Back to Blog
minute read
October 30, 2019

Intent-Based Targeting: Why Should You Be Using It?

Written by
David Scott

If you're struggling to lower your advertising CPM and want to stand out from the competition, you should be using intent-based targeting.

Targeting leads based on their purchase intent will give you more context about how best to target them, and how best to communicate with them.

In this article, we're going to look at what intent-based targeting is, why you should be using it, and some of the best methods you can get started with.

What is Intent-Based Targeting?

Intent-based targeting is a way of improving your marketing effectiveness by targeting prospects based on their purchase intent.

To do intent targeting you'll need a source of intent data, which will enable you and your team to identify prospects who are actively researching your solution around the internet.

What Are The Benefits of Intent-Based Targeting?

You might be thinking that intent-based targeting is just another buzzword and you don't need to start using it immediately. However, in this section, you'll see why you should be using intent in your marketing strategy.

In 2018, Adweek stated that demographics-based targeting is out and behavioral-based targeting (another name for intent-based targeting) is where brands should be focusing.

Here are some of the key benefits of using intent-based targeting:

1. Get ahead of your competition

There's no time like the present, and that applies to intent-based targeting too.

Why is that?

Well, only 25% of B2B companies currently use intent data in their marketing. If you're using it you're going to have a direct advantage over your competition (assuming that your product or service can match or beat what your competitors offer).

When you start to use intent data, your daily tasks will become far more simple. You'll be able to identify new leads for your ABM campaigns, identify the best leads to follow up with or even identify new help docs or blog posts you can create to answer frequently asked questions that your prospects care about.

2. Optimize advertising spend and conversions

It's no secret that B2B companies are always trying to optimize ad spend and see greater ROI from every marketing channel they use.

If you want to optimize your advertising budget and increase your conversions, incorporating intent-based ad targeting is going to help you.

When you start targeting based on intent, rather than simply using demographics, you'll see a big lift in your key metrics.

Research conducted by Google found that video ads that were targeted based on intent had a 20% higher ad recall lift, and a 50% higher brand awareness lift when compared to campaigns using only demographic targeting.

Google saw major benefits to intent-based targeting

If you're applying intent data across multiple channels, you'll be saving resources and seeing your results improve across the board.

You can use intent ads on Google Ads, but you can also set up campaigns on Facebook (and other ad platforms) that will target audiences based on their intent and past behavior (we'll talk about this more later on in the article).

3. Increase responses from email and telemarketing

Like with advertising, intent-based targeting will help your sales team's emails and calls resonate with your prospects far more.

Using intent data you can discover if your prospects are searching for your solution (or your competitors) across the internet, and follow up accordingly.

When syndicating content for customers at Internal Results we use intent data to identify if ideal customers are in their buying cycle and then identify the best types of content to send to them.

Your intent data will allow you to target your leads in the best possible way as you'll have more information on what they know about your solution already and will know what they'll need.

Methods of Intent-Based Targeting

Now you know the benefits of intent-based targeting, you're ready to start implementing.

Here are some ways you can use intent data to fuel your sales and marketing.

1. Retargeting Ads

If you're not using retargeting, you should be. There are lots of benefits to running retargeting ads, and one of those benefits is that you can capitalize on intent.

When setting up retargeting ads on major advertising platforms like Facebook and Google Ads, you  can choose to only target people based on pages they visit on your website.

For example, if someone visits our 'About' page as well as our Get Started page, we can assume that they're somewhat interested in our service.

We can then retarget them with relevant content that will help build trust with our site visitors and encourage them to take the next step towards becoming a customer.

Retargeting based on visits to specific web pages can be highly effective

If you aren't sure if it's worth it, the data speaks for itself.

Site visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert than a cold audience.

As well as that, the click-through rate of retargeting ads is 10x higher than if you were to run ads to cold audiences. Yes, that's 10x higher!

If you're not running retargeting ads, you're leaving opportunities on the table. As every company has a slightly different sales funnel, you'll need to ensure your retargeting ads are set up in a way that matches your usual funnel and buying journey.

2. Third-Party Intent Data

Another way to take advantage of intent-based targeting is by tapping into a third-party intent data source.

Third-party intent data is sourced by companies that tap into publisher networks or similar. With third-party intent data you can identify what companies are researching, and then take action based on that.

If you knew the exact content and sites your leads are researching, would that help your sales team?

In the majority of cases, that answer will be yes.

By having access to a source of intent data, such as Internal Results, you can effectively supercharge your sales and marketing efforts. Your team will spend less of their time prospecting and searching for leads to contact, and will spend more time having productive conversations with sales qualified leads.

Recap: Using Intent-Based Targeting to Improve Your Sales and Marketing

There we have it. Intent-based targeting is the evolution of targeting and is starting to make the traditional demographics-based targeting look outdated.

When you target based on buyer intent you'll start seeing benefits such as more effective targeting for your sales and marketing team, an increase in advertising effectiveness, and will stand out in your market.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Never miss a minute.

Subscribe to our newsletter if you want the latest industry and company updates. We also provide tips and guides that are based on the best experiences of our most successful customers in terms of generating new leads, creating and distributing winning content, understanding how to better act on buyer intent signals, and so much more.

Stay ahead of the competition with us today.

We will never share your email address with third parties.

Ready to transform your B2B content into actionable leads?

Get in touch today to find out how Internal Results can boost your lead generation.

Get started