90% of B2B buyers begin the buying journey by visiting a search engine first. 68% notice ads from the provider they eventually select, with 37% positively influenced by these ads. It’s easy to see the potential of paid advertising with such statistics. However, this potential can be easily squandered and ad budget wasted without a thorough understanding of buyer intent. With the right platform, you can leverage intent data to execute a successful paid advertising strategy.
Ask a PPC specialist what are the key considerations to a successful paid advertising strategy, outside of budget, and they will tell you the following:
- know your audience
- know their interests and pain points
- know what technology they use
- know where they are in the buying journey
It’s also important to test and track different ad copy, so you know which ones your audience engages with most. While these points might seem fairly obvious, what’s less obvious is how you go about finding that information efficiently and accurately.
The last thing you want is to waste ad budget targeting the wrong audiences (or indeed the right audiences at the wrong time) or developing ad copy and content which is of little interest to them. Enter intent data.
Know your audience
Intent Data tells you which companies are interested in keywords and topics specific to your business, indicating that they are in the market for products or services like yours. Intent data can even help pinpoint their stage in the buyer journey.
Timing, context & relevance are key for paid media.
And, depending on the intent data platform and its capabilities, you can combine 3rd party intent data (generated from the online activity such as searches, views, clicks, shares, etc across various publications and websites) with your 1st party data (such as customer engagement with your ads, landing pages and other digital assets) to match target accounts against your ideal customer profiles – thereby narrowing your total addressable market down to your best-fit accounts.
This information is by no means static. You can segment audiences by intent, topics of interest or where they are in the buying journey, and constantly add to your lists.
Know your audience’s interests and pain points
When connecting with your audiences via paid advertising, you want to promote your brand in such a way that you emphasise how consumers stand to benefit from your solutions (rather than focusing on the features you offer). Your data from your website and campaigns is certainly invaluable on this front, as it can reveal audience pain points. However, with certain intent data platforms, you can draw upon 3rd party data to research trending topics. This feature shows you the most popular business topics relevant to your business, and those accounts within your audience segments which are trending with those topics. These valuable insights into both industry trends and prospect interests can inform the copy and content of your paid ads to ensure maximum relevance – so that you reach the right accounts at the right time with the right messages.
Say, for example, your platform reveals a best-fit account that is actively researching the topic ‘sales growth’ and is in the early buying stage.
You can use this information to deliver highly relevant thought-leadership content on sales growth value propositions, such as ‘capital efficient sales growth’, via blog or video content.
Know what technology your audience uses
Some platforms combine technographics and intent data to give you a true indication of not only what technology is in place for accounts, but if alternatives are being researched or additional solutions considered. All this allows you to target your campaigns with an accuracy that is hard to beat.
Segment your campaigns according to buyer stage.
If ideal customer profiles or ICP accounts have technology installed that your platform connects with, is dependent upon, or you have a sales battlecard against, then such insights can help you to segment them and accordingly deliver to target users highly-relevant content.
Know where your target accounts are in the buying journey
This is vital to the success of any paid advertising strategy – you need to know when is the best time in the buying journey to engage with your audience. A survey by Google found that 71% of buyers begin their research with a generic query, looking for a product or solution first, not for you. Their customer journey tool revealed that ‘generic paid search factors in strongly toward the beginning part of the business/industrial path to purchase’.
Knowing which technologies companies use helps with targeting.
Our research points to a golden window of opportunity early on in the buying journey when research is being undertaken. Prioritise best-fit accounts displaying early-stage, problem-solving research and develop highly relevant content which speaks to them. Next, move to solicit a response from your target accounts – encourage them to click on your ads and visit your landing page content. Once they do, involve your sales team. Marketing and sales partnership Is critical to engaging with the right people within the decision-making unit, and can increase your probability to close by as much as 70%.
With the right intent data platform, you can pinpoint where exactly your best-fit accounts are in the buying journey, focus ad spend on those actively researching your solutions, and know what messaging will resonate with them.
The above picture shows the intent data activity for a company spanning the last three months, where we can see that mid-November saw a spike in intent.
Execute intent-driven paid advertising campaigns
The right intent data platform doesn’t just give you the information you need to know for a successful paid advertising strategy, it also enables you to successfully execute it. This means it should have integrations that connect with a variety of sales and marketing technology, so you can engage them with relevant content by automatically triggering campaigns based on their interests.
Take, for example, LinkedIn. With the Cyance platform, you can:
- segment audiences by level of intent, topics of interest, or where they are in the buying journey
- automatically push an audience segment into a new or existing LinkedIn campaign that is relevant to them (based on the segment parameters)
- combine accounts identified by Cyance with LinkedIn’s Audience Attributes filters (such as job titles, industry, or skills)
- automatically add or remove targeted accounts from existing campaigns if their level of intent, topics of interest or buying stage changes
Automated fueling of campaigns with intent data improves ROI
Cyance can also be used for retargeting. For example, within the platform you can segment those accounts that have clicked on a campaign but not converted on the landing page, or vice versa, and push those segments into a new and more suitable campaign.
The above means you target the right accounts at the right time with the right message to increase conversions. What’s more, you gain insight into what ads resonate with your audiences by measuring engagement events and ROI from your intent-driven activity, which in turn can be used for reporting and retargeting.
Furthermore, your intent data platform should provide you with the ability to deliver and target your audience lists for your display advertising campaigns via market-leading DSPs or Demand Side Platforms such as The Trade Desk. Cyance does this and more. Our platform enables you to deliver your highly personalised ads directly to devices exhibiting high buyer intent.
To drive a more omnichannel audience engagement strategy that is compliant with privacy regulation like TCF v2.0, you can build 1st party audiences by combining display and LinkedIn ads which lead to landing page forms that ask for consent. Once consent is granted, you can push these audiences into Google and Facebook ad networks to continue driving better and even more efficient results.
“Cyance is a very bespoke buyer intent platform that enables a hyper-targeted, data-driven account-based approach. It enables you to identify the accounts that are currently in an active buying journey and researching your products, solutions and services.
The fact that Cyance also enables you to integrate with CRM and Demand-Side Platforms for ultra-targeted programmatic and display advertising, and LinkedIn for targeted social advertising, is a real game-changer that allows you to activate quickly on the activity going on within accounts in an always-on approach.” – Laura Y, EMEA Demand Generation and Digital Specialist
Engage with context, timing, and relevance
One of Google’s top tips for digital marketing in 2022 is that relevance is as important as reach. As they say, ‘You have to create messages and experiences that are true to your brand and relevant to people, reflecting their needs.’
Ads served with intent signals alone have 30% higher consideration lift and 40% higher purchase intent lift than when they’re served using demographic signals alone.
That’s why intent data platforms can be an invaluable resource when it comes to developing a successful paid advertising strategy. All the information they uncover and all the features they provide can help ensure you target and engage with context (so you reach the right audiences via the right technology), with timing (so you reach them at the right stage of the buying journey), and with relevance (so your content resonates with them) – all of which combines to lead to meaningful engagement and a greater rate of conversions.
Modern is a strategic B2B agency that enables marketing leaders to better operationalise their marketing and deliver incredible B2B customer journeys. Using the Cyance platform, Modern is able to speed up sales cycles and strengthen its proposition to clients.
- 2,600% ROI on PPC media spend
- £155k pipeline influenced
- 525% more likely for LinkedIn leads to become opportunities