Inbound Marketing & Account-Based Marketing – The Winning Strategies of B2B?


Are you a B2B company and want to set up a differentiating digital strategy adapted to your sector? Two winning strategies are available to you: inbound marketing and account-based marketing (ABM).

B2B being in substantial evolution, these two strategies are set to gain momentum in the years to come. Find out why one or the other of these strategies, very different but complementary! They are currently in vogue and are developing very strongly and rapidly.

How To Set Up An Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Inbound marketing is a B2B strategy that attracts your ideal prospects, also called persona, to convert them into leads and then transform them into customers through marketing automation, lead nurturing and content creation actions.

Step 1: Define Your Buyer’s Personas 

To attract your personas, you have to start by defining them. This way, you will know who to contact, why and how.

After having created your persona (s), it is essential to understand the stages that make up their customer journey, leading them to their purchasing decision.

The creation of personas allows you to identify your customers’ problems and how you position yourself to respond to them. This is the first step in building your editorial strategy.

Step 2: Create Downloadable Content and Blog Posts

To set up an Inbound Marketing strategy, you will have to create content on the web for your personas. Within this content, do not talk about yourself but rather respond to issues your prospects may encounter.

Creating content that meets your prospects’ challenges is the best or the only way for them to download your content and thus turn it into a lead!

Here are some examples of Inbound Marketing content that you can set up:

  • Blog post
  • Webinar
  • White Book
  • Infographics
  • Podcast
  • Customer cases
  • Tool
  • Marketing video
  • Checklist

Once your content is created, you must promote it to make it shine and reach your target: share on your social networks, your website or blog, generate SEA campaigns with particular attention to your keywords and your targeting, create an emailing campaign by segmenting your database, etc.

Step 3: Create Landing Pages and Forms That Will Collect Information About Your Leads

When your prospect wants to download your content, you will land him on a landing page to make him fill out a form to send him the content by email. Within this form, you fill in the fields you want: name, first name, email, phone number …

You will also be able to collect behavioural data (which article he read, on which pages he browses, etc.) to subsequently be able to personalize your content and better respond to the challenges of prospects. Thus, you will make him understand that you are a credible interlocutor.

Step 4: Set Up Marketing Automation To Personalize Your Messages And Score Your Leads

Send personalized messages throughout the customer journey (acquisition, loyalty, etc.): you will thus create a customized relationship and increase efficiency.

Also, set up a lead scoring system. This consists of assigning a score to your leads, allowing their engagement and quality to be measured according to their behaviour. Thanks to marketing automation, this attribution is done automatically: the more points a lead has, the more commercially attractive it is!

These lead scoring and marketing automation actions are often linked to a strategy called lead nurturing.

Also Read: B2B Digital Marketing Automation Report 2021

Step 5: Convert a Lead Into a Customer!

Never forget the end goal: convert your leads into customers.

Once your leads have reached a score threshold (defined by you beforehand) and they are sufficiently qualified (first name, last name, department, phone number, etc.), you can then send them to your sales teams. They thus have the complete history of the behavioural data of the leads and are ready to start prospecting actions with them.

The Advantages of Inbound Marketing

It appeals to your prospects!

The era is in “permission marketing”: the consumer is in power, and he wants to consent to communicate with you.

She concludes long sales cycles!

With Inbound Marketing, you stay in the consumer’s mind, and you will close the sales.

It builds customer loyalty!

Once your prospect has been transformed into a customer, inbound marketing will not give up and will make them become an ambassador.

It accelerates your profitability!

Studies show that companies with an inbound marketing strategy have a better ROI.

How To Set Up an Account-Based Marketing Strategy?

Account-based marketing (ABM) concentrates its efforts on a list of target customers called “strategic accounts”. So you don’t exhaust yourself selling to everyone!

This strategy allows you to make more gross margins, upsell, attack or explore a new market or develop customers similar to (also called the one to few). This strategy should create something that you have never made before.

Step 1: Identify Your Strategic Accounts

Build a contact mapping to know who to target in a company. These must be specific vital accounts. For your strategy to be profitable, these accounts must be large enough or have substantial business potential.

Step 2: Perform Research on Your Identified Profiles

You need to know your strategic accounts both inside and out! Find out about the company’s key figures, the brand’s identity, projects, values, issues, etc.

Google, Twitter, Linked In, and the company’s website will be your allies for its research.

Step 3: Push Hyper-Personalized Content

To design your hyper-personalized campaigns, identify the channels that work best for your target (digital content, physical demonstration, etc.) as well as the ideal frequency.

Here are some examples of account-based marketing content that you can set up:

  • White Book
  • Box
  • Sample
  • Email
  • Inmail
  • Mail
  • Invitation to an event

Creativity has its place within an ABM strategy, for example, focusing on sending personalized goodies.

Step 4: Engage Your Target Accounts

Make yourself known to your target accounts. Connect to LinkedIn, first get a telephone discovery meeting, for example.

Then schedule a physical meeting. Then comes the time to send the business proposal.

Remember to contextualize your commercial approach and be “customer-centric” properly!

The Advantages of Account-Based Marketing

It is efficient!

With ABM, you don’t focus on the number of leads but the quality of information and contacts. By concentrating on prospects with high potential to become customers, you gain inefficiency.

It optimizes conversions!

ABM content is relevant and personalized. It converts more.

It promotes marketing!

Smarketing is aligning your sales and marketing teams. Your teams work more collaboratively.

It has a better return on investment!

With ABM, you do not exhaust your resources for prospects with low added value. Instead, you focus on high potential accounts.

It saves your customers time!

Your customers are in a hurry. They will appreciate that you save them time.

Should I Be Doing Inbound Marketing Only, ABM Only, or Both?

These two strategies are both different and complementary. Depending on your business and your offer, you may or may not be able to implement these two strategies.

Who Is Inbound Marketing For?

The inbound marketing strategy is made for you:

  • If your persona uses the internet when doing research.
  • If you are on a long buying cycle (4 to 6 months).
  • If you are targeting a particular professional function (a CFO, a CIO, a Marketing Director, etc.).
  • If you are in a large market.
  • If you need to evangelize your offering.

Who is Account-Based Marketing For?

The ABM strategy is made for you:

  • If you have a significant value proposition/promise.
  • If you are in a small market, a market segment, a new territory, on the pursuit of customers of your competitors.
  • If your account decides with several stakeholders (the CEO, the CFO, the marketing department, the department concerned).
  • If you can acquire these accounts with a hyper-personalization strategy.

Also Read: Apple vs. Samsung vs. Google – Three Heavyweights Meet

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