For B2B companies around the world, one of the biggest challenges is finding big clients and closing deals successfully. In the last few years, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has emerged as a preferred marketing solution for B2B brands. It is a marketing technique that involves creating customized and focused campaigns based on the individual needs and pain points of specific clients.
While it is definitely effective if you only have a small list of clients you want to target, it restricts you from finding new clients which is exactly where inbound marketing comes in.
Inbound marketing is a technique that focuses on attracting customers to products and services with the help of content that looks both intuitive and valuable to the prospect. This can include social media marketing, content marketing, branding, and search engine optimization. The idea is to solve the already existing problems of the customers and encourage them to make a purchase.
By combining ABM with inbound marketing, you can create highly effective marketing funnels which can give you more leads and of course, more sales.
How is ABM different from Inbound marketing?
While implementing ABM, you already know about the customer accounts to that you want to sell your products and services, and you put all your marketing efforts towards winning those accounts. But with inbound marketing, you don’t know the exact customers you will be targeting. It is mainly used by organizations to reach a wider target audience, slowly nurture their leads, and convert them into loyal customers
For example, let us consider two different businesses — the first business has a single sale worth $20,000, and the second business has a single sale worth $200. The first business would understandably have a smaller pool of customers willing to make a purchase and they would also need more convincing to spend so much money.
More importantly, the first business would only need a few customers to hit their revenue goals which would give them more time to focus on individual customer accounts — This can be achieved through ABM.
On the other hand, the second business would have to focus more on the volume of products being sold which would mean implementing marketing campaigns that can reach a wide number of clients — This can be achieved through inbound marketing.
Traditionally, ABM and inbound marketing methods have been considered opposing, which is why they were carried out for different kinds of products and for different types of prospects. With inbound marketing, you follow a more generic path of finding and targeting customers. On the other hand, with ABM marketing, you know exactly who your customers are.
But that doesn’t mean you should always implement them separately. By combining ABM and inbound marketing, you can actually have the best of both worlds.
Run two powerful marketing funnels instead of just one
By only implementing an Account-based marketing strategy, you narrow your target audience so much that you may end up missing out on some perfectly great leads for your business. Similarly, by just employing an inbound marketing strategy, you won’t be able to attract big clients because there would be no way to reach out to them on a personal level.
By combining both of these approaches, you are able to run two powerful marketing funnels and attract all types of clients to your business.
Your content becomes twice as effective
Instead of creating content separately for two different marketing strategies which would cost you a lot of time and money, you can create effective content for your combined ABM and inbound strategy
For instance, you can create content that helps you get more inbound leads by incorporating the right keywords that increase organic traffic, and you can also make sure that the content is detailed enough to impress your ABM clients.
How to build a marketing strategy to combining Inbound and ABM?
1- Categorise your customers
Before you start implementing your combined ABM and inbound marketing strategy, you need to have a clear idea about your customers and the best way to reach them. You can categorize your customers according to the following:
Category 1: This category should include all of your dream clients that you hope to land someday. The list should be short and concise with all the major accounts that you want to target.
Category 2: This should be an exhaustive list of all the accounts that fit your ideal client’s profile. It should be longer than the first list and it should also have specific details about the company and the relevant person to contact.
Category 3: Instead of a specific list, this category should just contain details about the demographics and behaviour pattern of your target audience
2- Develop strategies for every category
With your customers already categorized, the next step is to decide how you want to implement ABM and inbound marketing.
- For the first category which includes big clients exclusively, you can implement ABM.
- For the second category, use a hybrid strategy with a smaller investment. You can reach out to the bigger names on your list as part of your ABM strategy. Simultaneously, you can implement an inbound strategy to target the other customers on the list.
- The same inbound strategy can be used for the third category as well since it can help you discover new leads for your business.
You can take the in-depth information from your ABM campaigns and then use it to fuel more targeted content ideas in order to get a higher number of leads through your inbound marketing campaign. The key is to make sure that your marketing and sales team work closely together to understand the needs of future clients and customize your marketing campaigns accordingly.