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An Essential Guide to Intent-Based Marketing For Lead Generation

Tired of chasing leads that don’t convert? You’ve come to the right place. 

It’s time to pivot and focus on a strategy that works: intent-based marketing. 

It’s a strategy that’s already caught the attention of marketers, with 65% of B2B companies looking to invest more in buyer intent data. And yet, while many marketers know leveraging this data is critical to success, less than 50% can effectively act on it.

We’re here to help you maximize intent data in your marketing efforts.

In this blog post, we’ll comb through the basics of intent-based marketing and show you how it can transform your lead-generation efforts. Your customer marketing strategy won’t remain the same once those qualified leads start rolling in.

What is intent-based marketing?

This marketing strategy involves identifying and engaging with prospects who have already shown interest in your products and services.

Rather than have sales teams cast a wide net and hope for the best, intent marketing directly targets those leads who are most likely to become paying customers. It’s like having insider information on who is willing to buy.

But how does that work? 

Intent-based marketing depends on data and signals generated from the online behavior of customers who show their interest — or buying intent. These indicators can be tracked from sources such as:

  • Search engine queries
  • Content consumption
  • Social media interactions
  • Website behavior

Closely analyzing these signals will help you pinpoint the right buyers who are ready to take action. You can then adjust your marketing messages and offers to address their needs at different buyer journey stages.

If, for example, a prospect searches for “marketing automation software,” you don’t need a crystal ball to know that they’re interested in marketing automation. Targeting this prospect with relevant offers and content while they evaluate their options makes them more likely to buy what you’re offering.

The icing on the cake is that by targeting relevant prospects, you directly reduce your customer acquisition costs and boost the ROI (return on investment) of your marketing budget. And who wouldn’t say yes to that?

Benefits of intent-based marketing for lead generation

Still not sold on the idea of using intent-based targeting to generate leads? Well, that’s about to change. These mouth-watering benefits of an intent-based approach will make you a believer!

Pinpoints active prospects for higher lead quality

Intent-based marketing helps your marketing team connect with prospects who are actively seeking your products and services. The leads you get from intent-based outreach are top quality and can work wonders for your conversion rates. No more time-wasting on window shoppers.

Boosts engagement and conversion with personalized messaging

The ability to personalize marketing messaging to match a prospect’s specific interests and pain points is arguably one of the best things about intent-based marketing.

And 71% of customers want personalized interactions with brands.

Data sourced from mckinsey.com

An intent-based approach leverages tailored messaging to directly address — and even use data to predict — their needs while offering useful solutions. This allows you to connect with people who uniquely match your ideal customer profiles.

What is an ideal customer profile? It’s an outline of your perfect customer and you’ll use it to adjust your marketing and lead generation tactics. It gives you direction when trying to decide who is or isn’t worth pitching to and tailoring messaging they can’t refuse.

Imagine receiving emails, ads, or browsing a landing page with content created just for you. That’s the power of intent-based marketing — using a personalized, targeted approach to drive engagement and conversions.

Optimizes spending by targeting interested audiences

Speaking of a targeted approach…

It’s no secret that marketing can be costly, but an intent-based approach optimizes your marketing spend by leading you to a target audience that already wants what you have to offer. 

You won’t be wasting precious time and resources on broad, untargeted marketing campaigns that fall wide off the mark. Instead, you’ll focus on the right people and make the right choices to convert them.

Speeds up sales cycles with timely engagement

Long sales cycles are a time and resource killer. But intent-based marketing could eliminate those drawn-out processes.

Reaching these prospects at the right time often means beating out the competition waiting to be discovered. This head start gives you a better chance of connecting and engaging with the customer at a crucial point in their buying journey — a chance you might not get elsewhere.

Intent-based lead generation tactics also provide actionable insights into your target market.

The time you spend analyzing the online behavior and preferences of your ideal customers gives you all kinds of useful information about:

  • What they’re searching for
  • The type of content they consume
  • The solutions they’re considering.

With this data, you can evaluate and adjust your marketing strategy to create more relevant offers and stay ahead of the curve in your industry.

Key strategies for intent-based lead generation

And now, to the main course!

You’ve heard about how it works, its benefits, and its potential. But what are these killer intent-based lead-generation strategies? And more importantly, how do they work?

Here are nine must-try intent-based marketing strategies for getting the most out of your lead generation campaign.

Understand audience needs, pain points, and preferences

To avoid falling victim to common customer acquisition mistakes, you must understand your target audience’s needs, pain points, and preferences. You must learn how they think.

How do you do that? Take time to study their behavior and what drives their decisions. You should understand:

  • What keeps them up at night.
  • What challenges they’re facing.
  • What kind of solutions they’re looking for.

You can only craft marketing messages that resonate with your customers if you understand their unique needs.

To do this, you’ll need access to comprehensive data. Knowing nothing more than your lead’s name and email address won’t get you far. Data enrichment tools will give you far greater insights, beefing up customer profiles with new data points and verifying the accuracy of the data you have.

Conduct comprehensive keyword research

Keywords are just that — keys that open the door to unending possibilities or, in your case, qualified leads. But you must identify them first.

Identifying the specific terms and phrases your target audience uses to search for solutions like yours could make all the difference. 

Add these keywords to your marketing content and other campaign materials to improve your chances of showing up when and where customers need you the most. For instance, keyword optimization could make your website rank higher on SERPs (search engine result pages) and boost your organic traffic.

Extensive keyword research and optimization put your services on the map in a big way, particularly if you’re targeting a niche market. It could land you higher-quality leads who know exactly what they’re looking for. 

Engage with the audience on active social media platforms

Building meaningful relationships with your target audience means engaging them on their preferred social media platforms. 

The ubiquity of mobile devices means people are spending more time on social media than ever before. 

Data sourced from statista.com

You cannot afford to miss out on the potential buyers these platforms offer. From Facebook to TikTok, Instagram, and X, you need to have a strong online presence to actively engage prospects.

Share relevant content that enriches their lives, but don’t just post and ghost. Follow up on comments and respond promptly to questions and inquiries. 

And don’t be afraid to start conversations.

The more you engage with your target audience, the more likely they are to choose your product or service when they’re ready to buy.

Develop valuable content addressing audience needs

This is another effective technique for attracting and engaging potential leads. Valuable content shows prospects that you understand their needs and positions your brand as an authority in your market.

No matter if it’s eBooks, blog posts, webinars, or white papers, try to create original content that inspires, educates, informs, and engages your target market.

But don’t just rehash outdated information — add a new twist and give the topic new life with fresh insights and perspectives. The more value your content offers, the better your chances of gaining a stellar reputation.

Design landing pages optimized for conversion

With intent-based lead generation, your landing pages are where the real magic happens. 

That’s where you’ll wave your magic wand, directing visitors toward the desired action, whether it’s downloading a resource, filling out a form, or making a purchase.

Optimizing your landing pages for conversions starts with designing them with your customers in mind. They’ll be the ones using it, after all.

Use compelling headlines, visually-visually appealing and easy navigation capabilities to keep customers glued to your site and interested in what you offer. 

Optimize your pages for performance, too, because no one wants to wait around for pages that take ages to open. This is where regularly testing and optimizing your pages could make a difference — even small adjustments can influence your conversion rate in the long term.

Here are some examples of optimized landing pages for inspiration:

Screenshot sourced from lesmills.com

Les Mills+ is the at-home, on-demand service provided by Les Mills, which creates some of the world’s most popular fitness classes. When you visit the platform’s landing page, there’s no denying what they’re selling and who they’re selling it to. 

The page is quick to load and features eye-popping text. Plus, video content, messaging centered around helping people reach their fitness goals, and an FAQ section are effective tactics for encouraging conversions.

Another optimized site we love comes courtesy of Calm – which is exactly what their homepage evokes. In line with what the meditation and sleep app offers, the design is simple and sleek, with powerful copy to attract leads’ attention. 

The main call-to-action – to sign up for a free trial – is clearly displayed above the fold. A short scroll gives leads nuggets of digestible content so they can explore ways to improve their sleep, reduce stress, and live more mindfully. Wellness articles, FAQs, and customer testimonials add further food for thought, driving visitors to convert.

Optimize website and content for search engine visibility

You need to optimize your website and content for search engine visibility to attra no point in putting in all that work to make the website look great if potential customers can’t find it.

Website optimization often involves adding relevant keywords to page titles, headlines, and content. But optimization isn’t only about keywords. Other key optimization tips include:

  • Optimizing your site structure and navigation — your website should be easy to navigate with clear categories and subcategories that both leads and search engines can understand.
  • Building high-quality backlinks from reputable sites — a backlink is a vote of approval from another site that basically says, “Hey, these guys have some interesting knowledge to share!” It adds authority to your site, which boosts its visibility. 

Effectively optimizing your website gives you a much better chance of providing the right environment that attracts qualified leads and nurtures them.

Roll out advertising campaigns targeting high-intent audiences

An advertising campaign is a powerful weapon for generating leads. But that weapon is only effective if you aim it at the right target.

You don’t want to waste your efforts targeting a low-intent market, starting from scratch trying to explain your product and how it works. Not when you could be closing sales by targeting high-intent audiences who can’t wait to get their hands on solutions like yours.

Leverage platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook, and LinkedIn Ads to launch highly targeted campaigns. Remember to test and optimize your ad copy — including the targeting measures, imagery, and content — to get the best results.

The beauty of these platforms is that they leverage intent data so you can target audiences who have already moved through the Awareness stage of your funnel. 

So, if someone follows similar brands to yours, interacts with you on social media, or visits your website, you can target them with bottom-of-the-funnel ads that drive conversion.

Screenshot sourced from LinkedIn

Create lead magnets offering valuable information

These are like valuable breadcrumbs that you use to attract prospects’ attention, inform and educate them, win their trust, and finally nurture them into paying customers.

Lead magnets are typically content pieces that provide useful information to your audience in exchange for their contact information. 

The resources could be templates, handbooks, checklists — anything that contributes to solving a specific problem or reaching a desired outcome.

Your audience must provide their contact information to download the lead magnet. People are willing to share their personal information, but your content has to be worth it. 

Once you get it, nurture those leads with strategies like targeted email marketing campaigns to guide them toward conversion.

Screenshot sourced from upcirclebeauty.com

Ethical skincare company Upcircle uses a quiz lead magnet to gather data and drive conversions. After answering a short series of questions and sharing basic details, potential customers gain access to a bespoke plan for their skincare routine, including steps, products, and tips. 

Besides promoting the brand’s products, it’s a valuable way of sharing information with prospects that align with their interests and answer key questions they might have before making a purchase.

Run retargeting ads to re-engage previous website visitors  

Even when people visit your website and then leave without making a purchase, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gone for good.

Retargeting ads help you reach out to lost contacts or previous website visitors and re-engage, nudging them right back into your sales funnel. Consider using social proof to increase chances of re-engagement, creating a sense of urgency with a special offer, or using customer data to show products related to ones they’ve previously looked at.

Screenshot sourced from Facebook ad

You can recover lost leads by placing tracking pixels on your website to monitor user behavior (which pages/products they engage with) and then prompting them with targeted ads as they move on to other websites.

This strategy keeps your brand fresh in the minds of your audience and encourages them to head back to your landing pages.

Just make sure that you’re segmenting your retargeting audiences based on their unique interests and behaviors. That helps you tailor the retargeting ads to products or services they’re interested in.

Conclusion

And there you go — your complete guide to intent-based marketing for lead generation!

You should now have a firm grasp of intent-based marketing, how it works, its benefits, and how to implement it in your lead generation strategy.

Learn the needs and pain points of your target audience to improve your chances of success. A customer-centric mindset is a prerequisite for any successful marketing strategy.

With these marketing tips, you can create compelling narratives that speak directly to individual prospects through personalized messaging, content, and campaigns.

But by all means, don’t just take our word for it — apply these strategies today and see the results for yourself! Once your sales cycles shrink and those conversion rates start to climb, you’ll wish you’d jumped on the intent-based marketing bandwagon much sooner.

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