Shifting Towards Digital Outreach and Personalization

Shifting Towards Digital Outreach and Personalization

Big Ideas

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May 14 2021
Big Ideas
Author: Alex Shao
This past year we’ve seen an incredible shift in the way we operate in business and our everyday lives. Now, instead of having a one-to-one experience by meeting in-person with a prospective client, we are limited to a Zoom or Teams call. And it’s not just virtual meetings that have changed the B2B landscape, the way we are reaching out to and following up with clients is changing as well.

How is outreach and lead nurturing changing?

Account based marketing (ABM) has become a huge factor in the way businesses are reaching out and finding new clients.  In recent years, there has been so much hype about Inbound Marketing, but now we’re seeing a big wave of companies adding significant Outbound Marketing initiatives to round out their overall marketing strategy.

What is Account Based Marketing?

If you haven’t heard the term ABM, don’t worry, here’s a quick summary; ABM is an outbound marketing strategy mostly used in B2B, where companies get very specific on the accounts (businesses) they want to target with their marketing efforts. The compile lists based on the target accounts and come us with a strategy to target those very specific accounts.



LinkedIn – the professional social networking site

According to a study from Demandbase (2020), 60% of B2B companies rely on LinkedIn for their outreach and with good reason. LinkedIn is a great platform to showcase your thought leadership, to network and to develop business connections, whether they be peers in your industry, vendors or potential clients. LinkedIn users are used to being approached on the platform for business related matters. With 756 million members in 200 countries and regions worldwide, there is a lot of networking that can be done!


60% OF B2B COMPANIES RELY ON LINKEDIN FOR THEIR OUTREACH

Don’t get overlooked

We've all seen it (even before COVID-19), endless LinkedIn connection requests in your notifications. And with the absence of trade shows and other events, social networking through LinkedIn is pivotal to expanding your network. When browsing through your requests, you can notice that most of these requests are from people that you don’t know or care about. So, if you’re not caring about your connection requests, your potential leads are probably thinking the same way about you. With so many other B2B companies using LinkedIn Here are ways to stand out from the competition in the digital age.



Four ways to stand out from the competition

 

1. Don’t copy and paste to every lead

So how do you stand out and connect with your targeted profile? The first step would be to not copy and paste messages to every person on LinkedIn. When using the same message for every person, regardless of position and company, relevance is difficult to ensure. For instance, if you’ve made a single message for every company in Canada’s Top 500 Growth Companies, chances are that message is not relevant to every person/ company. People will see right through his cookie cutter approach. 

OP-Cookie-cutter.png 

Put yourself in your audiences' shoes, if you wouldn’t appreciate a generic, sad attempt at outreach, why should they? Ask yourself, would this stand out in my messages? Take a second to review all the messages sitting in your LinkedIn inbox right now and see which ones you opened, read and responded to. I bet you have a few that have been sitting as unread for a while. Take a second and think about the reasons why you didn’t open or respond to those messages;

  • How did they start their message?
  • What tone did they use?
  • Was their message too generic?
  • Was their product or service not relevant to you?

Figuring out where others fall short, will help you craft the engaging message you’re looking for.

 

2. Segment Your Audience

When crafting your message, keep in mind that you have a short time span to grab somebody’s attention, so it is best practice to keep it concise. If you’re looking to scale your outreach through LinkedIn or cold email, segmenting your audience through a target account matrix can help ensure that your message captures your audience’s attention.

A target account matrix could include the following:

  • Revenue
  • Employee count of organization
  • Industry
  • Geographic location
  • Technologies
  • And more!

 

3. Personalize

In every target account list, there are always a couple of companies that fit your ideal customer profile perfectly. In these cases, using your generic messaging sequences may not be the best approach with an A-level lead. Instead, using a personalized approach where each message is customized to your target account’s characteristics has seen strong results. A study from Mckinsey (2016) found that personalization reduces acquisition costs by approximately 50%, and increases marketing spend efficiency between 10 and 30%.

Take the time to personalize your message to the individuals that you are reaching out to. Yes, it will take more time than simply copying and pasting, but the effort is worth it, I promise. A little extra time upfront will show the prospect that you have put some time and effort into learning about them and their company. Make a remark about their website, or a blog post you read on their site, find a way to connect to this person and build upon it to create a relationship.

4. Use a Multi-Channel Approach

Reaching out to your target account list through LinkedIn is great, but it shouldn’t be the only way that your company is generating or recording leads. When utilizing multiple channels to engage with your leads, a Gartner’s (2018) study has shown you can increase pipeline lift, which is the speed at which your prospects go through your funnel, by up to 18%. These channels can include:

  • Display ads
  • Other social media platforms
  • Tele-prospecting
  • Email
  • The possibilities are endless!
OP-Laptop-with-social-media.png 

Wrapping up

If you’re looking to build off these strategies for your company in 2021, consider building an Account-Based Management (ABM) strategy. ABM is a strategy used by other B2B marketers to research and target the companies/ organizations they value most (Demandbase, 2020).
Need some assistance building these strategies? Contact Sherpa Marketing today for a free strategy session to see where your company can go in 2021.



Resources
https://www.demandbase.com/ebook/abm-market-survey-2020/
https://www.demandbase.com/ebook/state-b2b-digital-advertising/
https://www.demandbase.com/ebook/b2b-marketers-guide-to-account-based-website-personalization/
https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/marketings-holy-grail-digital-personalization-at-scale#
https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3902568/drive-significant-lift-from-your-account-based-marketing
https://news.linkedin.com/about-us#Statistics

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