The digital marketing funnel is a visualization of the stages your prospects go through before they eventually become your customers. While many businesses focus most of their energy on the beginning and end of the funnel, the middle needs just as much attention.
Middle-of-the-funnel content marketing is critical to increasing conversion rates and giving your potential customers an informative, seamless journey through your marketing funnel.
In this article, we will share some crucial advice on how to improve your MOFU marketing along with successful examples of this type of content.
What Is Middle of the Funnel Content Marketing
The marketing funnel is a tool businesses use to gain insights into the buyer’s journey. It is typically divided into three parts: top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU).
While many prospects follow the traditional route of going through each marketing stage in order, customers today can come into the funnel at any stage and in any order. You could even encounter an impulsive buyer who heads to the bottom of the funnel without spending much, if any time, at the top or in the middle.
Top of the Funnel
The top of the funnel is where you first introduce potential customers to your brand. The goal of TOFU content is to attract new people to your website. It typically includes blogs, paid ads, podcasts, and social media. Users interact with your content because it solves a problem for them. If they don’t like what they find or your products and services won’t solve their problem, they may leave the funnel at this point.
Middle of the Funnel
Prospects still interested in your brand move on the middle of the funnel. In this stage, users are considering whether your business will fully meet their needs. MOFU content typically includes checklists, surveys, and educational resources. At this stage, you are trying to convince prospects that your products and services will solve their problem. More prospects will leave the funnel at this stage.
Bottom of the Funnel
At the bottom of the marketing funnel, also called the decision stage, prospects are deciding if they want to become your customer or not. BOFU content makes the final push to show off your value with customer reviews, comparison charts, and product demonstrations.
The value of the top and bottom of the funnel is clear. The top of the funnel attracts people to your brand, and the bottom of the funnel closes the deal. However, without strong MOFU marketing, there isn’t a clear path forward and many prospects will fall off.
Why Does Middle of the Funnel Content Matter?
The middle of the funnel is where your business needs to nurture your leads. At this stage, prospects are looking for more in-depth information about your business and products.
MOFU Marketing Can Increase Sales
To anyone new to sales and marketing strategies, it might seem like customers can move directly from showing interest in your business to buying your products. While this does happen occasionally, it is not something you can count on every time.
What these inexperienced marketers often overlook is the educational component of the middle of the funnel. Without a solid strategy for the middle of your marketing funnel, your leads could lose interest in your products and move on to your competition.
In 2020, Google realized that even as a global powerhouse, it still needed to pay attention to the marketing middle. It found when it focused its efforts on the middle of the funnel, it earned 16 times more product sales than before.
Global consumer data leader, Nielson, found similar results in an analysis of packaged goods campaigns for consumers. It found that marketing strategies that covered the entire funnel had 45% better returns than those that only focused on one stage of the funnel.
While your business may not be as ubiquitous as Google or Nielson, these marketing results prove that the middle of the funnel can have a significant impact on how many prospects come out of the funnel as paying customers. Your customers want to be seamlessly guided through the marketing funnel and learn more about you and your products before they commit. This is why middle of the funnel content is so important.
MOFU Marketing Nurtures and Qualifies Leads
When your sales team keeps asking for more leads, they likely really want better leads. One of the key roles of the middle of the funnel is to filter through your leads so only the best and most qualified leads make it through to the bottom.
If you were to ask your sales manager if they wanted 100 fresh leads or 10 nurtured, highly qualified leads, they’re probably going to take the 10 every time.
Lead nurturing and lead qualification help you discover which leads are truly interested in your products and services. You can then focus your MOFU content on the specific needs of those qualified leads.
7 Proven Middle of the Funnel Marketing Practices
Now that you understand why the middle of the funnel is so important, here are 7 proven strategies you can use to improve your middle of the funnel content marketing.
1. Offer Content with Real Solutions
By the time a prospect reaches the middle of the funnel, they understand what their problem is, and they are looking for a solution. Your marketing materials at this stage need to focus on how your products and services solve problems, and not just any problems, your prospect’s problems.
Your potential customers don’t want to waste time filtering through content that describes those problems, they are ready for solutions.
2. Focus on Customer Validation
For this type of MOFU content, listen to your potential customers. What are they saying about your products? Do they need more information about a particular feature or why your services are priced a certain way? Whatever information they’re looking for that will help them decide on your brand, that is the type of content you need to offer.
3. Use Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is a common sales and marketing technique that assigns a numerical score to each lead. With that score, you can prioritize the leads most likely to turn into paying customers.
The scores come from a prospect’s behaviors and profile and are typically based on previous customers and leads who did not become customers.
Your company can compare your current leads to your previous leads to see what they have in common. If they match more closely with a successful customer, they will likely get a higher score than a lead that matches more with a lost lead.
While there is no exact formula for lead scoring, many companies use some of the following considerations:
- Page views on your company’s website
- Demographic information
- Online behavior
- Company information
- Social profile
- Email engagement
- Potential false information
Lead scoring helps you create more specialized middle of the funnel content.
4. Stay in Contact with Email Marketing
Many leads spend a lot of time in the middle of the funnel, especially if you are a B2B brand. To keep your company name and products at the forefront of their mind, invest in quality email marketing.
While overdoing it can quickly get you flagged as spam or cause someone to unsubscribe, carefully planned messages can encourage your leads to continue their customer journey and ensure they don’t forget you.
These MOFU marketing emails should include helpful information such as product updates, your latest blog posts, links to ebooks, and other high-value, educational content.
5. Educate Your Leads
Make it easy for your leads to get to know your brand and your products with a wealth of educational materials. This will make it easy for them to learn as much as possible and feel more confident in their decision to become a customer.
Content like product demonstration videos and in-depth how-to guides are what your leads need in the middle of the funnel.
Make sure these educational resources are well organized and easy to find on your website. If finding this information is frustrating for your leads, it could be enough for them to dismiss you for one of your competitors.
6. Simplify Communication
One of the worst mistakes a company can make in the middle of the funnel is making it difficult for leads to contact them. If the only contact information available leads directly to sales, this adds unnecessary friction to something that should have a simple solution.
When a lead has a question or concern, you should have a general helpline available along with other popular options like chatbots and FAQ sections available 24 hours a day.
7. Improve Your CTA Mapping
Most pages on your website should have some type of call to action or CTA. CTAs are a crucial tool in letting your leads know what they should do next. If they read through a product page, but there is no link to learn more or proceed to purchase, they have hit a dead end.
If you find many of your leads are dropping out in the middle of the funnel, your CTAs might be missing or leading them in circles back to the content they’ve already seen.
Map out your CTAs to make sure they follow a logical progression that clearly moves your leads through the marketing funnel.
Types of Middle of the Funnel Content (with Examples)
With a good understanding of why middle of the Funnel content is important and how you can use it, here are some middle of the funnel content examples.
- Blogs: Blogs are an important part of content marketing for all stages of the marketing funnel. For MOFU content, blogs should offer deeper insights into your products and services to show leads how they work in the real world.
Airtable does a great job of this in its blog. In the Stories section, you can read blogs about how companies use Airtable to solve problems. This strategy uses customer validation to convince other companies that their products can work for them too.
- Case Studies: Case studies are another example of customer validation. Not only do they tell a story about how a business used or is still using your products, but they typically include clear results with data to back them up.
In this example, ClearVoice shares how its blogging strategy helped Waikiki Resort recover from having to close for eight months in 2020.
- FAQ Databases: Giving leads an easy option to quickly find answers to common questions is crucial for middle of the funnel marketing. One of the simplest ways to do that is with a Frequently Asked Questions database.
At Express Writers, our FAQ section includes categories for every stage of the funnel. Mid-funnel leads would likely be interested in the EW Basics and Our Process sections, which offer an overview of how our content process works.
- Educational Resources: Often, offering something for free can encourage leads to stick around. Once they’ve realized the benefits of the free product, they may be convinced to invest fully and become a paying customer.
HubSpot offers an extensive library of free marketing resources, including workbooks, templates, ebooks, and guides. Many of these resources are gated, meaning a lead must give their contact information before they can download the product. This works in favor of HubSpot so they can stay in contact with their new lead.
In addition to these popular types of middle of the funnel content, you can also consider:
- Service/product pages
- Social media content
- Product demonstration videos
- Product reviews
- White papers
- Customer testimonials
- Online courses
Ace Every Stage of Your Content Marketing Funnel with Express Writers
By giving the middle of the marketing funnel the attention it deserves, you should start seeing significant results, especially if your business has neglected it in the past. Now that you’re ready to commit more time and resources to the middle of the funnel, you need the right content to improve your conversion rates.
At Express Writers, we are experts in creating content for every stage of the marketing funnel. We understand why each stage is important and how to deliver the right content for each stage.
If your marketing team has struggled with middle of the funnel content before, employing some outside help might be necessary.
If you choose Express Writers, we will match the best writers to your business needs to ensure you get the best content possible. Whether you want one blog or are ready to commit to a long-term partnership, we have content options for every budget.
Explore our Content Shop today to get the MOFU content your business needs.