Are you looking for something even more targeted than an inbound marketing campaign? Have you tried content marketing only to see leads trickle in more slowly than you’d like? While I believe there’s always a time for a great inbound or content marketing campaign, if you’re looking to hit a specific target market, account-based marketing could be for you.
Account-based marketing, or ABM, for AV integrators doesn’t rely on leads coming to you. Instead, you’re targeting a few specific accounts and going after them with a multi-channel strategy that hits them on all sides. ABM can be extremely successful for AV integrators whose companies have a few very large accounts or such a niche market that there’s only a handful of customers out there.
In other words, if your target market is anyone and everyone, then ABM isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for specific audience members in a very niche setting, then account-based marketing could be worth a go. Here’s the breakdown of how it works.
Identify Target Accounts
The first step to successful account-based marketing is identifying who you’re going after. If you don’t know everything about your target audience, from what social channels they use to what they eat for breakfast, you need to spend some time researching. Don’t just identify that you’re going after higher education IT departments. Figure out exactly who you’re speaking to. Is it the IT guy with only a few years’ experience? Or the Head of IT who decides exactly what cabling they’re using to set up the network and the cloud storage system for their servers? Most likely, you’re talking to the Head of IT. After all, he’s the one who’s making the decision to buy your services.
Now that you’ve identified who you’re talking to in what industry, take a deep dive into company research. Are there organizations out there who are exactly what you’re targeting? Find some potential companies that you want to market to and develop your messaging around their needs.
ABM for AV integrators is different from inbound marketing for AV integrators in that you’re going after specific companies, not just an industry. This key difference defines your entire campaign. Think of it as a networking event. You’re (digitally) walking up and introducing yourself and your services to companies who you think could benefit from your services or products.
Create a Multi-Channel Strategy
When you’re creating an ABM campaign for an AV integrator, you don’t want to just do social advertising and call it quits. Your campaign should hit your target on all sides.
At the very least, you want to create a Google PPC remarketing campaign that “follows” your potential clients around the internet. You should also create a social media paid campaign, most likely on LinkedIn. You can make these campaigns extremely targeted by using an email or contact list. A list isn’t always the right choice for your marketing efforts- it can feel a little creepy to buy somebody else’s information. However, it’s a great way to ensure that your efforts are reaching the right people.
Don’t forget to include some traditional media in your multi-channel ABM strategy for your AV integration company. Direct mail is a great way to speak to your customers both online and offline. Direct mail can be a big success as it hits your targets at home.
Develop a Campaign Timeline
Whenever you’re working with a multi-channel strategy, there are a lot of moving parts to stay on top of. Are you sending out multiple waves of the campaign with different ads or strategies to test? For our last ABM campaign, we sent out three different waves of PPC, social media ads, and direct mail. This was repeated over a one-month timeline in order to hit our targets hard over a short period of time.
Customize your campaign timeline to your goals and your industry’s sales cycle. In what timeframe does your typical customer work through the funnel? If it’s particularly long, it might be a good idea to space out your different waves. Spend some time developing your campaign timeline and don’t rush through it. The right timing can mean the difference between annoying your targets and encouraging them to use your services.
-Send Out the Campaign-
It’s time to send out the campaign! Work with your team to ensure that all of the details are coordinated and well-timed. Does everyone know their jobs and what the goals are? Without clear cut goals, timeline, and audience—don’t bother to launch. Get everyone on the same page first and prepare to go from there.
Stay On Top of the Details
When you’re creating a multi-channel campaign that follows a strict timeline, it’s important to stay on top of the details. If your first wave of direct mail goes out too late, it could be hitting your targets at the same time as the social media advertising in wave two. The last thing you want is for your targets to receive mixed messages.
Ensure that you and your team have at least a weekly check-in for your ABM campaign for AV integrators. This will make sure that everyone is on track and sticking to the timeline. You can’t rely on everyone completing their tasks at the same time like you could for an inbound campaign.
During an inbound campaign, your blogs, social media ads, and PPC campaigns all typically go out at the same time. But when you throw direct mail into the mix, things become a bit more confusing. Often you’ll send out the mail up to a week in advance of the corresponding digital advertising. Getting your team together to ensure the timeline is on track is essential.
Measure Your Success
How will you know if you’ve been successful? Most often ABM campaigns for AV integrators are going after larger clients. So, it may be that if you close one deal from the campaign, your efforts have brought your company a high ROI. This is very different from an inbound campaign where you’re hoping to get several different contacts. Compare your end results to the vision you had in your head at the beginning of the campaign. Did you meet your goals? Did you reach the clients you were looking for?
ABM campaigns are not a walk in the park. They’re not about throwing up a blog article or two and raising your SEO ranking. They require a lot of effort, coordination, teamwork, and strategy.
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