Beyond SEO Content: Using Intent Signals as Your Secret Weapon
Content managers now have their own secret weapon –Intent Signals. The internet runs on content generation and intention. Up until recently we have used our mighty SEO swords to slice through the content clutter and stand heroically before our target market. But the whole industry sharpened their blades and wielded their own unique SEO signatures putting us all on similar footing. The new warriors will be those who can read Intent Signals and provide relevance to their target group. Intent Signals will influence the way we generate content in the foreseeable future.
What do our prospects want? What are the problems they are looking to solve? How can you provide exactly what they are searching for at the right time? Quite simply, knowing a user’s intention lets you personalize your marketing to offer them immediate solutions.
People search the net for three main things:
- To look for a particular website. (The Moth Podcast)
- To research a topic. (How can I get a better ROI on my email marketing?)
- To make a purchase.
When we know the type of intention the searcher is expressing we can visit them in the space they are visiting and offer relevant display advertising in that moment. This means if someone is reading a blog about business visualization tools it would be the perfect place to display an advert for your data modeling solutions. You can be sure that if a company is consuming certain content vociferously they are wearing their intention on their sleeve. No guess work is required. The prospect is showing you exactly what they are interested in by what they are viewing.
“The context of the content alone allows publishers to make accurate predictions about the intent of the people who consume the content.” (Source.)
4-Pack SERP Strategy
If we can read a person’s intention by the keywords they search, we are able to ascertain if the prospect is looking to make an imminent B2B purchase. This is highly valuable knowledge that allows personalized marketing campaigns to be triggered to a targeted group with relevance and accuracy. When you can understand a prospect’s purchase behavior you can cleverly produce content that is more likely to lead to conversion.
Last year Google changed its search engine results page (SERP) layout to accommodate the searches of commercial queries. You will now see a new “4-pack” of adverts at the top of a page on a transactional or purchase based search. Adverts are no longer placed on the right side of the desktop. Google is responding to the customer journey by providing relevant content that matches their needs. When a customer expresses a transactional, commercial intent, Google responds with transactional results.
This is where organic and paid search advertising sectors need to come together to look at which terms, phrases and keywords are being used that indicate buyer intent. When you have investigated what content is currently ranking for these popular searches you can create content like blog posts, email campaigns and lead magnets etc. to draw interested consumers to your offering. When the four adverts are displayed at the top of a search page, you know that the customer is logging a buyer’s intent and you can roll out the red carpet of personalized content for them.
So now you have identified your prospect’s Intent Signals and you begin to activate your marketing campaign. But just because you have been able to read the targets Intent Signals it doesn’t mean that you have to follow them across the web like a diehard fan. You don’t want to keep displaying the same advert on every site they visit. It will be too much.
“Smart marketers take this issue into account when planning their campaigns. Specifically, they make sure there are frequency caps in place so that a given consumer never views the same ad too many times.”
You want to walk the entire buyer’s funnel journey along with your target, offering different messages at different points along the way. You can inform their decision-making process with relevant adverts that are personalized for their specific step they are taking. Don’t flood them with the same exact messaging over and over again. Avoid “advert fatigue” with content tailored to the where they are in the funnel and to the very specific B2B company needs.
Hot Options for Cold Emailing
Your top tier is going to get most of the programmatic advertising but a great program option for your second and third tier is to use dynamic content in your emails. Personalize does not just mean using first names and signatures –these are standard features these days. You want to expand your personalization efforts by using company names and the industry. You also want to optimize the subject line to draw attention and ensure increased open rates. Including eye catching design features in the email body will also increase engagement.
Your Intent Signal secret weapon gives you the edge in terms of truly understanding prospect’s behavior and formulating relevant content that will lead to more (and faster) sales conversions. Digital marketing has become a highly sophisticated endeavor where understanding Intent Signals results in the production of content that engages the right audience at the right time for the right moment in a buyer’s purchasing journey.