Content marketing has transformed B2B by letting marketers initiate conversations and develop relationships earlier in the buying process. Today, content marketing meets content selling.
Content selling gives salespeople the ability to deliver the right content at the right time for each contact, adding real value to the conversation. In both cases, content harnesses your company’s expertise to help your prospects do their jobs better – and reap the rewards of that.
75% of executives will read unsolicited marketing materials that contain ideas that might be relevant to their business
Every sales process is the sum of its engagements. Dial up the relevance and resonance of your interactions and content and you’ll increase the quantity and quality of your engagements.
Creating appropriate content for Account Based Everything is a critical step in every strategy, yet only 56% of companies create content for ABM needs today, according to SiriusDecisions.
Related reading: Read the 6 steps every successful ABE strategy contains.
What kind of content is right for ABM?
Every kind of content you’d use in a normal sales and marketing process will be effective in your ABM program – as long as it’s targeted and relevant – including emails, eBooks, webinars, white papers, web pages, blog posts, Slideshares, videos, infographics, podcasts, social media posts, interactive content, surveys, quizzes and graders…
The key is to focus on tactics and formats that your audience engages with. Some personas read eBooks widely, while others don’t. Some will happily watch half-hour videos; others won’t even watch a 1-minute video.
“You need to create stories that the right people in your targeted companies would actually like to read and share.”
– Johan Sundstrand, CEO, Freya News
Don’t forget these key parts of your account-based content plan:
The sales presentation is still a critical pivot point in most sales processes. ABM teams can help arm each salesperson with the most informed, relevant and insightful demo that speak directly to each account and match everything the prospects have been seeing from the company. Using a generic corporate deck to follow-through on a highly-personalized ABM process would be nothing short of malpractice.
Account-Specific Content Hubs
Freya News, the ABM marketing agency, recommends industry-specific content hubs that contain content for all personas and buying stages. Uberflip, a content marketing company, creates content hubs for specific named accounts. You then use targeted advertising, email and social media to drive your ABM contacts to the hub, where they find the right content for them.
“You can then link content into series or nurture flows to see how a prospect progresses with your stories,”
-Johan Sundstrand, CEO, Freya News
A content playbook
An important part of any ABM account plan is a content playbook that maps messages and content to key personas and purchase stages.
A quick outline of key themes, stories and existing content summarized in one place can ensure that front-line sales teams have access to the right messaging to use in every interaction.
An internal content repository can make it easy for sales teams to discover and access the content or stories they need to support each interaction.
Content creation checklist for ABM
One of the primary uses for the insight you generate is to create content that will be super-relevant to the key people inside your target accounts. The process looks like this:
1. Conduct a content audit
- Discover all the potentially relevant content you have right now.
- Tag it by account, persona, purchase stage and issue.
- Identify content gaps that need filing.
2. Adapt existing content
- Pick content that’s relevant and usable as it is.
- Identify content that needs simple revisions to make it account-relevant.
3. Create new content
- Prioritize themes and issues for the account based on your insight.
- Identify sources: subject matter experts, existing content, etc.
- Create editorial calendar for content creation.
- Create content briefs and assign to internal team or agency.
Read how top-performing companies are moving beyond the hype of ABM and implementing strategies that work in their organizations. Download the Clear & Complete Guide to Account Based Marketing.
What are you doing to create or adapt content and messaging that is targeted specifically at the buying teams in each account?