Personalize Client Interaction: Integrate Account-Based Marketing into your Content Strategy

How much do you know your clients? More so today than ever before, businesses are desperate to increase revenues. First instinct is often to battle the declining sales brought on by the current economic turmoil by attracting new clients, but this is often not only a less cost-efficient method, but overall tends to be less effective.

Instead, companies are increasingly looking to account-based marketing (ABM) to increase their business. Account-based marketing, also known as key account marketing, is one of the best ways to increase revenue and expand business. ABM involves developing a strategic plan, wherein key clients are identified and engaged through various marketing techniques in order to encourage further business.

There are many ways in which companies can employ this technique to develop relationships with existing clients, but the key component is personalization. In order for ABM to be successful, the company must get to know their clients and understand who they are and what they want. After all, if you were a client considering where to get a particular service or product, wouldn’t you choose the provider who seems to best understand you and your needs?

With this goal in mind, it can be extremely beneficial to integrate account-based marketing into your content marketing strategy. The personal touch provided by ABM improves the success-rate of your content by ensuring that key clients receive materials that will speak to their needs, which in turn guarantees repeat business offers.

Steps for Including ABM in your Directed Content

Account-based marketing can be included in your content development strategy through just a few simple steps. Though adopted ABM is not a complex process, it is highly beneficial and certain to reap rewards for your company:

1)     Create a strategic framework by identifying a methodology for selecting the accounts to place as the focus of your campaign.

2)     Conduct research on each of your already-identified key accounts. Specifically, research what purchases they have already made, where their interests might lie, what is important to this particular client, and how they are best reached.

3)     Create a plan.  Bring together existing marketing activities, your account-based marketing research, and new ideas for content. Amalgamate these components to develop a comprehensive strategy for reaching clients through focused content.

4)     Execute. In accordance with your plan, execute content that is not only unique, but will reach your clients personally to pique their interest.

Placing Content at the Center of your Account-Based Marketing Campaign

As previously discussed, account-based marketing is a strategic method for identifying and interacting with key clients in order to encourage repeat, or additional, sales. Directed content is therefore an ideal means of reaching these identified clients, as it can be customized and developed specifically in accordance with the wants of your chosen accounts.

In order to effectively execute an ABM plan through direct content marketing, it is important to create several different kinds of content, which are easily available through multiple means and in multiple locations. Ideally, content should exist both online and in hard copy. Amongst the most commonly used tools are email newsletters, hard copy mailings, and website development. This variety is not, however, limited to format. Compelling, effective ABM content will also be varied in the offers and content it includes. Special offers should be adjusted according to the subject of the content, in order to get that client excited and eager to delve further.

Furthermore, it is also crucial that any account-based marketing content include a compelling call-to-action. While most directed content includes some form of this call, ABM documents ought to be particularly aggressive in this area. Materials should encourage interaction; this can take the form of anything from suggesting that a client “call a representative” to online-based activity such as calls to “click here for more information.”

Account-Based Marketing Content Methods

There are countless methods by which account-based marketing can be used to flesh out an existing content development strategy. The variety of ways this can be achieved is only limited by the requirements of your clients and your own imagination. Here are just a few examples of how you can include ABM in your directed content materials.

One particularly useful method is to create a “client portal.” The portal uses webinars, podcasts, or other media formats to both educate and engage clients. These are often used in conjunction with an additional portal through which the client can pursue further information or easily access a way to make a purchase.

Similarly, when a new product is developed, it is advisable to create a guide for that item. This guide will outline how the product can be used, the benefits it carries, and any other relevant information. It can be sent to clients and prospects either online or in hard copy, but both options should link to a new landing page on your website, where the item is outlined in further detail. Apple uses this technique with great skill (see http://www.apple.com); when they develop a new project, clients and prospects are sent engaging, interactive materials that then link back to a more detailed page on their website. The web page often includes informational videos, interactive images, and many other informational tools.

Lastly, we have already discussed how it can be beneficial to provide existing customers with special offers for new products. This technique is great for increasing sales within an existing market, as well as encouraging brand loyalty amongst your current customers. There are many ways in which a special offer could be provided, but a “sneak peak” or “advance sale discount” can both be particularly useful ways of making clients feel appreciated.  They will help expand interest in your product before it even officially hits the mainstream retail market.

In Summary

Directed content marketing is one of the most important methods for expanding sales in the current market. As effective as this method on its own can be, content development can be further improved through the inclusion of account-based marketing methodologies.

By identifying key accounts, conducting research, and then directing content specifically toward these clients, it is possible to expand your business without having to pursue any new prospects. This method is all about efficiency and making the most of an existing client pool. By focusing your content on these current accounts, it is possible to foster loyalty while also building your brand and encouraging sale increases.

In order to fully capitalize on this advantageous content marketing strategy, the first step should be to assess your current content delivery system. It is then advisable to identify key areas for improvement in relation to your marketing goals, and then begin the process of integrating ABM with new, exciting content. By stepping outside your comfort zone and trying fresh and interactive content formats, you can invigorate your existing customer base and grow your business.

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Kate

Kate Boehme is the lead researcher for Content Equals Money. She has a MA in Imperial and Commonwealth History and is currently a PhD candidate in History at Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Her ability to find quality statistics and key sources make the most of any project.

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