Whether a B2B sale is successful or not is typically dependent on the function of three key parameters: How the prospect feels about your product and the benefit it provides; how the prospect feels about your company, and how the prospect feels about your sales rep.
The best content for account based marketing (ABM) should deliver on all three parameters, but especially on the first two: How your prospect feels about the product and the company. In this article we look at the different approaches to selling yourself in an ABM campaign as well as the best format to get attention in B2B campaigns.
What type of content gets traction in B2B campaigns?
Before you can sell the benefits of your product you need to get the attention of your target audience with content that is interesting and useful for them. B2B content needs to be substantial and informative. B2B buyers are putting their necks on the line when they choose to buy your service. They will need authoritative content and reassurance about your brand.
A survey of B2B buyers quoted in Forbes magazine suggests that they want to be educated and informed, rather than to be exposed to the kind of emotional language that is typical in B2C marketing. Prescriptive or predictive content was amongst the most popular with headlines that talk about the future of something or explain how to address issues/solve problems.
Often a piece of content will first attract a target’s attention as a searched-for solution to a problem or as a must-read industry update. From there you can go on to talk about your product and its benefits.
Selling the benefits of your B2B product
The classic approach to B2B content, your benefits should speak to all stakeholders illustrating:
- Company-level benefits – e.g. higher ROI, higher profits, fewer lawsuits (upper management)
- Team-level benefits – e.g. improved performance of their team (team managers)
- End-user level benefits – e.g. workload decrease.
- Financial benefits – e.g. money saved (CFO, finance, procurement)
It’s also worth thinking about the different pain points of different people/roles within your target organisation. A COO may be principally concerned with budget and efficiencies, whereas the end-user may solely be concerned with functionality and ease of use (or perhaps the end-user needs reassurance. A new SaaS product can often be perceived as a threat to ways of working or job security). In many cases, if you have the capacity and the target company is important enough, then altering your benefits to suit a subset of employee type within a company will be worthwhile.
Selling the problem
Educating prospects in a target company about a problem they were previously unaware of can be a very effective way of attracting new business. It is especially relevant if you are promoting something very innovative, where there may be a low level of awareness that new technological solutions exist.
Whether your prospect is aware of a pain point or not, if you can highlight the resources they are wasting in terms of time or money, then they may feel duty-bound to take an interest. If information about your new solution is being disseminated across the organisation, no one will want to miss out on the details.
Focusing on pain points rather than benefits can also be a good way to get to know your target company. Try out different approaches addressing different issues and you might find out some valuable information about where the company has gaps and issues, just by looking at the performance of your campaigns.
Selling the brand
Self-promotion is always a more difficult task than promoting the benefits of a product, but it is nonetheless vital that prospects recognise and trust the brand. Brand awareness is a key building block of successful account based marketing. Classic approaches to promoting your brand that you could consider include:
- Highlighting any industry awards you have won
- Highlighting testimonials and positive ratings
- Listing well-known clients
Trust in the brand is especially important for enterprise-level products (higher value), where the focus of decision-makers is often to avoid blame for bad decisions. If major players and competitors are already working with you, this greatly reduces the perceived risk of purchase.
Learning more about account based marketing
If you want help framing your approach to target companies – defining your account marketing strategy and choosing the right content – get in touch and have a first conversation with one of our Bizmut team of experts. Old hands at the intricacies of account based marketing, we can steer you through the whole process.