers a Drift Video where we go over key takeaways and encourage them to book the next meeting. Using video is an easy way to turn routine communication into something more authentic.
Follow-up messages are meant to encourage buyers to take the next step. That’s why your messaging has to be both strategic and accurate. You can only achieve this through active collaboration between your sales and marketing teams.
When your marketing and sales teams work together, you can send follow-up messages that are tailored to your buyer and also act as effective CTAs. We marketers at Drift like to remind sales about upcoming webinars and events so that they can incorporate that information into their follow-ups with target accounts.
By encouraging collaboration between marketing and sales, you’re keeping your target accounts in the loop and making sure that your conversations with buyers never stagnate.
Start Building an ABM Strategy Your VIPs Will Love
Designing an effective ABM strategy is hard.
An ABM strategy that works for one company may not always work for another. But there’s no way to know what will get your buyers to engage with you unless you try it for yourself.
Hopefully, our five tactics have given you a good jumping-off point for your own ABM strategy or inspired new ways for you to personalize the buyers’ journey for your top accounts.
Remember. As long as you put your buyers’ experience first, you’ll be able to create an ABM campaign that starts conversations with your top-tier accounts and keeps the ball rolling long afterward.