Inbound vs ABM
The two growth strategies, Inbound Marketing and Account-Based Marketing (ABM) are, on the surface, a bit different:
- Inbound Marketing focuses primarily on creating great content to bring prospects to you.
- ABM puts the emphasis on accounts, with marketing teams and sales teams working together across the buyers’ journey
But they absolutely complement each other. “They have a set list of target accounts, and use inbound marketing leads to supplement those accounts.” – Sam Balter, HubSpot
Both Inbound Marketing and Account-Based Marketing (ABM) play an important role in your growth strategy and in filling your sales funnel. A key factor to consider when choosing ABM over Inbound is the type of customer you are targeting. Small businesses are more likely to respond to Inbound Marketing and fill out a ‘contact us form than large enterprises, especially when a large investment is required to purchase your services and products.
Key Benefit of Inbound Marketing
The key benefit of Inbound Marketing is that Inbound leads close a lot faster than Outbound selling to your account base. If your situation fulfills the following conditions: your product requires less consideration before purchase, you have brand dominance, and few stakeholders are involved in making the purchase decision, Inbound Marketing may be a better investment to fill your sales funnel and generate a positive return. The strategy requires that you know how your customers will search for your solutions, But the content you create may be able to support both Inbound and ABM campaigns. ABM needs a lot more personalization, so that content may need some tweaks.
Key Benefit of ABM
With ABM you are choosing where you want to invest your marketing dollars. You are prepared for longer sales cycles and know that there are multiple stakeholders you need to serve, with each one possibly seeking different benefits to your solutions. With ABM, you are orchestrating not on a lead level but on an account level to move the organization forward in how they perceive your brand and the need for your products and services. You’re not overspending time and energy with prospects that are not your target audience.
Steps and Tactics for Launching an Account-Based Marketing Plan
We have illustrated the steps you can take to implement and execute ABM.
Step 1: Identify your target
Finding your target audience is a fundamental piece of successful marketing.
Identifying your target accounts should be a collaborative effort between the marketing and sales teams since it’ll require data from both areas. This data should include industry, company size, location, and annual revenue, as well as strategic factors, like market influence, likelihood of repeat purchase, and expected profit margin.
While market research is a valuable tool in determining this list, some of it is qualitative — that is, the kind of information you’re able to contribute using intuition, experience and tracking buyers’ online behaviour.
Step 2: Research your accounts
The next step is to treat those companies like big, organization-level personas. It can help to have detailed information and representation of your ideal business customers.
Being familiar with elements like the company structure and the critical players can dictate how you convey your product or service to those targets.
But if you don’t already have that information on hand, manual research might be required to get it. We find that LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool is an excellent way to uncover that data with a simple advanced search.
Step 3: Build content and optimize communication channels
Reach out to organizations on all levels with a multi-tier approach. Your persuasion sequence can include the following:
- LinkedIn InMail Messages: This is a premium feature that allows you to message and connect with potential prospects, not in your network. You are also able to automate each message (including name, company, etc.) to LinkedIn members.
- Outbound email campaigns: Email campaigns are considered the most powerful marketing tactic. Combined with an ABM strategy, you can personalize all your messages to target account priorities and needs. This adds value to their business thus, garnering better engagement results.
- Content development and lead nurturing: Through an ABM strategy, you can determine account pain points and priorities by doing qualitative analysis. This speeds up the lead nurturing process since the accounts are targeted with the most relevant and up-to-date content. Some examples of content include:
- Case studies
Steps and Tactics for Launching an Inbound Marketing Plan
Step 1: Identify Your Personas and build an SEO Roadmap
The first and most important step is identifying your audience base. Consumer buying behaviour is constantly changing and for this reason, your Inbound Marketing campaign must provide the most relevant and up-to-date information. You can follow ABM Step 1: Identify your target.
Building an SEO roadmap can be quite difficult without the proper tools. At 360 Integral Marketing, we are equipped with optimal SEO tools that work seamlessly with your business model to provide the best results. Our full suite of services offers insights into campaigns, content, personas and inbound digital channels.
Step 2: Develop content that engages and establishes thought leadership (Build gated content)
Developing valuable and long-lasting content is critical to generating interest among customers. This is where your SEO Roadmap and investing in pay-per-click campaigns and programmatic advertising will play a critical role. Incorporating relevant SEO keywords into your content will optimize it to be more easily found.
Step 3: Develop Landing pages
Use your knowledge of your target audience’s needs and wants to create an attractive landing page that offers in-depth information about your services. With a focused message and strong call to action, the landing page’s mission is to convert your site visitors into leads or buyers depending on your business goals.
Step 4: Invest in Programmatic Advertising and PPC Campaigns
Now that you have a landing page in place to redirect your ads you can set up your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns and Programmatic Advertising. Essentially, PPC and programmatic advertising are advertising options that place your ads in front of your potential buyers. Payment is based on cost-per-click (CPC) or cost per thousand (CPM) views.