Content Marketing, Owned Media
Published By:
1K

Remember that marketing funnel you used to create your strategy? Turns out it might not be so linear after all. Over the last year more research has come out hinting at the theory that there are multiple dimensions of consumer intent—of which few (if any) fall easily into a nice, clean line formation.

At this point, it’s fair to say there’s no longer one clear path to purchase, which makes discovering consumer intent more valuable than ever. In fact, user purchase paths are beginning to more closely resemble star constellations than anything remotely linear. In this chaos of purchase paths, consumer intent is the driving force—a force that we, as marketers, must open our minds to understand, and then adapt our strategies accordingly.

Marketers who have a clearly defined understanding of consumer intent are able to better produce content that, in turn, produces actionable results. But how do you determine consumer intent if it can’t be easily traced in a linear fashion?

1. Don’t Just Collect Data; Collect Actionable Data

Every action, no matter how minor or repetitive, should be captured: purchase views, video or other rich content views, registrations, sharing, searching and everything else that involves a user interacting with your site. The more information you have to start with, the more easily you can start to determine patterns—which should consistently be reevaluated and refined.

2. Determine Real Starting Points

You know the buyer cycle starts before a user lands on your site, but how far back does it go? Often it’s further than you think. When users search, they do so with one of four intents: I want to know; I want to go; I want to do; I want to buy. Obviously, users who want to buy are the easiest to create profitable content for, but these purchase paths are becoming less and less direct as a whole.

A user could want to go, and then want to know, and then want to buy. Or a user could want to know, then jump right to wanting to buy. Regardless of the path (the concept itself becoming less and less important) your content needs to reach the user in aspects of his or her intent.

3. Strategize Content Around Pre-Intent

With some strategic thinking, you can capture the ‘I want to buy’ users before they realize they want to buy something. To do so, think about what likely sparks an, ‘I want to buy’ moment, and produce content around such topics to make your site a go-to resource for that user.

For example, if a user wants to invest in a painting service for his or her home, think about what sparked that intent and create content around it. Perhaps it was due to destruction from a rough winter or leaky gutters. Maybe this was the user’s first year as a homeowner and he or she didn’t know to look for signs of a poor paint job before purchasing. Or, on the flip side, the user could be looking to sell his or her home. All of these pre-intent moments are content ideas you could, and should, be catering content towards.

4. Identify Hidden Agendas

We all know about the big retail holidays, but there are many other situations in which a user will have money to spend. Tax season is an excellent example for working professionals, as are the summer months before college for high school graduates. Don’t let traditional holidays dictate your content. Instead, consider the lifestyle and major events of your target audience and base content around these areas.

5. Familiarize Yourself With Query Classification

Among SEO professionals, search engine queries are generally classified as either navigational, informational, commercial or transactional. However, as with most aspects of SEO, there are various theories around this subject. Understating query classification helps you identify consumer intent through keywords, which you can then base your strategy around. RIMSEO has an excellent list of keyword intent resources to get you started.

As we so often say with marketing concepts and ideas, the only constant is change—and the ways that consumers make purchase decisions is no different. Each new advancement in technology (especially in mobile technology) has the potential to disrupt your vision of your target market’s path to purchase. Collect actionable data, learn the logic of consumers in your vertical and study their behaviors to learn their true intent. Then you’ll be poised to help make those intentions reality.

 

revcontent-98%-of-sites-get-denied-are-you-in-the-2%

revcontent-98%-of-sites-get-denied-are-you-in-the-2%

Sponsored Resources

Want more resources

View all Resources




Most Read

Contributors

Our publication contributors combine decades of experience with unique insights into the content promotion and distribution industry.
Chad Pollitt Partner, VP of Audience Native Advertising Institute
Jay Baer Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Author
Gini Dietrich CEO Arment Dietrich
Jason Falls Social Media & Public Relations Thought Leader
Joe Beccalori CEO Interact Marketing
Ann Smarty Brand & Community Manager
Brianne Carlon Rush Content Director Kuno Creative
Janine Popick Co-founder & CMO Dasheroo
Arnie Kuenn CEO Vertical Measures
Pam Didner Global Content Marketing Strategist & Author
Chirag Ahuja Head of Marketing WorkflowMax
Jayson DeMers Founder & CEO AudienceBloom
Erik Deckers Professional Writer Pro Blog Service
Bernie Borges CEO Find and Convert
Jessica Stephenson VP Marketing ExactHire
Michael Ferrari Marketing Consultant Pen Cap Online Marketing
Larry Alton Freelance Writer and Editor
David Tile Founder & Director Nimble Media
Kelsey Libert Marketing VP & Partner Frac.tl
Dan Steiner Co-Founder & CEO Elite Legal Marketing
Joydeep Bhattacharya Relevance Contributor SEOsandwitch.com
Jonah Bliss Founder CMO ContentIntent
Andrea Lehr Promotions Supervisor Fractl
Fernando Labastida Co-Founder Content Propulsion
Dan Moyle Creative Dir. Marketing AmeriFirst
Dennis Yu Chief Technology Officer BlitzMetrics
Arnaud Roy VP Marketing Augure
John Rugh Copywriter/Content Marketing Specialist
Justin Spicer Content Researcher, Producer & Editor
Michael Becker Marketing Support Spec. Teradata
Anna Johansson Freelance Writer
Amanda DiSilvestro Content Editor and Writer HigherVisibility
Sujay Maheshwari Founder & CEO Netcurate.com
Kelly Coulter Online Marketing Strategist
Taylor Radey Senior Consultant PR 20/20
Rodger Johnson Public Relations Leader & Consultant
Simon Penson Founder & Managing Dir. Zazzle Media
Danielle Wolter Nolan Co-Owner
Fernando Cuscuela Founder & CEO Everypost
Kelly Smith Content Manager CourseFinder
John McTigue EVP Kuno Creative
Yogita Arora Content Strategist Zoomph
Jordan Teicher Associate Editor Contently
Jonathan Crowl Digital Marketing Writer & Editor
Brian Honigman Marketing Consultant, Writer & Professional Speaker Skyword
Katherine Halek Content Strategist Signazon.com
Amanda Drinker Dooley Community Product Marketing Manager Netline
Anton Rius Digital Marketing Consultant More Than Metrics
Matthew Zajechowski Outreach Manager Digital Third Coast
Kevin Bailey Co-founder DigitalRelevance
Peter Chen Digital Marketing Consultant DigitalRelevance
Luana Spinetti Multi-Specialized Freelancer
Kyle Harper Writer Skyword
Elad Natanson Founder appnext
Maël Roth Content & Inbound Marketer Park7
Quin Woodward Pu Marketing Director Audienti
Greg Shuey Co-Founder Stryde
Jean Bansemer CEO My Web Writers
Owen Andrew Journalist
Luke Kintigh Global Content & Media Strategist Intel

In case you missed

Read more of the latest news and insights from thought leaders in content promotion and distribution.

Subscribe


Get the latest content promotion news and insights everyday.

Champion Sponsor

Relevance is proud to present our Champion Sponsor that helps make our site possible.

Cision Logo

© 2017 Relevance | Content Promotion News & Insights

Connect with RELEVANCE

Thank you for subscribing Your subscription has been confirmed.