Tuning Your Content for Account-Based Marketing


Bob Scheier is a veteran IT marketing writer whose passion is translating IT jargon into business benefits. After early stints as a reporter and editor at The Associated Press, United Press International and daily newspapers, he moved on to reporting and editing posts at PCWeek (now eWeek), VARBusiness and Computerworld. Since 2000 he has been principal of Bob Scheier Associates, a content marketing firm in Swampscott, Mass. He regularly writes about technologies ranging from mainframe to blockchain and the use of IT in industries ranging from manufacturing to retail to financial services. He also blogs about IT marketing and PR trends.

  • November 22, 2016

    You make some great points here Bob. A lot of good nuggets in here to help marketers define a successful ABM content strategy. On your point about “delivering [sic] the most relevant information without wasting their time,” I would like to add one additional concept that I believe is very important to consider.

    Content will have its greatest impact if it is in the proper context. As marketers (and sales teams) define their targets, it is important to recognize that a CEO, for example, would be far less likely to read a 20-page white paper, than they would scanning through a 5 slide slideshare, summarizing the concepts of the white paper. It may seem like common sense, but a CEO is going to have far less time in their day to consume larger, more complex content, and therefore will be less likely to ever download it. Solving this challenge, is fairly straight-forward.

    When outlining your content strategy, consider other “channels” where a particular piece of content can have impact. Let’s say you have a “killer” white paper outlining 5 key concepts around a business challenge that your product or service helps customers overcome. When delivering (or pushing) that content to your audiences, consider this approach:

    1. Push email for the white paper to “manager,” “supervisor,” and other lower level title groups (those titles that would have more time to consume the larger piece of content and typically have more “researcher” or “influencer” roles in organizations)

    2. Create a slideshare summarizing the 5 concepts and push an invite to view the slideshare to C-level and executive title groups

    3. Create an infographic for “mass marketing” of the white paper and use in social media as a quick way to attract net new audience members

    4. Hold a webinar related to the subject matter of the white paper for those in researcher roles, where a Q&A opportunity with your subject-matter expert may be possible

    Again, there are many details to consider developing an ABM content strategy, but a key element of that strategy should be context. It will absolutely change the impact you have on your audiences.

  • November 22, 2016

    Agreed, John — mea culpa in trhat my tips were focused on the initial content creation rather than on their reuse through other channels, or on optimizing form and content form/length as well as content for various personas. Many people talk about “repurposing” content (such as transforming a Webinar or white paper into a series of blog posts) but rarely with such a focus on context.

    Good food for thought and thanks again;


  • December 6, 2016

    Thanks for the kind words, Bob. Some really good advice here, too. The more we as writers can do to help clients evaluate writing objectively, and tell the good from the not-so-good, the better for everyone.

    Quality writing is so important to ABM. Sadly, I do worry people might get so caught up in the tech that the actual communication becomes a bit of an afterthought.

  • December 6, 2016

    More than welcome, sir. I am finding the exact same thing — so much focus on the pace and format of communications and the design of triggers that the content is an after thought. Have had several recent engagements for what I call “content-free” content marketing (“Write something that shows the potential of XYZ…”) without explaining how it would work or why the company can deliver what it promises.