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intent-based marketing
Raquel StarkApril 3, 20244 min read

How to choose intent topics

Intent data provides you with a better lens to find in-market customers. But to get the most out of intent data, you must first identify the right intent topics. Narrowing down potential topics and deciding which to monitor can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Read on for a how to guide to choosing the right intent topics for your business.  

What are intent topics? 

Intent topics are the keywords you monitor to gather intent data. Intent data is created when a user completes online activity like downloading a white paper, engaging on social media, or visiting webpages. You can keep track of relevant intent data by choosing intent topics to follow and monitor for spikes in activity. 

Identify your goals  

The first thing to think about when choosing intent topics is what your goal is. What do you want the data to help you do? Are you looking for information to point you to serve certain content or to reach out to prospects with a new ad campaign? Or to alert your sales team to engage with a lead? Knowing what your next step will be is important to understanding the kind of intent data you need to be watching for. Once you know your data’s use case you can pick strategic intent topics that align with it. 

Decide what type of intent topics you need 

There are several types of topics you can focus on. It may make sense for your business to monitor multiple topics as they can support the goals of different campaigns you’re running. 

The types of topics that you can select should be based on: 

  • Topics that relate to the core of your business. This would be the primary category, brand, product, or service that you offer. The topics are fairly broad and can support a variety of use cases.
  • Topics that represent a pain point or challenge your customers are facing. This information can show you who is actively searching for solutions to the needs that your company can serve. You can use this to run highly targeted campaigns that highlight your solutions and how they address this audience's challenges.
  • Topics that are trending. These topics can help your team make data-driven decisions about the types of content you create. Keeping up with trending topics and conversations can help you get in front of prospects and build awareness. 
  • Topics on industries or use cases. If your products or solutions are very industry-specific, making sure you have your hand on the pulse of your target industry is key. This information can guide the content you create as well as create a targeted audience to reach with your campaigns.
  • Specific competitors. This topic type may be less obvious but selecting topics for competitive monitoring can be a great tactic to help you stay ahead. By monitoring these types of intent topics, you can identify who is searching for your competitors and add them into competitive campaigns that highlight how your company stands out against the competition. You can also consider adding them into larger awareness campaigns. Perhaps they’re looking at a competitor simply because they don’t know there are other options out there. By building some brand awareness with this audience you can potentially increase the chances they choose your company instead of the competition. 

Be specific with intent topics

When you’re picking your intent topics, you want to remember to not go too broad. While you’ll end up with more data points, the users won’t necessarily be a good fit for your campaign which means you’ll waste time, effort, and budget reaching the wrong audience. Instead, be specific and align various personas with the appropriate intent topics to support the use cases for your campaign. 

Choosing the best intent topics 

Intent data is a powerful tool for identifying and reaching in-market customers at the right time. However, realizing its full potential requires carefully selecting the right intent topics to monitor. By aligning your intent topics with your specific business goals, understanding the different topic types available, and maintaining a focused, targeted approach, you can ensure you gather valuable insights into your prospects' needs and interests. 

The key is to think strategically about your intent topic choices, mapping them to your marketing and sales objectives. Don't cast too wide a net by choosing overly broad topics. Instead, narrow your focus on the specific pain points, industries, competitors, and core offerings that are most relevant to your ideal customer personas. 

With well-chosen intent topics, you'll gain unprecedented visibility into the customer journey, allowing you to deliver hyper-personalized messaging that resonates. Whether you use intent data to serve up targeted content, launch ads, or alert your sales team to hot leads, having this intelligent lens into customer behavior will unlock new levels of campaign effectiveness and revenue growth. 

The path to intent data mastery begins with nailing your intent topic strategy from the start. Follow the guidelines above, and you'll be well on your way to harnessing this powerful tool for acquiring more customers through precise, well-timed outreach. 

Enhance your strategy with intent data 

Optimize your funnel and increase conversions with an intent-based marketing strategy. Check out our eBook Intent at Every Stage of Your Funnel to get started.