Display Ads in ABM: 3 Ways to Make Them Effective
February 8, 2021
If you’ve spent your time in and around the demand generation space, you more than likely know the value of display ads. These banners, images, and texts placed on websites—distinct from the content of the host website—are often part of a larger digital display market campaign.
Although these can scale a business and increase visibility, click-through rates for display ads can leave managers unimpressed. You can have the most attention-grabbing ad, but are you still wondering how to get people actually to click on the banner?
Globally, digital ads are increasingly more competitive. eMarketer reports that in 2021, global digital ad spending will reach $389 billion, up from $333 billion in 2020. It is also projected that by 2024, digital ad spending will go as high as $526 billion.
While these numbers are going up, industry insiders know that the challenge lies in improving the strategy, creativity, execution, and overall performance assessment of digital ads to continue improving campaign performance and delivering a return on investment.
The natural solution to these challenges is account-based marketing, enabling you to market to specific businesses with personalized campaigns that make you more appealing to them. Essentially, these prospects are highly targeted, and marketing strategies employed—implemented through an array of channels—are geared towards specific needs and personas they have.
These targeted high-value clients can bring not only considerable profit but also a level of credibility and prestige. Therefore, the focus is placed on a few sizable and important accounts that are highly likely to add to your bottom line. To be successful with these types of account-based campaigns, you must have an incredibly targeted message supplemented by a high-touch approach. Examples of display ads include the ads being used on LinkedIn or Facebook, which showcase a specific brand to its ideal audience. According to ITSMA, approximately 85 percent of marketers measuring ROI describe account-based marketing as an approach that has delivered higher returns than other strategies.
What Is Account-Based Marketing?
Unlike traditional approaches to online marketing, focusing on accounts is like speaking in a new language; you are no longer looking at persons or individuals and community/audience demographics—the focus has shifted towards specific organizations. This requires a different strategic and tactical approach, which you must be aware of as marketing stakeholders.
Account-based marketing looks to engage specific target accounts, which requires personalization at the account level through account-specific messaging to gain higher revenues within a shorter amount of time ultimately. You must understand that B2B clients have a different perspective; they do not act based on their individual needs and wants—they are motivated by what is best for their organization and their respective clients.
How to Use Display Ads in Account-Based Marketing
If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your account-based marketing campaign, below are three spot-on things to make your display ads more targeted:
1. Display Ads Should Speak to the Leaders of the Organization
Account-based marketing is not a mere readjustment of your priority towards accounts. It entails a distinct recalibration of the entirety of your efforts to focus on organization-level engagements as opposed to marketing to a single individual.
The secret lies in data analytics. If you base your excellent reputation only on data derived from cookies, you limit your range of knowable information. The challenge with cookies is that it does not give accurate information on mobile-based customers, data decay due to deletion of cookies, and excludes a large population that has not had the opportunity to visit your website.
Maximize data analytics as a basis for targeting. One possible course of action could include onboarding offline databases to match large B2B databases with data providers to generate an initial list of target companies and key individuals.
The bottom line is that you need to figure out who your optimal clients are, find information on what businesses will yield the highest revenue, and brainstorm new sectors to expand your range.
The copy and imagery on your display ads should stand out to this particular market.
2. Maximize Content Syndication Channels
Much like cold calls, employing cold outreach to jump-start your account based-marketing campaign can have lukewarm results because it lacks context and familiarity. To establish rapport, your firm may wish to engage through various content syndication platforms before engaging the sales teams to discuss products and services.
You can do this across different communication channels, such as email, blogs, or social media—whichever you deem most appropriate. Use these platforms to educate your premium clients on how your business’s solutions can address problems they have or may not even know they are encountering.
Display ads that are more informative can, within a few seconds, highlight a solution that captures the attention of your target leader, encouraging them to click on the ad where they can read more about your organization.
3. Enhance Your Reputation Through Online Public Relations
They say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but we all want to have and maintain a good reputation at the end of the day. Your marketers may want to explore running display ads to emphasize the excellent reputation your brand has already built. Bank on accomplishments as the basis for credibility and trustworthiness. Given all the noise and congestion between you and other firms looking to get the attention of businesses, you need to stand out.
For example, if your firm has been recognized or featured recently in a publication or ceremony, run display ads that showcase these achievements.
Your clients who lead and manage organizations will deal with clients who they are inclined to trust and do business with us in the long run. A solid business reputation, tangible accomplishments, success rates, awards, trophies—all of that, strategically crafted and promoted through display ads, can make them take a second good look at your company.
ABM Marketing with Display Ads
Account-based marketing is geared towards aligning your sales and marketing processes to build relationships with specific accounts and illustrate better effective tactics. One of the better success stories is Salsify. A software company was preparing for a roadshow in New York City. One of their selling points to that event was that big tech companies like Google were also sending their own speakers.
Prior to that event, and intending to increase their sales, Salsify’s marketing team executed an account-based marketing strategy backed up by display ads. They selected targeted VIPs from their list and used multiple channels to send them an email and display ads about the event, the speakers, and the products they were selling.
When the sales team followed up, the response was very positive—and this happened after only two hours. Dozens of new accounts were closed, raising their conversion rates by 22%.
Precision, creativity, and informed decision-making are the cornerstones of account-based marketing strategies. The traditional approach of putting display ads in front of as many people as possible plays on the law of averages that does not always provide adequate ROI. Marketers need to be specific about whom they want to speak with, what they are selling, and how it relates to their business operations.
Compelling display ads with really relevant messaging can spell the difference.