Middle-of-the-funnel content doesn’t always get the same attention as content aimed for the other parts of the funnel, but it should. In fact, some experts consider it the most important part of the funnel, and for good reason. If top of the funnel is the first date, and bottom of the funnel is “I do,” the middle is where a solid relationship is built. Also known as the consideration phase, the middle section of the sales funnel is actually made up of four parts: the lead, the marketing qualified lead, the sales qualified lead, and the opportunity.
What is Middle of the Funnel Content?
Let’s start with what it’s not:
It isn’t where you try to solve your lead’s problem (that happens at the bottom).
It doesn’t require hard selling or talking up your brand. Now’s the time for options.
It isn’t one-size-fits-all, and it isn’t necessarily for everyone.
So what is middle funnel content?
It helps people sort out their problem-solving options.
It offers more information about solutions you offer.
It answers the plea “there must be a better way.”
It’s the bottom of your non-promotional marketing.
The Middle Funnel Stages
The Lead. Once a lead converts through an offer in the top of the funnel, they enter the middle funnel stage. It’s actually the most complicated stage, as it represents a wide range of interested leads who are not yet qualified. This is where your content continues to educate, but starts to hint at your brand being the solution to the lead’s problem.
Marketing Qualified Leads are those who have indicated some interest in your brand’s products or services by downloading case studies, white papers, eBooks, and/or videos. But you don’t know yet if they are “qualified” to purchase your products or services. They are not yet ready to be passed on to the sales stage, so continue using content to build credibility.
The Sales Qualified Lead. This stage’s goal is to pre-qualify a lead to see if they're likely to convert. For example, does your product or service offer the solution they need; are they in a position to authorize purchasing it; are they willing to be “sold?” The content created for this part of the middle funnel is where marketing and sales meet. You want to increase ROI by focusing on those most likely to buy.
The Sales Opportunity. Don’t assume because a lead has taken an action like downloading an eBook that they’re educated enough to make a decision. You’ll need to take a closer look at particular behaviors.
Have they actively engaged with your communications? How have they responded to your lead nurturing content?
What behaviors have they exhibited? Use marketing automation software to analyze what leads are doing on your website. Past behavior indicates what future action a lead may take.
Does your lead meet the demographics your company has identified as being necessary to a successful sales process? Demographics are valuable for ensuring that a lead is qualified to partner with your brand.
Middle-of-the-funnel content is designed to nurture and move those people into action who have already opted in to your brand’s message. It’s where you supply leads with content that helps them evaluate you and your products or services. It’s a terrific opportunity to make sure leads have all the information they need to help them differentiate your brand from the competition.
If you’d like to learn more about how to create great content for your middle-of-the-funnel campaign – and on how to improve your overall inbound marketing strategy – contact ADTACK today at 702-270-8772 for a free consultation.