Middle of the funnel content can’t be ignored. It’s an important piece of your overall strategy because it speaks directly to clients and customers who are already considering buying your product.
On a typical buyer journey, customers pass through three phases. The first, also known as the top of the marketing funnel, is the discovery phase. At the bottom of the funnel, they convert to purchasers. But, it’s in the mid-funnel phase where they’re researching, getting to know your brand, and considering the product or offer
Josephine Loo, Head of Content at Writing Studio explains this phase of the funnel: “During the middle of the funnel, the cone shape is neither wide nor particularly narrow. This is known as the ‘consideration’ stage, and during this stage, a business will often reach a smaller but more targeted audience than the top-of-funnel stage.”
Use these ideas and strategies to develop middle of the funnel content that educates, persuades, and provides value to this critical segment of your audience.
Middle of the Funnel Content Overview
This area of your marketing is key According to Hubspot, 47 percent of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. This middle-funnel content helps answer the questions prospective buyers have before they get on a call with you or your sales reps.
Without strong middle-funnel content, you risk losing leads. For example, if someone finds you through an ad, but can’t get their questions answered through your content, they may leave your site rather than digging to learn more.
The key, however, is creating great content. That starts with focusing on quality above all else. According to Demand Gen’s 2021 report, respondents said content is most likely to lead to a sales call if it:
- Tells a strong story that resonates with buying committees (55%)
- Uses data and research to support claims (52%)
- Is research-based (40%)
- Is packed with shareable stats and quick-hitting insights (40%)
- Is personalized/tailored to their needs (32%)
Middle of the Funnel Content Types
To make the most of this content, focus your energy on the right areas of your strategy. Here are a few key content types where you can create the middle of the funnel content that reaches this segment of your audience.
Email marketing has an average ROI of 4,200 percent, returning $42 for every $1 spent. It’s not surprising that it’s one of the most loved mid-funnel marketing techniques. You’ve invited a customer to join your email list with a free download or resource, and the subsequent content is aimed is pushing them further and further down the funnel with the intention of persuading them to buy.
To get the most from this middle of the funnel content, consider a wide variety of content types. Don’t just blast them with sales emails. Remember that the goal is to teach and provide value, in addition to persuading.
For example, special email offers encourage quick conversion and newsletters keep your brand top of mind. Below is a great example of this kind of email from REI:
Informative Blog Posts
Informative blog posts are another highly effective form of middle-funnel marketing. Often, these blog posts are aimed at prospects who are looking for a solution that the company writing the post can offer.
However, they’re not directly about the product alone. Instead, the informative blog post centers on providing valuable information, establishing expertise, and softly recommending the company’s product. Here are some examples:
- Cold calling scripts: 16 examples and templates (+ call tips): Here they answer a common question (how to make effective cold calls), provided immediate value (16 ready-made scripts), and recommended their relevant product as a solution.
- How To Use Ecommerce Analytics For Your Online Store: Here they teach eCommerce shop owners (their main target audience) how to use analytics, all while recommending their product.
- 5 Reasons to Outsource Your Marketing Team Instead of Hiring In-House: Here we help organizations understand the value of marketing outsourcing, something we can help them do.
In each of these posts, there’s a consistent combination being used that’s key for this middle of the funnel content:
- Answer a question that focuses on a solution you provide
- Create value and answer that question thoroughly
- Gently promote your solution
Webinars and Events
Webinars and events can be a highly effective way to nurture warm leads, provide value, and answer questions. In an online webinar, you can also easily feature customer success stories and how your solution supported them, helping to persuade without overtly selling.
To make the most of this middle of the funnel content, your focus should be on what you plan to get out of it. To get clear on that, make sure you answer these questions:
- What does a successful conversion look like?
- How many conversions do we want to have?
- How will we track conversions?
For example, you may be looking for 20 soft conversions—like the download of a free resource—in addition to five hard conversions. Knowing this ahead of time will help you maximize this content and see greater ROI.
Free Tools and Resources
Interactive content isn’t just for B2C brands. In fact, B2B decision-makers are looking for this content. According to Demand Gen’s 2021 report, “interactive content ranked high in the mid-stages of the buyer’s journey.” While this content can encompass many formats, respondents prefer:
- Assessments (50%)
- Interactive/video content (46%)
- ROI calculators (41%)
The key is to build your interactive content, like you do with blog posts, around a solution that you provide. This content should provide enough value that it gives them a memorable impression of your brand without giving away too much.
ReadyTalk offers a great example of this with their webinar ROI calculator. Not only is it an extensive calculator, taking dozens of costs into consideration, but it gives an immediate response based on the input data.
Consider, however, that this piece of content can also include a gated answer. For example, if you offer an assessment, you can require an email address for the user to access their assessment results. This can be a turn-off for some and a non-issue for others, so use your own data and knowledge of your audience to decide if this method is worth using or not.
Get Your Middle of the Funnel Content Right
Middle of the funnel content is a key piece of your overall marketing strategy. Use these ideas and strategies to refresh your marketing efforts and ensure that you’re reaching potential clients and customers when they’re looking for the solution that you have to offer. When done correctly, you can turn website visitors into warm leads.