Imagine selling directly to an audience that is the best fit for your business. This scenario is achievable, and you can do so with account-based marketing or ABM, which involves aligning your sales and marketing teams so that they create custom buying experiences for mutually-defined buyer personas.
ABM offers a significant amount of saved time on unqualified leads and a direct passage to ensuring long-term customer engagement, and of course, more conversions.
This helps you promote business growth and enables you to delight customers and improve revenue considerably for the long haul.
Now is the time to adopt account-based marketing
An increasing number of B2B marketers are now including ABM in their holistic marketing plans and efforts. According to a DemandBase report, 83% of businesses agree that the main benefit of using account-based marketing is boosting engagement with their target accounts.
The thing is, marketers across various domains are under immense pressure to contribute to and boost revenue growth. They want maximum results with focused efforts.
For the same reason, taking the ABM approach to influence the customer journey has become critical. The strategy blatantly focuses on spotting and targeting an audience that has the maximum chance of converting.
How does account-based marketing work?
Let us understand this better with an example. When selling a costly digital solution or service, a marketing team may want to approach and target an audience with the need and the budget for it, rather than going to large enterprises that may already use high-end tools.
The combined efforts of the marketing and sales teams in determining the audience having the most potential can help them effectively engage and convert such audiences. ABM helps to create a personalized communication for them.
The primary motivation behind this strategy is to boost revenues in a short duration of time. account-based marketing equips the marketing and sales team to sort out any leads not qualified enough to be put in the sales funnel. This is critical to avoid any waste of effort and resources.
In a nutshell, nurturing the target audience with bespoke communication methods tends to speed up the conversion process and close bigger deals more quickly than ever.
Why does SEO matter in account-based marketing?
Effective SEO is about the same things as ABM, targeting the right target audience with the appropriate messaging. While SEO plays a part in informing and educating the audience, account-based marketing helps convert the leads. Here is how SEO is an integral part of account-based marketing:
1. Search is an optimal channel
Organic search has always played a part in the customer journey. A business may guide a target audience with inbound marketing, i.e., when they land on the website. But at some point, during the decision-making process, organic search will come handy.
Do not be surprised when we tell you 71% of B2B decision-makers begin their buying journey with a basic web search. In fact, most perform an average of 12 searches before visiting a business website. That is why you need SEO to support account-based marketing strategy.
2. Keyword research is critical in content production
If you want your target audience to read exactly what they want to read, you must consider optimizing your content. Do basic keyword research. If you have but need a second opinion, seek advice from an SEO expert.
The collated list of keywords can help you incorporate them in the account-based marketing strategy to make it more targeted. The analysis of keyword ranking in search also helps draw a picture of the type of content your target audience requires or wants to consume in different phases.
3. Support and sustain with SEO-driven content
It is a fact that personalization increases the chances of converting consumers significantly. This is even more effective in B2B scenarios where there are high stakes involved and costly purchases. No wonder arriving at a decision takes so long! Account-based marketing helps shorten the cycle.
Guiding and leading the target audience through the chosen marketing funnel with personalized content is vital to convert them.
More importantly, you need to select the right content at the right time — whether it is blogs or articles, whitepapers or case studies, eBooks or guides — to nudge and nurture the target audience.
SEO helps create these personalized pieces of content to improve the chances of conversion for the target audience and even nurture the relationships you share with existing ones. You can extract more value from your current customers with the right type of messaging.
4. Collect data on target audience interaction
You cannot just launch a campaign and sit on it. You have to keep analyzing the strategy and making changes for optimal results. Here are a couple of questions you can to begin with:
- On which channels is your target audience coming from?
- What kind of content are they clicking on?
- How soon do they bounce off the site?
- What type of content are they engaging with?
These are important metrics to note, and SEO can help you keep track of your target audience and their movements through Google Tag Manager. The more information you have on them, the more personalized experiences (and services) you can create and offer.
5. Leverage the knowledge on campaign performance
You must analyze the impact of personalized marketing efforts, learn from the results and further optimize your communication. But doing so requires a different approach, though. Your strategy needs to measure the penetration and engagement received rather than leads volume and reach. You cannot just stop at the basics.
There are specific SEO metrics to consider:
- Off-site campaigns with Tag URLs — Tags are used to determine the segments that are driving website traffic. They can be used to identify the volume of traffic your personalized ABM campaigns fetch.
- Exit and bounce rates — a higher percentage of these metrics mean that your content is not sufficient and does not push the potential buyers down the marketing funnel far enough or at all.
It would be best if you also considered other parameters such as:
- Calls and meetings resulting from the campaign
- Time taken to convert
- Number of prospects in the pipeline and so on
These numbers will help you determine if your target audience follows the path you want them to follow when arriving from a campaign. If they do not, then you need to investigate the issue and boost its effectiveness.
Summing it up
As a business, you need to communicate and trade with target audiences that will fetch you maximum returns at the end of the day. With account-based marketing, you can also tailor your campaigns and messaging as per your target audience,
But that is not all — also consider SEO in each step of your implementation. Take a step back and consider how you can deploy SEO in your marketing efforts. Conduct a necessary user intent and keyword research to identify how you can improve your content.
Account-based marketing involves selecting key accounts and nurturing them so well with targeted messaging that they convert in a shorter period — thus saving time and resources. This form of marketing usually results in improved ROI and greater customer loyalty. So, power up your ABM strategy with efficient SEO efforts.
About the author
Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He helps SEO agencies with link building, content marketing, online reputation management, and blogger outreach. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.