Before we dive into this blog, if you’re not quite sure what account based marketing (ABM) is, or why it could be a game-changer for your B2B marketing, then download our guide to the fundamentals of ABM. With that under your belt, you’ll be ready to start thinking about some of the more creative tactics you could utilise in your next campaign…
LinkedIn isn’t a necessity for ABM campaigns. You can certainly run a successful campaign without going anywhere near the B2B social media platform. But it is a popular tool for marketers to factor into their hyper-targeted campaigns.
LinkedIn offers a huge network of potential buyers and decision makers in organisations in every industry around the world. So how can you use it creatively within your next ABM campaign to reach the people that could become your next new customers?
1.Tap into your sales team’s network
Hopefully your sales team are already avid users of LinkedIn – using the platform to help them connect with potential customers but to also boost your brand’s profile. If they’ve been using the platform for some time, it’s likely they will have built up a wide network.
When it comes to preparing an ABM campaign, now is the perfect time to tap into that network. Speak with your sales team, or individual who heads up business development, to understand more about the network they have and what can be learnt from it. Try asking if they see influential decision makers engaging with a particular type of content on LinkedIn regularly.
If you already have a list of companies you want to target with your ABM campaign, ask your sales team if they are connected with contacts at those companies. Ask:
- What communications on LinkedIn have you had with them in the past?
- Have you tried InMail to reach them, if so, did they respond?
- Why did you connect with that person within the organisation, over (or perhaps alongside) others working at the company?
- Have you had any other kind of communication with the contact or company? Perhaps cold calling or sales prospecting emails.
Use this information to inform your target data for the ABM campaign and how you might use LinkedIn to reach the influential decision-makers.
Bonus tip: Collaboration with sales departments is vital for ABM in many ways – not just in sourcing great data to start your campaign with. It can make sure that leads nurtured through an ABM campaign are still treated with a personalised experience when they reach the sales team. Fact finding sessions with sales can also help to discover content ideas and personalisation opportunities for ABM content, which marketers may otherwise have been unaware of.
2. Organic posting on LinkedIn can support your ABM campaign too
If your team is connected on LinkedIn with some of your target ABM accounts, then think about how you can cleverly use organic posting to support your campaign:
- Could you create LinkedIn Pulse articles for your team, to be shared on their profiles during the course of the campaign?
- Ask if the sales team could check their LinkedIn profiles to make sure they’re up to date and appropriate if a target from the ABM campaign was to take a look.
- Check your company’s LinkedIn page. Are there frequent posts from the company? Would they position the company in the right light if a high-value ABM target was to take a look? Could you introduce some extra company posts that will resonate with the target audience?
Although these tactics are ultimately not targeted specifically at your ABM target audience, they are still vital in positioning your brand. You want every touch point that an ABM target has with your business to be consistent and for it to reinforce your objectives. So, make sure your LinkedIn presence, from your company profile to team member activity, helps to support that.
3. Use LinkedIn for your content personalisation
At the heart of an ABM campaign is compelling content – content that grabs the attention of the target account and resonates with them and their business. One way to generate that kind of content is by focussing on personalisation – in fact, personalisation is at the core of many successful ABM campaigns.
To personalise content you will need to do your research on the individual you’re targeting, and the business they work for. LinkedIn is a great platform to do that research, offering content that the user has shared themselves and ideas on what the company’s focus currently is.
Look for content that the target account has engaged with or shared, look at topics that they regularly interact with and take a look at LinkedIn profile features, like an individual’s headline to get an idea of what the priorities in their role are. All of these can help to inform your content.
On a more fundamental level, you can use LinkedIn to fact-check your content. If you’re using your target accounts’ name or job title in your content, for example, use LinkedIn to double check you’re getting it right. If you’re going to go to the effort of personalising content, you want to be accurate!
Taking the time to use LinkedIn to support your creative content and personalisation is worth the effort. We know because we used LinkedIn to create some really eye-catching, creative direct mails in our ABM campaign with Ingram Micro Cloud. You can read the full ABM case study here.
4.Targeted advertising in a variety of formats
Of course, LinkedIn is also a powerful platform for targeted advertising within your ABM campaign but it’s vital you get the audience right first.
LinkedIn will need a minimum of 300 recognised targets to be able to run a campaign to a specific audience (in fact, they suggest uploading a list of 1,000 contacts or companies to start with) and that can sometimes cause issues with the breadth of targets you want to include in your ABM campaign. All in all, it comes down to how you carefully plan your ABM campaign flow and how you curate your list of target accounts as to how you can use LinkedIn for advertising.
Consider using different LinkedIn ad formats at different stages in the ABM campaign. For example, could you use carousel ads to initially raise awareness, then a lead gen form to capture details and finally InMail messages to try and capture any targets who haven’t yet engaged in the campaign?
There are many, many ways you can use LinkedIn to support your ABM campaigns – and these four ideas are just scratching the surface!
If you’re looking to run an ABM campaign or are simply interested by how it could work for your business, please do get in touch with us for an informal chat about what you want to achieve. Contact us here or call 01733 371 363.