Want to beat your competition at the marketing game?

One way is to identify technologies that are gaining traction and get an early jump on using them. For example, B2B marketing has evolved from using email marketing, to marketing automation, which has powered the rise of content marketing.

And marketers at the front-end of the adoption curve won out.

Which begs the question: what’s next?

A lot of people are betting on account-based marketing. That’s why investors just put $22 million into Engagio, and last year handed over $30 million to Demandbase, both leading vendors in the emerging ABM space.

Only time will tell whether you need to buy yet another marketing technology, or if you can adapt your existing CRM solution to take an ABM approach.

Either way, there’s something to be said for targeting a small set of accounts with account-based marketing versus combing through a daily heap of inbound contacts hoping to find a qualified lead or two.

ABM Changes Your Content Marketing Mindset

While account-based marketing will no doubt impact a number of your current best practices, it will also change how you think about content marketing.

Today, B2B marketers mostly produce two types of brand content:

  • Content about your company such as press releases, corporate blog posts and data sheets
  • Content that helps and informs buyers including thought leadership blog posts, whitepapers and research

With ABM, you need to add a third type: content that’s specifically about your target accounts.

The reason is simple: brand content about your buyers is most likely to catch the attention of those very same buyers!

Chances are, you — or your company’s PR firm and social media team — have Google alerts and social listening set up to flag any mention of your name or company. Employees, partners, investors and friends also are usually quick to email when they notice a favorable reference.

So is it hard to craft content about your target accounts?

Not at all. As a matter of fact, you’re already doing this with your customers. You showcase them in case studies, blog posts, webinars and user conferences. Adapt that same approach to top prospects.

Make Targeted Accounts Your Content Marketing Focus

Here are three ways to refocus your content marketing around targeted accounts:

Industry focus: Take more of an industry focus with your company news, white papers, research and use cases. And make it about those specific industries where your target accounts compete.

This keeps your brand content showing up in relevant news feeds and helps get your sales team’s emails noticed by decision makers you care about.

Target account focus: Highlight target accounts in thought leadership bylines, blog posts and white papers as examples of companies leading their industries and/or that are doing interesting things. This makes them look good, and provides an incentive to their PR teams to share these “pickups” with those involved in the buying process.

Decision maker focus:  Ask executives and decision makers at your target accounts for byline and blog post quotes, include them as speakers on webinars and podcasts, and invite them to present at company events. They’ll feel recognized, and want to learn more about your company and its offerings.

ABM-oriented brand content should prominently mention a target company or decision maker AND cast them in a favorable light: you’ll both catch a target account’s attention and create a favorable impression that paves the way for your sales team’s efforts.

The bottom line?

No matter what type of content you’re creating, look for opportunities to incorporate your target accounts into the story. There’s no better way to get and stay on their radar.

[Editor’s note: this post was first published on CMSWire]