Everything You Need to Know About Intent Marketing

It’s no secret that incorporating a proper marketing strategy is one of the most important attributes of any successful business. In fact, it’s frequently agreed-upon that marketing matters now more than ever due to the results of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, you don’t always have to promote your brand to people who have no idea what they’re looking for. Intent marketing is used to target individuals who have already proven that they are liable to make a purchase.

Not quite sure how to begin? We’ve got all the info you need.

Let’s explore everything you should keep in mind.

What Exactly Is Intent Marketing?

As the name suggests, intent marketing aims to provide a way for a user to resolve their current intent. The term ‘intent’ here is defined as a want or a need that they are looking to satisfy.

A common example includes parents who are looking for products related to children. Daycare services, diapers, toys, etc. are all ways to satisfy these users’ intent. So, a company that offers clothing for toddlers would highly benefit from specifically targeting people in this demographic.

It’s important to note, though, that a user’s intent to buy isn’t the only factor that should be considered. Intent also applies to those who would like to learn more about a product or service in order to see what value they can bring to them. 

Put simply, it’s far easier to make a conversion when you target someone who is already interested in what your business offers. Otherwise, you would be engaging in the equivalent of cold-calling in hopes that you could encourage your buyer to take a specific action.

How Can I Gather This Information About My Audience?

Interestingly, you can learn a lot about what your audience wants based on the keywords and phrases that they’re searching for online. But, there are more thorough options that you could take advantage of in order to acquire this data.

Let’s explore some of the most notable. 

Surveys and Polls

Sometimes, blatantly asking your audience for their opinion can go a long way. As such, surveys and polls are highly effective methods when it comes to learning about your audience’s intent.

Brands typically include questions like ‘what areas can we improve upon?’ or ‘what features do you wish to see in the future?’

Since not everyone who encounters a poll or survey is guaranteed to participate, you should target the largest segment of your audience as you can (such as existing customers).

To help facilitate the number of people who take part, you could offer some sort of incentive in exchange for their participation. Although this is often in the form of a discount code or free download, you can get creative when it comes to what you offer. Anything that provides value to your audience is often a worthy form of compensation.

CRM Software

Many companies take advantage of the utility of customer relationship management (CRM) software providers in order to learn more about user intent.

For instance, an entrepreneur may utilize the software to automatically pull and compile customer data from a phone conversation they had with a sales representative. The same message could be used for email interactions or even in-person meetings.

Not only will this provide a significant amount of insight into your audience’s behavior, but it will also serve to streamline the process. As such, using CRM software is one of the most efficient methods that you can incorporate. 

Social Listening

As the name suggests, social listening is the process of garnering relevant data from social media platforms. Common strategies include researching specific hashtags on Instagram or Twitter, or monitoring groups on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Since most users on social media readily convey genuine opinions, this often serves as a proverbial gold mine when it comes to data acquisition.  

Shallow Intent vs ‘Deep Intent’

Interestingly, buyer intent can be further segmented into two separate types: shallow intent and deep intent.

To elaborate, shallow intent refers to a search query that exists in the form of a simple question. This is often something like ‘is American Airlines on time’ or ‘how old is Matthew McConaughey.’

Deep intent involves a more specific query with an answer that isn’t nearly as straightforward. In this scenario, a user may search for something like ‘how to build a website on your own.’

Since users are far more likely to click through links and conduct independent research for complex queries, you can use deep intent as a framework for your website’s content.

An athletic apparel company likely has an audience interested in not only the clothing the brand offers but also improving their sports performance and physical fitness. So, a relevant deep intent query could be ‘what soccer cleats are best for speed.’

From here, this brand could create content that’s centered around answering that question.

Using Intent Data Can Drastically Improve Landing Pages

It should come as no surprise that landing pages are one of the most valuable tools at your disposal. They also come with the added benefit of weeding out users who aren’t interested in what your brand can offer them.

But, landing pages must be crafted with buyer intent in mind in order to be as effective as possible. For example, it wouldn’t make much sense to include a ‘Buy Now’ CTA on a high-ticket item since most individuals would like to learn more about an expensive product or service before making a purchase.

Listed below are simple ways that you can increase the efficacy if you’re learning pages with buyer intent in mind.

Bold Text

You should aim to incorporate bold text that specifically answers the concerns that your audience may have. This will help users who are quickly scanning your landing page easily discern the major points of your content.

Of course, you shouldn’t overuse this text modifier, as it’s most effective when used sparingly. You may also want to consider underlining or italicizing text where appropriate. 

Links to Additional Resources

Since the entire purpose of a landing page is to facilitate your audience making a conversion, it may seem counterproductive to incorporate external links here.

As previously mentioned, not every user is at the stage in their customer journey where they are ready to make a purchase. By linking to resources that answer questions they may have, you convey that you legitimately care about your audience is able to make the decision that’s best for them.

More often than not, your audience is going to perform research on their own anyway. So, you might as well provide the resources for them to help save time and effort. 

Photo & Video

If you can help your audience make a decision based on their intent by incorporating photos and videos on your landing page, you should always prioritize adding this type of media. This allows you to keep your target audience on your page while simultaneously answering concerns they may have.

The exact type of content that you use will vary highly depending on what niche your business operates in. Regardless, it should always provide value to your users.

Using the aforementioned athletic apparel example, that brand could incorporate an interactive video on its landing page that showcases how their clothing looks while worn. 

How to Target This Audience Effectively

Your audience’s intent exists on a spectrum when it comes to making a conversion. This means that some consumers will be close to making a purchase, while others will need more time to research their potential options.

Fortunately, you can separate your audience into different categories based on where they are in their journey in order to target and more effectively. Let’s take a more in-depth look.

Segment Your Audience Based on Intent

In general, there are three categorizations of user intent:

  1. The user is searching for an answer to their issue
  2. The user is ready to ready to make a decision
  3. The user is fully aware of what they need and is ready to take action

By separating your audience into these three categories, you can then decide what type of keywords you should use to target them. For example, users who are in the first segment are generally looking for guides, information about the best way to do something, etc. So, your keywords would typically include the phrases ‘how to’ or ‘best way.’ 

For those in segment two, it’s best to target them with keywords that include the terms ‘buy,’ ‘shipping,’ and other keywords that are related to making a purchase. The content of this page should thoroughly convey information about the product or service that you were offering as opposed to the general benefits that it can provide. 

Those in the third category often search for queries that include your brand name. So, this is an important factor to keep in mind when brainstorming additional keywords or phrases. 

Approach Them Accordingly 

With the above information, you’ll be able to target each segment of your audience as effectively as possible.

This is a particularly crucial practice, since providing the wrong offer at the wrong time can easily deter that user from taking the desired action. It may also make it more difficult to establish a long-term relationship with them.  

Enhanced Overall User Experience

It’s easy to understand why users can become frustrated when they visit a website that provides them with nothing of utility. This is most commonly seen with clickbait titles that advertise something far different than what users are presented with when they follow the link.

Having a thorough understanding of your audience’s needs will allow you to preemptively accommodate them before they ever visit your website. By the time they make it to your content, they will quickly find that all of their concerns and questions are answered, directly resulting in a better overall experience with your brand.

In contrast, failure to properly understand the intent of your audience could result in you generating the wrong type of traffic for your content. This could increase the metric of your website known as the ‘bounce rate.’

For those unfamiliar with this term, Google uses this value to help determine whether or not the content on your site is suitable for searchers. If people are frequently visiting your website and quickly leaving once they get there, Google may assume that your content is either low-quality or irrelevant.  

Paid Search Benefits

Oftentimes, the strategies associated with intent marketing focuses more on developing a strong SEO foundation.

As previously mentioned, understanding your audience’s intent data will help you determine what type of content you should create for your website. When you properly understand what your audience is trying to find, you’ll also be able to reap significant benefits from paid search advertising.

The key here is to incorporate a high-volume keyword or phrase in your online ads. To your audience, this will function in a highly similar manner as a headline does— If the first line of text they see provides an answer that they’re looking for, it’s likely that you’ll generate a large number of clicks.

If you choose to incorporate paid search techniques, always ensure that the text of your ad coincides with your audience’s intent. 

It Can Seem Complicated to Use Intent Marketing Effectively

But the above information will make the process far smoother. From here, you’ll be able to make full use of intent marketing and catapult your business to unprecedented heights. 

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