Marketers can no longer rely on demographics alone when it comes to reaching their audience.
Why? Simple. Demographics rarely tell the entire story.
You need to go beyond the profile of your prospects. You need to understand consumer intent: What are they looking for at the moment and where they’re looking for.
Once you’ve figured it all out, that’s the time you start marketing your products or services to them. This is known as intent marketing, and it’s what we’ll be exploring in this article, along with the two categories of purchase intent and, of course, the reasons why intention is essential in marketing.
Let’s get to it!
What is intent marketing?
Simply put, intent marketing means targeting people whose online behavior displays purchase intentions.
But, how exactly can you determine their intent? By using data. Analyzing their behavior over time helps you identify trends that lead to conversion – whether it’s making a purchase, booking an appointment, subscribing to your newsletter or downloading an e-book. Besides studying their own customer intent data, marketers should also track broader trends like intent indicators in search.
Thanks to intent marketing, you’ll have the resources to qualify people who are in the market to buy. You can allocate more of your budget to a portion of your target audience who’s most likely to convert, based on the intent data you have. This means that the leads you generate will be of higher quality, which will eventually boost your conversion rates.
Types of purchase intent
Consumers have specific intentions when looking for a product or service online. These intentions are grouped into two categories: informational intent and transactional intent.
In informational intent, your potential consumers are more focused on learning about your product, including its benefits and features. They might also be comparing you to your competitors.
Informational intent is the perfect opportunity to leverage awareness-level content for your brand. Consider the questions your prospects might be researching that aren’t necessarily related to a purchase, and then create top of funnel content around those topics.
Say, for instance, you sell outdoor gear. Blogs like “best places to hike in Florida” or “what to pack on your first camping trip” will get your audience hooked.
Transactional intent suggests your consumer is ready to make a purchase. You’ll know this once they use queries with urgent phrases like “near me” or “open today.”
Taking advantage of Google My Business or other major listing sites can help you reach users who are expressing an interest to buy as soon as they can.
For example, if you own a coffee shop, you might want to list your business on Yelp, GrubHub, and UberEats to ensure that people can order from or visit you when you’re among the first choices they see after typing “best coffee near me.”
Why do you need intent when marketing?
Intent marketing helps you identify what your target audience wants or needs at any point of time. With it, you can determine who they are, what they behaviors are and how you can reach them.
Other than that, here are five reasons why intention is essential in marketing:
Higher ROI (return on investment)
Intent marketing allows you to remove the clutter of leads and concentrate only on those with high qualities. This means that you can view each qualified lead as a potential sale in the making.
Improved SEO (search engine optimization)
Any website that’s optimized for search engine is always a candidate for Google’s first or second page. And, creating intent marketing content can actually boost your SEO. And focusing on intent can help protect your business from algorithm changes.
Better content strategy
The Content Marketing Institute found that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. If your site doesn’t combine user demographics with purpose, you’ll likely set yourself up for failure. Intent data informs each aspect of your plan, from buyer personas and journey maps to copy, content format, and CTA.
Enhanced buying experience for consumers
Intent data enables you to recognize problems your prospects are looking to solve and discover what kind of content they’re looking at to answer their questions. Then, you can personalize your sales process to their exact needs.
More sales opportunities
On every stage of the buyer journey, intent delivers more value to your business. It can come in the form of increased conversions on landing pages, more overall traffic and qualified leads, and a boost in sales.
Intent marketing is one of the best ways to get in front of your audience at the right time with the right content. Once you understand what your consumers need and the behavior that follows, you can easily identify when to share specific content that can help them achieve their goals.