It is essential for marketers to create and publish the right content for their audiences. Many marketers can waste precious time, energy, and resources by producing content that is not relevant to their audiences.
When we are thinking about our target audience, we also consider what they might need or want. This helps us to better understand them and give them what they are looking for.
Intent data can help you target your content more effectively to reach the right people and add value at every stage of the buyer’s journey. It can help you educate, attract, and convert prospects into leads and loyal customers.
If you give your consumers the content they want, it will help improve your relationship with them, attract more leads, and get more people to interact with your website. This will result in a higher return on investment for your business.
What Is Buyer Intent?
Buyer intent is a collection of signals that indicate whether someone is interested in buying from you, and where they are in the process. There are various tools that collect data about actual buyer journeys and signals of purchase intent.
This information can be used to make the sales process more efficient and to increase revenue by understanding a specific buyer’s purchasing intentions. Buyer intent data can help you to contact a potential customer at the ideal time with the right message.
This playbook will focus on how to use buyer intent to improve your sales cycle in two ways: by targeting leads more effectively during the prospecting phase, and by increasing your success rate when closing deals.
The aim of this stage is to use the buyer’s intent to schedule meetings with buyers who are probably not familiar with you and to assess those prospects.
The purpose of this stage is to use customers’ desires to advertise your product to appropriate potential customers, answer potential objections, and finalize sales.
Types of Buyer Intent
As a sales or marketing leader, you probably already use buyer intent in some way. Marketers often use data on what buyers want to drive marketing campaigns. Sales teams use data on what buyers want throughout the sales process to reach out to potential customers.
Buyer intent data can be sourced from various sources that fall under the following categories:
The data you collect comes from your digital properties, like website visits, email interactions, content downloads, and form fills.
Data collected by one company is then bought and used by another company.
Data collected from activities, events, and intelligence across multiple sources that is not from your website.
The secret to incorporating data points that signal an intent to purchase into your sales playbook is to use first-, second-, and third-party data.
Using Buyer Intent to Fuel Content Marketing Strategies
If you want your marketing team to be more successful, then you should try to understand buyer intent. This will allow you to create more personalized and meaningful experiences for users. You can also use this to build trust with your audience and to more effectively promote your content.
Understand Your Ideal Customers
It is essential to have a deep understanding of who your ideal customer is in order to carry out an effective content marketing strategy. This involves having a firm grasp of your buyer personas and understanding their intent.
Develop a deeper understanding of your audience by answering questions like:
- What do they think?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What answers are they seeking?
- What paths do they tend to follow to find solutions?
A buyer persona is a made-up version of your perfect customer. By making specific buyer personas for your business, you can better target real prospects by giving them content that meets their needs. Get information from your contacts database, website forms, feedback from sales and customer services teams, and interviews to guide you.
You can fill out your buyer persona profiles with:
- Basic demographics
- Motivations (goals and challenges)
- Direct quotes from real customers
- Common objections to buying your products or services
Create Content for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
If you want potential customers to buy from you, you need to provide relevant content to help them make informed decisions at every stage of their buyer’s journey.
Most users don’t understand what you’re offering or how it can help them at first. They only become aware of your solution when they have a problem that needs solving.
People at the top of the sales funnel are less likely to buy than those at the bottom, who know what they want and how to get it. As a marketer, your job is to attract potential customers and engage them with appropriate content at every stage.
Once you have qualified leads, you can give them to your sales team to continue engaging and persuading them towards a purchase. After they make a purchase, your service team takes over and tries to keep them happy. In the long run, you want your customers to be loyal and dedicated to your brand.
Personalize Your Content to Build Stronger Relationships
Almost 80% of professionals working in sales and marketing for businesses believe that offering personalized experiences to customers leads to better relationships with those customers. Of those surveyed, just over half said that such personalization also results in increased sales conversion rates and future growth potential.
Making your content more personal can help you better connect with your audience. This can be achieved by personalizing landing pages, emails, case studies, articles, and other forms of content. Doing so can result in increased customer engagement.
Adding a chatbot to your website can answer commonly asked questions, guide prospects to the next stage in their journeys, and gather buyer intent for your business.
Promote and Syndicate Your Content
After you create content for every stage of the customer journey based on buyer intent, promote and syndicate it for maximum visibility. Which platforms and channels to distribute and share your content is just as important as creating it. If your promotion and syndication efforts fall flat, your content creation efforts could be in vain.
When thinking about promoting your content, consider which platforms your audience is using the most. You can use intent data to figure out who is searching for content and solutions like yours, and then reach out to them directly to share your content. This can be done via email or targeted advertising campaigns.
You can get better results from your online content, digital advertising, email marketing, and more by tailoring them to what your buyer wants.
Integrating Buyer Intent Data in the Sales Cycle
Sales teams find buyer intent data very useful. By incorporating it into your sales cycle and playbook, you can get your product to buyers faster and more effectively.
This means that you should make it easy for your sales representatives to access and use your data on customer intent.
So how do you get valuable buyer intent data in front of your reps? There are a handful of ways you can make the process seamless:
- On account records: Directly within CRM tools, such as Salesforce
- Direct notifications: Through messaging channels, such as Slack or email
- Pre-set cadences by scenario: In sales engagement tools, such as SalesLoft or Outreach
- Weekly reports: Send round-ups directly to reps via CSV files or from tools like Salesforce
The goal is to keep intent data easily available for your sales reps. If this information is readily accessible, your reps are more likely to use it routinely.
Interpreting Buyer Intent Throughout the Sales Cycle
You need to understand the buyer mindset at each phase in order to map and leverage intent data from the prospecting phase to closing the deal.
Prospecting and Qualifying
Instead, focus on easing their pain by showing them you understand their problem. At the prospecting stage, buyers realize that they have a problem that needs solving, and start to explore potential solutions. Sales teams often make the mistake of focusing on why their product is superior to others at this stage, but it’s important to keep in mind that the buyer might not be at that stage yet. At this point, competitive differentiators are likely not even on the buyer’s mind. Instead, focus on easing their pain by showing them you understand their problem.
Currently, your focus should be on offering support. Research your prospect’s business to find ways to make an impression and book a meeting.
The Proposal, Negotiation, and Closing
When a buyer reaches the proposal and negotiation stage, they have already shifted their mindset quite a bit. At this point, the buyer is committed to spending a lot of money and wants assurance that they are making the right decision.
The buyer is probably considering a few different options and is carefully evaluating and comparing them to find the best solution for their problem and business.
To make the sale, you must show the value of your product, what sets it apart from others, and address any concerns the buyer may have. Remember, you want to make it easier for them to buy, not harder. Focus on earning their business – don’t just try to close the deal.
Inspiring Your Team to Use Buyer Intent
Data on what buyers want can be used to figure out how to best target those buyers with messages that will impact their purchase decisions.
There are various campaigns, content, and resources that you can produce to support your revenue teams at all stages of the sales cycle.
Crafting Messages for Prospective Buyers
You should tailor your messaging to fit the buyer’s business and the problem they’re facing during prospecting and qualifying. This will help to position you as a trusted advisor.
Other resources helpful during the prospecting and qualifying stage include:
- Category landscape information: Third-party reports, best in software lists, blogs, white papers, and similar assets
- Relevant customer stories: User reviews, testimonials, customer videos, and mini case studies
- Pre-set cadences by scenario: SalesLoft, Outreach, or other sales outreach tools
- Marketing air cover: LinkedIn Matched Audiences campaigns, re-targeting, and simplified nurture campaigns
Creating Messages to Close the Deal
The negotiation stage is focused on building trust and making the sales cycle quicker so buyers can feel confident about their decisions. Your messaging should match up closely with the buyer’s main needs and values. This means you’ll need to talk about less comfortable topics, such as acknowledging your competition directly.
Other resources helpful during the proposal, negotiation, and closing include:
- Relevant customer stories: Share testimonials, user reviews, customer videos, and traditional case studies
- Competitive landscape info: Comparison reports, comparison landing pages, and prepared differentiation talking points
- References: Traditional reference calls or reference pages
- Marketing air cover: Email or retargeting with G2 Best Software badges, thought leadership access, and upcoming events
- Many marketers waste their time, energy, and resources producing the wrong types of content for the wrong audiences.
- Intent data helps eliminate the guesswork, replacing it with concrete insights into when and where prospects explore what types of topics and solutions.
- You can collect two types of intent data to inform your efforts: internal and external.
- By identifying relevant topics and filling content gaps at every stage of the buyer’s journey, you can attract, engage, and delight prospects, leads, and customers.
- Understanding buyer intent can help your marketing team create more personalized and meaningful experiences, build greater trust with your audience, and better promote and syndicate content for maximum results.
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