Top 5 ABM Content Marketing Mistakes

Account-based marketing is hot in B2B sales because it works.

ABM can be an interesting strategy to pursue if your organization wants to reduce costs and increase leads. According to a Forrester Consulting analysis of software company ABM Terminus, companies have reduced their marketing campaign costs by 40% using ABM. Sales closing rates went from 10% to 12%, according to the same analysis; this is a significant advantage for a medium or large organization.

However, ABM requires a few deviations from traditional marketing wisdom. The right content marketing can make or break the success of an ABM campaign.

To give your ABM campaigns the best chance of success, avoid these five content marketing mistakes.

ABM Content Marketing Mistake #1: Marketing is disconnected from sales

Sales and marketing professionals often struggle to work together effectively, which is an expected problem due to the difference in specialized skills each brings to the job.

However, marketers have a responsibility to bridge the gap between sales and marketing by reaching out first.

“Not involving sales in the content ideation process from the start is a mistake,” Andrew Mahr, Chief Client Officer at Triblio, told me. “The idea isn’t just to get their ideas, it’s to get their buy-in that sharing your content is important and useful. Sales is a critical channel in ABM, and if they don’t don’t trust your content, that’s a no go.”

Solve the disconnect by bringing a salesperson into the marketing content development process right from the planning stage. After all, sales can validate your ideas by referencing customer questions. If you want your sales team to use content marketing in their account-based marketing campaigns, invite them to join the discussion as soon as possible.

ABM Content Marketing Mistake #2: You’re Hiding or Blocking All Your Best Content

What if one of the marketing industry’s most common practices – putting valuable content behind an opt-in form – isn’t the right idea?

It is shocking to contemplate. After all, without lead generation forms, how will marketing demonstrate that they are generating leads and hitting their qualified leads (MQL) goal?

“We work so hard to produce personalized content to educate our buyers and then hide it behind a form,” says Latané Conant, Market Director of 6sense. “I know inconsistent content can seem scary when you’re used to relying on leads and MQLs. However, if you want to provide a true value-added, account-based shopping experience, you’ve set this content for free. »

Bringing your best content out into the open means more people can discover it, and ease of use is why unrewarding content can be useful. For example, an analyst in a target account can quickly review your new survey results and then forward a link to their manager.

Ungating content might be what you’ve been looking for to boost your results.

If the idea scares you, test it for a quarter. Put half of your secure content on the public web for buyers, sellers, and search engines to see, and keep the other half behind signup forms. Discuss with sales which approach leads to better results in follow-up, conversations, and transactions.

ABM Content Marketing Mistake #3: You lack credibility with a third party

Your ABM content can be forgettable because it repeats what people have seen a thousand times elsewhere. Companies that rely solely on internal resources and ideas to create compelling content for ABM are missing out on building credibility.

Specifically, invite your customers to be part of the story.

“Intel created a pretty phenomenal partner marketing campaign earlier this year,” Mahr explained. “On the front-end, content was presented through a co-branded experience with different partners, each specializing in a different theme, but on the back-end, they used Triblio to dynamically customize thousands of assets from account-specific sales that reps could use to nurture the most engaged accounts.”

Meet with sales to create a shortlist of your top 5-10 customers from the past year. Then review the list to find out if you can develop new customer-centric content campaigns.

As a bonus, this type of campaign can also play a role in deepening customer relationships.

ABM Content Marketing Mistake #4: You Can’t Measure Content Metrics

You’ve spent time, money, and effort creating content for your account-based campaigns. How do you know what content hits the mark?

Traditional marketing analytics, such as page views, comments, and time spent on site, may not provide a meaningful picture.

Suppose you put a greater proportion of your best content on the web and social platforms. How do you know what content resonates with your target accounts?

The first option is to find a qualitative solution. Pick up the phone and ask sales reps (and new customers!) what content they’ve been consuming. This will help bring out some of the best content. You can take this approach further by periodically using survey tools.

The second option is to perform an IP-based measurement. Unfortunately, large-scale remote work means many people visiting your website will be using their home internet connection or a virtual private network (VPN). Still, it’s worth taking the time to collect IP data so you know what types of content to produce in your next campaign.

ABM Content Marketing Mistake #5: You’re Playing Too Safely

If your ABM content lacks original insight, it will be difficult for sales to use it to start and sustain conversations. Safe marketing messages have certain advantages; such a message is easy to create because there is no need to seek buy-in for new ideas.

There is, however, a downside to being safe. Your prospects are more likely to ignore you because your content offers nothing new.

The solution is to invest in creating unique, high-quality content. You can take inspiration from a company like PwC. Take the PwC CEO survey, which the global consultancy has been conducting for more than 20 years.

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If your ABM strategy is underperforming, improving your content marketing campaign might be your best bet.

Take risks, present results and share primary data in your content. Your sales team will look smart and have a good reason to stay in touch with leads that add value instead of focusing on a question like “Are you ready to buy now?”

More Content Marketing Mistakes Resources

Eight Ways Your Content Marketing Could Be Sabotaging Your SEO

Three Reasons Most Content Marketing Fails and What to Do About Them

Five Common SEO Mistakes Content Marketers Make