All marketers know that in the age of social media, digital advertising, and SEO optimization, content is king. Images and video will move you further up your followers’ Facebook algorithms. Keywords, backlinks, and fresh page headers will move you up in Googles rankings. And so on. While most people in charge of content marketing grasp the basics, they may be hung up with demographics-who and where people are. The intent, specifically, why people are searching, can be an invaluable tool to work with as well. Here’s how.

The Types of Intent

First, let’s look at the three types of intent. There’s navigational intent, where someone is searching for a specific site. Next, you have transactional intent, in which the visitor is searching to buy something. Finally, informational intent is what occurs when someone is looking for details or information.

With navigational intent, the searcher knows what they’re looking for, so there aren’t many content marketing opportunities associated with it. Transactional and informational intent, however, provide lots of room to provide intent-based content to people seeking out purchase details or information. 

Transactional and Informational Content

For transactional queries, the best kind of content features a strong call to action, urging visitors to buy. You will also want to provide a deep dive into your products or services and explain what problems they solve, or how they can make the visitor’s life better.

Content marketing for informational queries revolves around education. They usually start with “How do I…” or “the best way to…” These visitors are probably a little farther away from purchasing, so calls to action can be subtle. Consider posting “how-to” videos or written instructions, or videos that show how something works. FAQs can also be great content that drives rankings in informational searches.

Using Long-Tail Keywords to Generate Content

Another great approached to intent-based content marketing is to use google analytics and similar tools to see what keywords are bringing customers to your site. A long-tail graph can show what simple, non-specific phrases people are using and how well you’re able to convert them at the top. At the bottom part of the tail, you will see that multi-word specific searches and phrases that are coming your way. Study them, and implement them into your website copy.

When implementing content marketing, an intent-based approach will help you learn more about what your customers want, and how they’re looking for it, than just who and where they are.