From analyzing top-performing content to identifying topical coverage gaps during an audit, you can lay the foundation of an ABM plan with the right content strategy. A content strategy brings a lot of value to ABM by addressing the needs of the accounts, aligning their interests while promoting your solution, and helping build credibility with key stakeholders. Despite its benefits, organizations sometimes commit common content mistakes that undermine the success of the account-based approach. Avoiding these mistakes is necessary if you want to give your target accounts the best experience and secure more deals.
Content Mistakes Affecting Your Account-Based Marketing
Mistake #1: Misalignment Between Marketing and Sales
Often, sales and marketing professionals have difficulty collaborating effectively. Due to their differences in specialized skills, they approach ABM by setting separate strategies and goals. This misalignment leads to numerous issues, including inefficient processes, low-quality leads, and lost revenue. With planned collaboration and full buy-in from both sides, businesses can overcome the sales-marketing gap.
At a high level, marketers should sit down with sales stakeholders to identify target accounts, agree upon a marketing content development process and set metrics early on. Knowledge of customer needs will help sales professionals validate marketing’s content ideas. The active involvement of the sales team in the content development process is crucial for ABM success.
Mistake #2: Inadequate Credible Third-Party Content
In lieu of branded media, accounts today tend to rely on third-party content for credibility. Having ‘Company X’ mention that they loved your product will easily convince others of its quality. You’ll therefore lose impact if your ABM content is solely generated internally. Repeating what millions have already read elsewhere won’t increase your brand’s value. You need active and real customer testimonials, case studies, and brand ambassadors who can help tell your story.
Not sure where to start? Try and invite influencers and customers to participate in your messaging. Find an unbiased reviewer, or someone you know who has a positive experience with your product or service. Customer-centric validation from third parties demonstrates that your brand isn’t only relevant but also an expert in what it claims to be.
Mistake #3: Ineffective Account Personalization
It’s often difficult for ABM teams to locate the right position of accounts in the funnel. This confusion is largely due to an absence of personalized content targeted at middle or bottom-funnel prospects or an abundance of it wasted on top-funnel ones.
It’s important for companies to cater personalized content to key accounts, decision-makers at each stage of their purchase journey. You should reserve the bulk of personalization efforts, like customized messages, account-specific portals, and product-related content, for high-potential accounts. You may have to invest a great deal in this approach, but the rewards will always be worth it.
Mistake #4: Gating all Best Marketing Collateral
Today, burying valuable content behind an opt-in form has become an increasingly common marketing practice. While gating helps you generate leads, it typically makes your content unavailable to search engines. It doesn’t improve the organic ranking of websites, so you won’t get much traffic.
It’s not worth putting a lot of effort into writing a B2B marketing piece that only gets a few leads. Make sure some of your great content is ungated if you want to put it in the hands of your prospects. Put it on your website so that Google and other search engines can find it.
Note: If ungating feels scary, try it for a quarter first. Keep half of your gated content open to the public and the other half behind opt-in forms. Assess which approach is most effective in follow-ups and sales.
Mistake #5: Failing to Measure Content Performance
Consider that you’ve put enough time, effort, and money into creating high-quality content for social media sites and the web. What’s the best way to find out which content resonates most with target accounts? Marketing analytics and tracking solutions help you here by measuring account engagement across all touchpoints.
But rather than focusing on traditional marketing metrics, such as page views, comments, and time on site, choose metrics that are closely tied to revenue, like:
- Account Activity
- Closed Revenue
- Conversion Rate
- Win-Loss Ratios
Depending on these metrics, you can readapt ABM in real-time. Also, this can help you set quarterly and annual content strategy.
Lay the Groundwork for ABM Success with Right Content Strategy
Although account-based marketing has its challenges, it can also help to close high-value accounts with a well-organized content strategy. By avoiding common content mistakes, prioritizing accounts that already demonstrate high intent and personalizing approaches aligned with all stages of the buyer journey, you can allow your organization to benefit from a great ABM strategy. To learn more about ABM and content, check out our other blogs.