on Feb 08, 2021 / by Corey Cantrell

Display Ads in ABM: 3 Ways to Make Them Effective

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 that are placed on websites – distinct from the content of the host website – are often part of a larger digital display market campaign.

Although these have the potential to 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 spend will reach $389 billion, up from $333 billion in 2020. It is also projected that by 2024, digital ad spending will reach 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 to improve campaign performance and deliver 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 have a high probability of adding to your bottom line. To be successful with these types of campaigns, you must have an incredibly targeted message supplemented by a high-touch approach.

Display ads examples include the ads that are being used in LinkedIn or Facebook, which showcases 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 makes 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 need to be aware of as marketing stakeholders.

Account-based Marketing looks to engage specific target accounts, which requires personalization at the account level through the use of account-specific messaging to ultimately gain higher revenues within a shorter amount of time. It is important that you understand that B2B clients have a different perspective; they do not act based on their own 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 have been looking for ways to improve your account based marketing campaign, below are 3 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 are basing your display ads examples solely on data derived from cookies, you are limiting 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 where you match large B2B databases with data providers to have 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 on new sectors to tap 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 jumpstart 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.

This can be done across different communication channels, such as email, blogs, or through social media – whichever you deem is most appropriate. Use these platforms to educate your premium clients on how your businesses solutions can address problems they have or may not even know they are encountering.

Display ads that are more informative or can, within the span of a few seconds, highlight that solution can capture the attention of your target leader, encouraging him to click on the ad where he 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 at the end of the day, we all want to have and maintain a good reputation. Your marketers may want to explore running display  ads to emphasize the good 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.

As an example, if your firm has been recognized or featured recently in a publication or ceremony, run display ads that will 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 with display ads

Account based marketing is geared towards aligning your sales and marketing processes to build relationships with specific accounts and to better illustrate effective tactics, one of the better success stories is Salsify,  a software company that 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 with the goal of increasing 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 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 only after 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 do not always provide adequate ROI. Marketers need to be specific about whom you want to speak with, what you are selling, and how it relates to their business operations. 

Compelling display ads with really relevant messaging can spell the difference.

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