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Why Intent Data Should Influence the Content that Brands Create

josh turbill

Josh Turbill

UK Chief Digital Officer | ABM | Alliances & Channel | Demand Gen

It isn’t easy creating great content that attracts your ideal audience and compels them to engage with your business.

Yet everyday content teams across the globe are setting down at their desk, coffee in hand, trying to do just that and hats off to them! The big challenge faced though, is creating content that is truly interesting, relevant, and well timed.

How do teams build a content marketing strategy?

To do this, content strategists have a great toolkit to rely on to draw insights. These can include:

  • Google Analytics – to see what content worked historically within a particular audience or segment
  • Google Trends – to see what people are looking for on search engines and how that interest is changing over time
  • Social Listening – to identify what is causing buzz and conversations right now and who is owning those topics

The issue with this is that, aren’t all teams doing this? And therefore, drawing the same content conclusions? Furthermore, what’s trending this week will be old news when the content gets produced, signed off and then finally published.

Equally, how do you really know your customers care about what you’re saying? Web analytics can show you what your customers’ engaged with in the past, the articles with the biggest hang time, half-life or bounce-back for example. Though useful, on its own this doesn’t give authors true insight into what to write about next.

Intent data can not only be a differentiator. It can also help content drive outcomes that are aligned to a business’s growth plans.

Use intent data to differentiate

This is where I recommend looking to intent data for differentiation. Intent data beams light on organizations that are researching specific keywords and topics on the web. It can also be researched in reverse, what topics are audience x showing interest in right now?

Say your organization has a list of dream accounts and prospects it wants to secure. Predictive/Intent data can help shed light on what those organizations really care about right now. It goes further and shows you how that interest has grown in intensity over time. For more detail on how intent works, read our recent paper The Age of Intent.

How does this impact your content strategy?

So, this leaves us with an interesting angle. Instead of writing stories based on anonymous audience behaviour, you can create content themes that directly align to your organisation’s dream clients’ wants & needs.

This is incredibly powerful. Creating content that your prospect is showing intent against is highly relevant, clearly of interest to them and most importantly… perfectly timed.

This will give your business a greater chance of engagement from the audiences that matter most, and as search engines react kindly to pages promoting trending and surging topics, this approach will aid your search presence too.

So next time you set down to create a content strategy, weight your research towards what your customers might want to read next instead of what they cared about yesterday and enjoy staying a step ahead of your competition.