Every business aims to do whatever they can to get the most out of every penny, and every second they spend on their marketing and lead campaigns. Managing time and money in our personal lives is another thing, but it’s becoming easier to optimise time and money in our professional lives. Thanks to the new technologies and tools being continuously developed to help us balance our work, schedule our meetings and automate our marketing efforts.
LinkedIn is one such platform with millions of business professionals who can daily connect, inspire, and educate one another. These are just some of the basic advantages of the platform. However, if you were to go beyond these, it also helps in directing your marketing efforts to reach your target audience.
What is Account Based Marketing?
Account based marketing (ABM) is a strategy used to acquire a specific, high-value customer, rather than reaching out to multiple audience members in the hopes that at least one of them will convert into a sale. An ABM strategy can help an organisation focus on who the potential customers are and save time and money on chasing wrong leads.
ABM demands complete alignment between sales and marketing teams because if you intend to target a specific account, both teams should be in sync on account-specific messaging, thus ensuring advanced personalisation.
Why choose LinkedIn for ABM?
Firstly, unlike other platforms, LinkedIn offers some unique ways to target individuals such as job titles, job functions, companies etc., and not just basic demographic parameters – location, age, etc.
You can also run several campaigns at a time on LinkedIn, and it also encourages A/B tests. With the help of LinkedIn’s analytical capabilities, you can get real-time updates on your campaign’s performance, the basis on which you can figure out what is working for you and what may need some tweaking.
Creating an ABM Strategy
Define your goals
Every business can have a different goal when it comes to ABM. You may aim to acquire new accounts by reaching out to buyers who work at companies not yet doing business with you, or grow relationships with existing accounts by fostering upselling and cross-selling opportunities or may even want to retain existing customers by sharing relevant information with them. All in all, these business objectives require you to pursue four main ABM plays – Demand generation, Account nurturing, Pipeline acceleration and Account penetration.
Identify target accounts
Analyse your existing customer base to decide who your ideal customers are. Consult the sales team who they imagine is more likely to buy their product or service. Ideal customers are usually those who have been the most profitable, long-term and are a pleasure to work with. Through LinkedIn, you can import your target list to the platform for paid advertising, and it also matches other accounts with the information you provide. You should also keep an eye out for existing accounts showing interest in growing their business with your company.
Know your audience
The list of prospects that you’ve provided LinkedIn isn’t really your desired audience. You need to narrow it down even further by analysing the ideal demographics and going beyond them by targeting job titles, functions and even interests to get a better idea of who their audience really is.
Define and create targeted campaigns
LinkedIn offers multiple ad format options for advertisers – LinkedIn sponsored content, LinkedIn text ads, dynamic ads, LinkedIn display ads, and video ads. The way each of these formats appears on LinkedIn feed is different. Through the A/B test, you can determine which ad option works best for your business, depending on your defined objectives. Before beginning the campaign, specify the audience you want seeing your content.
Selective content for account targeting
During the lead generation stage, remember there are a few who’re still at the bottom of your sales funnel. So make sure you don’t bombard them with content for those who’re at the decision-making stage, instead provide them content that educates them. You can post a blog, informative research article or white paper and even vibrant infographics. Ensure that whatever content you provide gives the viewer enough information to fill out their contact information. Once you have that information, enter them into a workflow within your marketing automation software specific to the user and their interests, thus enhancing your conversion chances.
Measure and optimise
Tracking your ABM accounts results is essential to understand who else you can target within those accounts, when you should contact them as per the workflow and which accounts need a gentle push to be moved along the sales funnel. Marketing and sales are jointly accountable for the ABM results. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to get real-time alerts so that you can reach out to the leads that have shown interest in your business within an appropriate amount of time.
It is time you start leveraging the platform for all that it is worth and not just networking, knowledge-sharing and motivation. No other social media platform provides such fine and curated targeting options. If you don’t want to waste your time and money on cold leads and direct your marketing and sales efforts on desirable prospects, it’s not too late to start using LinkedIn ABM techniques.