January 8, 2020

Using Paid Search to Enhance Your ABM Strategies

ABM (account-based marketing) is one of the hottest strategies for SaaS and B2B companies and for good reason. It’s a highly-targeted strategy that can help eliminate inefficiencies by narrowing your sales team’s playing field. 

So it may seem strange to hear that you can pair paid search tactics with an ABM campaign to create even more success. The entire point of ABM seems to be to eliminate broader marketing channels like paid search in favor of going straight after a small set of pre-identified prospects. But the truth is, working specific paid search strategies into your marketing mix can actually enhance an ABM strategy – without costing a fortune to implement.

Put your customer data to work

The biggest benefit that paid search can offer to ABM campaigns is a feature built right into several ads platforms. Customer match, or custom audiences, allow you to use contact information of a user to ‘match’ them digitally on the platform. These matches create audiences of your customers that you can use in paid search marketing efforts. A custom matched audience is as closes as it gets when it comes to an ABM approach on paid search.

You can target those same ABM prospects as they make relevant searches by turning your ABM prospects list into a custom audience. Keeping the audience narrowed to just your top prospects also gives the freedom to get broader with PPC keywords. You can target more general phrases that you wouldn’t want to pay for in a normal widespread campaign. With this strategy, you know that only your highest-valued prospects would be seeing your ads and costs would be kept under control.

Don’t forget to bid up

Those customer match audiences you create don’t just have to be used in standalone campaigns, either. Already have a robust paid search strategy running for new prospect mining? Add the custom audience and raise the bid percentage really high. This will allow your campaigns to run just as they have been. But if one of your top ABM prospects happens to search as well, you can be sure that the budget will be used to deliver messaging to them in a top position every time.

Add to your ABM roster

You may start an ABM strategy with a list of key prospects in mind. But any business is going to want to add to that target list at some point. Just as you always need prospects in your customer pipeline, your ABM list needs to consistently grow so efforts don’t stagnate.

Pairing paid search with a specialized website tracking tool can help. It’s one thing to use paid search to get relevant users to your website. But how do you know right away if one of those users represents a potential account worth putting the sales team in direct contact with? IP tracking tools reverse-lookup information on website visitors and will flag which companies they come from. Statwax recommends Leadfeeder, but there are dozens of choices Place one of these affordable tools on your website as you would any Analytics code. In no time, you’ll start seeing companies that correspond to the visitors coming from your lead gen paid search efforts. You can use the results to hone how your campaigns are performing and make note of any big-time companies that are best suited for a full push from your ABM efforts.

Integrate your CRM with ads platforms

Having an ABM list and having paid search running is good on its own. You can still take your efforts a step further by using your existing customer data to better optimize your search ads. There are additional data signals that the platform could use to better adjust bids and make ads decisions, even if you’re just running a custom audience matched specifically to your ABM list,

First, integrate your CRM data into the ads platform so that you can see and measure all post-lead downstream milestones occurring in the customer journey. Using CRM customer data to better measure the success of search efforts can create huge efficiency. By linking the CRM milestones into the ads platform, you can set all search efforts to optimize based on the data signals that are most frequently leading to closed customers, not just leads. So even if the only people seeing your search ads are those on the ABM list, the platform will be able to use existing customer data to determine several factors. These include whether to bid higher on a certain search query, serve one ad variation over another, or hold back the budget altogether based on the likelihood that person could become a customer. It’s just another way to put the data you already have to work squeezing more efficiency out of your efforts.

Want to know more about using digital marketing tactics to enhance your ABM approach and turn leads into customers? Let’s talk.

Want more marketing insights? Subscribe for updates!