A look into why you should tap into your customers' search intent and figure out how to serve content that's relevant and informative.
The internet is full of digital noise — advertisements, videos, clickbait, pop-ups and flashing banners all compete for our attention.
It can feel like an endless inundation of digital junk messaging – being overwhelmed with content, the majority of which has nothing to do with your actual needs or areas of focus.
If you think getting an audience is difficult right now, imagine what will happen in another four years when over 75% of the global population will be interacting with data every 18 seconds.
So how can you win – and keep – the attention of your customers? By offering relevant content.
Relevant content means offering true value based on actual need. It's based on understanding who your prospects are and equipping them with the knowledge to make good decisions. It's about meeting them the right way, at the right time when it matters. It should align with their intent — not yours.
If you can offer value and build trust this way, chances are you’ll be the first call when they are ready to move forward.
Here are six key reasons why you should adapt your content strategy to focus on developing intent-matching material that aligns with what your audience is actively searching for online:
1. Nothing builds trust like helpful content
On average, adults are engaged with multiple content channels for more than 11 hours every single day. But how much of that time do you think they spend on content produced by one source? Two? Three?
So many brands are competing with each other and producing content just for the sake of ‘being in the market with content’. They churn out articles, blog posts and case studies without any real wider focus or objective in mind. Creating content through a holistically integrated inbound strategy should be the goal. This content can be a mixture of thought-leadership and practical help or advice.
If your audience likes what you have to say and finds the content helpful, they will be more likely to come back to you for more. This helps you position yourself as a thought leader and builds brand loyalty and trust among your target audience.
It's a more confident, less reactive posture for content creation and, ultimately, a more effective one.
Tip: Make it easy for your prospect to come towards you. In thinking ‘inbound,’ we advise our clients to always offer ‘next step’ content that aligns perfectly with what they’ve just consumed. It sounds obvious, but check out the blogs of some well-known brands – you’ll quite likely discover a bunch of dead ends, which means missed opportunities to keep the prospect engaged.
2. Relevant content drives conversions (without being too sales-y)
Research suggests 41% of consumers engage with three to five content pieces before they approach a sales rep. Your goal should be to produce relevant content that lands in that pool and becomes one of the touchpoints in a consumer’s buyer journey.
Anyone who comes to your website should be considered a prospect. And the only way to convert them is by gaining their trust.
But modern-day consumers don’t easily trust brands, so it must be earned the hard way — by producing content that is educational, captivating, and drives them to take action.
You can nurture prospects who visit your website or social media pages with content that might interest them according to their buying journey:
- During the awareness stage, your audience will be most interested in discovering and learning something new. You should create content around the topics they’re actively searching for online and present them in the form of infographics, templates or other free downloadables
- In the research stage, the audience may be looking for a specific solution to a problem. Offer them knowledge-based content in the form of blog posts, articles, or explainer videos
- When it comes to the consideration stage, consumers are well aware of your brand and know what you have to offer. They are evaluating your product or service and will be interested in exclusive offers to motivate them to make a purchase
- And finally, after they make a purchase, you can keep your customers in the loop of new product and service offerings or updates through email newsletters
By targeting prospects with diverse content variety at every stage of their buyer's journey, you can earn their trust and ultimately drive conversions without ever having to hard-sell your products or services.
3. You’re spending less money to achieve higher MQLs
If you’ve had enough paid ad campaigns that don’t deliver results, start publishing more relevant content on your blog. Not only does this cost around a third as much as traditional methods, but it can deliver three times as many leads when done well.
You can use relevant content to generate marketing qualified leads (MQLs) for your company and encourage newsletter sign-ups, which will help you remain on top of mind. These new contacts will have demonstrated intent and taken action to come towards you, which makes them of higher value than strangers reached through paid ads, who may not be the right fit.
Tip: Measure ROI and try to understand exactly who is consuming your content – and precisely what they are doing (email opens, page visits, level of activity) – is a crucial benefit of being on a marketing automation platform like HubSpot, which can help your sales team prioritize who to reach out. Learn more about it here.
4. Search engines love relevant content
Your content needs to tick all the right boxes for search engines to display it in the first page and drive more traffic (and potential MQLs) to your website. Original, well-written content that keeps readers on-page for longer will send good SEO signs to Google and will help you boost your organic rankings.
Google's search algorithm is very good at weeding out bulk keyword-laden content from original content and provides genuine value. If your content is genuinely relevant and valuable, you'll generate topic authority and Google will start to match you more highly with searchers whose intent aligns with your area of focus.
Here are some SEO best practices to keep in mind:
- Create content that’s unique, simple to read, and easy to understand
- Use rich formatting and visuals (don’t be afraid to use GIFs, videos, and images)
- Search engines don’t like content that’s too old so it’s a good practice to regularly update older blog posts and articles to keep them fresh and up-to-date
5. It’s targeted and personalized
Personalization extends far beyond email these days.
New marketing technology is making it possible to personalize the content you produce based on a user’s location, industry, past behavior and more. It's not necessary to do this for every piece of content you publish, but it can significantly impact engagement and conversion when you do.
Tip: 80% of customers are more likely to purchase products or services from brands that provide personalized experiences. (Source).
6. Great content reflects well on you
If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, relevant and insightful content is an excellent way to do it. The content you publish can position you as a thought leader and make you more credible and trustworthy to people who are unfamiliar with your brand.
As an example, HubSpot does this very well. They’ve been able to use content to drive up a subscriber list of over 400,000 and to bring in 4.5 million monthly visitors. Their content is relevant, useful, and always offers a ‘next step’ that adds value. They’ve leveraged a cluster-pillar strategy to generate unrivaled topic authority.
The bottom line
B2B brands should not underestimate the power of publishing relevant content that speaks to their target audience and — just as critically — to search engines.
Great content can deliver traffic and qualified leads to your site for months and years to come, amplify your brand and create more touchpoints for awareness and promotion. For the relatively small investment it requires, the results can be spectacular.
All it takes is a well-ideated holistic inbound strategy and dedication to the consistent execution of SEO-optimized content that meets a high-value standard and drives topic authority.
Need help with strategic planning, management, execution and measurement of inbound content? Learn how you can plug into Titan Content to plan, create and execute rolling content to help you drive your goals.
Learn about our fully-managed, ongoing strategic content packages for your business.