Cover All the Bases With 21 Winning Content Marketing Tactics

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You might be surprised to learn that, for me, the arrival of spring marks the return of two of my favorite traditions: watching the start of the Major League Baseball season and creating CMI’s annual Content Marketing Playbook.

Spotlight

Rise Interactive

Rise Interactive is a digital marketing agency that specializes in digital media, customer experience, and advanced analytics. We serve as a strategic partner for marketing leaders, helping them to make smarter investment decisions grounded in data insights. Leveraging our unique investment management approach, we look at brands’ investments across all digital marketing channels to best allocate budget and maximize ROI.

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How to kickstart your Account Based Marketing strategy

Article | March 30, 2020

It’s official – studies show that marketers who implement account based marketing generate 200% more revenue in their efforts than those who don’t. In fact, 84% of B2B marketers have bought into this vision and believe that ABM delivers higher ROI than any other marketing strategy. But what makes it crucial for B2B success you ask? Well, ABM is highly useful for organizations with multiple stakeholders or buyers. It’s not just about personalizing your brand messages and targeting multiple decision-makers at every touch point, but doing that at scale. A senior marketing manager at Hubspot says,“It is to address the needs of an organization by connecting with all of the stakeholders within it. That's one reason why it works so well in B2B -- oftentimes you have to work with five or more stakeholders in a given sale.” While account based marketing has been around for a few years, it still feels like a relatively new concept and marketers are still trying to perfect their strategies for ABM. In this article, we’ll take you back to the basics, walk you through some examples, strategies, tactics backed by data and top marketers in the B2B space, so you’re ready to bring your A-game. Quick Links: - What is account based marketing? - B2B account based marketing - Some sure-fire account based marketing strategies with examples -Identifying your target -Researching your accounts -Tailoring content to resonate with your prospects - Finding the best channels for your campaigns -Running your campaigns -Measure and evaluate your results - Some real-life examples of account based marketing - Account based marketing best practices What is account based marketing? Account based marketing, in its simplest, is a business strategy used to focus on a set of high-quality target accounts instead of a lot of weak accounts. This strategy allows marketers to identify and target the accounts/decision-makers/individuals that they value most. In short, high-value accounts/prospects are identified, key stakeholders in these businesses are targeted, then marketing strategies are implemented through various channels to appeal to their specific personas and needs. I believe ABM is B2B. Most companies are still focused on top of the funnel. Mature and forward thinking CMOs are starting to help their sales team win more and faster by focusing on pipeline velocity and expansion deals. -Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist, Terminus B2B account based marketing Believe it or not, half of the account based marketing programs are still in their early years and only 17% of those programs have been running for three years. So, if you’re one of those marketers who just launched their ABM, don’t worry about having missed an opportunity. As we know, there are a hundred different ways to execute an account based marketing strategy based on your business requirements. Although experts would argue that some companies think they’re doing ABMwhen really they’re just focusing on one element of ABM.According to ITSMA, a wining ABM program constitutes a mix of several best strategies, practices, and technologies; its core principles include: Strategic focus on improving business reputation, relationships, and revenue (if it’s just about lead gen, it’s not ABM!) Tight partnership and integration with sales (if there isn’t active, ongoing collaboration throughout the lifecycle, it isn’t ABM!) Tailored and personalized programs and campaigns based on deep customer insight (if customers get the same experience and inside-out messaging, it’s not ABM!) While it may seem a little tricky to get a head-start, once you have your strategies in place the results can be truly rewarding. Some sure-fire account based marketing strategies Since our goal is to target all the decision-makers within the same organization, your ABM campaign must be designed to resonate with these specific people. Before you start to implement your ABM strategy, there are three key foundations that your teams need to agree on: • Purpose of your ABM program • Accounts you are targeting • Prospects within those accounts that you’re targeting Identifying your target Finding and identifying your target is the first step; which does not mean developing and targeting personas. You’ll be focusing on organizations instead. Identifying your target should be a collaborative effort between sales and marketing. Since it requires data from both the teams – you have to look at firmographicdata(used to categorize organizations, such as geographic area, number of clients, type of organization, industry, technologies used, etc.) and technographic data, as well as strategic factors like market influence, likelihood of repeat purchase, and expected profit margin. Researching your accounts Once you’ve identified your target, dive-in to do a deep research to find out additional information and representation of your ideal business customer. Having an idea of the company structure, who the key players are can give you a clear direction of how you’re going to create the appeal for your products or services to those targets. What would make this even better is if you know the influencers and decision-makers in that organization. Some simple steps like manual research on LinkedIn is a great way to uncover that data. For example, you can do an advanced people search to find out more about your targets. Below is an example by Hubspot for finding out your target through an advanced search on LinkedIn. DECK 7 identifies new prospects who could convert as a customer by analyzing their insights through interactions and engagements on social media, digital media or through their form fills, whitepaper downloads, etc. Some of the visitors could have downloaded their whitepaper through an email that was sent to them through their marketing or sales teams. Or they might have visited a blog or landing page through DECK 7’s newsletter, ONDECK in which case DECK 7 retargets them. This gives the company insights about the intent of their target audience and helps them plan their messaging. Tailoring content to resonate with your prospects Your next step should be to collaborate with the design and sales teams to create hyper-personalized, valuable content, that’s visually compelling and communicates the right messaging at the right time. Have your content centered around these key parameters: • Personalize sales enablement content • Wow them with your solution • Establish your expertise, personality, and appeal • Keep them involved, consuming your ideas and engaging with your brand, and • Invite them to stay connected so they can become customers Remember that the beauty of ABM lies in personalizing your content towards these accounts, so, make sure that your brand messaging speaks to their specific pain points. Your content and imagery should also serve as solutions to their challenges and business needs. Learn more:https://channel.report/c-suite-on-deck-uberflip-randy-frisch Finding the best channels for your campaigns To strike the right chord with your target prospects you must utilize the best channel for your messages. Some of the most effective channels that DECK 7 uses include: • Social • Email • Web • Search • Mobile Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are some of the best in letting you run your campaign and customizing them according to your business needs. You can appeal to specific organizations as well as the titles within those organizations. Use Facebook’s demographics filters for seeking out your targets or even take it to the next level by targeting their specific job title. Learn more: https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ad-targeting/account-targeting Running your campaigns An important step to keep in mind would be to not let your content run wild. Since ABM programs are so targeted/personalized in nature you need to be careful as to not overwhelm your target with the same messages over and over again. Hence concentrate on catching your prospects’ attention without turning them away. Measure and evaluate your results After your ABM program has been running for a period of 30-60 days, it’s time to evaluate whether it was a success or a failure. It is reported that about 60% of CMOs have trouble proving their ROI. A lot of it has to do with not asking the right questions while measuring results. According to Wordstream, some of the critical questions you need to ask are: • Whetheryour personalized content proved to be engaging? If so, how? • Are the accounts becoming more engaged with your brand? • Are you expanding the number of known stakeholders within these organizations? • Did you move any of these targeted leads down the funnel? • Did you generate any revenue from these campaigns? • What could you do better going forward? Some real life examples of account based marketing “Pizza-nars” Webinars accompanied by a pizza! The concept is pretty simple and straight forward – a pizza is delivered to the target accounts, so they can enjoy it while attending your webinar. But it doesn’t have to be pizza. Lunch and earns can be done with anything from any beverage to food item of their choice, so, you can enjoy the experience with your prospects from the comfort of your desks. This helps to boost webinar attendance and is a great way to encourage prospects to pay attention. This approach is useful across the account lifecycle from initial engagement to upcoming renewals, expansion or even re-engage at-risk accounts. You could even go so far as to build out personalized webinar experiences with customized landing pages so the prospect or customer feels as if the webinar is hosted just for them – which can be a great way to show off product updates or educate people on your platform. Content experience Snowflake, a cloud-based data-warehousing company, leveraged its in-house expertise to develop a robust library of high-quality content, which they use to create individualized experiences for target accounts. At any given time, the Snowflake team is running 500 concurrent individualized account-based campaigns, and each of these 1-to-1 campaigns is developed in tandem with their sales reps (who know their accounts inside and out) to create personalized messaging and content experiences. These content experiences aren’t intended to drive conversions, either. None of the customized content is gated. Instead, Snowflake strives to build credibility with its audience first, only then using retargeting tactics with those that engage to drive traditional conversions through weekly demos or free trials. Each campaign can be launched quickly and starts with digital advertising as a means to distribute the experience to the right account depending on where they are in their lifecycle. You can run the same or similar campaigns by leveraging a platform like Uberflip in tandem with your advertising and marketing automation platforms. This approach is most useful when trying to gain initial engagement or progressing an account to meaningful engagement. It can also be used in a Land and Expand strategy to penetrate other departments within the organization. Account based marketing best practices To make your ABM program a success, you need to align your sales and marketing teams. Oftentimes it is this discrepancy, which, if not addressed, ends up causing a lot of loopholes and miscommunication. Sales and marketing have to be best friends, they have to be fully aligned with each other, and they have to know what each other is doing at all times so they can partner. Companies that don’t do that cause themselves a lot of heartache. -Erik Charles, Vice President and Solutions Evangelist, Xactly Corp. Marketing has traditionally had a lead-centric focus, which is pretty much the opposite of their counterparts in Sales, who have always had an account-centric approach – This statement reveals the real disconnect between how most companies and marketing teams build their ABM. You must personalize content at scale. This is the heart and soul of every B2B account based marketing. The main goal of content personalization is to fit target accounts like a glove. And while executing personalized content at scale is challenging, it is also the most rewarding when done right. Thankfully, B2B marketers are getting better at that. Conclusion Whether or not you’ve tried to implement a full-blown ABM program, chances are you’ve most likely used at least one element of it in your marketing endeavors. And that’s a great start. The key thing to remember is to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve with your ABM program and how well co-ordinated your teams are.

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3 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes for Customer Retention with ABM

Article | March 30, 2020

When you give customers a great experience, chances are they’ll keep coming back for more. Today’s top CMOs know customer experience and customer retention are interlinked: they’re crucial ingredients in the recipe for business success. In fact, just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits between 25% and 125%. In recent years, account-based marketing (ABM) has emerged as an effective way to engage and retain customers from high-value accounts. A good ABM strategy is like a recipe it requires a set of great ingredients and well-timed actions to really work. That’s why our partners at Terminus whipped up a set of ABM recipes to help you delight your accounts. A number of these recipes call for marketing automation as a key ingredient to manage email campaigns, automate lead follow up, and more.

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ACCOUNT-BASED ADVERTISING

HOW UGC IS CHANGING THE GAME FOR YOUR BUSINESS’? MARKETING (EXAMPLES OF BRANDS WHO GET IT)

Article | March 30, 2020

You’re overcomplicating it. You don’t need the studio lighting, you don’t need a $2000+ camera, you don’t need a full production crew. Actually, it can actually be more effective for your content to not use any of this. Keep reading to learn how. By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed the rise of user-generated content (UGC). UGC is photos and videos created for your brand by customers, viewers, or followers. There’s so much beauty in this and throughout 2020, with everyone stuck inside their house, lots of companies had no choice but to make do with what they could. Sometimes this meant FaceTime photoshoots or videos that customers shot on regular iPhones. I am a huge fan of user-generated content and most consumers are, too. Let’s unpack the beauty of why this is such a beautiful and effective form of content on both the customer side as well as the business’ side.

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How to Stay Ahead in the Great Account-Based Marketing Race

Article | March 30, 2020

This account-based marketing piece is brought to you by Intelligent Demand Senior Marketing Manager & Certified Account-Based Strategist, Paige Montgomery. More and more B2B marketing executives and companies are making the transition from lead-centric to account-centric marketing, because the ROI of an account-based approach has been tried, tested, and proven. ITSMA put it best: “ABM delivers the highest return on investment of any strategic B2B marketing approach. Period.” Let’s face it, account-based marketing (ABM) is no longer a trend to test or even pilot—it’s table stakes in 2020. And thanks, in part, to the surge of account-based thought leadership and marketing technology available, B2B marketers are getting better at ABM by the day, meaning they’re also getting better at creating strategies that engage target accounts and developing effective ways to connect the dots between marketing, sales, and customer success.

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Spotlight

Rise Interactive

Rise Interactive is a digital marketing agency that specializes in digital media, customer experience, and advanced analytics. We serve as a strategic partner for marketing leaders, helping them to make smarter investment decisions grounded in data insights. Leveraging our unique investment management approach, we look at brands’ investments across all digital marketing channels to best allocate budget and maximize ROI.

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