account based marketing tactics, mission suite

A Step by Step Guide to Account Based Marketing Tactics

Recently, I wrote an article here on our blog called A Beginner’s Guide to Account Based Marketing. After I published that article, I ended up getting a lot of positive feedback from it, along with a lot of questions about account based marketing tactics.

Turns out there are a lot of people who understand the sales tactics of account based marketing because they’ve been using that same methodology to sell for years. When we applied the concept to marketing, however, that’s when the questions about account based marketing tactics came in.

So I thought I’d put together an example of an account based marketing campaign that you can execute using the tools and channels that you’re probably already using.

By the way, if you don’t feel like reading this whole blog and would rather watch a video, I recorded a Facebook Live video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.

A couple things to keep in mind

Account based marketing tactics, while they’ve been shown to produce pretty amazing returns on investment, are in no way inexpensive. Before embarking on a campaign like this, you need to be ready to spend some money. How much is going to depend on you, your business and your industry but it’s something that you should keep in mind.

For the purposes of this article, I’m going to assume that you have your persona roles and your target list built out already. If you’re not there yet, spend some time getting that done. Without a target list, you don’t have a place to start. Without persona roles, you don’t know who you’re talking to, what kind of messaging is likely to land and get results. If you don’t have those two things built out, you’re going to be throwing money down the drain. (Actually, the same concept goes for pretty much any kind of marketing campaign)

Lastly, keep in mind that what I’m going to walk you through are very basic account based marketing tactics. Using the methodology here is going to give you a good start but as you start to see results, explore other methodologies and see about building out a bigger campaign. Again, the return on these campaigns can be huge so they’re worth experimenting with.

First things first – determine your marketing channels

The first thing we’re going to do campaign is going to be to determine your marketing channels. In this scenario, I’m going to use a simple mix of LinkedIn, Facebook, Google AdWords and Email (both cold and warm).

Your campaign could easily end up with a different set of marketing channels based on your industry and customer profile Remember that one of the things that I’m assuming in this article is that you have that profile developed already. That will tell you where your targets are spending their time and what account based marketing tactics are going to be effective. Maybe social media isn’t the right place for you but industry magazines are still the preferred channel of information. You’re the only one who can really decide what channels are going to be most effective.

In my case I’m fortunate that the majority of people in the sales and marketing world are at least on LinkedIn, and most are on Facebook so I can feel pretty comfortable targeting those channels at the very least.

Next we’re going to build out our asset library.

Your assets are anything that you’re using on your campaign to drive traffic and conversions. These are going to include everything from your campaign specific landing pages to the downloadable content you’re offering to the email list that you’re using as a starting point for your campaign (and don’t forget you need to create the emails too).

When you’re building out your asset library, remember to consider the different stages of your funnel (awareness, consideration, call to action). You want to be able to address any questions that your prospects may have at each of the stages of your account based marketing tactics with your content to make the transition from your marketing campaign to your sales team easier.

NOTE: I’m going to group my assets together by role. If you want to take it to the next level (and have the budget to do so) you can create assets specific to each company and role in that company you’re targeting.

First I’m going to create my landing pages

In my case, I’m going to create one landing page template for the overall campaign of my account based marketing tactics and then use it to create multiple targeted landing pages for each role that I’m targeting on my list.

My campaign is primarily focused on sales and marketing so I’m going to build out a landing page for

  • Sales Influencers
  • Sales Decision Makers
  • Marketing Influencers
  • Marketing Decision Makers
  • Final Decision Makers (ex. CEO or Business Owner)

Next I’ll pull together (or create) my lead magnets

At this point of the set up of your account based marketing tactics, you should have lead magnets that are available to use for each stage of the funnel. If not, you’ll probably want to create some. Sure, you can do this without lead magnets but you if you have something that you can offer at least at the top of the funnel in exchange for a name and email address You can build out a parallel path for your campaign in your email automation system. The more channels that you can leverage, the more successful your account based marketing tactics will be.

For me, I’m going to use a webinar to get people’s name and email addresses and the slide deck from that webinar to get them to fill out the rest of their contact record (name, email, phone, title and company).

Then I’ll develop my ad creative

Now that I know what I’m offering, I know what my ads should say. Personally, I’m a big fan of video ads because Facebook and LinkedIn are both trying to promote their video platforms. That said, some people respond better to image ads so I’ll build both out for my account based marketing tactics.

Much like my landing pages, I’m going to create ads for each role I’m targeting.

Pro Tip: Create multiple variations of each ad for testing purposes. Have a stock of images and copy that you can test between to see which ones get the best results.

Now I’ll build the campaign in my automation software

I want to send my contacts through a parallel path in my automation software to help solidify my message. To do so, I have to make sure that I have the same funnels in my email automation that I’m going to develop in my ad campaigns.

The obvious benefit to moving these contacts into your email list is that you can touch them more frequently without having to pay for the extra touches. Even more importantly, however, is that when you get these contacts into your email list, you own the data. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and any other social or search channel can take access away at any time. If they’re on your list, they can’t take that away from you.

I’m probably going to build my funnels out as drip campaigns in my CRM. I want my campaign in Mission Suite to follow the same step by step sequence as my other account based marketing tactics. But if I need a more dynamic campaign, I can build that out in my journey builder as well.

Make sure that the tools that you’re using match up with each step you want your targets to take.

Now I’m ready to start my campaign

Now that I have all the account based marketing tactics in place to get the job done, I can start working on building everything out in my ad tools. You’ve got the creative in place, now it’s time to start making it work for you.

In order to get people engaged with your account based marketing tactics, you have to start by getting them to an initial landing page. This allows you to track their presence with Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc. Remember that, since the landing pages you’re using are just for this campaign, the only people who land on these pages should be the people you want to target. It’s a great capability but you’ve gotta find the right people first.

First we’re going to find our audience

LinkedIn is probably my favorite tool to find the specific people in the companies that I want to target with my account based marketing tactics. If I already know the exact (and accurate) names, I can just use targeted InMail to drive people to those pages.

If not, I can use LinkedIn’s ad targeting as my account based marketing tactics to find the people in the specific roles I need to target in the exact companies I want. For example, I can specify anyone in an executive level sales role at ABC Corp.

Once you drive them to your landing page you’ll be able to use that information to retarget them later.

Be ready to spend some money at this stage. You’re going after a cold audience, and very specific people in a cold audience at that. It’s not going to be cheap to get these folks to your landing pages, especially if you’re going after more senior level people.

Other ways to find your audience

Google and Facebook both have ways that you can target your ads to specific people and specific companies as well. I prefer LinkedIn because it’s best for B2B.

Google, however, allows you to target your ads based on IP address. So if you can find the IP address of the company you’re targeting with your account based marketing tactics you’ll be able to narrow it to just that company.

Facebook also has some company information in their ad targeting but it’s nowhere near as complete as LinkedIn.

Next I’m going to start my retargeting campaigns

Now that you’ve driven your cold traffic to your awareness building landing pages, you’re ready to start your retargeting account based marketing tactics.

If you’re not familiar with retargeting, you may want to do some more research before starting a campaign like this. As a simple description, retargeting is showing a different set of ads to people who have already seen or interacted with some of your content.

The nice thing about retargeting audiences is that they tend to be less expensive and more impactful because the people seeing your new ads already know who you are.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Google all have retargeting capabilities so be sure to use them all, as well as your email automation. 

The more often your prospects are seeing your message, the more likely they are to take action.

Three things to remember for your account based marketing tactics

  1. Don’t forget that you’re still moving these people through your funnel. Make sure that whatever content you’re delivering through your various channels are reflecting the appropriate stages of that funnel. Use the exclusion capabilities of these channels to make sure that each of your audiences are specifically targeted.
  2. Remember the trust level at each stage of the funnel as well. When you’re asking people for their information, don’t ask for more than they’re ready to give. People who are seeing your brand for the first time may not be ready to give their phone number but may be fine with their name and email address. There’s no right answer here so think through the strategy during your planning sessions.
  3. Run your email campaigns parallel to your ad campaigns. If your targets are in the awareness stage in your ads, keep them in the same stage in your email campaign (and make sure you have the content for it).

Finally, I’m going to put a timeline on my campaign

I don’t want my campaign to run perpetually. The reality here is that there’s going to be a point with my account based marketing tactics at which I have to acknowledge the fact that if they haven’t converted, they’re probably not going to and that’s ok.

I’m going to give each stage of my funnel 30 days to convert my targets. If they don’t convert by that point, I’m going to drop them into an archive to circle back with at a different time with a different message focus.

This will also help me avoid ad fatigue. When people see your message too often, they’re likely to get annoyed or simply ignore them. If that happens, you’re just wasting money.

Back to you

Now that you’ve got the inner workings of your basic account based marketing tactics, it’s time to build a campaign of your own. Start with the basics and then get creative. There are plenty of ways that you can put your own spin on something like this so build it out and have fun with it!

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