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The Ultimate Guide to Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

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The Ultimate Guide to Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Imagine a world where you could start the sales process by selling directly to your best-fit, highest-value accounts. No wasted time trying to market to unqualified leads who aren’t the right fit for your business. Meaning, you could move straight into the phases of engaging and delighting your target accounts.

Talk about efficiency, right?

Account-based marketing allows you to weed out less-valuable companies early on and ensure Marketing and Sales are in complete alignment — in return, your team can leap into the critical processes of engaging and delighting those accounts much faster.

ABM helps your business work and communicate with high-value accounts as if they’re individual markets. By doing this — along with personalizing the buyer’s journey and tailoring all communications, content, and campaigns to those specific accounts — you’ll see greater ROI and a boost in customer loyalty.

Before we take a look at the additional benefits of account-based marketing and specific tactics you can implement at your company, let’s review its relationship with another important strategy: inbound marketing.

Account-Based Marketing and Inbound Marketing

Batman and Robin. LeBron and D-Wade. Peanut butter and jelly. Arguably some of the strongest partnerships ever to exist 💪. These dynamic duos are forces to be reckoned with.

Similarly, when paired, account-based marketing and inbound marketing have the power to make waves (the good ones) for your business.

You might be wondering, “How exactly does this partnership work?”

Well, we just reviewed the definition of account-based marketing — as you learned, ABM is a highly-targeted strategy.

Meanwhile, inbound marketing is more foundational — this methodology and growth strategy allows you to attract customers through the creation of valuable content, SEO, and a delightful customer experience.

Rather than interrupting your target audience and customers (as you would with outbound marketing), inbound marketing allows you to more organically provide your audience with the information they want when they want it.

Inbound lays the foundation for a strong ABM strategy by allowing for highly-targeted and efficient resource allocation of high-value accounts. Here are a few more reasons to implement both ABM and inbound marketing strategies at your company:

  • Inbound marketing helps you attract target accounts and then ABM accelerates the flywheel so you can win and delight those accounts with a remarkable customer experience.
  • Inbound marketing lays the foundation for a strong ABM strategy — ABM builds off of inbound by allowing for targeted and efficient resource allocation of high-value accounts.
  • With this combined approach, you attract a broader group of prospects than you would while using just one method.
  • Your content has a two-for-one value — you can create and use content that serves both an ABM and inbound strategy (e.g. create a personalized case study for a target account that you also share on your website).
  • Software — such as HubSpot’s account-based marketing tool — exist to make it easy to implement ABM and inbound strategies in a complementary way.

🧡TLDR: Combine ABM and inbound marketing to grow better.

Account-Based Marketing Framework

ABM works differently from a traditional sales funnel. Though ABM can be implemented across different industries and types of businesses, a general framework needs to be followed to ensure its effectiveness. Here are the key components of an account-based marketing framework.

Marketing-Sales Alignment

The working relationship between sales and marketing organizations is mentioned several times throughout this article, because its importance can’t be overstated. To have a comprehensive approach to ABM, and to ensure target accounts receive an engaging buying experience, marketing and sales have to be on the same page.

When implementing ABM, sales and marketing organizations will need to agree upon resource allocation for each target account, assigning roles and responsibilities to ensure a seamless transition for the customer between marketing and sales activities, and determining how to measure the success of their efforts.

Account Qualification

How does your company determine what constitutes as a high-value account? Creating an ideal customer profile for the accounts your company wants to target is a key component to answering this question and creating an ABM framework. It’s also worth noting both marketing and sales should be participating in these conversations.

As you determine what qualifies a potential account, consider these factors:

  • Financials: With your company’s sales goals in mind, consider how much revenue can be generated from an account.
  • Scalability: Based on what you know about the potential account’s business performance, is there potential to grow the account in the future? Consider additional offerings your company could provide to retain and grow the account.
  • Competitive Landscape: Who are your competitors selling to? Understanding who is currently in the market for products and offerings like yours can help you identify future account opportunities.

Go-to-Market Approach

Once marketing and sales are aligned on approach and which accounts to target, it’s time to map out a go-to-market plan.

Understand exactly how a new customer would move through the sales process using an ABM approach. While preparing to go to market, you may find areas of friction that need to be addressed or areas of poor communication that can be strengthened.

Additionally, because a personalized experience is so important in account-based marketing, your team will want to be on the lookout for additional ways to add value and deliver a premium experience to these accounts.

account-based marketing frameworkImage Source

Account-Based Marketing Strategy

In order to get the most out of an account-based marketing approach, you’ll need a sound strategy in place. Consider following these steps to create and implement an effective account-based marketing strategy.

1. Create alignment between your sales and marketing teams.

Marketing-sales alignment is crucial for successful account-based marketing implementation. In order to create a custom buying experience, a customer will need to have a seamless transition from being acquired as a lead through the final sale.

To improve synergy between marketing and sales, both organizations must commit to clear communication and find a middle-ground to ensure the marketing team is acquiring leads the sales team can properly sell to.

If you’re just getting started with ABM, having a small task force of one marketer and one salesperson who work together to identify and sell to target accounts is sufficient. As your efforts scale, prioritize having your marketer support additional salespeople, as one marketer can typically remain aligned with up to 10 salespeople, and each salesperson can manage up to 10 accounts.

2. Conduct research to determine account personas.

Once marketing and sales align on their approach, the organizations can work together to ensure your company is targeting the correct account personas.

This usually begins with a period of research to identify which accounts to pursue. When identifying customer personas for an account-based marketing approach, marketers should consider:

  • The mission, vision, and business objectives of their ideal customer.
  • If any high-value accounts are currently engaging with your company’s Inbound approach.
  • The current stage of business maturity, company size, and growth trajectory.
  • Revenue model, and spending patterns.
  • The tools and platforms their ideal customer is currently using.

Though there are countless ways to identify key accounts, what’s most important is that marketing and sales agree on which accounts to target.

According to HubSpot Academy professor Kyle Jepson, “If your marketer is targeting one list of companies, and your salespeople are working a different list, you’re going to end up with an account-based mess.”

3. Create account plans.

After determining which accounts to target, it’s time to build account plans. This entails having the marketing and sales teams work together to map out the potential leads they’ll need to attract to reach their target accounts, and what content they’ll need to produce to engage with this audience.

When creating an account plan for your ABM strategy, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Though account plans for different customers can have some similarities, each plan should be tailored to the needs of that particular account.
  • Each account plan should be able to address these two questions: Who is included in the buying decision for this sale (e.g. decision maker, influencer, Legal, blockers, end-users)? What content is needed for each member of this buying committee?

4. Attract contacts associated with target accounts.

Ideally, using Inbound methodology will help you attract contacts associated with your target accounts. If you need additional contacts, your next step is to determine where your ideal contacts are currently going to find solutions related to what you offer and make sure your company is visible and represented in these spaces.

Places you may get in front of contacts include events, industry publications such as blogs and newsletters, and targeted ad placements. While it can be tempting to try to get visibility for your company through all available avenues, prioritize the channels that are most relevant to your target accounts and contacts.

5. Get the buying committee involved.

As you build relationships with key contacts, make sure both sales and marketing are actively engaging everyone who will be involved in the buying decision.

Though this point in the buying process is typically led by sales, marketing should be ready to support by creating relevant materials to reinforce messaging.

To measure the health of an ABM strategy, marketing and sales teams can use the following metrics:

  • Identifying the buyers associated with target accounts and tracking interactions with these buyers.
  • Data points related to the health of the deal—creation date, velocity, and close rate.
  • Revenue attributed to target accounts.

Once this strategy is in place, your marketing and sales organizations can repeat the process with new and existing key accounts to attract and retain high-value customers.

There are a number of benefits associated with account-based marketing. We’ve compiled the following list of commonly-noted results that positively impact all types of businesses.

1. Keep marketing and sales aligned.

Cross-team collaboration and improved communication across any organization are beneficial to growth. In terms of account-based marketing, this transparency and alignment will ensure your marketing and sales teams are focused on the same goals, stick to the mutually agreed-upon budget, and understand the specific roles of each internal stakeholder.

This alignment helps ensure all communications, interactions, and content are consistent for the accounts you work with. Meaning, no matter how long an account works with your company, your team members can pick up where others left off at any point in time without question — this creates a seamless and delightful customer experience.

🧡The easiest way to maintain internal account-based marketing alignment is with the help of software, like HubSpot, which makes connecting your marketing and sales teams exceptionally easy.

2. Maximize your business’s relevance among high-value accounts.

Account-based marketing requires you to personalize everything (e.g. content, product information, communications, and campaigns) for each account you invest your resources in. Through this personalization and customization, your relevance among these accounts is maximized.

That’s because your content and interactions are tailored in a way that shows them how your specific products, services, and other offerings are what they need to solve their challenges. Meaning, ABM allows you to angle your business in a way that makes it the most relevant and ideal option for your target accounts.

3. Deliver consistent customer experiences.

For your ABM strategy to be remarkable, you must maintain a long-term sense of delight among your accounts. Each account should feel as though they’re your business’s market of one. Tackle this by offering consistent customer experiences.

ABM is a strategy that requires major alignment between Sales and Marketing — so hone in on that when working to deliver those consistent experiences. Ensure all team members are aware of where an account is in the buyer’s journey — then, deliver personalized and timely communication, campaigns, product information, and pricing details.

4. Measure your return on investment.

With account-based marketing, you can easily measure return on investment (ROI) for each account you invest your resources and time in. This is beneficial because you can confirm whether certain accounts you invested in were ideal for your business.

Then, you can nurture and delight those accounts long-term to retain them, as well as identify and target similar accounts in the future. If your ROI proves the ABM tactics you implemented worked, use that data to propel your strategy forward.

5. Streamline the sales cycle.

Depending on your business, industry, and resources, the sales cycle typically looks something like this:

1) Prospect → 2) Connect → 3) Research → 4) Present → 5) Close → 6) Delight

With account-based marketing, this cycle is streamlined — by focusing your efforts on specific high-value target accounts, you save time and resources — meaning, you’ll have more time to focus on the stages of the cycle that positively impact your bottom line:

1) Identify Target Accounts → 2) Present to Target Accounts → 3) Close Target Accounts → 4) Delight Accounts

ABM streamlines your sales cycle by helping you stay efficient. Rather than experimenting with different tactics to prospect and qualify a large pool of leads, ABM ensures the accounts you target are the right ones for your business and vice versa. The sales cycle is also streamlined by your marketing and sales alignment as well as the consistent and personalized customer experiences you provide.

6. Expand business through account relationships.

The saying “quality over quantity” applies to account-based marketing. The process requires you to invest significant time and resources in engaging and delighting a group of carefully chosen, high-value accounts, versus trying to quickly close deals with less-qualified leads who may not be the best fit for your company in the long run.

By taking the time to build these trusting relationships with accounts, you’ll expand business by retaining those valuable customers longer. And considering it costs more to obtain customers than retain them, this will positively impact your bottom line.

Additionally, as a result of personalized, thoughtful, and consistent customer experiences, accounts will become loyal to your business over time — and loyal customers become your best marketers, promoters, and brand advocates. In other words, your accounts will help you expand your business among their networks (e.g. partners, customers) through referrals, word-of-mouth marketing, testimonials, and more.

Now let’s cover some account-based marketing tactics you can apply to your strategy to improve the likelihood of success.

ABM tactics are the building blocks of your strategy — so, work through the following list to ensure your ABM efforts and investment are successful.

1. Use a Strategic Account Planning Template.

To unify your account-based marketing team, use a strategic account planning template. The free template will help you outline your initiatives for each unique account, such as the:

  • Business Overview
  • Key Business Initiatives
  • Customer Relationship Landscape
  • Customer Products and Revenue
  • Account Competitor Analysis
  • Buying Process and Selling Points
  • Relationship Goals & Strategy
  • Sales Opportunities, Targets and Risks
  • Action Plan

free account strategy template

Download the Free Account-Based Marketing Plan Template

2. Secure organizational ABM alignment.

One of the most important account-based marketing tactics is arguably one of the most straightforward: Secure organizational ABM alignment.

This means getting all internal stakeholders on board with the various factors related to your account-based marketing strategy. In doing so, it’ll be easier for your business to create consistent experiences for accounts and make sure your strategy is as efficient and streamlined as possible.

For example, your VP of Marketing and VP of Sales should secure organizational alignment and spread awareness regarding:

  • Marketing and sales team members who are directly involved in the strategy.
  • Account buying committee members and any other account stakeholders.
  • Your business’s point-of-difference for each target account.
  • ABM budget and resources.
  • ABM goals and KPIs.

3. Build your ABM team.

Marketing and sales leaders will want to align on how to build your ABM team. They should identify a minimum of one marketer and one sales rep who will be completely dedicated to the accounts you work with.

These people will create and publish content for accounts as well as work to manage and close business deals with each account’s buying committee. (As a rule of thumb, try to limit your team size to no more than ten sales reps and one marketer.)

In addition to the marketer(s) and sales rep(s), don’t forget to identify any other internal key players — such as customer success reps — who should be aware of and aligned on your ABM strategy.

4. Identify and pick your ideal set of target accounts.

Identify and pick your ideal set of high-value target accounts to invest your time and resources in.

Here are some recommendations on how you can do this:

  • Set search alerts for your ideal customer profile on LinkedIn.
  • Create a workflow that filters incoming qualified leads based on specific criteria (e.g. company size, industry, etc.) and tags them as an ideal customer type in your CRM.
  • Ask, “If we could replicate one deal from last year, what would it be?” Then, use the characteristics of that deal (e.g. industry, company size, value) to help you identify other good-fit customers.
  • Pick target accounts based on a particular industry or geographical location.
  • Review major companies and leads who are using and engaging with your inbound content but don’t have a deal attached (yet!).
  • Identify the lighthouse accounts you could use for reference.
  • Stick to no more than 10 accounts per sales rep.

5. Encourage Marketing and Sales to create account plans together.

Throughout this guide, you’ve probably picked up on the fact account-based marketing is a team effort. That’s why ensuring appropriate marketing and sales team members are involved in account planning is so important.

Make sure Marketing and Sales ask the following questions while they work on account plans:

  • Who will we need to know at each account (e.g. buying committee members and account stakeholders)?
  • What content will we need to attract and engage account buying committee members (and any other stakeholders)?
  • Which channels will we use to share content with the right people at each account?
  • How will we (marketers and sales reps) provide the right type of support throughout each stage of the strategy and sales process — in other words, how will sales help at the outset and how will marketing support in the later stages?

🧡Store your account plans as pinned notes in your HubSpot CRM, Google Docs, Asana Boards, pinned messages in Slack, and more to allow for easy access and collaboration.

Here are a few other tips Marketing and Sales can use to make account plans successful:

  • Ensure Marketing and Sales align on your product or service’s value proposition and point-of-difference for every account.
  • Create personalized content — or update existing content — so it’s tailored to each unique account.
  • Customize your allocated resources and budget for each account.

6. Attract contacts from high-quality accounts.

Next, you’ll want to attract the buying committee members and stakeholders of your target accounts. Depending on how long you’ve been in business and any previous ABM work you’ve done, you may or may not already have contacts for specific accounts.

The key to successfully attracting high-quality accounts is to personalize content to those accounts — this will help you elevate brand awareness and maximize relevance among audience members.

Here are some GDPR-compliant recommendations for attracting high-quality accounts:

  • Engage accounts on social media (e.g. determine which platforms they’re on, join the groups they’re in, contribute to conversations they’re a part of, and share helpful and relevant content you’ve created).
  • Produce a podcast or video series and invite a leader from the account to be a special guest.
  • Sponsor a booth at a target account’s conference or event.
  • Send direct messages via social media and direct mail via email or post.
  • Communicate through LinkedIn InMail outreach (do this simply and without ever leaving HubSpot via the LinkedIn integration).
  • Build custom landing pages tailored to the needs, questions, and concerns of accounts.
  • Offer gifts for engagement and interaction (e.g. prizes, swag, and discount codes).
  • Distribute content such as blog articles across channels that are relevant to each account (e.g. website, social media, and magazines).
  • Create ad campaigns and social ads to target different factors such as location, skill, and job title.
  • Ask current contacts, accounts, and customers for referrals.
  • Invite contacts to (physical or digital) events and ask attendees to invite their colleagues.

7. Forge strong relationships with the account’s buying committee.

Once you’ve attracted high-value accounts, it’s time to forge strong relationships with their buying committees. This is something your team will likely work on over an extended period of time — in fact, it often takes months and even years to develop these bonds. Think of this tactic as one tied to delighting your accounts — you never stop the process of delight.

Here are some thoughts on how you can forge strong, long-lasting relationships with an account’s buying committee.

  • Provide education around the value your business — and your product/ service — brings accounts through tailored interactions and engagement.
  • Create and share personalized content, such as case studies, to prove the ways you’ll exceed expectations and resolve the challenges of each account.
  • Communicate one-on-one when possible to make buying committee members feel like they’re your only priority.
  • Host events with and for account members (e.g. dinner) so they get to know your brand and team on a personal level.
  • Stick to organized, well-timed meetings.
  • Use email sequencing to enhance all communication, be professional, and maintain consistency.

8. Measure and analyze your ABM results (and iterate as needed).

While working through and upon completion of the tactics above, it’s crucial you monitor your success. By reviewing and analyzing your ABM results, you’ll identify any gaps or parts of your strategy that need to be changed. This will allow you to make your strategy more effective for your business, marketing and sales teams, and accounts.

Here are some examples of common account-based marketing KPIs that provide insight into how you’re doing:

  • Deal creation
  • Account penetration (net new contacts added to an account)
  • Account engagement
  • Deal-to-close time
  • Net-new revenue
  • Percent of deals closed

🧡For support with your analysis, enlist the help of HubSpot’s library of 12+ ABM reports and pre-built ABM reporting dashboard to gain valuable insight into how to modify your ABM strategy for greater success.

Account-Based Marketing Tools

As you’re moving target accounts through the sales process, automation is a key component to streamlining ABM efforts.

ABM automation allows your business to target key customers with a customized approach to seamlessly move them through the sales process. When looking for account-based marketing software, you’ll want to make sure your platform has the following functionalities:

  • Identification: The ability to accurately identify potential customers and accounts.
  • Engagement: Cross-platform functionality to help your company keep the conversation with potential customers going.
  • Analytics: You’ll need access to relevant data to understand how well your approach is performing.

An example of a product that offers these key features is RollWorks, an all-in-one account-based platform that seamlessly integrates with your CRM.

RollWorks-DashboardImage Source

Account-Based Marketing Examples

Now that you understand the fundamentals of an account-based marketing strategy, let’s walk through a few examples of how ABM has worked for real businesses.

1. Restaurant Furniture Plus

This wholesale restaurant furniture supplier previously relied on search traffic and paid Google ads to attract new customers.

After identifying their ideal customer (scaling chain restaurants), the company implemented an account-based marketing strategy to get in front of restaurant owners who were a good fit for its products. This strategy has helped Restaurant Furniture Plus save money on paid advertising, and increase its base of recurring customers.

2. HealthLink Dimensions

Healthcare data company HealthLink Dimensions partnered with marketing agency Acclaro to implement an account-based marketing strategy. HeathLink Dimensions sought to expand their offerings to health insurance providers, and ran into challenges getting new contacts in its funnel.

After working with Acclaro to use an ABM strategy, HealthLink Dimensions experienced a 234% increase in its new customer pipeline.

3. BlueYonder

BlueYonder is a supply chain-management company that helps businesses optimize their supplier activities.

In 2019, the company began testing an ABM approach with a small group of accounts. This initial test leveraged advertising and personalized content for the initial group of accounts and resulted in $10 million generated in pipeline.

B2B Account-Based Marketing

B2C companies typically focus their marketing efforts on touching a pain point or desire of the end-user, with hopes that the individual will make the decision to buy. B2B works a little differently.

When selling to other businesses, there is rarely one person making a purchasing decision. Depending on the size of the company you’re selling to there may be an entire group of people who all provide input on the final buying decision.

An ABM strategy can be particularly helpful for B2B companies who are looking to build long-term relationships with key accounts. In fact, 76% of B2B marketers who used ABM in 2020 reported an increased ROI compared to other forms of marketing.

LinkedIn Account-Based Marketing

According to the 2021 Not Another State of Marketing Report, over 70% of marketers said their company uses social media to target accounts. LinkedIn can be a beneficial platform for targeting accounts, especially for B2B companies.

LinkedIn has a feature called Company Targeting that allows you to use LinkedIn’s directory of over 13 million company pages for your ABM efforts. With this tool, you can upload a list of companies you’d like to reach, and create ad campaigns that can specifically target individuals at these companies.

Additionally, LinkedIn can help you create a more personalized experience for your target accounts through genuine relationship-building with your buying committee.

Using LinkedIn to find and engage with the right decision makers at the companies you’d like to work with can be a helpful, thoughtful alternative to using third-party data to identify potential contacts.

Here’s how Adobe used LinkedIn to support account-based marketing efforts.

Grow Better With Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By working through the tactics we’ve listed above and implementing software — such as HubSpot’s ABM software — for your marketing and sales team to use together, you’ll identify valuable accounts more efficiently, reduce any friction impacting your flywheel, and grow better.

account plan template


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MARKETING

How to Buy Ads on Netflix: Specs & Tactics for Marketers

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How to Buy Ads on Netflix: Specs & Tactics for Marketers

Streaming


By Emily Sullivan

Netflix, the streaming giant known for binge-watching and award-winning originals, sent shockwaves through the industry in 2022 by announcing an ad-supported tier. This move was likely fueled by a desire to reach new audiences, combat rising subscription costs, and potentially even fend off competition from other OTT platforms. These ads could lead to strong growth potential with advertisers eager to tap into Netflix’s massive user base. 

If you’re unfamiliar with how Netflix works, it’s important to know that Netflix is an OTT (Over-the-Top) platform, meaning it delivers streaming content directly over the internet, bypassing traditional cable or satellite providers. It’s one of the most popular OTT platforms globally, but in the ad supported video on demand (AVOD) space, Netflix is a relative newcomer. Understanding this new facet of Netflix is crucial for marketers looking to capitalize on this advertising opportunity.

Interested in learning more about Netflix and its advertising offerings? You came to the right place. In this post, we’ll cover the foundational elements of Netflix ads including ad types, specs, advertising best practices, and more. 

Why Did Netflix Start Offering Ads?

In November 2022, Netflix introduced an ad-supported tier. This move marked a significant shift, as Netflix was previously known for its commitment to an ad-free experience. The decision likely stemmed from a desire to tap into new revenue streams. With consumers increasingly cost-conscious, an ad-supported tier provided a way to attract budget-minded viewers while still offering a premium ad-free option, similar to established AVOD providers like Hulu and Peacock.

Initially, the launch was off to a slower start, with few people signing up for the ad supported tier and Netflix failing to meet guarantees, but things are quickly turning around and savvy advertisers are taking notice. Netflix boasts a massive user base, with roughly 270 million paid subscribers – a household name with immense reach. In fact, 40% of new Netflix sign-ups are choosing the ad-supported tier, translating to a total of 40 million users. Netflix’s ad platform presents a unique opportunity for marketers looking to reach a large and engaged audience.

“Our goal isn’t just to offer the same products and tools the industry has come to expect — although we’ve made a lot of progress on that front over the last year. It’s to build something bigger and better than what exists today. We want to shape the future of advertising on Netflix and help marketers tap into the amazing fandom generated by our must-watch shows and movies.”

Amy ReinhardPresident, Advertising at Netflix

How to Start Advertising on Netflix

So, you’re interested in capitalizing on Netflix’s massive audience? Here’s a breakdown of the three main ways to buy ads on their platform:

1. Netflix Ads Manager

This platform, powered by Microsoft, allows you to directly purchase ad space on Netflix. However, be prepared to meet their minimum spending requirements, which can be substantial and offer little room for negotiation.

2. Partnering with an Agency

While the minimum spend might be high for direct buys, streaming agencies like Tinuiti can be a valuable asset. They can not only help you navigate the intricacies of Netflix advertising, but also:

  • Consolidate Streaming Data: The streaming landscape is fragmented, with viewers spread across multiple platforms. Agencies can collect data from these various platforms and turn it into a unified, actionable strategy for your advertising campaign.
  • Expertise and Negotiation: Agencies bring a wealth of experience to the table. They can leverage their knowledge of the advertising landscape and potentially negotiate more favorable terms on your behalf.

3. Ad Tech Partners

Companies like Microsoft offer ad tech solutions that provide technical capabilities to streamline your advertising efforts. These partners typically take a more hands-off approach compared to agencies, focusing on the technical aspects of ad delivery and optimization.

The best option depends on your budget, experience level, and campaign goals. If you’re a large brand with a significant budget and an in-house marketing team, going directly through Netflix Ads Manager might be a good fit. However, for most businesses, partnering with an agency or ad tech provider can offer valuable support and expertise.

Ad Types & Specs for Netflix Ads

Now that you understand the different avenues for buying ads on Netflix, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of ad formats and specifications:

Netflix Ad Types

Example of a Netflix Ad Featuring Smartfood and Love is Blind

Currently, Netflix offers two main ad types, pre-roll ads and mid-roll ads. Netflix notes that users can expect to see a few short ads per hour and that they aim to place ads during natural plot breaks for a more seamless experience.   

Let’s take a look at each option… 

  • Pre-roll Ads: These commercials play before a program or movie begins, similar to traditional linear TV advertising.
  • Mid-roll Ads: These ads appear in the middle of a program, typically inserted during natural breaks in the content.

During paused playback, ad breaks are displayed on the progress bar. As an ad break begins, the upper-right corner reveals the number of ads included in that break.

While Netflix advertising is fairly new, the platform has made a few important announcements to look out for in 2024. Netflix plans to introduce a new binge ad format for global advertisers, offering viewers an ad-free fourth episode after watching three consecutive episodes. Additionally, QR code integration in U.S. advertising will launch early in the year. Sponsorship opportunities, including Title, Moment, and Live Sponsorships, are also now available in the U.S. and will expand globally in 2024.

Netflix also offers live opportunities including WWE Raw (launching January 2025), which will air live on Netflix 52 weeks of the year, and the NFL Christmas games which Netflix just secured the rights to. These live events provide advertisers the opportunity to reach ad and ad-free members of Netflix in a live environment with traditional ad formats.

Last but not least, Netflix recently announced they are adding Pause Ads to their suite of custom ad units. This is currently in beta and is expected to be rolled out to the general marketplace in H2 2024.

Netflix Ad Specs

When it comes to advertising specs, it’s important to follow Netflix’s guidelines which include the following… 

  • Supported Lengths: Netflix accepts ads in 10, 15, 20, 30, and 60-second durations.
  • File Format: Ads must be submitted in MP4 or MOV format.
  • Aspect Ratio & Resolution: Maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of either 1920×1080 HD or 1280×720 HD.
  • QR Codes on the Horizon: Netflix is preparing to support QR code integration within commercials, allowing viewers to seamlessly access additional information or promotions.

Hot Tip: Stay tuned for updates, as Netflix is constantly evolving its ad platform.

Why Advertise on Netflix?

Advertising on Netflix offers several unique advantages for advertisers including… 

  • Massive Reach – Netflix boasts a massive subscriber base worldwide (globally, there were around 270 million Netflix subscribers in Q1 2024), providing advertisers with access to a vast and diverse audience. These viewers are often highly engaged, spending significant time on the platform consuming content. In fact, Over 70% of Netflix’s ad-supported members watch for more than 10 hours a month – which is 15 percentage points higher than the nearest competitor according to Nielsen.
  • Targeting – Netflix collects extensive data on user preferences and behavior, enabling precise targeting of advertisements based on demographics, interests, viewing history, and more. This targeted approach increases the relevance and effectiveness of ads, maximizing ROI for advertisers (more on this below).
  • Global Reach and Localization – With a presence in numerous countries around the world, Netflix offers advertisers the opportunity to reach audiences on a global scale. Additionally, the platform’s localization capabilities enable tailored advertising campaigns to resonate with specific regional or cultural audiences.
  • Unskippable Ads – Unlike some streaming advertising platforms, Netflix ads are unskippable, guaranteeing your message reaches viewers.
  • Positive User Experience – Netflix prioritizes a positive user experience, so it’s unlikely viewers will see the same ad twice in a single episode. However, there’s a chance you might encounter the same ad later during your viewing session. It’s also important to note that children’s profiles maintain their ad-free experience.
  • Ad Delivery & Blocking – Since ads are delivered server-side, ad blockers are ineffective on Netflix. Additionally, playback automatically pauses if you minimize the window while an ad is playing, ensuring your message is seen.

Best Practices When Advertising on Netflix

When advertising on Netflix, it’s essential to understand the platform’s unique capabilities and audience targeting options to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns. Check out a few best practices you need to consider… 

Explore Audience Targeting Capabilities

Netflix offers several audience targeting capabilities for advertisers on their ad-supported tier. These capabilities focus on three main areas: demographics, viewing habits, and content context. Here’s a breakdown:

Demographics:

  • Age: Advertisers can target users by age groups, like 18-34, 35+, etc.
  • Gender: Ads can be shown to specific genders (male or female).
  • Location: Targeting can be set by country or even state (in the U.S.).

Viewing Habits:

  • Genre: This lets advertisers target users based on the genres they watch, like comedy, drama, action, etc.

Content Context:

  • Top 10: Ads can be placed before or after shows and movies on Netflix’s daily Top 10 list, ensuring high visibility.

Advertisers also have the option to choose where they don’t want their ads to appear. For example, they can avoid showing ads on programs with mature themes or content that may not align with their brand values.

By using a combination of these targeting options, advertisers can reach a more precise audience interested in their product or service. This increases the ad’s relevance to viewers and potentially improves the ad campaign’s effectiveness.

It’s also important to note that Netflix now has the ability to target advertiser first party data. The platform currently has two approved DMPs: Liveramp or Adobe. Advertisers who work with either of these DMPs can upload first party data for targeting or suppression.

It’s important to note that Netflix’s ad targeting is still evolving. While it doesn’t offer some of the more advanced options found on other platforms, they are working on expanding their capabilities.

Test Your Ad Creative

Just like any other marketing campaign, testing your ad creative on Netflix is vital for optimizing performance. Here are some key reasons to test your ads:

  • Discover What Works: Testing allows you to compare different ad variations and identify which elements resonate most with your target audience. This could involve testing variations in messaging, visuals, calls to action, or even ad length.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Testing provides valuable data and insights. You can track metrics like click-through rates, completion rates, and brand recall to see which ad versions generate the best results. Don’t rely on guesswork. Testing helps you move beyond assumptions and identify what truly connects with viewers.
  • Meet Audience Expectations: Netflix viewers anticipate premium content, including ads. Testing ad creative ensures that your commercials meet these expectations by delivering high-quality, engaging content that resonates with the audience.
  • Optimize Performance: Testing allows you to refine your ad creative to achieve optimal performance. By experimenting with different elements such as messaging, visuals, and calls to action, you can identify the most effective combinations that drive engagement and conversion.
  • Enhance Relevance: Testing helps ensure that your ad creative remains relevant to your target audience. By continuously testing and refining your approach, you can adapt to changing consumer preferences and market trends, ensuring that your ads stay impactful and resonant.
  • Maximize ROI: Effective testing enables you to make data-driven decisions that maximize ROI. By identifying and scaling the best-performing ad creative, you can allocate your advertising budget more efficiently and achieve greater results.

Measure and Analyze Your Results

Netflix doesn’t offer 1:1 conversion measurement for ad buyers (yet) – but they do have brand awareness and lift studies they offer advertisers so keep this in mind when measuring and analyzing your results. 

The platform did recently announce that this summer, Netflix will expand its buying capabilities to include The Trade Desk, Google’s Display & Video 360, and Magnite who will join Microsoft as the main programmatic partners for advertisers.

Starting in the second half of 2024, Netflix just announced that the following third party measurement partners (partnering to measure and verify the impact of advertiser campaigns) will also be added: Affinity Solutions, iSpotTV, NCSolutions, Videoamp, DCM and TVision.

They also announced Netflix will launch an in-house advertising technology platform, by the end of 2025. This will give advertisers new ways to buy, new insights to leverage, and new ways to measure impact. 

Is Netflix Advertising Right For Your Brand?

Overall, Netflix advertising offers the unparalleled reach of a massive, highly-engaged audience. This can be a strategic choice for brands seeking broad awareness and brand association with premium content.

If you’re interested in exploring advertising opportunities on Netflix for your brand, consider reaching out to the Tinuiti team. Our expertise can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the complexities of advertising on the platform, maximizing your campaign’s effectiveness and ROI. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your brand on one of the world’s largest streaming platforms—connect with Tinuiti today to get started.

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

The bar has been set by the industry leaders in UX and Merchandising, and our customers have stated their claim clearly – “to grow our market share, we must have an enterprise search experience that drives conversions.

Optimizely offers baseline search experiences within our commerce platform, which are designed to help companies get started with organizing and delivering SKUs to customers. These experiences utilize out-of-the-box algorithms and methods for sorting, categorizing, and customizing.

While Optimizely provides a foundation for search experiences, we knew there were users ready to take their search capabilities to the next level. This is where the Xngage and HawkSearch partnership promises to redefine how you approach search-driven experiences within Optimizely Configured Commerce. Our highly experienced partner Xngage has developed a seamless integration connector, a best-in-class accelerator for harnessing the power of HawkSearch.

The powerful partner in search

HawkSearch is known for its expertise in search-driven engagement, AI-powered product discovery, and no-code customizations. With a strong history of serving B2B customers with enterprise-level search solutions, it was a perfect choice to make HawkSearch directly available within Optimizely’s platform.

The expertise of Xngage made this connector a reality enabling Optimizely’s Configured Commerce customers to:

  • Easily plug directly into the HawkSearch service to share your products and their relevant data.
  • Utilize powerful unit of measure conversions, ensuring your customers can find exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Customize sorting and facets to deliver highly relevant results to customers.
  • Craft a personalized user experience with features like auto-complete and the new ‘instant engage’.

Customers can further explore HawkSearch’s capabilities in this on demand webinar and recap, which highlights the benefits and use cases of the Xngage connector for HawkSearch.

A powerful partner in digital growth

Xngage complements Optimizely perfectly, as they deliver robust solutions in the realm of digital content and commerce experiences. The development of the Xngage connector to HawkSearch is a part of their broader mission to empower manufacturers and distributors to serve their customers digitally. This alignment seamlessly fits with Optimizely, making our partnership with Xngage an ideal choice. 

Furthering their goal of digital growth, Xngage offers a range of holistic and complementary professional services, including:

  • User research & user experience design (UX)
  • Enterprise architecture & ERP integration
  • Product information management (PIM)
  • Ecommerce Implementations, and digital growth services.

To learn more about this highly experienced digital commerce partner visit Xngage.com.

The future of the partnership

This partnership is just the beginning. Xngage and HawkSearch are committed to working hand in hand to empower you with the tools and insights you need to elevate your ecommerce site. Stay tuned for future blogs, webinars, and resources that will help you make the most of this transformative alliance.

The future of ecommerce search has never looked more promising, and we’re excited to have you on this journey with us.

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

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Top 3 Strategies for Success

With the advent of e-commerce, manufacturers have unprecedented opportunities to expand their reach, streamline their operations, and enhance profitability. Amidst this digital revolution, adopting Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) is pivotal in optimizing production processes, quality control, and resource management.

As the lines between traditional brick-and-mortar sales and online commerce continue to blur, manufacturers increasingly realize the need to adapt and thrive in this new digital landscape. This article explores the top 3 strategies manufacturers can employ to succeed in e-commerce.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

MES (Manufacturing Execution System) is specialized application software designed to solve the tasks of synchronization, coordination, analysis, and optimization of production output within any production. MES systems belong to the class of shop floor-level management systems but can also be used for integrated production management at the enterprise as a whole.

MES collects and analyzes production processes, product demand, and inventory data. This allows manufacturers to adapt more quickly to changes in the market, reconfigure production to meet current requirements, and closely monitor trends. As a result, manufacturers can more easily predict and meet customer needs, which helps increase online sales.

MES helps in maintaining accurate inventory records and managing inventory turnover. This avoids overstock or shortages, which can affect a company’s ability to meet online demand and maintain customer service levels.

Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) enhance transparency and automate operations, reducing human errors and operational costs. Integrating Manufacturing CRM streamlines customer data, allowing manufacturers to tailor products, respond to market changes, and offer competitive prices in online stores. The synergy between MES and CRM creates an agile manufacturing environment, optimizing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Content Marketing

Kapost’s research shows that companies in the B2B segment that blog get 67% more leads on average than companies that don’t. However, it’s worth remembering that content marketing requires a lot of resources to prepare and regularity in publishing it. This content can be, for example, brand identity and E-commerce logo, articles and videos, webinars, research, and interviews.

The content should help solve a specific problem to create the image of an expert and thus influence the decisions of potential customers. The topics discussed should not be chosen randomly. A little research in Google Trends will help select the main topic, discussion areas in the video, phrases, and words that should be included in the article. Publishing content based on such a prepared analysis allows you to achieve high positions in search engines. It provides a good user experience for customers looking for answers to product/service questions, comprehensively covering the subject matter.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are free traffic, increased user confidence, and the creation of an expert image.

Content marketing is a form of promotion that requires patience and time. Its effects will also depend on the quality of thecontent itself, its optimization, and promotion methods. No specific terms can be specified here.

YouTube channels as a form of content marketing

You can discuss your production process and show and test products on your YouTube channel. If someone is looking for information about a product and is unsure which brand to choose, they will likely find your video and maybe make a purchase. Remember to choose a title that matches the search query and prepare a video description with product links. You can send out an email to announce when new videos are released. Whenever you have particularly compelling videos, you could also promote them via texting notifications to drive even more traffic.

Utilize user-generated content and social media

Not utilizing the content that your users generate is a huge issue. This is because it’s not easy to refresh an e-commerce website and keep it alive. But photos and videos taken by real customers are great for this purpose.

Adding a “widget” that connects your online store’s website to its official social media accounts brings significant benefits. These include revitalizing your social media accounts, increasing your credibility as a manufacturer, inspiring other customers to buy, and encouraging repeat purchases.

Snapchat Planets

Snapchat’s “Planets” feature provides a unique and interactive way to engage with your e-commerce store’s audience. Here are some creative ideas on how to leverage Snapchat Planets to create engaging content:

  • Virtual Store Tours: Use the AR feature to create a virtual tour of your store. Each planet can represent different sections or categories of your store. For instance, one planet could showcase your latest collection, another could highlight bestsellers, and another could offer exclusive deals.
  • Product Launches: Announce new product launches by creating a cosmic journey. Users can travel from one planet to another, each unveiling a new product with engaging visuals and detailed descriptions. This creates a sense of excitement and discovery around new arrivals.
  • Interactive Shopping Experience: Create interactive shopping experiences where users can explore products in a fun and engaging way. For example, users can navigate through different planets to find hidden discounts or special offers, making shopping more interactive and rewarding.
  • Customer Rewards and Loyalty Programs: Develop a loyalty program where users earn points or rewards by exploring different planets. Each planet can offer unique rewards, such as discounts, free samples, or exclusive access to new collections. This gamifies the shopping experience and encourages repeat visits.
  • Themed Campaigns: Align your marketing campaigns with planetary themes. For instance, during holiday seasons, you can create a holiday-themed planet where users can find special holiday deals, gift ideas, and festive content.

By leveraging Snapchat Planets, you can transform your e-commerce store’s content into a captivating and interactive experience that keeps your audience engaged, entertained, and coming back for more.

Use newsletters to captivate your target audience

Newsletters can strengthen the connection with the consumer and demonstrate that shopping with you is safe and profitable. Remember that the more personalized the message, the more effective it will be. It should contain a call to action (CTA), such as a button that redirects to products.

Don’t forget to put a box to check for consent to process personal data when subscribing to the newsletter. Also, add an option to unsubscribe from the newsletter in each email.

A regular email account is not adapted for the newsletter, so do not use your everyday email address. This way, you risk being blacklisted by spam filters. The benefits of newsletters are optimizing advertising costs, increasing loyal audiences from different channels, and building mutually beneficial relationships with partners.

Print and PDF Channel

1716522964 432 Top 3 Strategies for Success

In the digital landscape, the significance of Print and PDF channels cannot be underestimated for manufacturers engaging in e- commerce. The tactile experience of print offers unique psychological advantages, enhancing comprehension and retention, which are vital for technical manuals and complex product details. PDFs merge this benefit with digital accessibility, ensuring wide reach while maintaining format integrity. This dual-channel approach not only caters to diverse consumer preferences but also bolsters marketing efforts, making technical content more engaging and understandable. Utilizing catalog software further streamlines the integration of Print and PDF channels into e-commerce strategies, enhancing product presentation and distribution efficiency.

Contextual advertising: Google Ads

1716522964 713 Top 3 Strategies for Success

If you want the advertising you invest in to have an immediate effect, it’s worth turning to Google Ads. Google displays paid ads in search results and on Google’s network of partners (on-site ads in the form of banners).

You bid when you search for a keyword for which advertisers have set up a campaign. The search engine determines who will appear in the search results and at what position. When assigning bids, the quality of the landing page, the quality of the ads, and the stated maximum bid per click are all considered.

To start setting up your campaign, simply login to your Google Ads account. Using the service is free, and you’ll find plenty of online tutorials on creating a campaign. However, you may find that it won’t generate valuable traffic if you don’t set it up optimally. Your budget will be wasted on clicks that won’t lead to conversions. This is why most companies resort to the help of agencies, including specialized agencies.

There is probably no industry in which Google Ads campaigns cannot be used. However, advertising can be moderately profitable if there is a lot of competition in the industry and margins are low.

The benefits of this e-commerce strategy are large audience reach, the ability to get the target audience as accurately as possible, and very detailed statistics on results.

The effect of launching a campaign should appear almost immediately. A properly set up campaign will increase traffic to the website. By systematically optimizing the campaign, you can achieve much better results.

You also can use paid Facebook Ads post promotion. It is important to pinpoint your target group, but how do you do it? A popular way is to draw up a customer portrait, that is, to make a collective image of your customer.

This considers age, gender, income level, location, interests and hobbies, and online behavior. Such a person will display a group interested in your services or goods.

Implement personalized product selections

Recommended product block and cross-selling are very powerful internet marketing strategies. In addition to the recommended product block, which shows the analogs of the product being viewed, it is worth paying attention to the website’s functionality.

As a rule, the products in the “You may also like” block are selected based on the pages previously viewed by the customer, his previous purchases on the website, as well as what was purchased by other customers with similar tastes. If this functionality is implemented technically sound, it can lead to additional items added to the shopping cart. “You may also like” block partly acts as an alternative to the advice of a specialist or consultant.

With blocks for cross-selling related products is a similar situation. Usually, in them are placed products from the same product line, collection, or simply those that perfectly match the product being viewed. You can use AI-powered live chats to proactively engage in customer conversations and suggest products based on their behavior.

Conclusion

E-commerce for manufacturers is a vast field, and in this article, we have presented the most popular and most effective forms of selling online. Remember, no effective e-commerce strategy exists. Each industry and business will have specifics. Try combining the above mentioned e-commerce strategies to maximize your chances of success and increase your profits.

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