Part one of this blog series gave an overview of what to look for in an account-based advertising vendor. We went over the basic targeting, reporting, and campaign execution features that should be available to you. You can read the full post here.
In part two, we’re going to be tackling how to set your ad campaigns up for success.
First, Establish Account-based Objectives
Most marketers know that advertising can drive awareness, but that’s not the only use case. Account-based advertising can serve many purposes, so ahead of launching a campaign, it’s important to establish measurable, account-based objectives.
For example, if you’re targeting:
- Prospects – you’ll want to focus on growing brand awareness within your target accounts. Design your creatives so that your logo is featured front and center in hopes that buyers register your brand. This way, they’re warm to the idea of engaging and more receptive to requests to connect later on. Of course, a personal recommendation is always best, but any added sense of familiarity helps.
- Pipeline Opportunities – you are looking to provide air cover for your AEs and keep your solution top-of-mind as target accounts enter the consideration process. With display advertising, you can continue to reinforce messaging across the entire buying group, even if certain stakeholders have dropped off from the conversation. This gives you a leg up in helping the group reach a consensus.
- Customers – channel your efforts towards enhancing customer engagement. It’s important to remind your customers why they love using your solution and continue being a resource for them throughout the customer journey. Let them know about learning opportunities, customer-exclusive events, and new product updates. You can even use ads to plant ideas for what more customers can do with you, deepening your relationship and upping your chances of winning cross-sell revenue.
What makes these objectives account-based? The goal for account-based marketers who launch display-ad campaigns is to help guide their target accounts across the purchase journey.
As the accounts they’re targeting continue to engage and progress into different stages in the buying process, marketing can point to the impact of their campaigns on pipeline and revenue growth.
In the case of completely cold accounts, the ideal situation is to get buyers to engage “organically” early in the buying process. Maybe they’d seen your company listed in a report alongside competitors, but they never really thought to look into your solution until they started seeing your ads come up while browsing the news or scrolling through social feeds.
With an ad campaign, the timeline of a target account’s purchase journey could look something like this:
February through March, the seller had no engagement with the target account. Then early in April, potential stakeholders started getting served ads, and part way through the month, they started visiting the seller’s website. A few months later, when sales reached out, buyers at the target account were ready to start talking. Success!
Second, Make it Multi-channel
If you’re looking to make a bigger impact, consider combining account-based advertising with web personalization. On average, B2B clickthrough rates are less than 0.5%, meaning most people won’t click on your ads. However, some buyers may think to Google your company name and visit your site. That’s what we call a view-through conversion. When these people come to your website, leveraging web personalization can make sure your target accounts are getting the same messaging across display advertising and your website.
There are many more ways to integrate ads into a wider ABM strategy. Many of our clients coordinate messaging across display ads, the website, social, email, direct mail, and sales scripts.
That, my friends, is what we call orchestration. Leveraging orchestration enables marketing and sales teams to deliver consistent, relevant messaging in the right sequence at the right time. This means that you’re able to target more key accounts at scale. To learn more about orchestrating ABM campaigns, watch episode 10 of “Ask an ABM Expert” here: https://vimeo.com/415519084
When you establish holistic account-based objectives for your advertising campaigns, you’re less concerned about the number of individual impressions and clicks and more focused on target account engagement as a whole. You’re better able to answer to the needs of your buyers and unify the strategy behind all aspects of your ABM program, multiplying the impact of the program.