Are you doing everything you can to catch the right leads? Or do you tend to go for the low-hanging fruit – the easy ones?
In the common process of inbound marketing, B2B marketers segment their buyer personas and try to hook them with relevant content, hoping to catch lots of leads. The question is – how many of those leads match their company’s criteria?
Instead of wasting precious time and resources on finding unqualified prospects, B2B marketers are shifting to account-based marketing (ABM). Imagine you wanted a big company like Facebook to be your customer. With account-based marketing, you would target Facebook with a more defined and personalized strategy. The result of ABM is fewer leads, but more qualified ones!
You may be thinking ‘well there’s the solution I’ve been searching for!’ – and it is, if you do it right. Flipping the funnel requires deep understanding of your key accounts and the people who make up this internal buying committee. If you’re looking to launch a successful ABM program and see real results, join The Modern Marketer’s Workshop: ABM – From Strategy to Action and Results hosted by marketing experts Matt Heinz and Robert Pease.
The next step when shifting to ABM is reviewing and modifying every marketing channel you’re currently using, including social media. Social media is the cornerstone of ABM if you utilize and refocus it effectively. From helping you build strong relationships with key buyers, listening to their needs, and targeting them with specific content, social media can significantly complement your ABM strategy.
Here are three ways social media can help accelerate your ABM strategy:
1. Gain a Deeper Understanding of Target Accounts
A great place to start is research. The stakeholders of your target accounts are most likely positioned at the top of the hierarchy, therefore making it harder to reach them. However, social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, offer marketers a great opportunity to get to know important stakeholders and dig deeper into their daily activity.
Simply connecting with your target stakeholders on social media puts you at an informational advantage. It allows you to uncover the types of content, pages, and groups that they like, share, comment on, and are generally interested in. More so, it enables you to understand some of the challenges they may be facing.
However, following your key stakeholders means you’re only looking at the surface. With a sophisticated social listening tool, B2B marketers can dive deeper into the right conversations and identify a wealth of valuable information about their target stakeholders and accounts. The main benefits of incorporating social listening to understand your target accounts include:
- Tracking keywords, phrases, and topics target accounts are interested in — this opens up an opportunity to identify and repurpose future content ideas that resonate with their interests, thus providing them with a better experience.
- Staying on top of conversations they’re currently engaging in — doing so allows you to pick up on certain trends, while identifying influencers and opportunities for relevant content. Make sure this information gets presented to your sales team so they can improve their product offering and outreach.
- Identifying their pain points, issues, and challenges — social media is where your prospects are most comfortable expressing their negative opinions. Listening to their points of frustration with another company’s product or service can help you understand their expectations and strategically align your customer service.
The more information you manage to aggregate on your target accounts, the better you can target them later on.
2. Target Buyers with Refined Content
Once you have a good grasp of your target clients on social media, it’s time to update your editorial calendar with content tailored to their needs, interests, and challenges. There are numerous ways you can approach this:
- Make your target company the focus of your content — don’t be afraid to go all out by explicitly dedicating an entire piece of content to your target company – either a blog post, webinar, or even a video! Most likely, they have Google alerts that notify them when their name gets mentioned on the internet, ensuring you get noticed!
- Mention your target company across your content — for example, quoting one of its thought leaders, using them as an example, referencing their content, or noting their accomplishments or research. The more attention you give to your prospect, the more they are going to view you in a positive light and consider you as a potential investment.
- Write content that caters to your target company’s industry — this is a more subtle approach that can also be effective. For example, you can write an article discussing how your product or service solves the challenges of other companies in its industry, thus highlighting the value of your company.
No matter which approach you choose to take, your goal is to ensure target clients have the best possible experience when going through your content journey. Keeping this journey personalized is going to make them feel special and draw attention to your company.
3. Build Meaningful Relationships with Key Accounts
Beyond targeted content, you can use a more direct approach that gets the attention of your target accounts: building a relationship with their important stakeholders and decision makers.
As mentioned before, a great starting point would be to get them to follow you on Twitter and LinkedIn. If they accept, then at least you know they’re aware of who you are. However, this doesn’t guarantee they will engage with your company’s content. To take to a step higher, you can do the following:
- Tag or mention (@) target stakeholders and companies in your social media posts in order to engage them with your company and content. This will also give you a good enough excuse to initiate a dialogue with their executives.
- Be sure to get your employees to share your content (including mentions of the target company) — empowering employees – and especially your senior management – to advocate for your company does two things: firstly, it amplifies your content far beyond your company’s networks, ensuring it lands in front of your target stakeholders. Secondly, it helps to humanize your interaction with your target company.
- Engage in your stakeholders’ conversations by replying to their posts with helpful comments and answers. This is made easier with a social listening tool. This also offers an opportunity to discuss how your product or service can help. Be sure to include links to your company’s relevant content, but do so in moderation to not sound overly self-promotional.
- Engage with their content on a regular basis — share, like, retweet, comment on their posts and even use some of their custom hashtags to let them know you’re interested in what they have to say and not just the the other way around.
- Invite them to contribute to your blog or take part in a joint webinar — this can go a long way to getting your company noticed, and helping build a positive relationship with them.
- Join their LinkedIn or Facebook groups — become a part of their professional networks and show your presence by becoming an active participant.
Ready to Accelerate your ABM Strategy with Social Media?
ABM programs require multiple channels to succeed and social media is certainly one of them. With social media, B2B marketers accelerate their ABM strategy by learning more about their target accounts, personalizing their content, and engaging in one-to-one conversations with stakeholders.
Sapir Segal is the Content Marketing Manager at Oktopost, where she manages all of the content and social media marketing initiatives to drive engagement and leads. She is from Australia and enjoys drawing, painting, and doing yoga in her spare time!