The Pipeline Cloud. If you haven’t heard of it, you will soon. It’s our revolutionary vision of the technology and the processes modern revenue leaders need to generate more pipeline quicker.
And it’s sorely needed. Why? In 2022, MQL conversion rates have hit an all-time low, with an industry average of just 2%. That’s less than half the average conversion rate a decade ago. Revenue leaders are working harder than ever to bridge the gap. But no amount of grit or effort is enough to outrun outdated processes and technology. The answer never was working harder—it’s working smarter.
Along with buying intent, conversational marketing, and sales engagement, ABM ads will be an indispensable tactic of this new method of generating pipeline. Gone are the days of blowing through budgets serving ads to anyone who will listen—including bots. It’s about serving a smaller number of ads to a smaller number of folks—and doing it with precision and care—to drive results.
In this article, we’re going to look at the three elements you need to nail for successful ABM ads: ad copy, ad placement, and ad targeting. Bring it all to life with Qualified for ABM.
Depending on the product you sell, aspirational messaging may work well. But often, the best ad copy pierces the pain points of your customer. In other words, “Be a painkiller, not a vitamin.” For example, instead of imploring accountants to “Be the best CPA you can be,” you may want to offer them a solution that will help them “Dig yourself out of the mountain of paperwork.” Also, consider the interplay between design and writing to create something that’s truly eye-catching and thumb-stopping.
Once you’ve got a few versions of evocative ad copy that addresses the problems your audience is trying to solve, always test many versions of copy and messaging. Sometimes you’d be surprised—the “wildcard” option may end up being your audience’s favorite. (Bonus tip: Peruse this library of ads for inspiration.)
Your ads will only be as effective as your targeting. And your ad targeting is only as good as your data. That’s why many marketers rely on data enrichment from companies like Metadata.io or Clearbit to get a robust picture of folks in their ideal customer persona (ICP). Platforms like 6sense and Demandbase can also provide first and third-party intent data that allows you to target folks when they’re in-market for solutions like yours.
But you not only need to understand your ICP. Buying committees today consist of an average of 6-10 people, according to Gartner. So you also need to create ads targeting the buying committee, since they can influence the decision-maker. For example, if you sell marketing software, it would be short-sighted to only target CMOs. Their procurement team can easily throw a wrench in the process. Their director of growth may be besotted with a competitor’s offering. Targeting the full group—each with messaging that tackles their particular objections—will be crucial to winning deals.
Once you strongly understand who your ICP is, you need to also understand where they are hanging out and getting their information. For example, sellers and marketers are often on LinkedIn all day. This would make an ideal place to reach them.
You’ll also want to consider how established the space you’re operating in is. Are your buyers aware that solutions like yours exist? If so, paid search ads may be a viable option to get in front of buyers conducting research. But if you’re a true category creator, then you’ll likely need to rely on social media ads or display where you’re using demographics or firmographics as targeting to get in front of your audience—at least in the early days.
Finally, remember that your journey with ABM ads is never done. Just because you launched your campaign doesn’t mean the learning stops there. Regularly reviewing performance metrics is the key to improving your ads over time—and generating more pipeline, more efficiently than ever.