5 Online Advertising Tactics that Really Successful ABM Programs Use

— June 3, 2017

In Account Based Marketing, you need a way to reach out to important buyers where they are, instead of waiting for them to come to you.

That’s why an intelligent use of online advertising and retargeting – across mobile, social, display and video – is the answer for many ABM teams. Advertising in ABM is very different from the broad ad campaigns that blanket websites where some of your prospects may or may not spend time.

Instead, ABM advertising waits for the contacts in your chosen accounts to visit a page, and then serves an ad that’s relevant to their situation and their stage in the buying cycle.

This includes the following five techniques and tactics:

1. IP-lookup

This tactic serves your ABM ads to any browser using the known IP addresses of your target companies. While this is more targeted than broad advertising, it can include many people within the target company who have nothing to do with the buying team. This approach allows you to deliver customized and relevant ads based on things like industry, geographic location, size, etc. Since the audiences are still somewhat large, it typically requires fairly large commitments in terms of media spend.

2. CRM Retargeting

In this technique, using an onboarding vendor, you upload the email or postal addresses of the people you’d like to reach. They match these addresses to known browsers so you can serve relevant ads to them. Again, a powerful tactic. But your onboarding partner will only have a match for some of your target prospects (which is often below 50% in B2B).

3. Proactive Retargeting Using Third Party Data

Data providers and ad vendors give you the ability to advertise to specific personas and roles on your ABM target list.

These highly targeted services can significantly reduce the waste in your advertising budgets, focusing on the people you need to reach. You’ll spend more on the technology, but less on media. Note that B2B match rates for this approach also tend to be below 50%

4. Social Media Advertising

Social media platforms also let you target your advertising (sponsored posts) to specific individuals, companies and personas (e.g. Custom Audiences on Facebook and Tailored Audiences on Twitter). LinkedIn goes even further with products such as Sponsored Updates, Sponsored Content, InMail, and now Account Targeting. Social platforms enable super-targeted advertising opportunities including letting you load a list of targets directly – just make sure that the creative you use is appropriate for the specific platform.

Mini-Case: They liked it so much they bought the company

2lemetry sold business intelligence software for the Internet of Things. They wanted to get a partnership with Amazon Web Services.

They wrote a custom blog post about how their solution would work with AWS’ Lambda platform, then bought a Facebook ad, targeting everyone who worked at AWS.

Within 2 weeks, they had a meeting with the right people. A few months later, AWS bought the company!

5. Personalized Search

With Google’s Customer Match feature, you can upload a batch of email addresses to Google and it uses them for targeting specific customers at specific accounts.

This works on Search as well as YouTube TrueView, Gmail, and the Google Display Network. Since match rates for B2B emails may not be high, use this to bid higher for known matches, not to exclude all other searches.

All these methods help you focus your ad budgets where they’ll make the most impact: exposing more of your ads to the people you need to influence and fewer of the others.

Three additional points to consider:

1. Be where your contacts are

If you confine your advertising to sites that are in your industry, you may be missing a lot of opportunities to reach key contacts.

Instead, your advertising partners can help you generate impressions wherever your target personas are, engaging with them on mobile, social, video and premium sites that might not be directly related to your market. The result: more impressions to more contacts, when it matters most.

2. ABM ad creative isn’t about the click

It is an awareness builder and can provide brand recognition and ‘air cover’ for your outbound efforts. It can also support open sales opportunities, help nurture existing relationships, and support activities surrounding targeted events.

The key is to be seen by the right people at the right time, sending the right message. “It’s not always ‘download this’”, says Sangram Vajre of Terminus, “And you don’t want to take people to gated content. We find that case study pages with some kind of demo call-to-action work really well in ABM.”

“When targeting senior executives, expect zero leads. Just get your value proposition in front of your target accounts. That’s the goal.” – Sangram Vajre, Terminus

3. Set a frequency cap

You don’t want to waste your budget and annoy your prospects by swamping them with your ads. Instead, set a frequency cap. One exposure per hour and 3-6 per day for 30 days is a high rate but not overwhelming. Way above that and you may be going too far.

Read more about ABM tactics used to break out, and engage key accounts in our eBook “The Clear & Complete Guide to Account Based Marketing.”

Which tactics have worked for you?

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Author: Brandon Redlinger

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