Getting intimate: 10 tips for personalising your ABM content
5 – 10 minutes
Dan Sands, Chief Strategy Officer
14th March 2018
Personalising your content and campaigns could help you outsell your nearest competitor by 20 per cent. This is according to numerous studies and probably isn’t new news to you. And yet many organisations considering an ABM strategy are hesitant to conduct personalised campaigns because of cost or uncertainty over measurement and quality. So, what content works for personalisation and what doesn’t? How can you scale it beyond just your 1:1 accounts and what are some personalisation no-no’s? Here’s our top 10 hints and tips to content personalisation.
1. You don’t need to start from scratch
Evaluate what content you have and what could be personalised with minimal resource. But don’t just personalise for the sake of it – if it doesn’t really work, then don’t send it to the stakeholder – otherwise you risk damaging your reputation and any established trust.
2. Personalisation is a data-driven exercise
The more data you have on a stakeholder or accounts the higher quality and more targeted the personalised content will be. AI, deep learning and automation in the martech space will continue to speed up the process, helping lower costs and increase scalability. But data without context is meaningless – so try to include sector-specific knowledge and show understanding of unique industry challenges to ensure the content resonates.
3. High-stake 1:1 accounts need something impressive
Consider personalised video if there is a single account that is a key target. More than 85% of online marketers are using video as part of their campaigns and almost 60% of decision makers say they would rather watch a video than read a blog post or article. One effective method for this is a talking heads video, where your subject matter expert speaks directly to the stakeholder via the video. Personalised videos are impressive and demonstrate a level of commitment to the stakeholder, especially when combined with other direct-touch tactics.
4. Know when to personalise some content, or all content
Within a 1:1 campaign ensure all content and communications are personalised as part of a tailored nurture track. To win a specific account you need a variety of content and consistently high levels of personalisation. This means that each piece of content should be valuable to the stakeholder and address their specific pain points.
5. Personalised animated videos are easier than you’d think
For a cluster ABM campaign, consider animation which can be easier and more cost effective to personalise and scale. With animation much of the content can be reused – taking graphics from other design pieces for example, or amending voice overs, text and logos for different accounts which all require less creative time to make these changes.
6. PDFs can be adapted to suit the audience
Written content such as reports, whitepapers and infographics are simple to tailor to specific accounts and work effectively for cluster ABM campaigns or even one-to-many campaigns. Graphics and body content can remain and with changes to the preface and conclusion, each account can have a personalised report that’s informative and tailored.
7. Personalisation can simply mean removing what’s irrelevant
One way of producing personalised reports or whitepapers at scale is to start with the generic framework then whittle down the useful bits to each account. This is often more cost effective than producing a new report for each account because it’s not adding different information, just removing the data that would be irrelevant for that account.
8. Data should be informing the type of content you deliver and when
To personalise mailers and newsletters at scale, conduct data gathering on online behaviour. What are the stakeholders downloading? Where are they spending their time? What sites are they visiting and what forums are they monitoring? Aggregating this information will give a good indication of the personalised content you should be sending to them.
9. Automate as much of the production process as possible
Automation is a key aspect of scaling personalisation – if data collation and curation or specific production elements can be automated it not only lowers costs but frees up resources to focus on other areas of the campaign. Using Intent Data gathered via automated trackers and algorithms saves time and resource, and offers good returns if the resulting content is high quality. There are increasing numbers of tools to automate the content production process which should shift the focus from how long the content takes to produce to the quality of the content and its deliverability.
10. Don’t be creepy, or break any rules
Be careful when it comes to revealing how much data you have on stakeholders. Be wary if using an account’s own brand colours and avoid using their logo due to copyright laws. Don’t change fundamental elements or use pictures of stakeholders obtained online. No-one likes to think they’re being stalked and manipulated.
Knowing how to personalise both content and campaigns means having an in-depth knowledge of the data, a good understanding of the creation process and the cost-effective methods of tailoring them for different accounts, and at scale. It’s not easy, but the benefits of good personalisation done well are undeniable and the increase to the bottom line make it highly attractive.