Audience Intention: Reading Their Minds… or the Next Best Thing

adventures-in-mind-readingAs marketing becomes increasingly consumer-centric, learning how to anticipate customer needs is vital to your success. 

What if we told you there was a way to read your audience’s minds and predict their behaviour before they ever interact with your business? It’s a marketer’s dream, right?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic device that can accomplish this. However, there is good news—this type of insight doesn’t require magic to find. Your audience’s browsing intentions and search preferences aren’t as elusive as they once were. In the modern age of consumer-focused marketing and behaviour tracking, finding value-driving insight may be easier than you think.

Learning Audience Intention

Audience intention sure sounds like an important marketing concept to know, but what does it really mean?

Broadly, audience intention involves knowing where your visitors came from and why they chose to visit your site. Answering these two questions is a good starting point for deciding how your content should interact with your customers in the future. Audience intention is learned by assessing three aspects of consumer behaviour:

  • Behaviours specific to the individual
  • Previous behaviours or actions taken
  • Real-time behaviours or actions taken

Think of these three concepts as the pillars of audience intention. These are the foundation on which your audience assessments will be based.

Many older business models that focused on click generation are somewhat shortsighted in applying audience intention. Purchasing your clicks with unfocused PPC advertising provides immediate results but does nothing to increase personalization or make the shift towards a business model of providing lifetime value for a customer. Research by BrightEdge via Mediapost highlighted this shortcoming, showing that organic search drives 51 percent of all visitors for B2B and B2C sites, with paid search driving only 10 percent.

Understanding and personalizing messages to customers was a top priority for marketers in 2015, as found by Econsultancy

Instead of relying on purchased clicks alone, try to get in the minds of your consumers to anticipate their needs. Start by gaining a clear understanding of your market’s behaviours before, during, and after their interaction with your business. Once this is established, you can combine these foundational ideas with data-driven insights gleaned from your analytics and customer relationship systems.

You likely have more information than you realize—browser based location information, purchasing preferences, and click history all offer valuable information. These analytics can help create more engaging marketing content with the end goal of greater personalization, customer adherence, and overall loyalty.

The Right Words

Knowing your audience’s intention is great on its own, but it also provides insight into another marketing area necessary for quality SEO and discoverability…keyword research! Data by Digital Marketing Philippines showed that combining PPC strategies with organic SEO resulted in an average of 25 percent more clicks and a 27 percent increase in overall profits.

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Combining PPC and organic SEO work together to improve engagement, as found by Digital Marketing Philippines

Getting inside your audience’s head gives you an idea of what keywords may yield the best results when search time rolls around. And as we know, just having an idea isn’t enough to determine the best content strategy. If you really want your keywords to work for you, you’ll have to approach their creation with a four step process:

1. Audience Identification

Like most other aspects of your marketing strategy, make sure you know who you’re targeting with your keyword research.

2. Audience Segmentation and Analysis

Once you have your broad-scope market identified, break them down into segments for more tailored outreach. Creating personas for your audience allows you to perform targeted keyword analysis to see which search terms are favoured by each segment.

3. Review Trends and Themes

Check to see which keywords are making a splash with your market, and study keyword competition to make sure you have a chance to carve out your own niche. Competing with search terms that have tens of millions of results is far more difficult than selecting carefully cultivated searches.

4. Compete for Discoverability

The point of keyword optimization is to get your brand noticed. Prioritize keywords that have some originality and are more likely to make your unique business stand out.

Combining Intention and Search

Your keyword research and review of audience intention are different in their execution, yet they share a similar goal: providing value to your customers and easing their overall experience interacting with your business. Keyword optimization leads to better visibility, and knowing how your market interacts with your content tells you how to bring more qualified eyes into the sales fold. At its core, knowing your audience helps make their experience simple. Simplicity of experience is one of the best ways to generate leads, loyalty, and a relationship of lifetime value.

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