Account-Based Marketing For Dummies
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The organic way your prospects find you is called inbound marketing. According to Demand Gen Report, 90 percent of buyers say that when they're ready to buy, they will find you. Your buyers are looking for a solution to a problem. It's the marketing team's job to make sure your company's solution is easy to find. These inbound marketing activities are accomplished through your marketing automation platform:
  • Forms: A form should be placed on your website for prospects to fill out. This makes it easy for prospects to indicate their interest in your product offering, or at least in a particular piece of content. A form gives the prospect an opportunity to request more information or to be contacted by your team. Forms capture such contact information as the prospect's name, company, email address, and phone number. A basic form, such as "Contact Us," is found in the navigation bar of almost every B2B company. Every marketer is familiar with the "hot lead" who just filled out a form wanting to see a demo.

The term gated is used for protecting content with a form. You gate your content in your resource library to ensure that you can follow up with the prospects who download a piece of content, such as a whitepaper. Progressive profiling is a type of gating. It uses a gated form that dynamically updates form fields to only ask for data that you don't already have about your prospect.

The information completed on the form goes directly into your marketing automation system. "Un-gated" content, such as infographic, doesn't have a form; it's placed on a landing page. Un-gated links should be used when you're sending emails promoting new content. An un-gated strategy should also be used when you already have the prospect's information or use a progressive profiling strategy that allows you to collect more, new information each time a prospect downloads a new asset.

  • Landing Pages: A landing page is the site where the prospect goes to download content, such as whitepapers, case studies, or ebooks (after completing the "gated" form), or to view infographics or other "un-gated" content. When you're running a paid advertising campaign, the landing page is where your prospect goes after clicking on an advertisement.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Your potential customers are beginning their search for a solution online. The keywords they're entering in their organic searches drive traffic to your website. SEO is used for creating keywords on your website to help people find you. You should create content with keywords focused on the types of accounts you want to attract. For example, if your goal is to attract more video marketing accounts, you could create a series of blogs on different ways to use video marketing, and make sure they're optimized for SEO.
  • Social Media: Your company's presence on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Some marketing automation tools integrate directly with social media so you can post content directly to these platforms. When your prospects click on a link from these social sites, this interaction is captured within marketing automation. You could also include custom redirect links or tracked links to promote content on a social media tool; it logs that activity back into your marketing automation system.
  • Website: Your company's website and blog are inbound marketing channels. It's here where the great content exists that's optimized with the keywords describing your company's product or service. Some landing pages or forms may be hosted outside of the website or marketing site's CMS by the marketing automation provider. If you're using a CMS to manage your website, you could create a post that's a landing page, but it's more likely that you'll either add links to external landing pages and forms, or embed forms onto existing pages on your site. Your marketing automation system will also provide you with tracking code to place in your website's CMS to monitor which individual pages your contacts visit.
  • Webinars: Almost all marketing automation systems integrate with webinar platforms, such as GoToWebinar, WebEx, and BrightTalk. When you send an email inviting prospects to register, and they click on the link, this activity is recorded in marketing automation. If they attend the live session or replay the recording, this activity also is captured.
  • Events: Setting up events as a campaign in marketing automation is important. When you attend a tradeshow, you add the new contacts you met at the show to this campaign to watch their progression. You should set up campaigns for in-person events (such as conferences and VIP dinners) and virtual events (webinars) to record how these prospects move from the outbound activity to additional engagement.
  • Video: Your marketing automation tool integrates with video marketing services, such as Wistia or Vidyard, that monitor the activity of the contact viewing your video. You can see whether a prospect clicked on the video link and the number of minutes they watched the content.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Sangram Vajre has quickly built a reputation as one of the leading minds in B2B marketing. Before co-founding Terminus, a SaaS platform for account-based marketing, Sangram led the marketing team at Salesforce Pardot. He has spoken on the topic of marketing technology around the world and is the mastermind behind #FlipMyFunnel.

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