Is Your Marketing Audience Pre-Intent or Post-Intent?

Feb 7, 2022

Companies waste money every single day putting their marketing materials in front of the wrong people because they don’t answer one question: Is our audience pre-intent or post-intent? The wrong message at the wrong stage of the journey isn’t just a faux pas, it’s a complete waste of time. On the other hand, knowing where your audience’s head is at can help you choose the right platform, messaging, and spend your money better. 

What is a pre-intent audience?

Let’s use an example that’s easy to wrap your head around. So let’s say that you’re scrolling through facebook or instagram and you see a really clever ad for new shoes. You think to yourself, “Boy, I didn’t even know these existed, but I now I want them!” You click on the ad and then make the purchase. You didn’t set out to make a purchase before you started scrolling, but the strength of the advertising, as well as the goods themselves, compelled you to purchase it. 

We used Facebook and Instagram for good reason. Social media is a great way to find people who are pre-intent. It exposes an entirely new audience of folks who might not have any idea what your company is (or what they sell) to your product. That can be extremely powerful, but not if your audience is post intent. 

What is a post-intent audience?

Post intent audiences know what they’re looking for. They’ve probably done a little bit of research (or are in the midst of it – more on that in a second), know the general ideas of the product, and are ready to make a purchase. Google search or Amazon are full of post-intent audiences like this. It’s easy to think about it this way: You might buy a t-shirt spur of the moment, but not a snowblower. Someone buying a snowblower is a post-intent audience. They know what they need and they’re going to go find the best option. 

B2B companies are post-intent audiences

At Banker Creative, we focus on helping B2B companies find their audience. Almost exclusively, those audiences already know what they’re looking for. That means that your social media advertising as a B2B company should probably be extremely small and targeted. In some cases, you may not even need it. Your problem isn’t finding a larger audience, it’s about educating your consumer about the problems that exist, how you solve them with your product, and how you’re going to make their lives better.

That process is much more educational that a direct sale. That’s not to say that social media isn’t important for B2B companies – it is! It just means that you’ll use that platform to engage folks and show the demand for your product rather than expecting it to be a consistent source of revenue. 

How to utilize SEO better with a post-intent audience

Tons of companies spend money on SEO – right? They want to rank highly in a bunch of different keyword searches so that folks have an easier time finding their products. Unfortunately, all keywords aren’t created equally. Too often we see folks go after low-intent keywords that don’t actually help their cause.

Let’s take tax season as an example. Say you’re a CPA or accounting firm, so you decide to write a blog about how to file a tax extension. That could get a ton of traffic, especially in April, but it’s not really a high intent keyword. When people search that term, they aren’t looking for an accounting firm or a CPA, they’re just looking for the information they need without purchasing anything. 

That means that a B2B business should really keep an eye on the terms that they’re ranking for. Just because you’re getting more traffic, doesn’t mean it’s high-quality traffic. Put it this way: would you rather have 1000 random leads that end up in 3 sales or 100 targeted leads that end up in 12 sales. Sure, the numbers on the first one might be better – but you’re going to be selling four times as much with the latter audience. 

So ask yourself, is our company marketing to a post intent audience or a pre-intent audience? Your answer might just help you formulate a better marketing strategy.

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