Intent data can be used to drive B2B marketing efforts through a multi- or omni-channel strategy, giving you invaluable insight into what prospects are about to do next. It’s all about being in the right place, at the right time, offering the exact solutions that buyers are looking for; and intent signals help you do just that.
Not only should marketers be capturing intent data across every channel, but they should be applying insight to make these channels convert seamlessly. The power of intent data is massive, allowing you to turn every touchpoint into a data-driven machine for demand generation and lead nurture. However, transforming raw data into actionable insight is where a lot of organisations fall down.
In our recent survey of 200 senior marketers in the UK and US, we discovered that the biggest challenge when using intent is being able to action on insights gathered, and making data meaningful. This highlights a big gap in the data process, where companies are overloaded with data but are often none the wiser in terms of what to do with it.
Other big issues raised by our survey respondents include being able to successfully combine data with strategy to deliver targeted ads, and ensuring sales teams are using intent information effectively. These are also linked to action, showing a disparity between the way data is being gathered and the way it is being analyzed, reported and applied.
Here we break it down by channel, giving you actionable tips on getting the most out of your data for demand and lead gen campaigns.
According to the marketing leaders in our survey, email and nurture workflows are the most important channels for leveraging intent data, with 72% of the group saying they apply intent tactics to these channels.
For marketers looking to improve personalization, one of the best ways to use intent data is to nurture known leads through email marketing. While using job titles for segmentation can help you tailor content, it offers no real insight into seniority, buying power, or their role in the DMU and the wider company. This results in inaccurate categorization of leads, and the risk of sending irrelevant content to recipients.
By using first and third party behavioral data, you have the advantage of context, and you can drill down into the exact topics prospects are researching, allowing you to position your brand as a market leader when they are looking for solutions. And with a data-backed lead scoring system in place, you not only improve personalization, but you’ll know when your prospects are purchase-ready. This gives you the knowledge of what content to include, and when to send that content to them.
An intent-based chatbot can help you supercharge your conversational marketing through the power of AI. And chatbot intent matters more than ever to the customer journey. Today’s B2B customers are increasingly similar to their B2C counterparts, making chatbots vital to your B2B marketing strategy. Chatbots can aid demand generation, but the key is to use the right amount and right type of intent signals. Too little, and you won’t have enough data to create a meaningful conversation. Too many intents, and you’ll have conflict. In these instances, in-built intent conflict resolution can help.
One of the best ways of using intent signals for content creation – building content for use on your website, or to lay the foundation for your blog. This includes using informational search queries as well as internal search queries.
Informational search queries are queries that cover broad topics, giving you an indication of what audiences are interested in. From this type of data, you can create content such as blogs, thought leadership pieces, surveys, reports and how-to-guides to nurture leads through the funnel. Internal search queries on the other hand let you go into detail, while also tracking behavior flow of website visitors.
A great tip for filling gaps in your content is to look specifically at searches that don’t bring back any results for the user. This is an opportunity to create useful content that doesn’t exist already, potentially capturing a new group of buyers who already showed interest in your company.
By using intent data to market to prospects on social, you can gain insight into their interests, research areas and pain points. Sites like Twitter and Facebook already have this capability on their advertising platforms, allowing you to target the right buyers.
Referring back to our survey results, 69% of marketers in our sample set are using intent for paid social ads. That’s over two thirds of businesses prioritizing social platforms for fine-tuning their messaging.
More specifically, utilizing third-party intent data will enable you to identify new prospects who you might not have known were showing interest in your services. By building a target-account list using these insights, you are able to run this list through your social platforms and specifically display your ads to users who work at your targeted companies. As these companies have already shown intent towards your services, you are more likely to see an increased response rate to your ads.
To make your strategy truly successful, keep in mind the buyer’s expectations for multi- or omni-channel presence. This means connecting with prospects via multiple touchpoints and mapping their intent behavior throughout the funnel.
Analyzing a prospect’s intention at different touchpoints can help you create more effective advertising. Programmatic ads use targeting tactics to segment audiences, and one of the main benefits of intent data is more accurate predictive targeting, according to our survey respondents.
Using intent data means buying digital advertising that will increase your ROI, reducing your risk. The key is to determine a prospect’s place in the funnel, then tailor ad copy and offers based on intent. Segment buyers into different stages, such as those in the pre-research phase, those in the information-gathering phase, and those who have opted in or signed up for content already.
SEO and PPC
One area that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to using behavioral data is SEO. While intent information is incredibly beneficial to any PPC campaign, a more holistic approach is the way to long-term success. When it comes to providing real value to the customer, it’s important to have a combined approach with SEO and PPC. Instead of just spending on keyword bidding, use intent to create context in your website content.
Develop blogs and articles that you know will get clicks and conversions. But most importantly, align your organic SEO strategy with your PPC strategy so click-throughs and page views turn into sales and return customers.