• July 7, 2023

The Power of B2B Digital Advertising in ABM Efforts

Cameron Beltran

Cameron Beltran

There’s a powerful strategy making waves within the realm of B2B lead generation. This method, known as Account Based Marketing, or ABM, allows sales and marketing teams to hone their efforts on select, high-value accounts ultimately leading to an impressive return on investment (ROI). In fact, Forrester found that 72% of B2B businesses saw a measurable boost in business performance since adopting ABM.

Now, what if you took ABM to the next level? Supporting ABM with digital advertising allows you to double down on this targeted approach and provides an opportunity to create a highly personalized customer journey. 

If you’re unfamiliar with one or both of these strategies, diving into them can be difficult waters to navigate.

But, learning how to combine ABM and digital advertising can support your business with campaigns that demand little to no time in qualifying leads and ultimately – a high ROI. Sounds like a formula for boosting business growth and getting ahead of your competitors, right?

From our client experiences, when executed right, that’s exactly what the combination of ABM and digital advertising can deliver.

 Let’s explore the basics, benefits, and necessary steps to leveraging ABM and digital advertising successfully together.

The Relationship Between Digital Advertising and ABM

For those new to the concept of ABM, this strategy targets a specific set of high-value accounts – rather than casting a large marketing net to catch high-quality leads. 84% of B2B businesses who have adopted this strategy report receiving higher ROI using ABM compared to other marketing campaigns.

This approach can also lead to better aligned sales and marketing teams as these groups come together and determine what qualifies a high-value account. 

Meanwhile, digital advertising utilizes advertising or social media platforms to reach a desired audience quickly. Each platform has its own benefits and drawbacks as well as types of campaigns that are available to run. For ABM efforts, digital advertising comes into play with its audience targeting capabilities. Depending on the platform, you can use digital ads to directly reach target companies and even key stakeholders.

When digital advertising is thoughtfully integrated into ABM efforts, they can enhance each other’s performances and deliver game-changing results. This is mostly due to the fact that both ABM and digital advertising thrive on personalization and a customer-obsessed approach. Together they can create experiences that deeply resonate with your target accounts and establish your business as a trustworthy partner.

Leveraging Digital Advertising for ABM

There are multiple ways to incorporate digital advertising into your ABM strategy. We’ll cover the most common methods:

  1. Remarketing Campaign – this type of campaign is useful for keeping your brand top-of-mind with target accounts who may already be aware of your company. You can use these types of campaigns to retarget website visitors, or depending on the social platform, users who have engaged with your content or previous ad campaigns. Common ad types used for these campaigns are display ads and in-feed social media ads.
  2. Precise Audience Targeting – this approach is commonly used with social media advertising platforms. The most popular among B2B businesses being LinkedIn Ads. This platform is unique in that it allows you to target specific companies and even specific roles within those companies. You can even upload lists of your target accounts directly into the platform. 

An example using both of these methods could be:

As a manufacturer of bolting technology, you use LinkedIn Ads to target specific oil and gas companies you’ve determined to be high-value accounts. You use LinkedIn Ads to serve your advertisements directly to decision makers within these oil and gas firms. You then create a remarketing campaign to retarget the individuals who have engaged or clicked on your initial ads. Keeping your brand top of mind like this helps keep your brand top of mind while establishing your business as an authority in your industry. 

See how useful digital advertising is in ABM efforts? You’re not just targeting important stakeholders of target accounts. You’re building relationships with these individuals and fostering familiarity within multiple stages of the customer journey. This ability to reach the right people at the right time not only maximizes your marketing efforts but also nurtures a more meaningful and personalized relationship with your prospects.

The Critical Role of Personalization

Personalization is at the heart of ABM and can be a game-changer when applied to digital advertising. By tailoring your ad copy and creative to each target account, you're more likely to grab their attention and trigger engagement.

That’s why doing research into the buyer personas of your target accounts is critical to the success of your ABM campaigns. You need to understand your target accounts on a deep level. For a successful campaign, you should know what platforms they’re spending the most time on, as well as their pain points, goals, and interests. 

Once you have this information, you can craft digital ads that are attention-grabbing while being educational. This is how you solidify your B2B business as helpful and trustworthy.

Using Analytics to Optimize Your Strategy

Analytics plays a pivotal role in any digital advertising strategy, especially in an ABM approach where tracking and measuring results can be challenging.

Unlike typical campaigns where clicks, impressions, or website traffic may be key metrics to track, in ABM campaigns engagement rates or conversion rates will be a stronger indicator in determining your campaign’s success. This is due to the fact that your ABM campaigns will likely have significantly smaller audiences.

Therefore, ads with high engagement and conversion rates will indicate high-performing ads that resonate well with your target accounts. You can take this information and use it to craft similar ads in the future.

A/B testing is a critical component to ensuring your ads are optimized and you’re continuously making data-backed decisions to craft more personalized ads. This process includes testing one variable in a digital ad campaign and seeing what version of this variable performs best with your target audience. For instance, the variable can be your ad copy or ad image.

Implementing Digital Advertising into Your ABM Plan

Successfully integrating digital advertising into your ABM plan requires careful consideration and planning. Here are some key steps to include when crafting your plan:

  1. Sales and Marketing Alignment – ensuring your sales and marketing teams are aligned is crucial to the success of your ABM efforts. This collaboration is essential to setting campaign goals, identifying high-value account qualifications, and creating a smooth handoff process for leads.
  2. Account Research – as mentioned before, having a complete understanding of your target accounts is necessary for a successful campaign. Their buying process may be different from previous target audiences and your ad campaigns will need to reflect this.
  3. Create Account Marketing Plans – this also involves sales and marketing working together to identify who are the key stakeholders for each account. It also determines what content will need to be created to best engage these individuals. Each target account should have a tailored plan.

Hitting all of the objectives above can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to breaking down sales and marketing silos, but accomplishing this can pay off! You can expect a finer-tuned sales and marketing machine that delivers a high ROI. 

Unleashing the Power of ABM and Digital Advertising

By tailoring your digital advertising to your target accounts, you can achieve better engagement, drive higher ROI, and amplify your business’ growth. It's a strategy that we've seen deliver results time and time again.

But don’t forget, your sales and marketing team need to be on the same page. This means aligning on goals, target accounts, and key performance indicators. We can’t stress this enough! 

Interested in further accelerating your ABM flywheel? Consider Aspire’s marketing experts for supporting in-bound marketing strategies for B2B businesses.

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