If you work in marketing for a startup, then you're part of a content team. Marketers at early stage tech companies are on the front lines for producing content.

Be it blog posts, podcasts, Tweets -- you're creating (or at least you should be) material to market your organization's products.

Many of us have followed this same cycle. We create a wonderfully constructed piece of content, share it on social a few times, add it to our newsletter, then wait for the engagement magic to happen.

But with this approach, it almost never does and more than likely never will.

A year ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Travis Wright present a keynote speech at #FlipMyFunnel Atlanta. #FlipMyFunnel is a community of B2B marketing, sales, and customer success professionals who share their collective knowledge to empower each other to drive value in their organizations and regularly organizes the biggest account-based marketing (ABM) conferences in the world!

If you're not familiar with Travis, just know that he's one of the most dynamic minds in the MarTech space I've ever seen.

Over the past 15 years, Travis has optimized and strategized marketing programs for hundreds of B2B and B2C business websites, from startups and midsize businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Hard to believe his very first job was as a DJ at the age of 13, right?

During his presentation, he shared best practices on how to successfully use content and account-based advertising with an ABM strategy and level up your game for 2018.

1. Account-Based Content Marketing

Account-based content marketing works in the same way account-based marketing does: by targeting the best-fit accounts for your campaign.

To me, ABM is defined as a laser-focused approach to B2B marketing in which marketing and sales teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers.

Though the search volume for "account-based content marketing" has increased massively over the past two years, the term still has a little work to do when compared to more established concepts like inbound, content marketing, Facebook advertising, and so on.

A great way to leverage account-based content marketing for your campaign is to use your content to target your buyer personas.

Travis noted that there's a lot of different ways to connect through content, not just with blogs and infographics.

It's imperative to know who you're creating content for and which stage of the game you're creating that content for.

A useful tool for you to use to map out your content by stage is the Account-Based Marketing Framework, which highlights the types of content you should create during buyer's journey and after they become a customer.

2. Organic Content Amplification Tactics

There always seems to be a cycle of creating this awesome piece of content, getting really excited about it, and then...nothing happens. A lot of marketing teams go through this. But why does this happen?

You didn't target the right people.

Here are a few ways to promote your content organically (that'll make your life easier).

  1. Email marketing

  2. Optimizing for SEO

  3. Traditional social sharing

  4. Word of mouth

  5. Facebook/LinkedIn Groups

  6. Foster employee advocacy

According to the 2017 B2B Content Marketing Institute Benchmark Guide, email is the number one channel B2B marketers typically use to distribute content, followed by LinkedIn and Facebook.

Interestingly, TrackMaven Report found that Instagram is the social platform with the highest engagement for B2B marketers.

Inside tip: A lot of B2B companies aren't maximizing their efforts on the platform.

3. Account-Based Advertising

The trick is to put out content that's relevant based on where your prospects are in the customer journey.

Selling as we know it has changed. It used to be person-centric, but now it's account-centric with decision-makers, end users, and influencers.

Travis highlighted several different methods, including account-based advertising using tools like Terminus and paid social promotion on Facebook and Twitter. Travis was led to include Terminus in his presentation because of its integration with Salesforce to help marketers segment their audience and serve them highly targeted ads.

Social paid promotion also offers tons of opportunities to target and focus your list. With Facebook alone, you can literally pick out job titles to search as well as using their graph search.

If you're looking to level up your B2B content in 2018, I strongly encourage you to find the right balance of creating champagne quality content, then using account-based advertising to meet your prospects exactly where they are.

If you want more insights from Travis's session, check out his slide deck here!