Eye-catching content that piques the interest of your prospects is one of the most persuasive and powerful aspects of Account-Based Marketing (ABM).
Today's IT leaders are bombarded with newsletters, emails, and social posts that are often mediocre and irrelevant. High-quality content that stands out from the crowd is vital for technology companies to demonstrate thought leadership in their specialism - and persuade IT decision-makers to consider their products.
Producing strong content that sticks in the reader's mind requires a deep understanding of their day-to-day challenges and information needs. And it means serving up razor-sharp analysis, irresistible headlines, and striking design.
Here are some pointers for creating unputdownable content.
Visit us online at Nexus to find out more about creating content for ABM campaigns.
- How do you create strong content?
ABM content works best when the messages the business is trying to push - its strengths and unique selling points - coincide with the needs of decision-makers.
Look for those persistent problems that keep IT personnel awake at night. Some of the best ABM content draws on bespoke research findings about these issues and offers analysis and possible solutions. If your content can help resolve some of those challenges and make their lives a little easier, they are more likely to read on. Framing your solutions alongside objective research also allows the findings to do the heavy lifting. Get it right and the unbiased insights do the selling for you.
- What works?
Emotive themes that touch on the human issues behind the technology are more likely to attract interest than detailed technical pieces. Issues such as skills shortages, the cultural challenges of adopting the cloud and digital transformation, and the shift to remote working are likely to get a response. Ask an intriguing question, such as: how often are businesses really paying out to ransomware attackers each year? Or create a webinar discussion featuring leading industry figures debating one of the hot-button issues identified by a survey.
- How to pace a content campaign
Attracting the interest of IT decision-makers is a gradual process. Begin with quick-fire social media posts and digital display ads, leading to short-form articles offering sharp insights into the big issues of the day. Once your audience engage with these, they will be attracted to more involved content provided by your brand. Move them along the marketing funnel to more in-depth features, video, and native content on the company website.
They will then respond to longer-form content such as research studies and white papers. These can also take the form of webinars or interactive in-browser digital content, featuring animation and embedded videos. This digital content experience is effectively a modern interpretation of the traditional white paper.
At the apex of ABM content could be a study or report which is presented at a breakfast briefing or physical event, where a dozen or so companies from a client's ABM list are happy to spend part of their working day chatting with the vendor and other industry experts on the relevant subjects.
- Keep the content coming.
It's not enough to drip out the odd article or white paper every now and then. A steady stream of ‘always-on' content is vital, keeping the sponsor's name in the target audience's eye and showing a long-term commitment maintaining mindshare in your sector.
A research report based on an industry survey offers rich pickings as the insights can be posted on social media and used for blogs and articles for several weeks.
Creating a content hub where decision-makers can go to find all the content you produce is a powerful way to keep them engaged. They may be pressed for time, but they need all the information they can get before making a significant decision to deploy a new cybersecurity or cloud product. A content hub can house all your articles, webinars, surveys and white papers, allowing them to dive in and out at their own pace, or be tempted back in by supporting programmatic ads, newsletters, and social promotions.
- Go it alone or work with an industry partner?
Great content requires real-time industry knowledge about the issues that excite IT leaders. These themes constantly change as new technologies come on stream and new challenges arise. Working with a partner with deep industry knowledge can offer the real-time insights needed to create must-read content.
Nexus brings ABM clients key data about the interests of IT leaders. As part of The Channel Company, Nexus can track the articles IT decision-makers read in industry publications such as Computing and CRN. This will give a good indication of their latest concerns and interests.
Meanwhile, The Channel Company's relationships with thousands of IT leaders and staff through subscriptions to these titles, and their attendance at our conferences and awards shows, offers a strong set of contacts for running regular surveys.
- Data is the key to creating good content
So much ABM content is weak, not because it is poorly written or badly laid out. It's weak because it is irrelevant to the needs of the decision-makers or doesn't speak to them at their level. Marketers often lack insights into what their prospects are interested in. Working with Nexus gives you those real-time nuggets based on The Channel Company's relationships with IT executives at end-user organisations. This data is like gold dust when it comes to creating content that is targeted, relevant, and urgent.
Every engagement we see from the target company on a client's ABM contact list helps us create better content. For instance, our data may show that four IT staff from a financial institution have read articles on cybersecurity or cloud architecture in industry publications. Perhaps they have shared those articles with colleagues and have gone on to open emails on those issues. This shows that their journey is taking them towards longer-form content and that they are seriously interested in these areas. That is a trigger for a technology provider to offer them a white paper or digital report and eventually to invite them to a live event.
Relevant, targeted, and beautifully produced content provides prospects with the analysis and information they need to make informed decisions while promoting the proposition and industry authority of the content sponsor. A win-win for both parties.
To find out more about successful content for ABM, visit Nexus
- Take the target audience on a journey from short tweets and articles to long-form content such as white papers and webinars
- Make sure the content is relevant by conducting surveys of industry decision-makers and using real-time data about their concerns
- Work with an industry partner to obtain that data and insight
- Create a content hub to house all your content, as part of an evergreen content marketing strategy, and drive engagement to it with a multi-channel approach