How Interactive Experiences Can Fill Gaps in your ABM Strategy
The word’s out that 73% of marketers plan to increase account-based marketing (ABM) budgets in 2020. What’s also encouraging to hear is that 84% of marketers believe ABM provides significant benefits for retaining and expanding current client relationships. Having said that let us also agree that some organizations are failing to capitalize on this extremely effective and targeted marketing approach. Any guesses why? Well, they aren’t quite open to the idea of using interactive content in the ABM strategy they implement.
Perhaps, now is the time to be open and adapt to the changing time. It so happens that interactive content makes people feel in charge of the situation when it is actually you who are guiding them to the solution. Let’s find out why it works this way.
People love interactive experiences as they provide instant gratification and, of course, a sense of control. The silver lining? The purpose of ABM and the intention of interactive content overlap. While ABM strategy requires content that is highly functional and focused upon key accounts, interactive experiences deliver those personalized experiences. Clearly, it is important to make them a part of your ABM strategy to fill the gaps.
Still not convinced? Let’s delve a little deeper and understand why interactive content complements ABM?
#1 Interactive Content Creates Data-capture Opportunities and Generates Marketing-qualified Accounts
For your ABM strategy to work, it is crucial to have a pipeline with marketing qualified leads. That’s largely because you hyper-target the leads that you believe are interested or are at least considering you. If you go after the wrong ones your efforts will go in vain.
With interactive content, however, you create a massive opportunity to accelerate your pipeline. You can ask key, qualifying questions to understand prospects better. You no longer have to guess what the clicks and downloads, in other words, their actions on your website mean.
Let’s say you run an interior design company. While not every office may require an overhaul, you can still reach out to the ones who might need your services. For those prospects a “Is it time to give my office a makeover?” quiz will work. Ask a mix of fun (color palette, furniture preference) and serious questions (budget). The answer to the latter will determine if they fit your key account criteria. You can then segment them as low or high priority accounts.
Before we continue with our discussion, we would like to remind you that modern-day buyers do not live in a silo. On the contrary, they live in a hyper-connected world and research obsessively before buying anything. If it helps give you perspective, 61% of buyers have already made a purchase decision even before speaking to the salesperson. So now you know where you stand? Well, we say your chances are way better if your prospect’s educational journey begins with you. In other words, their journey from awareness to decision-making and even after that.
#2 You Can Use it to Educate your High-value Accounts
Another reason why your ABM efforts fall flat is that you are still sending your qualified accounts boring price lists, hard-sell pitches and “how we can help you emails”. The biting truth is that no one reads them.
According to the Demand Gen Report, 91% of B2B buyers prefer visual interactive content over static, boring pages. They want content that is interactive and solicits their participation. Even marketers admit that interactive content is better at educating prospects and 88% of them say it differentiates them from their arch rivals.
We know it’s a lot of stats to consume but these pieces of cold evidence prove a point: interactive content deepens engagement. And that’s exactly the fuel an ABM strategy needs.
Here’s what Sujan Patel, Co-founder of Voila Norbert thinks about using personalized, interactive content as a part of your ABM strategy, “Create personalized content to target the important people within the account. Spend time understanding the account first, so you can create the right messaging strategy. It’s extremely important to know your personas inside out and ensure the content you create is bringing value to them.”
We couldn’t agree more. It’s a cardinal sin in marketing to force a solution on to your prospects. You must first attempt to know your valuable prospects and build your case gradually through relevant and personalized quizzes, calculators, assessments etc. It will help you amplify your messaging and educate and engage the prospects along the way.
Now, let’s take another look at the interior design company example. You can further educate those prospects through a “How much you can save using ABC interior design services” calculator. It will not only help you collect valuable information (their role in the company, budget, company size etc.) but also introduce them to money-saving and other reasons as to why they should choose you.
Apparently, progressive nurturing of key account holders pays off. According to another study done by DemandGen Report, 95% of buyers choose a solution provider that creates ample content that helps them navigate through each stage of the buying process.
#3 It’s the Ultimate Way to Convince and Convert
It is indisputable that a piece of content that sparks a conversation, is educational and brings value will not convert. According to DemandMetric’s report, “Enhancing the Buyer’s Journey”, interactive content generates conversions at a two times a higher rate than passive content. If that is convincing, a CEB survey found that individual customer stakeholders who perceived supplier content to be tailored to their specific needs were 40% more willing to buy from that supplier than stakeholders who didn’t.
You see, interactive content has a personality of its own. Its dynamism stands out. You can capitalize on it and pump life into your emails, landing pages, and blogs. If you are planning a webinar, you can also add a survey. It will give your prospects a space to express their opinion and in turn, you gain intelligence about how you can reach out to them next.
#4 Lays Foundation to Build Brand Affinity
You expose your invaluable, in power prospects to content that is giving them real-time solutions. Besides, all this happens without you sitting across the table. It’s just them and the interactive experiences that do all the talking and solution finding. How’s that for a surprise?!
Most importantly, as a brand, you respond appropriately to their preferred, modern-day digital method of interaction. What makes you think they don’t already like you or are not going to consider you? It’s not for nothing that they are giving honest answers and filling the lead forms.
In fact, we say you should use interactive experiences even after converting a prospect into a customer. It’s as much a brand-building exercise as it is a brand-affinity building stunt. From what’s it worth, continue to show that you value them and are still relevant to their business. They are your biggest growth potential and can bring you repeat as well as referral business. For example, you can run a survey to identify their new pain points. In response, provide a limited, free product or services upgrade or introduce them to features that tackle those issues.
You do understand how relevant interactive content is for your ABM strategy. However, don’t use it sporadically or when you feel there’s an urgent need to mend some gaps and holes in your account-based marketing efforts. Instead, incorporate it into your content strategy right at the beginning because a stitch in time saves nine! Besides, the best part of spending time and effort in creating interactive content is that it is reusable. 79% of marketers agree and also say that using it results in repeat visitors and multiple exposures.
Begin Right Away!
Brainstorm interactive content ideas. To help you, we have curated a list of ideas that you can download here.
If you’re thinking you have a lot of work to do, think again. Creating an interactive experience is quite easy. For example, on the Outgrow platform, you can start right away. You don’t need any coding experience. All you have to work on is ideas and questions.
What say, you guys? Ready for your account conquests?
Sharanya writes data-packed long-form blog posts for SaaS companies and marketers. In other news, she’s a plant hoarder, prefers mountains over beaches, and is always looking for crime/thriller show recommendations.