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What Is Mid Funnel Content Marketing?
So you've set up a blog and created content around your industry, products, goods or services but you're not seeing any conversions from it. It could be a technical SEO issue but most of the time it's a content strategy issue that most businesses tend to get hopelessly wrong.
Since you're in digital you’ve probably come across the so-called ‘funnel,’ a semi-magical diagram and methodology that promises to unlock the secrets of content strategy and how to make it work for your business.
So why hasn't content marketing been working for me? Why am I getting the traffic numbers but not the conversions I'm looking for from my efforts? If this is the case you've probably ignored the middle funnel.
What is the marketing funnel?
A funnel is the set of steps a visitor needs to go through before they can reach the conversion. To put it plainly, the marketing funnel is a representation of your audience, with the top representing everybody who is aware of your brand, and the bottom representing your paying customers.
The difference in the number of people in these groups is what gives the funnel its shape, and while some businesses prefer to talk about a marketing ‘cylinder,’ the truth of the matter is that no business can realistically expect to convert everybody who’s aware of it into a sale.
Middle funnel syndrome
Every stage of the funnel is important and has its own set of tactics to push a user into the next step. However, one part of the process that is too often neglected in the middle. There are plenty of businesses out there trying to improve the top of the funnel (by increasing traffic or purchasing advertising), and the bottom (by offering trials and demos), but what about the space between? This is known as the ‘consideration’ phase, and the goal here is simple – turning awareness into interest.
What is mid-funnel content marketing, and why does it matter?
The middle of the funnel is where you start making a case for what your organisation offers and try to convince the prospect that your brand should be their preferred supplier of goods or services.
The middle is where you can start identifying your product or service as a solution to your audience’s problems. This is arguably the trickiest part of the funnel to master. Creating awareness of something is one thing, and so is convincing a potential client to invest in you, but guiding your audience from awareness to the cusp of conversion is a different deal entirely.
This stage is also the part of the process where content marketing can add the most value. Because your business is digital it doesn't have the advantage of a proactive sales pitch and guidance as a face to face sales person can.
This is where content marketing should take over, by guiding the customer through the purchase process and reassure them, that they are making the correct choice. No sense in a customer buying only to end up returning the product, right?
How does content marketing replace the salesman's sale pitch?
The answer is simple. Content marketing talks directly to those who are already aware of your organisation. It convinces them that you know what you’re talking about and that your services would be a valuable investment – all without getting to sale driven and turning people off.
Since the customer is in control of what they want to know and how much they want to know they can skip past the factors that don't interest or apply to them and jump straight into the content that they want to know more about. Giving the client a sense of self-discovery, it helps them reassure themselves that they're making the correct pitch rather than someone trying to convince them.
As Contently puts it, mid-funnel content helps your audience evaluate your brand and develop an affinity for it over your competitors.
Mid-funnel content marketing: An example
I would normally provide you with an example but if you've read this far, then I really don’t have to – because you’re reading it. This isn’t a top-of-the-funnel piece, designed to drive awareness. You already know what content marketing is and the value of it.
This also isn’t a bottom-of-the-funnel piece, we're not trying to sell you on our services, provide you with stats of case studies nor include a list of testimonials from happy clients either. Instead, we’re doing exactly what good middle-of-the-funnel content should do – providing value by answering a question that’s more complex than ‘why content marketing,’ and illustrating how it can help.
Mid-funnel marketing tactics
So how do you create a content for mid-funnel marketing?
High-value blog content:
Blog content often sits at the top of the funnel, but certain types of articles (such as how-to guides and FAQs) are a core part of the consideration phase. These are the assets your audience will look to when thinking about making a purchase, so it’s important that they are of high quality.
A common misconception is that social media is purely for the top of the funnel, but it can also work further down. For example, using Twitter or Facebook to push high-value blogs or case studies to an audience already aware of your business (your followers) is an essential part of the mid-funnel marketing process. You can also use targeting within social media to display mid-funnel content to users who have performed certain user actions on your site, in order to get them to return and back into the conversion process.
Having a solid CRM strategy can only be achieved by having high-quality mid-funnel content. Sending the right message at the right time is only half the battle, what about the quality of the message? Does it get me to click through, spend time on your site and convince me to purchase?
Get stuck in the mid
This is just an introduction into mid-funnel content marketing and how this step in the content funnel should be handled with care. To properly optimise the middle of your marketing funnel, you may need to tailor your funnel differently depending on your business model and clients you're trying to target.
If you want to know more about content marketing don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us