Account-based marketing (ABM) is a personalized way of reaching out to targeted customers by providing quality-based experiences. It is one of the driving forces behind how Business-to-Business (B2B) companies plan their marketing strategy and sales plan.
As a result, B2B companies are putting their focus on giving their customers a consistent and personalized buyer-seller relationship to foster trust and loyalty, and build long-term business relationships.
According to Megan Heuer, the Vice President and Group Director, Data-Driven Marketing, at SiriusDecisions, “Companies of all sizes are trying out ABM. From expanded efforts in huge global companies to laser-focused go-to-market models for lean startups. The next question is whether ABM will go from being a trend to becoming a dominant strategy, forever replacing ‘Spray and spray’ in the B2B mindset.”
The answer to the above question is: with the current success trend of ABM and the increase it brings to companies’ ROI, it is evident that this personalized way of marketing is here to stay, and what’s more, a lot of B2B businesses are beginning to rely more on it, than traditional marketing.
Social Media, ABM, and B2B Relationships
In using ABM to build relationships, companies, and by extension, marketers are looking for more ways to foster personalized relationships and create contents tailored at getting and retaining the profitable account. To this end, companies are taking advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in achieving their objective.
However, social media provides access to a wide range of people from different walks of life who want and need different things. And since ABM does not follow the deep dive marketing trend of throwing a wide net, and hoping to catch a few accounts, getting ABM prospects becomes a bit challenging.
Fortunately, the challenge is not without solutions, and despite the vast nature of social media, B2B companies can still effectively use ABM to get their targeted accounts, and it all begins with knowing what to do. At this point, the question is no longer if ABM is just a trend, but how to use it to create profitable B2B relationships, and how social media can boost its success.
Using Social Media to Create Profitable B2B Relationships via ABM
Social media helps to build strong relationships with key customers and prospects by creating an avenue that helps companies listen to the needs, wants, and problems of these individuals or companies. It helps them create specific contents tailored at providing the required solution, and the ways to do this is quite simple and straightforward.
#1 Have a Deep Understanding of Target Accounts
The starting point of most business strategies is research, and ABM is not an exception. The first thing you need to understand is that what works for one demographic of people, industry, or social media platform, will not work for another. So, before applying ABM, you have to understand those you are trying to land.
Having a deep and personal understanding also means following the activities of your target on the social media platform they are most active on. It entails following their posts, comments, shares, likes, and discovering what products they are happy or displeased about, interested in, the challenges they are facing, and the solutions they expect.
Having this knowledge provides you with a wealth of information that comes in handy when you are ready to go in and land the account. Also, since most ABM marketers get tasked with landing two to three accounts at a time, using social media listening tools will help to eliminate the noise and focus on what’s important to building a successful B2B relationship.
Social media listening tools will also help accomplish the following:
- Track the keywords, phrases, and topics of those whose account you are targeting are interested in and get in on them.
- Stay on top of the conversations they are interested in. Try to engage in them, by inputting intelligent comments.
- Identify their challenges and gain an idea of a possible solution that fits a target.
#2 Create Refined Content for Target Accounts
After understanding your target accounts, the next thing is to develop an ABM content that best works for a target account. As mentioned earlier, what works for A will not work for B. So although it might seem like a hassle, it is more prudent and advantageous in the end.
Therefore, go all out to ensure that what you create is focused and beneficial to a particular company, industry, or individual. Note that some companies set up Google alerts for every time their name gets mentioned on the internet, so creating a personalized content will help put you in their focus, and help them see what you created for them.
Another good way to get your targets to see the content you created for them is to mention them in your social media posts by using the “@” feature, tagging their company account, top executives, and stakeholders. Also, writing a blog post on how you’ve fixed previous problems in a target industry in the past, and putting a link to it on social media is an excellent way to get noticed, and create the building blocks for a relationship.
#3 Build Meaningful Relationship with Target Accounts
After doing the first two, then you’re primed to begin building profitable B2B relationships. At this stage, it’s vital to go beyond target content to a more direct and personalized approach.
It’s time to single out the top decision-makers who are more likely to give your company their account and build meaningful relationships with them. Get them to follow you on your social media account, and by accepting your request, it means the first step of acceptance has begun.
Join common groups of interests, comment nonstop on their posts, share, like, and where possible, invite them to contribute to blog posts, and have joint webinars.
Research has shown that ABM has helped businesses grow their revenue to 208%, and social media plays an integral role in that. About 97% of marketers who use ABM for B2B companies have testified that it improved their ROI more than every other marketing activity.
Also, on a global scale, 92% of B2B marketers have discovered that ABM is quite vital to overall market strategies, and since today’s customers want to be more than the next avenue for companies to make a quick buck, building and maintaining relationships has become very significant.
With the competition becoming more fierce in the business world, using social media for ABM will bring about robust personalization of contents, sales optimization, and top-level engagement. Therefore, it’s vital to leverage on the opportunities social media provides in building profitable B2B relationships.
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