Intent-driven marketing: separating the tire kickers from consumers who actually have a real interest in buying your product at that time, or within a short timeframe. Trying to master intent-driven marketing is challenging. Depending on where you are and what you’re trying to sell, there are a lot of variables that change constantly.

In the context of intent, the automotive buying world has done a great job of figuring out consumers. They have created attractive consumer tools to clearly define who is literally kicking tires on a car purchase and who is serious about buying. True Car, for example, has a great process for measuring where a potential car buyer is in their level of intent to purchase. When you’re ready to buy get pricing on a car through True Car, you then DROWN in emails, phone calls and text messages from all of your local dealers.

I’ve been shopping for a new car recently, but the trouble is I’m not really interested in purchasing a vehicle from a local dealer. Where I live in the western metro area of Minneapolis, the sales tax rate is about 7.25%. By taking a quick 45-minute drive and hopping across the border to Wisconsin, I can enjoy a substantially reduced tax rate of 5%. For a major purchase such as a new car, that can save me over $1,000!

This is where the importance of geographic intent-driven paid search campaigns come into play.

Since I live in Minnesota and on the far side of the metro from the Wisconsin border, it’s safe to assume that I am not going to be caught in the geographic net of typical Wisconsin car dealership paid ad campaigns. Therefore, limiting my ability to finding a dealership to organic results. But, as long as dealerships are targeting intent-driven search keywords and remarketing to me, I will be presented ads for dealers not in my immediate area.

As community financial institutions, we typically serve a pretty well-defined geographic region, which means our paid advertising campaigns usually fall within that region. Which means that someone moving from out of state or from a neighboring county and who is looking for a new financial home would not find your bank or credit union when searching prior to the move.

Here are some tips to set up an intent-driven paid search campaign outside of your geographic footprint, without having to worry about blowing through a massive amount of advertising budget.

  • Focus on the top of the funnel. Generating awareness in markets beyond your footprint should be the priority for this type of campaign. Focus on familiarizing consumers with your brand with relevant messaging.
  • Expand your geographic scope. Of course, a key component of a geographic intent campaign is expanding your geographic net. However, do this carefully. It would not be a wise use of budget to go completely national all at once.
  • Target few keywords. In an effort to keep the campaign focused and budget spend within reason, target a tight group of intent keywords. Focus on one aspect of the consumers you are trying to reach, such as people moving into the area.
  • Keep bids competitive. With a tight group of keywords, you are able to keep your bids competitive and keep your ads in the top two positions.

Putting intent-driven search campaigns into practice can really help raise awareness of your brand and locations. However, it is also important to closely monitor and track these campaigns to ensure you are reaching your desired audiences.