If you’ve been involved in B2B marketing, you have likely heard of the concept of ABM, or account-based marketing. And, as a B2B marketer, you understand the chase associated with both increasing the number of leads in your pipeline, but also the quality of those leads.
With lead quality being such a big concern for B2B marketers, they took matters into their own hands and adopted the concept of ABM. It puts the focus squarely on key organizations that you believe are a good fit for your product or service. And while most consider ABM a marketing or sales tactic, it can easily involve the entire company.
Let’s dive in to learn how your employee advocacy program can support your ABM strategy.
What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
As you might have guessed, account-based marketing tailors messaging and delivery to specific target audiences. It’s prevalent among B2B marketers but can be expanded elsewhere. Unlike traditional automated marketing, which spreads a message on a “one-to-many” concept, ABM accounts have highly curated messaging only for them.
Terminus is one of the better-known SaaS ABM platforms that marketers adopt for their account-based marketing efforts. They define ABM as:
“A focused approach to B2B marketing in which marketing and sales teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers.”
What is unique about the ABM strategy is that it doesn't start with the traditional marketing channel. Rather an ABM strategy starts with identifying best-fit accounts that match your ideal customer profile and have the largest potential for revenue for your business.
Marketers then leverage an ABM solution to tailor personalized messaging to decision-makers. Likewise, sales supports these efforts with one-to-one outreach, and your employee advocacy program supports the amplification of these efforts via social media.
How Can Employee Advocacy Support ABM?
Trust plays a big role in consideration for a majority of brands, and brands are often rewarded handsomely when trust is established. But, this comes with a caveat - it's the trust associated with other consumers or people, not the brand itself.
In fact, 84% of millennials don’t like advertising and don’t trust its messages.
“Social media was never about the brand. Nobody actually wants to be friends with a toothbrush; they want to be friends with a person,” says Matt Britton, founder and CEO of MRY.
And even in ABM, your target audience may become aware of the brand, but it’s the people that will establish trust, so use GaggleAMP to support your ABM strategy.
Engage Executives and Key Players
B2B purchases are difficult and complex. According to Gartner, a standard buying decision often involves six-to-ten decision-makers, all armed with four to five independently researched items related to the purchase. Interestingly enough, these same decision-makers who perceived the information they received from a supplier as helpful were 2.8-times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and were three times more likely to make a larger investment with less regret.
But we all disseminate information differently so what may be valuable to one decision-maker may be less valuable to another. That’s where ABM coupled with employee advocacy can be powerful. Members of your employee advocacy program can receive tailored activities to help engage these key executives. For example, say you know the company's customer success manager tends to be part of the purchasing group. Your customer success manager may comment on their LinkedIn posts with helpful thoughts and deliver an asset that speaks directly to them when the time is right.
How Does GaggleAMP Support Engaging Executives Through ABM?
You may already be monitoring social media handles for key ABM accounts (and if you’re not, you should be). When a tweet, post, or share on a social network catches your attention, share it to the Gaggle. Some common activities created include:
|Post Comment or Post Like - Create these activity types when you want a member or members of your program to comment on a specific LinkedIn post or to like it.|
|LinkedIn Influencer or Twitter Follow - Generate an activity when you want someone in your organization to ‘follow’ a specific person. A good example of this would be using this activity type to direct your CEO to follow a s thing unique to share on its Twitter account, strategically have members of your team retweet its tweet. Making big waves here requires a comment so it’s not just a retweet but rather an engagement with substance!|
Help Create Relationships With Key Players
Half of the battle with ABM is knowing who you need to cultivate a relationship with; the other half is keeping track of it all.
Given the focus of an ABM campaign is rooted in quality engagements, it's important to keep tabs on your engagements.
Who is delivering what content and by what means?
Is there a dialogue developing on a social channel in which you or another team member can provide valuable insight?
Do other members of your team already have an established relationship with key players at this organization? Can they give you an introduction?
ABM is all about the quality of the relationship. Yes, you may be selling your product or service, but you also want to establish yourself and your company as a trusted partner and resource.
How Does GaggleAMP Help You Build Relationships?
When you have multiple accounts you and your team are targeting with an ABM strategy, it can be difficult to monitor all of the content and activities specifically targeting these accounts. This is where Channels on the GaggleAMP platform can help.
Not all content needs to go out to every member of your program - in fact, it’s prudent to have different employees conducting different activities.
To get started, you’ll need a list of target ABM accounts and a list of team members charged with forging a relationship with these accounts (this list of team members may be one to several depending on the target account).
Next, assign each account a hashtag. I find it easiest to make the hashtag the same as the company name you’re targeting. Lastly, create groups of people associated with that account or hashtag.
Then when you create activities, and you want a piece of content to go only to people associated with that account, use the hashtag. This keeps that content going only to those members (leaving off a hashtag means it goes to everyone). You can also add multiple hashtags if the content is relevant to more key accounts without crafting individual activities.
The Channels then serve as a repository for all of the activities available for that particular account, which helps you keep track of what has been served while creating a regular cadence of engagements. Channels also serve the purpose of creating a resource of company news specific to that account.
Get Attention for a Marketing Campaign
Have you ever used a feature on a product you absolutely adored, only to have the vendor sunset that feature? What about a restaurant or food establishment discontinuing one of your favorite items on the menu? You might find yourself going through a gamut of emotions, and may even go to the extreme of finding a new vendor that does, or has, exactly what you are looking for.
Now flip the script - what if you have that same feature the competitor’s clients are vying for. Or maybe you're a food brand that brings back a fan favorite. Do you think your employees can help drum up some awareness? You betcha!
This is exactly what Burger King did in 2019, which had influencers and social media buzzing. In an effort to generate awareness for a fan-favorite product they were bringing back to the menu, they engaged 8-10 year old tweets by ‘liking’ tweets that fit their vibe.
Why the aged tweets? To get social media buzzing ahead of their announcement the next day, January 24, 2019, when the popular chain announced it’s bringing back Funnel Cake Fries. This brought immediate awareness to the product, with several PR mentions, all through their social media reach.
How Does GaggleAMP Help Your Marketing Campaigns?
There are many different activities you can use in the Gaggle to aid in bringing attention to a marketing campaign like this. One of the more popular though is the tweet scenario like you see with Burger King.
To recreate the Burger King scenario with your employees or brand, simply use the Twitter ‘Like’ activity. This will place the exact tweet in the Gaggle for your Members to engage with. Likewise, you can accomplish a similar set-up with LinkedIn by leaving comments for someone looking for a specific feature available in a product or service, which you happen to offer.
Use social listening to find instances of these features mentioned. Then you’ll add the exact URL of a LinkedIn post to the Gaggle using the LinkedIn ‘Post Comment’ activity so that a comment can be left on that exact post.
Another option would be to use the ‘Question’ activity on LinkedIn or Twitter asking the member to answer a question in their tweet or post, with the original post appended to it.
Account-based marketing is one of many tactics that marketing and sales may employ to get personalized messages in the hands of the right buyers. While ABM can create great acceleration, and certainly feels more personalized than a standard drip campaign, don’t forget to explore all avenues on how to support your ABM strategy.
Your employees are powerful assets and they often have a network of people like them. Include them as part of your buyer's journey. After all, it is much more likely that your potential buyers will engage with a person over a brand so don’t forget to include them in your ABM efforts.
Need this information in a handy takeaway? Download Leveraging Employee Advocacy With Your AMB Campaigns here and share it with others!
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can leverage GaggleAMP in your ABM efforts, be sure to connect with your Customer Success Manager.