Tips for Utilising Mid-Funnel Content

Twisted directions“Content marketing is the only marketing left.” Seth Godin, author

The sales funnel concept holds that people go through different stages in the buying cycle. At the top, the widest part of the funnel, are those people who might be interested in your product or service. From there, it narrows into “hot” leads and, finally, customers. While the journey from unqualified lead to paying customer is not linear, this is a useful model because prospects have differing needs based on where they are in the sales cycle. Today we’ll talk about mid-funnel content to help you nurture leads.

Quickly, top-funnel content is educational; you are not going for a hard sell. Blog posts, tutorials, infographics, how-to-videos, and other content fits perfectly here because it delivers value to your customer without pitching. Bottom-funnel content is the time to break out the demo, discuss pricing, and, again, offer educational content to keep them interested and engaged.

In between, you have established trust with leads; they see you as a resource. They have completed a call to action, such as filling out a form or signing up for a newsletter. To capitalise on their interest, mid-funnel content focus on even greater value. Perhaps, in your top-funnel content, you discussed the importance of crafting a strong vision statement. In mid-funnel content, you can dive deeper into the subject. Perhaps you offer a case study; maybe you offer a step-by-step process they can follow. If you are in an industry that depends on research, you could offer a report or whitepaper on a specific topic.

Here are some strategies that you can use to optimise and leverage your mid-funnel content:

  • Try a drip email campaign. This delivers pre-developed messages appropriate for the recipients’ stage in the funnel. This, again, keeps you top of mind. Practice the soft sell, offering value to your prospects.
  • Offer a whitepaper to your top prospects. This must have information, data, and insights that they cannot find elsewhere, or which would take significant time for them to compile on their own. Other ideas include offering an exclusive video or access to a webinar or webcast.
  • Categorise your prospects into user personas; these are essentially fictional characters that represent the needs, desires, age, race, ethnic background, professional or career level, and other features of your real prospects. Once you have fleshed out these personas, generate topics specifically for them. Develop content based on persona and stage of the sales funnel.
  • Track your content. Are people reading your emails? Are they clicking on links you provide or downloading content you are sending? Which content seems to be sticking with them most effectively?
  • Make sure that your mid-funnel content does not have risk for the prospect. That is, they are not going to lose money, time, etc. if they take you up on an offer. Here is where  free works; whitepapers, videos, infographics, articles, and other valuable content drives your objectives, pushes them down the funnel, and keeps you top of mind.

Mid-funnel content sets the hook; you want to capitalise on the interest and trust you’ve built by continuing to offer more relevant, interesting content. You need to go deeper, and offer a bit more – not the whole farm; you still want something to sell at the end! At this stage of the game, though, it’s about positioning yourself as the expert, as the answer to questions and concerns, and as the logical next step.

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