Intent Marketing refers to the process of marketing services, products, or businesses based on the known intent of customers. Even more simply, you can think of intent marketing as a very data-driven form of targeted marketing. You are marketing certain products, services, or businesses based on the consumers most likely to purchase them.
This is an empowering marketing tool. It lets you target your marketing campaigns to a relevant target audience. You will also be able to reach them right when they are most likely to make the purchase decision.
So, if you think about it, intent marketing can be a great tool for businesses to get the most bang for their buck. This is because intent marketing has the potential to generate a much better ROI than more traditional marketing methods like demographic-based targeting.
How Does Intent Marketing Work?
There are six stages of intent marketing. There is some debate on the terminology of these six stages, but they are usually awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase.
These six stages are also grouped into three types of broader categories. These are lead generation, lead nurturing, and, finally, sales.
During this initial stage, consumers and potential buyers get to know your brand, sometimes for the first time. During this stage, blog posts and social media content draw in potential customers whose problems or needs your business can solve.
There are quite a few different ways you can increase your brand awareness. Some of these include:
- Marketing Campaigns
- Consumer research
- Social Media
- Direct Mail
- Media Mentions
- Lead Nurturing
After your leads have the required information, they are put into a lead management system to nurture it down the funnel. Lead Nurturing typically has three stages:
At this stage, the leads can learn more about a company and its products and services through the business’s information. Businesses can use emails, targeted content, and maybe even newsletters to develop a genuine connection with their leads in this process stage.
After going through the interest stage, you will arrive at the consideration stage. Know that the leads that have been generated will be considered potential customers. So, in this stage of the process, marketers can use these potential customers by giving them more info about the product or service they are trying to sell.
Other businesses regularly give exclusive offers and deals to the acquired potential customers. This is on top of the targeted content and the free trials.
This is the stage where you find those prospective customers actively showing interest in your product or service. They will make a purchase decision soon. At this stage, marketers can use surveys or even offer product demos to properly understand their intent.
Another important thing to note is that potential customers will also demonstrate intent whenever they place something on their shopping cart on websites. This is when you need to grind down and make sure that these customers understand why your product is better than your competitors.
- Evaluation: The sales stage has two unique stages. The first stage is when buyers evaluate their options. In this stage, they will research more about what they are getting. They are very close to making a purchasing decision at this stage. Usually, sales personnel and marketers will work together to ensure that their products look like the best option for the potential buyer.
- Purchase: This is the last stage within an intent marketing funnel. In this stage, those prospective buyers have already decided that they want to get your product or service. This is the perfect opportunity to get some referral clients as well. When your buyer gets a positive experience, they are more likely to refer to other people. Remember, word of mouth is very powerful in attracting new customers.
Also Read: Utilize your marketing funnel to its full potential. Learn about the four key stages of the marketing funnel and how to increase conversions by optimizing the funnel for the customer journey.
The Three Types of Search Intent
Generally speaking, there are three different types of search intent. These are,
- Informational and also
In most cases, people are looking to get something specific, usually a brand or product in particular. They will search for information on how to solve particular problems. The final stage, the transactional stage, is where they know exactly what they want and are also ready to purchase it.
Marketers are normally after the informational searchers. They do this with their unique strategies for marketing content. However, it is also essential that you look out for the content you are creating for both navigational and transactional searchers.
When you know someone is ready to make the final purchase decision, try to sign them up on your email list. This will make sure that they are kept within the funnel. When consumers know exactly what product they want, it will be good to send them comparison pieces. This can make your product stand out from the rest.
Also Read: A shareable piece of illustration in text, audio, or video is useful, amusing, or entertaining and prompts the listener or reader to share it with others. It is also essential for your digital marketing strategy. Discover three Expert Tips for Creating Shareable Social Media Content.
Intent Marketing Funnels vs. Traditional Ones
Potential customers have behaved in a certain and predictable manner for centuries. With the traditional forms of marketing, marketers used to draw in many people to their products. They would gradually narrow it down and keep only a few potential customers.
As we have looked into before, intent marketing uses six stages placed within three broad categories. However, there are only three stages with the older and more traditional forms of marketing.
This stage makes buyers aware of the products and services you offer. It also familiarizes them with your brand.
In the evaluation stage, buyers will evaluate the products to make sure that it meets their requirements and can solve their problems.
In the final stage of the process – potential buyers buy stuff and then move on.
So, as you can see, there is a massive difference between Intent Marketing and the more traditional forms of marketing. As you are already aware, the entire process of intent marketing is much more sophisticated and complex, but they are able to provide excellent results.
How to Identify User Intent
Do not just put out random content for your buyers. First, you must understand what type of content is right for your audience. This is why it is so important to understand user intent. Let us take a look at how you can do this properly.
Buyer Personas can greatly help you to understand your user. You will be able to gather facts like what kind of profession they are engaged in and get to know their physical location.
A good way to implement this is to conduct thorough market research and then use the collected data to try and paint a picture of the type of audience you are targeting. Once that has been done, it is time to find out exactly how they found your business. It will do you a lot of good if you know their search queries, which platforms they use to look for solutions to problems, etc.
Once you have answered these questions, you will be better positioned to determine where these customers will enter your funnel.
Keywords and Entry Pages
Tracking tools have never been as easily available and as powerful ever before. Google Analytics, for example, can go a long way in providing your business with the necessary tools to determine what keywords users are using to find your business. You will also be able to tell where they are entering your site.
Let us assume that your potential customers found you through a blog or your main keywords have questions; this implies that potential customers can discover you completely organically. This also indicates that they are at the awareness stage within the funnel.
On the other hand, if potential customers typically find you when they compare similar products, then many of your main keywords have the names of other competitors in them.
Also, if your analytics can determine that the top entry pages are the product pages you have, or if your main keywords have the name of your product, service, or business, this implies that your prospects are still in their evaluation stage.
Using Intent to Rank
If you want to rank high on SERPs and bring users to your site, you will have to create high-quality content that will satisfy user intent.
To give just an example, some keywords have a huge search volume, like crafts for toddlers. So, if you happen to operate in that niche, you can try writing proper blog posts about the topic. This will help you satisfy user intent and also help you bring in more potential customers.
However, make sure that you are not randomly putting together some crafts with the keyword. That will never be enough. It is safe to assume that parents looking for products within this niche will want age-specific products. Also, they may be looking for presents to give on certain occasions, or even on rainy days. To satisfy user intent, you need to cover all of these things using secondary keywords.
When you are trying to anticipate how potential customers will enter your marketing funnel, it will be helpful to understand the different types of content they may want at the different stages of the funnel (those stages have been discussed above).
Content Curation for the Customer Journey
After you have been able to determine the user intent of your target audience and when these people enter your marketing funnel, you should start analyzing your content. You should also start creating new content that will match your newly discovered user intent. Also, existing content needs to be shored up.
Scroll-Through Rate and Time on Page
After you find out where users enter your site in the funnel, you will understand how well your content can satisfy user intent.
Ensure that you compile a list of the entry pages with the highest views. You need to look at the page’s total time and scroll-through rates. If you find that users are not scrolling through the entire page or are not spending enough time on the page, there is probably a mismatch with user intent. The keywords you have chosen are probably all good, BUT the content cannot satisfy user intent.
If this applies to you, you need to improve your content or make completely new ones.
Compile keywords in which you want to rank high and then look them up on search engines. Make sure you take a close look at what the top results are.
Search engines give weight to the content best suited for satisfying user intent. So, this means the top results of your keywords all have this particular property. You need to understand how they answer keywords, and then you need to one-up them.
A great way to understand how well you are doing compared to your competitors is to perform a content gap analysis. There may be things that they are ranking well with that you have not covered at all.
At times, you will also find some very high-ranking pieces yet to be covered. If you can find another angle or maybe even a subcategory to include it in, just do it.
Make sure you look at your buyer personas too. You will be able to tell if there are any steps in their travels through your funnel where content may be lacking.
Also, do not just concentrate on blog content. If you see users landing on your product pages, ensure these pages are also done properly. This means proper product descriptions, explanations of how it will help their pain points, and flattering comparisons with your competitors.
Our course “How to define, reach, and convert your ideal customer” will guide you through the process of creating a business roadmap to attract more customers, learn what resonates with them, and automate your marketing and growth.
Existing Content Needs to be Optimized
The final stage of this process is to make sure that your existing content has been optimized properly. You need to ensure that all topics have been covered properly.
Note that the more angles of a topic you can cover, your prospective audience’s user intent will be better covered.
Check out our Engaging courses for actionable insights, tested frameworks, and a hands-on approach to discovering, building, and growing your business.
There is absolutely no doubt that the way by which people find information has changed dramatically. It has, therefore, completely changed the marketing funnel. It is now more imperative than ever to understand as much as possible about your audience. You need to know where in the funnel they are entering. Also, understanding how potential customers are converted to customers will help you a lot.