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ABM vs. Inbound Marketing: How It Affects Your Video Strategy

by TODD HARTLEY, on Mar 4, 2017 9:35:00 PM


Do you assume that inbound marketing can work for any business?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Scaling your marketing efforts doesn’t work for everyone.

you need to evaluate your target market and consider your sales process.

If you’re selling directly to consumers, have a relatively low-cost product, or a large market, then inbound marketing will work wonders!

But if you’re a B-to-B company with a high-cost product and a niche market, then inbound marketing probably isn’t right for you.

Instead, you need to rely on strengthening relationships with your current accounts, and focus your marketing efforts to help your sales reps close more deals at faster rates.

Essentially, you need to take on an Account Based Marketing method.

Want to find out if ABM is right for you? Check out this week’s podcast and read the blog post below to learn about Account Based Marketing, and how to optimize it with video.

Get the episode on iTunes: http://apple.co/2oyObla

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Killer inbound marketing strategy? Check.

Healthy following on social media? Check.

Beautiful landing pages that convert? Check.

Valuable, relevant content offers? Long-form blog posts that rank in google?

But despite all that, you’re not seeing results.

Sure, you’ve managed to increase traffic to your website, and it seems like people are interested in your brand.

Yet, you can’t seem to attract a qualified buyer.

And even worse, all of that awareness content isn’t yielding ROI.

Who are all these people visiting your website and why are none of them becoming customers?

What went wrong?

Following the rise of search and social media, many digital marketers have insisted that inbound is the future of digital marketing.

And because it’s inbound marketers that are creating that content, it’s easy to feel like inbound is the only way to drive sales with content.

I totally get it...inbound marketing works wonders for the right business.

It’s effective when you have a large target market and can “sell to the average customer,” which is great for scalability.

But what if you’re dealing with an extremely niche audience of only thousands of companies, and not millions?

Well in that case, you wouldn’t burn leads trying to be scalable, right? Instead, you would try to convert as many of them as possible.

And that’s where Account-Based Marketing comes into the equation.

Because the truth is, inbound isn’t for everyone. And trying to apply the inbound method when it doesn’t fit your market is a recipe for disaster.

So before you go all-in on inbound, take a close look at your target audience and how you can reach them most efficiently.

How to know if “Inbound” is Right for You

In general, Inbound marketing makes great sense for most businesses that have a large number of potential customers.

Thanks to the endless amounts of information on the web, consumers prefer doing research on their own, without the help of your sales team.

So the best way to educate prospects about your product is to create content that’s helpful and easy to understand.

And even if you work directly with businesses, you can still see great results with inbound marketing if your market is large enough.

But the truth is, not all target customers are easy to find online.

You could end up spending thousands in online advertising before you ever attract a qualified lead. And even if someone signs up for your list, how will you convince them to buy if your content isn’t relevant to their needs?

We see this all the time when clients come into the office, envisioning a social video campaign to reach a market of 5000 prospects... at most.

Rather than trying to close deals with the accounts they already have, they think that the answer is to attract more leads. But these companies already know who their prospects are!

They don’t have a lead generation problem, they have an attention problem.

With inbound marketing, your goal is to create videos that appeals to most of your target audience. And in a sense, you’re speaking to the average prospect, not every prospect.

So if you’re trying to appeal to a few valuable, “big-fish” prospects, you’ll probably miss the mark with a message that caters to the average.

Not only do these prospects need a little more TLC, but relevance is really the only way to capture their attention long enough to pull them through your sales funnel.

So if Inbound Won’t Work, What Will?

If you have a high-cost product and a small target audience, chances are, you’ll need to adopt an Account Based Marketing model.

Instead of trying to generate more leads (like you would with inbound), you should be identifying your best prospects, and then customizing your sales process to increase close rates on an individual level.

With account based marketing, you’re pursuing a few high-value customers, so you ultimately want to give each of them a boutique experience.

That means following up with personalized messages, sending unique video postcards, or even giving a gift on special occasions...or even better, for no reason at all!

So, are you starting to see the big difference between ABM and inbound?

Inbound marketing means that you’re trying to get as many people into your funnel as possible, and then weed out unqualified leads later in the process. It’s about scalability and driving down your cost to acquire a customer. But many leads are lost through this process.

With Account Based Marketing, you know that each of your prospects are extremely valuable, so it’s okay to spend more time, attention, and money to close a deal.

So if it sounds like Account Based Marketing makes more sense for your business, you’ll definitely want to keep reading and tune into this week’s podcast.

How to Implement Account-Based Marketing

If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while now, then you already know that we firmly believe in optimizing your sales with video, long before you start making videos to generate leads.

That way, you can close the deals you already have in your funnel, and see ROI much more quickly.

I recommend taking that approach to all of my clients, whether they’re inbound marketers or not.

Then, when the time comes to circle back and make lead-generation content, your sales funnel is already optimized. Those new leads are more valuable, because your sales process is converting a higher percentage of them into customers at faster and faster rates.

But if you’re an account-based marketer, then you don’t have to worry about that second phase of top-level content.

Instead, your focus should be on tailoring your marketing messages so that they appeal to each unique segment of your audience.

For example, if you have a segment of prospects that are already working with your competitors, you’ll want to point out the shortcomings of those solutions and what makes yours better.

But, that type of message doesn’t make sense to your prospects who aren’t working with a competitor. For them, a straightforward explainer video that shows them how your product solves their problem would make a lot more sense, right?

So once you’ve created sales process videos that will suit the needs of each segment of your market, you can better understand how they interact with that content through your analytics.

And instead of looking at an overview of how all your website visitors engage with content, you can use tools like HubSpot to track what specific prospects are doing on your site.

Did they skip over the overview video and go straight to the pricing page?

Are they close to converting, but just need a little nudge from a compelling testimonial video?

After you’ve identified their particular behavior patterns, you can begin to personalize your message, and follow up with account-specific content at the right moment.

Timing and precision goes a long way with Account Based Marketing, because your prospects get the sense that you’re engineering an experience just for them and their needs.

How Video Solves Problems Specific to Account Based Marketers

When you’re selling high-ticket products or services, there’s no replacement for person-to-person relationships. And video is the best tool to speed up that process.

Think about it this way: Account Based Marketing isn’t about scaling your marketing efforts, it’s about scaling your sales team. Video allows them to be in multiple places at once, and can provide a personal touch that you can’t replicate with other content formats.

But that’s not the only benefit video can provide.

Once you’re using the ABM method, you’ll notice pretty quickly — the hardest part is getting the attention of your prospects in the first place.

Well, with high-value prospects, every second of their time is important. Every piece of content you send them needs to be compelling and concise.

Which is where video comes in.

First of all, video has been proven to hold attention 4X better than text alone. And think about it — if you were in your prospects’ shoes, wouldn’t you rather watch a video than read a whitepaper or blog post?

Furthermore, video gives you full control of the way your prospect consumes your information.

With text, readers are inclined to skim and skip. But video delivers a consistent experience, making it a great tool to deliver a message in the exact way you intended to deliver it.

And lastly, video helps elevate your product or service’s perceived value.

Because we know that videos take more time and work to produce, we generally associate video content — and the messages they’re delivering — as more valuable.

Since higher-cost products typically require an account-based approach, a professionally-produced video perfectly complements this marketing method.

With ABM, quality helps to seamlessly pull your viewers through your sales process. So each video should be polished, with tight scripting and a strong call-to-action.

But there is one exception: personalized video.

What is personalized video (and why ABM marketers should use it)?  

Imagine having a quick conversation with someone at a conference. You exchange contact information, and your day’s followed by hundred of other interactions and distractions.

You might get a few follow-up texts or emails, but those quickly get buried.

And then you get a video.

It’s simple, and probably recorded and edited on someone’s iPhone. But the title of the video has your name in it. And you recognize the person in the video from earlier that day.

Talk about going above and beyond!

Personalized videos can go a long way, even if it’s not professionally edited or tightly scripted.

Not only will your prospects be immediately reminded of who you are, but they’ll recognize the extra effort you’ve put in.

Plus, video gives you the ability to measure their engagement in ways that an email can’t. You’ll be able to see if they viewed it, how long they watched it, and even if they’re sharing it with their colleagues.

Personalized video is a way to keep the conversation moving, and most of all, be memorable. So that when it comes time for your prospect to make a buying decision, your sales rep will be the first person that pops in their head.


Before you get started with inbound, make sure you fully understand the marketing needs of your business.

Even though it seems like the only marketing method anyone talks about these days, there’s no sense in wasting time with inbound marketing if you’re sales process isn’t suited for it!

Often, Account Based Marketing will work much better if you have an expensive product and a niche market. Plus, it’s a tried and true method that can still be optimized and refined to meet today’s expectations!

Video Marketing Mastery Show Notes

Links & Resources

  • If you want to learn more about creating business videos that generate ROI, you can check out our free Video ROI Mini-Course
  • Missed our weekly news update? Well, be sure to catch tomorrow’s episode of Video Marketing Mastery, because we’re splitting this podcast into 2 episodes per week: on Tuesdays, you’ll get helpful information about video marketing and business strategy, and on Wednesdays, you’ll get to listen to the latest news that marketers need to know!

Here’s a photo of Madison Bumgarner at a Royals vs. Giant spring training game here in Scottsdale!

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