How to do agile account-based content marketing – ep 5

Create hyper-targeted and prospect-getting content fast

Agile? Account-based? Content marketing? That’s a mouthful! It may look like buzzword-bonanza at first glance, but fear not; this is very real and applicable pipeline-accelerating advice.

In this episode, I’ll walk you through a new way to use content to get target accounts to talk to you; and move them down the pipeline surprisingly fast and easily.

In particular, this strategy encapsulates:

  • video
  • podcast and
  • social media micro-content

in a fully human-centric and account-targeted way.

You may have noticed that account-based marketing in general is pretty heavy on content and builds on inbound methods. In a way, we see account-based marketing as an evolution of B2B inbound.

In B2B, account-based marketing is an evolution of inbound where proactivity and outreach play a crucial role in addition to content.

As a result of our pioneering and experimenting in account-based growth with Infinityn International, we have come up with two proven and tested ways to

turn content into hyper-targeted sales weapons

In the usual account-based marketing setting, you have content “sitting alongside” your pipeline. The conventional view of content and ABM is that

  1. marketing uses advertising to direct target accounts to existing, static content assets (articles, videos, case studes etc.)
  2. sales uses existing content assets and collateral to move individual prospects down the pipeline

Below, you see an ABM pipeline indicating the different static content types used at various stages. Marketing can use targeted ads to deliver this content, while sales can simultaneously send a relevant case study or ebook to their prospect.

Source: Kindle version of No Forms, No Spam, No Cold Calls by Latané Conant

The (multi)million dollar question is: how do you make content even more relevant and targeted? The answer lies in agile content creation

Here are two scenarios:

1. Video play to accelerate pipeline-velocity

  1. SDR or sales learns about account’s objection
  2. Marketing creates a highly personalized, 5-10 minute screen-capture video or simple phone/laptop video like this one, that addresses the objection
  3. Video with a short accompanying post is placed on website, embedded via Wistia or Vidyard for tracking
  4. Link is sent out to prospect. View-percentage is tracked by video platform
  5. Marketing repurposes the video in microcontent and posts them on social media, especially sections which the prospect hasn’t viewed.
  6. The prospect is tagged in posts with those video segments, which she has not consumed.

The video and social posts become assets that will keep building and accelerating pipeline, attract traffic for years to come.

2. Lead-getting podcast/webinar play

A common assumption about podcasting is that its major benefit for a B2B brand is building authority. While this is certainly true, there is an important but overlooked short-term, pipeline-creating benefit: getting target accounts.

What’s surprising is that the hot leads usually don’t come from the listeners directly – they come from the guests invited to speak on the podcast.

How do you get an ice-cold prospect to talk to sales? Easy: you invite them to a podcast interview. The majority of leaders, especially in marketing and sales will jump at the opportunity to be on podcasts. It gives them a chance to spread the word and build the brand – and also their careers.

  1. Invite prospect as a guest on your podcast for interview.
  2. Have short prep-call where you get to know each other and relevant topics.
  3. During the interview: make them look good; help them provide value; create an episode that they will want to share
  4. After the episode has been produced, send out the recording and ask for feedback, as well as permission to post the episode.

    The stage is now set for a solution-centric conversation.

Agile content creation

Producing audio and video content fast and on an ongoing basis… yikes! The mere thought of this tends to scare companies. I totally get it, because it is a new medium, a new way of marketing and it can seem daunting at first.

Here is a little encouragement: creating lots of quality, written content seemed to be similarly “impossible” at first. However, once the organization gets in the habit of coming up with content ideas and producing them, it slowly becomes part of the marketing organization’s DNA.

Producing written and video content and repurposing it will become the new norm and if you adopt the above-mentioned agile account-based content plays, the payoff comes much sooner.

With traditional inbound marketing, it takes up to 4-6 months of sustained effort to start seeing results. With the agile account-based content approach, results can be almost immediate.

Agile benefits: the agile approach also means that there is continuous improvement. What’s counterintuitive to most enterprises and perfectionist SMBs is that you don’t have to get it perfect the first time: you are looking for the MVC: the minimum viable content.

Why video?

Considering the effectiveness of video over other forms of content, video-first should be self-evident. A no-brainer for a technology or a professional service organization because the types of agile videos we’ve been discussing cost very little to produce and can be repurposed into articles, social media microcontent and podcasts.

This creates huge leverage when compared to written articles (which are still necessary for most B2B brands) because articles need good graphics/illustrations (not just regular stockphotos) and are much more limited in terms of “repurpose-ability”.

We recommend practically all our clients to go all-in on agile video content as a major component in an account-based growth organization.

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