For a lot of marketers today, it’s hard to remember a time before content became the calling card of B2B marketing.
We’ve heard over and over that “content is king.” That we need to create more content to drive inbound leads . . . but wait, not that much content. It’s quality over quantity, after all, and our audience has content fatigue.
All this content about content is a little overwhelming.
So of course, as a marketer, I decided to create some content about content about content (or something like that).
Let’s talk about content for account-based marketing. Now that B2B sales and marketing teams are banding together to do account-based marketing (ABM) and turn best-fit accounts into customers, the approach to content is shifting.
Content Marketing + Account-Based Marketing
While inbound marketing takes a content-first approach (“if you build it, they will come”), account-based marketing is different. Content is still crucial, but instead of using it to generate leads, ABM uses content as a way to engage accounts that you’ve already determined are a great fit for your solution.
“While content marketing follows a sequential or linear process (blog, offer, lead scoring on conversion, lead nurturing, hand-off to sales), ABM is lumpy. You target an account or a basket of accounts and pick and choose ways to engage them (a blog post, ungated content, personalized email, event, or dinner).”
As you transition your marketing strategy to focus on account-based engagement, you’ll need to approach content marketing differently.
That doesn’t mean you should dump all the good content you created for inbound, though. Instead, you need to take stock of all your resources — decks, blog posts, e-books, videos, and so on — and map each asset to a stage of the buyer’s journey.
Content Mapping Worksheet for the B2B Buyer’s Journey
Use this worksheet as a jumping-off point to organize your content and make sure you’re not missing any key assets. If you are, you’ll need to create new content to fill in the gaps.
Note that if you’re doing one-to-one account-based marketing, you should fill this worksheet in for every single account you’re targeting. Click here to learn about the four approaches to ABM if you need help deciding whether one-to-one ABM is right for your business.
What About Content for Inbound Marketing?
Fear not! You don’t have to do away with your inbound marketing strategy in order to do ABM — especially if you’ve got high-converting content that helps close deals.
Instead, you should focus on vigilantly qualifying your inbound accounts, not your inbound leads. If a lead belongs to an account that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP), you can add their company to your list of target accounts and begin using ABM technology to expand your reach to other decision-makers.
After that, it’s up to your sales and marketing teams to work together to truly own that account’s journey through the buying cycle. Email drip campaigns and retargeting are not enough to surround everyone at each inbound account with the content they need. You should use tactics like account-based advertising, direct mail, and social selling to create awareness and distribute the right content at the right time.
Get More Account-Based Marketing Worksheets
Looking for more hands-on resources to help you actually do account-based marketing? Grab your copy of the Blueprint to Account-Based Marketing, a 62-page e-book full of tips for planning, executing, and measuring your ABM strategy. It includes a fillable version of the content mapping worksheet, plus additional worksheets you can use to succeed with ABM.