Looking to up level your events? Consider implementing an account-based marketing strategy. The level of personalization required by ABM events enables your sales and marketing teams to come together, plan a targeted event with custom content, and make real connections with existing customers and potential prospects.
Focused on an individual account, your team can identify key prospects, determine the optimal channels on which to reach them, and design content and personalized messaging to execute targeted campaigns.
The specificity of a account-based marketing strategy is its greatest strength, and nothing provides more potential for a specialized approach than events.
What is Account-Based Marketing?
Account-based marketing lets you zoom in on your prospects and customer’s needs and design campaigns tailored specifically to them. Additionally, it creates a model that facilitates easy alignment with sales, reduces resource waste, and allows for clear tracking of goals and ROI.
Quality Attendees for High Event ROI
Ensuring high event ROI begins with attracting quality attendees.
Finding high-quality event guests begins with understanding your ideal target audience. Begin by looking into the basics (who, what, when, where, why, how) of your existing customers. Who are they? What brought them to you? What keeps them around?
Now investigate your past attendees—what did or didn’t work with them? You likely already have data available on your customers from past and present, so use it!
Consider creating attendee profiles of your desired event guests. Look into demographics and psychographics to have a clear idea of who you’re targeting.
Learn as much as you can about their work life and their pain-points. Knowing these basic pieces of information will help you craft your ABM strategy around event messaging to your specific account.
Once you have an idea of who your audience is, you need to find them. Having identified your target audience and personalized your messaging to them, analyze your existing traffic and use social media and automation to reach out to them.
Search engines, Google Analytics, and your own data reserves offer the tools you need to reach your audience—the important part is designing content specifically for them.
Who is in the room can make or break an event. If you recruit the right attendees, your event ROI will show it.
Bottom-of-the-Funnel (BOFU) Events
Like any other event, your BOFU events depend on getting butts—the right butts—in seats. To do this, define your event’s persona, and set clear goals for what you hope to achieve from your event. Defining your audience and understanding their motivations allows you to take a more targeted approach when planning your event details. From first touch emails you send to the day-of content and the event follow-up, your attendees need to know that content was made for them.
There are several types of bottom-of-funnel events that can be highly effective in an ABM campaign.
User conferences offer informative in-person exposure to customers. Roadshows put you and your team in front of countless prospects across your region. Lunch & Learns enable you to build a rapport and facilitate existing relationships with your customers.
And remember, bottom-of-the-funnel ABM events don’t have to be in person. A webinar is a great way to reach a large audience without the geographic limitations of a conference or lunch and learn, and it still allows you to engage with your customers.
Events can propel your ABM strategy and help continue to drive pipeline. Use your bottom-of-funnel events to secure your customers and recycle the funnel.
TIP: Remember—too many barriers to entry can turn off even the most qualified potential attendees. Simplify your registration process!
Create Personalized Experiences
An ABM campaign is a place to be creative and appeal to your specific audience. Designing your event and content around your customers and attendees will engage them on a personal level and strengthen your relationship with them.
Several companies have mastered personalized marketing and we would do well to learn from their example. But regardless of what type of ABM event you host—and there are options—it needs to be fitted to your attendees.
Perhaps your event is for online educators, you can hold a mediated debate about technology in the school system. Or maybe your event is for millennial creatives, in which case you can host a performance art show followed by a discussion. The point is to engage your audience with something important to them and use it as a gateway to move your audience through the funnel.
Keeping your event top-of-mind means communicating with your attendees before, during, and after your event to stay fresh in their memory.
Before you host an event, it’s imperative to research your ideal target audience. As the host, consider what deals were closed at your previous event. Who were the main contacts? How did they hear about the event? How long did it take the deal to close? Don’t be afraid to get personal. Investigate social media to get an idea of your audience’s interests.
Remember that how you craft your emails is of the utmost importance. Consider the visual element—it should be easy to read on a computer and on a phone. Remember to follow-up consistently, and keep your emails friendly and content-based.
Follow-up is the final step to event success. Attendees expect the basic, cookie-cutter ‘thank you’ email, but that’s not enough. Consider sending a gift to their inbox, writing a handwritten note, or introducing them to a potentially fruitful contact.
Events don’t end when the last attendee leaves. Engage consistently to keep your event and your customer top-of-mind.
Create a Lasting Community
ABM allows for a specialized approach that enables the creation of a lasting community. Use B2B events to create and facilitate your community.
Being part of a professional community won’t only improve your existing relationships but may help you create new ones. If you can get your customers talking to each other, they’ll inevitably start talking to other people. You and your customers can work together to facilitate the funnel, drive pipeline, and create a more valuable experience for everyone involved.
Creating a community will help you build your brand and further develop your existing relationships. Engage with your customers, don’t just talk at them. Set up a feedback loop to learn what’s working and what isn’t. A well thought out ABM campaign allows for close interaction with customers that can facilitate an invaluable feedback loop.
Utilize your customer relationships to create a professional community that you can contribute to, learn from, and overall be a part of. Communal engagement and learning will benefit you, your customers, and all your stakeholders.
An account-based marketing strategy + ABM events provides a personalized, scalable, and effective way to connect with your audience. Consistently hosting quality, focused events will foster growth in your professional relationships and facilitate continued success in your ABM campaigns.