Account-based marketing, or ABM, is one of the most widely adopted B2B marketing strategies — according to Demand Gen Report, 98% of marketers already use or are planning to use an ABM strategy. And content syndication is, according to research from Activate Marketing, the fastest-growing channel for B2B tech marketers.
But other than their popularity, what do these two strategies have to do with one another? Do ABM and content syndication work in opposition, or in harmony?
Spoiler alert: content syndication and ABM are a match made in marketing heaven. The two strategies combine to create an effective, hyper-targeted strategy to generate and nurture only the highest-quality leads among your ideal customer accounts.
In this article, we’ll explore how ABM and content syndication work, respectively, and how they come together to deliver significant benefits to marketing teams — including better personalization, greater content ROI, more accurate data, and improved nurturing throughout the customer journey.
The basics of ABM and content syndication
Let’s start at the beginning: what ABM and content syndication are, exactly, and why B2B marketers love these strategies so much.
How ABM hyper-targets lead gen and nurturing
ABM is a highly targeted marketing strategy that involves focusing your efforts on a specific list of target accounts, or companies, that you’ve identified as a best-fit to be your potential customer.
As opposed to a marketing strategy that’s all about generating a large volume of leads, ABM prioritizes quality over quantity. An ABM campaign is tailored to address the precise concerns and pain points of your target account — and the different members of the buying committee you’ll reach with your personalized content and messages.
Think of ABM like hosting an exclusive dinner party. Every invitee is hand-selected, their dietary preferences are researched and taken into consideration, and a carefully plotted seating chart encourages the most stimulating conversation. By contrast, a general brand marketing campaign might be like posting a flyer to a block party. Everyone’s welcome! Hope you like burgers.
Both kinds of parties are fun, but one takes a lot more planning and consideration of the perfect guest list. That’s ABM.
So how, exactly, does ABM work? It starts with marketing and sales coming together to build an ABM list of target accounts. Your ABM list should zero in on the most qualified leads that fall into your organization’s ideal customer profile (ICP) with the potential to bring in significant revenue for your company. (ABM usually isn’t cheap, but the payoff is real, and much easier to measure than broader marketing campaigns.)
Then, your marketing team and each account’s designated sales representatives work hand-in-hand to conduct deep research and laser-focus your collective efforts at communicating consistent, personalized messages to specific contacts. This allows your team to funnel resources to the most likely-to-close deals, making ABM a proven approach to generate highly qualified leads and increase conversion rates.
According to research by MomentumITSMA, 72% of B2B marketers say ABM delivers a higher ROI than other types of marketing. So it’s no surprise that a nearly equal number (71%) plan to increase ABM spending in 2023.
The top benefits of content syndication
In B2B marketing, content syndication involves republishing your existing content on other websites, sharing it on social platforms, and promoting it across syndication networks. Syndication takes the power of content marketing and applies data-driven insights to multiply your reach to your target audiences across the internet.
Marketing teams see significant benefits from content syndication, including:
- Increasing brand awareness by reaching new audiences
- Building brand credibility by partnering with industry experts and platforms
- Boosting SEO by adding quality backlinks to your website
- Scaling your content ROI by republishing the same asset across multiple channels
- Generating high-quality leads through targeted distribution of gated content
Some companies use a DIY approach to content syndication, republishing content across social channels, pitching third-party outlets, or partnering with other companies to expand their reach. But for organizations who want to execute highly targeted, data-driven syndication campaigns, choosing a trusted vendor is usually their best bet. These paid partners maintain global networks of verified contacts and layer in buyer and intent data to their campaign targeting, generating and delivering qualified, vetted leads to marketing teams.
How ABM and content syndication make a dream team
Now, let’s put these two data-driven marketing strategies together — because when ABM programs incorporate content syndication as a key channel, big things happen.
ABM content syndication allows you to connect with your target accounts on a granular level. Especially when working with a content syndication vendor, you’ll be able to access and benefit from multiple layers of customer data to zero in on the companies and individuals you’d most like to build relationships with. More data and greater reach from syndication and more targeted audiences from ABM adds up to a powerfully efficient lead generation and nurturing engine.
Here’s an example of how ABM and content syndication work together. Say you have an ABM list of 50 mid-size companies that you’ve identified as your top target accounts within your ICP. You’ve used technographic data to confirm that your product, a data quality monitoring tool, fits a gap in their current tech stacks and integrates with their existing software. And you know that the buying committee for a solution like yours would include executives like CDOs or CTOs, decision-makers like VPs of engineering, and influencers like senior data engineers, data governance specialists, and data scientists.
You’ve researched and developed a detailed customer journey map and buyer personas for each role at each company. And you’ve created tailored content to address the questions and pain points that will arise at every step, for every member of the buying committee, such as:
- Executive thought leadership on the potential business consequences of poor data quality
- Industry-specific whitepapers on the technical challenges surrounding data quality
- How-to videos on data quality testing
- Customer webinars highlighting your solution’s transformative impact at similar companies
With your ABM list and your personalized content in hand, a trusted content syndication vendor can layer additional data like intent signals to pinpoint the members of the buying committee most likely to engage with your assets. They know who’s searching for related topics, downloading relevant assets, and primed to hear a targeted message from your brand. This allows your vendor to reach the individual contacts at your target accounts with highly personalized content, at precisely the right moment to create engagement and accelerate the sales cycle.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not — with the right combination of ABM and content syndication.
Benefits of combining ABM and content syndication
Let’s break down exactly how these two marketing strategies work together to generate and nurture the highest-quality leads for your organization.
When you couple ABM and content syndication, you are committing to a laser focus on reaching your most valuable prospects with the most relevant content.
ABM is all about gaining a deep understanding your highest-priority accounts, and using that information to hyper-target your marketing and sales efforts. That means customizing buying journeys for every account, taking their firmographic, technographic, and all other available data into consideration. You’ll be able to pinpoint the exact challenges a company is likely to encounter in their industry, at their growth stage, with their specific product or service offering, and using their exact technology stack.
And you’ll conduct that research for every member of the buying committee, mapping out the unique questions and concerns of every type of buyer. With that depth of understanding, you can create content that is unmistakably relevant — for C-suite approvers, senior-level decision-makers, detail-oriented procurement managers, and influential individual contributors alike.
Increased ROI of your valuable content
Generating the most value from your content is always a win. But with ABM, it’s a huge challenge because the content you create for these targeted campaigns will, by nature, always be highly personalized and most relevant to a microscopic audience.
Promoting that content widely doesn’t make sense. But with ABM content syndication, you can republish it in highly targeted ways to extend your reach and improve your account penetration.
As Gartner reports, the average buying group for B2B solutions “involves six to 10 decision makers, each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently.” ABM marketing involves reaching as many members of that buying committee as possible, along with other company employees who aren’t directly involved but may exert influence over purchasing decisions.
Syndicating content to your ABM list can bolster your account penetration by extending the reach of your content, even within these small but oh-so-important groups. When you work with a trusted partner to syndicate that content and place it directly in front of the key accounts you created it for, you have a better chance of reaching more contacts — including those under-the-radar influencers you may not yet have in your CRM.
Better nurturing for your target accounts
ABM is a long game played across multiple channels. These high-value accounts usually have long, complex buying journeys and different individuals will conduct their own research for weeks or months before they ever speak to a sales representative. That’s why it’s crucial for your brand to stay present and engage these leads over time, reaching your target contacts with the right information at the right stage of their buying journey — and on the right channel.
For example, your sales team sends one-to-one emails and forges connections on social media platforms. You might send high-quality direct mail to the company headquarters. And display ads will keep your brand top-of-mind between direct touchpoints.
Syndication is a vital part of this multichannel mix, using external channels to reach your target account segments with your brand’s helpful content. Not only does this exposure help nurture your contacts along their customer journey, but it also improves your brand’s reputation and credibility when they encounter your content on trusted publications.
And, you can use syndication throughout the customer journey, from early-stage brand awareness blogs to bottom-of-funnel buying guides or comparison checklists. Republishing and promoting your content keeps your brand at the forefront of every contact’s mind.
More accurate data collection
Good syndication partners bring their own data to the table, using intent data and other third-party sources to help refine your ABM targeting. Additionally, trusted vendors will collect and share valuable information about the ways your target accounts are interacting with your syndicated content throughout your campaigns.
For example, you can gather behavioral signals and engagement metrics like:
- Ad clicks
- Visiting specific product pages
- Downloading whitepapers
- Signing up for newsletters
- Form fills
- Keyword searches
- Social media interactions
This enhanced data accuracy can help you refine your content types and messaging for specific audience segments, improving outcomes across campaigns.
You can also use this ABM campaign data to improve your ICP altogether, evaluating which accounts are indicating the highest level of interest in purchasing a solution like yours. That allows you to prioritize your efforts on the target accounts most likely to convert, or even reconsider whether less active accounts belong on your ABM list in the first place.
Upgrade your ABM with content syndication
ABM and content syndication are each powerful strategies that use customer data to reach contacts with relevant content, improving your overall marketing ROI. When combined, they unlock a new level of hyper-targeted outreach to generate and nurture high-quality leads along every stage of the customer journey.
To learn more, check out our on-demand webinar Let’s Upgrade Your Content Syndication Approach. It’s full of expert tips on how to take your syndication efforts to the next level.
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