Whenever we search for anything on Google, there’s intention behind it. Nearly everyone who browses the Internet is looking for something:
- Answers to problems
- Information about products
- Services available
- Just plain entertainment
If you want a target audience to discover your business, try optimizing your marketing strategy with intent data about ready, relevant prospects. B2B intent marketing is about collecting and leveraging intent data to reach prospects at the right time in their buyer journeys.
This blog explains five ways to use intent marketing in your business. We suggest trying a few of these steps to create an intent strategy for your enterprise that will reach real in-market buyers.
1 – Select Relevant Terms and Phrases
The point of this step is to select keyword terms and phrases that better align with the stages of your buyers’ journeys. Clues are everywhere. A user in the awareness or consideration stages might be reading “How to” blogs. Further along, they may dive into basic reviews of products and services. When a prospect is in the decision-making stage, they might search using terms like “buy,” “warranty,” or “free shipping”.
Why is it important? Google has evolved its algorithm to keep the searcher’s intent as a priority in order to deliver the best user experience. This pairs well with intent marketing and monitoring strategies; We all have buyer needs at heart.
Let In-market Buyers Tell You What They Need
This knowledge can guide how you set up intent topics to monitor. (Here’s how True Influence helps B2B brands choose good topics.) Including your brand name, type of products or services, and sometimes geographic location in these search terms can attract buyers at every stage of the journey.
Intent data can be analyzed to provide further clues about funnel stage and about buying group roles. Knowing interests, roles and funnel stages, you can tailor a more relevant strategy, perhaps by setting up marketing automation to trigger engagements like emails or ads around certain terms.
2 – Prioritize Leads
Based on well-analyzed intent data, B2B marketers can prioritize leads based on users’ behavior and apparent need. This means focusing resources on the contacts who are actually in-market.
Marketing and sales teams can study prospect intent from buyer journey signals and use this data to distinguish between low-quality and high-potential leads and allocate resources and time accordingly.
Informational intent: At the top of the intent funnel, buyers mostly look for information and do research to solve a problem for their business. Search terms would be general, and these leads probably won’t be high priority. You don’t want to ignore them, but you can start a conversation to nurture them, provided you get emails or phone numbers.
Investigative intent: Prospects having investigative intent seek more in-depth solutions, not casual browsing. They would be comparing the prices and features of different products and services or going through reviews to make a better decision.
Transactional intent: A lead in the transactional intent phase is ready to buy and is in the process of making a final decision. There’s a sense of urgency to the process.
Intent data gives clues that B2B marketers and sellers can use in intent marketing to reach these specific targets in the right ways.
3 – Content Optimization
Every prospect has their journey. Your leads span different stages of the buyer cycle and different roles in buying groups or teams. Their intent behavior is different at different points and roles, and when you identify that information, you can customize content to their needs. (A marketing cloud helps do this at scale.)
When a mid-funnel prospect compares different solutions and approaches, help them with content that gives finer details about what to look for. To assist a bottom-of-funnel prospect, serve up FAQs or business case guides. For the technical member of a buying group, have solution comparisons; for the end user member, sell with case studies. Making business purchase decisions is a complex process, and buyers appreciate content that answers questions and offers expert advice – and they remember who it came from.
4 – Target Advertising
We’ve all had the experience of going through countless emails and messages pitching us irrelevant products and services. Not much of an approach.
Most B2B marketers would agree that personalized marketing leads to better relationships, but the problem is knowing what topics matter to your leads in order to target appropriately. B2B sellers leverage intent data to create more personalized digital advertising and email campaigns. Target accounts with content pieces personalized as per their niche, and it will help you grab the right attention.
5 – Automate Outreach
Using first-party data, B2B sellers can study the position of a lead at a particular point of time in the sales funnel, but acting on that knowledge requires further support. This information can be paired with marketing automation to trigger pre-programmed messages to prospects. You can set up lead nurturing campaigns and measure results to gain more insights. More B2B teams are turning to marketing clouds to realistically and holistically manage multiple channels of automated outreach.
More Intent Data. More Relevant Engagement
Times are changing. If you want to stay involved with the B2B buyer’s cycle and make more sales, learn to understand your prospects’ intent. Here’s another resource that will give you some ideas for bringing intent marketing into your business: “Integrated Marketing Cloud for Better ROI and CX.”