Do you use B2B marketing among a broad target group, and do you use a traditional lead generation funnel? Turn the funnel around! Reach potential customers directly with account based marketing. LinkedIn offers unique targeting options for this that have recently been expanded with new features. According to the platform, this can lead to 25% more sales requests. With 8 tips I explain how you can use this effectively!
Traditional B2B marketing focuses on reaching a broad audience with certain interests or positions that match potential customers. This target group is then set in motion and guided through the funnel with the result of identifying customers who ultimately convert.
Account based marketing completely changes this funnel. Instead of starting with a broad target audience, the funnel starts right away with reaching precisely identified potential customers – or accounts. Because the campaign directly reaches these accounts, this leads to on average up to 25% more sales requests according to LinkedIn. LinkedIn offers unique opportunities to use account-based marketing effectively. This starts with drawing up an account list, which you then use as a target list. In 8 steps I explain how!
1. Analyze Forecasted Results from Existing Customers
A common pitfall is setting up account-based marketing based on ‘inside-out’ information only. In other words, information gathered through internal sources or sales information. But it wouldn’t be 2021 if we didn’t use platform data to gain new insights. That extra information about potential customers and accounts is what makes LinkedIn such a valuable platform. Take, for example, the ‘Forecasted Results’ section. Most likely you use these insights to see how big a target audience and whether it consists of qualities that meet the target audience. Turn this input around and you can analyze an existing target group and then find suitable new prospects. This is how you do this:
- Upload an existing customer list via matched audiences
- Set up a campaign in draft and select the customer list
- Analyze under the Forecasted Results the segment breakdown
You can filter insights based on functions, seniority, work experience, company size, industries and interests. Use this information to create a new list of leads and accounts.
2. Duik in Website Demographics-data
An additional ‘outside-in’ approach is analyzing website data based on LinkedIn data. Under the Website Demographics tab you will find unique insights. For this it is necessary that the LinkedIn Tag is placed on your website, in order to collect data. If not, demographics from previous successful campaigns can also provide insights about potential customers. Under the heading Website Demographics, all website traffic is broken down by industry. This provides a direct overview of the most successful industries on the website.
Doesn’t this match the current customer base? Then it can help to delve further into the sources of website traffic via Google Analytics.
3. Collect input from sales
For creating an account list, platforms and their data are an unavoidable source of insights, as we saw above. However, the power of account-based marketing also lies in the collaboration between sales and marketing. Don’t panic, this is the only input needed outside of the platform. Take an inside-out approach by engaging with sales and analyzing valuable data, such as existing customers. What requirements does a potential customer have to meet? When is a lead ‘sales-qualified’? Use these insights to build a list of new customers.
4. Look beyond decision-makers
A common mistake is basing account-based marketing on only reaching so-called ‘decision-makers’ within a company. It is true that these are the right people to make choices when it comes to tapping a business deal. But these choices are influenced by multiple layers. So focus on the entire sales committee, and yes – that includes the end-users and seniors.
5. Divide accounts based on priority
Depending on the size of an account list, it is important to distinguish in priority, also called tiers mentioned. In this way you can monitor the accounts in question with a suitable approach for each account. Think of a distinction in budgets and content. Advice is to use 3 tiers, each with a unique approach:
- Tier 1: High Priority Accounts
- Tier 2: Medium Priority Accounts
- Tier 3: Low Priority Accounts
6. Distinguish between new and existing accounts
In this article I mainly wrote about reaching new customers, but you can also use account based marketing very effectively to reach existing customers. To maintain a partnership or as a form of up-selling. Here too, the advice is to subdivide accounts, but on the basis of familiarity. This helps to monitor and deploy an effective approach per customer. There is a big difference between existing and new accounts and each requires its own approach. Roughly speaking, we can distinguish two types of customers, each with their own goal.
- New customers
- Goal: acquisition > to reach new companies, specifically the buyers by inspiring them and ultimately converting them.
- Existing customers
- Purpose: expansion > expanding existing relationships by means of up-sell or cross-sell.
- Goal: retention > retaining existing customers by continuing to inform them with meaningful content.
7. Add a LinkedIn URL to Company Lists
Now that the account lists are complete, you can load them via Matched Audiences. However, account based marketing does not stop here. It is crucial to ensure that the account lists are as complete as possible and that they comply with the guidelines. In this way, the platform can ‘match’ the loaded accounts with existing accounts in LinkedIn. A minimum match score of 70% is required and you achieve this by making the ‘Company list’ meet:
- Minimum 1,000 accounts
- Provide every account with a LinkedIn page URL
If it is not possible to draw up an account list based on available data, LinkedIn also offers possibilities to find suitable lists via partners (often paid).
8. Analyze performance by account and adjust strategy
I saved the best for last, because the pinnacle of account based marketing on LinkedIn lies with a relatively new function. Where many platforms are not allowed to share substantive data about customer lists, this is different with LinkedIn. Company lists contain open accounts and LinkedIn makes good use of this. After a company list has been loaded, you can click on the relevant list under Matched Audiences.
The Company Engagement Report will then open and you will find very valuable information about the result per account. Such as the engagement level, number of candidates reached, impressions served, engagement per ad and even organic engagement. You can use this data effectively to adjust the campaign approach at account level. Which accounts interact well and which less well? Then adjust the marketing strategy per account (or bundle it). Good luck!
What do you think of this way of account based marketing?
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