It’s no secret that the middle of the funnel is an important part of the marketing process.
When prospects are in the middle of the funnel, it’s your opportunity to keep them engaged and moving closer to a purchase.
If you can’t keep their attention at this stage, they’ll likely disappear and you’ll lose out on potential revenue.
In this article, we’ll discuss what mid-funnel marketing is and why it’s so important to include it inside your overall marketing funnel. We’ll also give you an overview of the top of the funnel and bottom of the funnel aspects of marketing.
Mid-funnel marketing is the process of keeping your prospects engaged as they move closer to a purchase. It’s the middle ground between the top of the funnel (first contact with your brand) and the bottom of the funnel (making a purchase), and it’s essential for converting qualified leads into customers.
At this stage, it’s important to provide educational content that helps prospects understand their problem and how your product or service can solve it. Content at this stage might include the following.
When prospects are in the middle of the funnel, it’s your opportunity to keep them moving forward. If you can’t keep their attention at this stage, they’ll likely disappear and you’ll lose out on potential revenue.
Additionally, mid funnel marketing is essential for qualifying leads for your sales team. You can’t expect every prospect to come in ready to buy at the top of the funnel. By identifying and targeting prospects, you can focus your resources on those more likely to convert.
- Product comparisons
- Blog posts
- Use case pages
- White papers
It’s also important to continue nurturing leads with targeted email campaigns. For example, if a prospect signs up for your mid funnel content offer, add them to an email workflow. Continue to deliver more nurturing content until they’re ready to move into the bottom of the funnel.
Now that you know what mid funnel marketing is, let’s take a look at when to use mid-funnel marketing. To determine whether prospects need middle or top of funnel marketing, ask yourself these three questions:
- Are they problem-aware?
- Do they know about your product or service?
- Are they searching for solutions?
If the answer to these questions is yes, your prospect is ready for middle of the funnel marketing. If not, you should focus on the top of the funnel content that helps prospects identify and define their problems.
For example, if you offer a product or service targeting business owners, your mid-marketing funnel content might help them identify their need for more sales leads. But first, they must know they have the problem: not enough customers and not enough revenue.
If you provide middle-funnel content before your target audience feels this pain point, it won’t work well because the prospect won’t understand why it’s relevant to them yet.
Let’s take a quick look at two other phases buyers go through inside your marketing funnel: top of funnel and bottom of funnel marketing.
Top-of-the-funnel marketing is the first phase in the buyer’s journey. It’s all about getting your target audience interested in learning more about your product or service. You can use the following types of content here.
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Native advertising posts
- Research studies
Marketing at the top of the funnel also includes lead generation activities like email captures and form submissions. When prospects enter this stage, they’re not ready to buy yet. They’re just starting to learn about their problem and how you can help them solve it.
Think of this stage as the awareness phase of your marketing funnel. Your prospects haven’t heard about you yet. They don’t know your company exists. It’s your job to provide content to attract them into the marketing funnel. As an example, “how-to” content works well here.
Bottom-of-the-funnel marketing is the last phase in the buyer’s journey. It’s all about closing sales and turning leads into customers. It might include providing targeted content like case studies, pricing pages, or product demos.
It also includes sales activities like phone calls and live webinars. When prospects are in this stage, they’re close to buying your product or service. They’re also comparing you against competitors. You need to differentiate yourself and then include a call to action to make a purchase.
Several middle of funnel content types exist. Let’s review nine of the most common types of content to use for this phase of your marketing funnel.
Use testimonials and case studies to prove your product or service as an effective solution. These types of content provide valuable insight into how the prospect’s problem will get solved. They also validate that you’re worth investing in because others found success with your solution.
For example, send follow-up emails to new subscribers with a link to a full-length case study on your website. It helps prospects see your solution come to life. Testimonials work to convince them that they can trust what you say.
Brainstorm with your marketing team the types of blog posts you can create. Focus on helping prospects see your product as their ultimate solution.
Instructional content educates on how to use your product or service as well as best practices. It can also help them understand the value of what you’re offering and how it compares to other solutions they might be considering.
Think about creating an ebook specifically for this stage of the funnel that walks through a real-world example of how your product solves a problem and how it benefited the customer. You can then include the ebook on your mid-funnel landing pages.
One of the best mid funnel marketing tactics is hosting webinars. A webinar helps to turn prospects into customers by educating them with valuable information that’s relevant to this stage in the buyer’s journey.
Your webinars can be product demonstrations, case studies, or Q&As with your team. They should last around 30 minutes to an hour and include a call to action to register for a future event.
When you’re mid funnel, getting reviews from happy customers can help increase trust with potential buyers.
Reviews aren’t just a top of the funnel activity. They should continue throughout the buyer’s journey to show social proof that others have had success with your product or service.
You can ask current customers to leave a review on sites like Gartner or TrustRadius. Or, you can even include a review request as part of your transactional emails.
Audio content is a great way to attract prospects who are mid funnel and educate them on how to use your product or service.
Your podcasts don’t need to use long episodes at this stage. Create mid-funnel content that’s around 20 minutes to an hour and share it on iTunes, Spotify, or other popular podcast platforms.
Post mid funnel marketing content on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn to engage your target audience.
These posts should include content like case studies, testimonials and product reviews. However, the mid funnel content isn’t all about your company or brand. It’s also important to share other industry-related articles that prospects will find beneficial.
When potential customers are comparison shopping, it’s a good indication that they’re mid funnel. Comparison pages help them make the best decision for their needs by putting your product or service head-to-head against your competitors’.
Use case pages are a great way to show tangibly how your product serves a need. They’re helpful for prospects who may not yet understand how using your product fits into their lives.
White papers and reports are long-form content that helps prospects understand the problem they’re experiencing and how you can help them solve it. They go into detail about the solution you offer and why it’s the best option.
Once you know what types of content to create, it’s important to determine which channels work best for reaching your target audience.
Retargeting is a great way to reach potential buyers who already invested time interacting with your brand. You can target them with ads that will bring them back to your website to continue their journey down the funnel.
Remember that most of your website visitors leave before becoming an email subscriber or making a purchase. You must bring them back. Google Display Ads or ads on Instagram or Facebook work well to bring back those people who already received their first exposure to your brand.
Make sure to create specific opt-in landing pages for retargeting campaigns. Get people who know about you to get on your email list so you can market to them long-term with mid-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel content.
When potential customers are researching the best solution to their problem, they often turn to search engines for help. You can make sure that your brand is at the top of their mind by using SEO as one of your mid-funnel marketing tactics.
Break your SEO efforts into three main strategies.
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
On-page SEO involves optimizing your content for search engines to help it rank higher in Google and Bing. You can use tools like SEMrush’s on-page SEO checker to find out how your content currently performs and make improvements as needed.
Off-page SEO focuses on building links back to your site from other reputable websites. Doing this helps build trust with search engines so they’ll show you more often in their results pages. You can also create a backlink profile report with ahrefs.com or SEMrush to see where links come from and add new ones where possible.
Technical SEO improves the functionality of your content. It includes things like fixing broken links and adding 301 redirects when you make changes to pages on your site. Other technical SEO strategies include creating a sitemap, improving website speed, and using schema markup to make your content easier for search engines to understand.
Email marketing is an important mid funnel marketing tactic. You can nurture your leads by sending them content that will help them decide to move further down the sales funnel and become a customer.
Use email campaigns to send prospects mid-funnel content like blog posts, webinars, podcast episodes, comparisons, or ebooks. You can also use them to announce new products and features, answer customer questions, or offer discounts on your product or service.
An email broadcast campaign is a great way to reach a large number of prospects at once with your mid funnel content. Your welcome email sequence doesn’t last forever. Use broadcast campaigns to continue the conversation with leads that didn’t purchase after going through your welcome series.
You can send an email blast to everyone on your email list with a link to a white paper or case study. Or, you could send a series of broadcasts with different content to people who clicked on different links in an earlier email broadcast.
Now that you know what mid funnel marketing is and how to use it, the next question is: How do you capture leads who still need to decide about using your brand?
There are a few different ways to do this. The first is by using lead capture forms on your website. You can create a form with a tool like Leadformly or Gravity Forms that asks for prospects’ contact information
Another way to capture mid funnel leads is through social media. You can add lead capture forms to Facebook Ads or Twitter Cards so people can subscribe to your email list or download your content directly from your social media posts.
The final way to collect mid funnel leads is through the retargeting strategy mentioned above. You can show content to people who already visited your website but didn’t buy yet. Remind them of your brand and persuade them to join your list.
Social proof is a powerful mid funnel marketing tool. It’s the idea that people are more likely to do something if they see that other people previously made the same decision.
You can use social proof as one of your mid funnel marketing tactics by adding testimonials to your website, using case studies in your email campaigns, and sharing customer stories on social media. You can also give discounts to customers who refer their friends to your product or service.
Let’s explore using social proof in more detail using your website, email marketing, and social media.
Adding social proof to your website is a great way to persuade people to become customers or clients. You can do this by adding testimonials from happy customers, displaying case studies, and sharing customer stories.
You can also add trust badges to your website. These images or icons show that your site is secure and verified by a third party. Some popular trust badges include the Norton Secured Seal, the McAfee Secure badge, and the TRUSTe certification seal.
Embed customer testimonials into all aspects of your email marketing campaigns. Add them to the P.S. section and send dedicated emails highlighting a particular customer’s success story. Include links in email sequences encouraging subscribers to click to read case studies on your website’s landing pages.
You can also conduct mid funnel email marketing campaigns to prospects who abandoned carts on your website. Send a reminder of people’s shopping cart items. Include special discounts or free shipping offers to persuade them to complete the purchase.
Share videos and images of real customers using your product or service on social media.
You can also use content like infographics, ebooks, webinars, and white papers as part of your mid funnel social media content strategy. Share these things with an engaging caption that encourages prospects to click through for more information.
Let’s review six common mistakes made by many marketers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who attempt to use middle of the funnel marketing methods.
When you’re in the middle of the funnel stage, it’s tempting to focus exclusively on pain points. However, your prospects don’t only want to hear about the pain they’re experiencing. They also want to know that real solutions exist.
For example, if you run a dental practice, content about preventing gum disease would work well during the mid funnel stage of your funnel. It’s a pain point that many people experience.
However, it’s not enough to simply bring up the problem. You also need to educate your prospects on what they can do about it and why your practice performs better than other dentists.
While mid-funnel marketing is all about using original content created by you or your team members, external content also works well during this stage of the sales cycle. Don’t forget to link out to third-party blog posts, for example. It helps readers get more information from other trusted sources that support your ideas.
You may think mid funnel content is easier and takes less time to create than top or bottom of the funnel content. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can get lax simply because you’ve hooked new prospects into your world.
You need to create a superior middle of the funnel content that starts separating you from competitors. Take the required time to flesh out your ideas and provide case studies, blog posts, white papers, and webinars that engage prospects until they enter the bottom of the funnel.
We touched on this above when discussing going beyond simple pain points. It warrants a second look because of its importance. Your middle of the funnel prospects come to you with a problem-aware mindset. They know they need a solution and they’re actively looking for one.
Make sure all of your mid funnel content remains solution-oriented. Focus on giving prospects the information they need to make an informed decision about working with you.
Offer comparisons between your services and those of your competitors, showcase customer testimonials that highlight how you solved a problem, and provide case studies. Most importantly, make it clear when expressing the results of using your solutions.
Ambiguous information is one of your biggest enemies at the mid-funnel marketing stage. You want to remain clear and concise so prospects can understand without guessing or asking for clarification.
Be specific when talking about your products and services, use real-world examples whenever possible, and use easy-to-understand language.
When you’re at the mid funnel stage, it’s essential to rely on customer validation. It means getting feedback from current and past customers about the solutions you offer.
Customer validation can take many forms such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Use the information you gather to improve your mid-funnel content and create effective solutions for your prospects.
The middle of the funnel is an important part of the sales funnel that you can’t ignore if you expect success. By using original content, external content, and relying on customer validation, you can keep prospects engaged and moving closer to a purchase decision.
If you still need further clarification about marketing funnel stages, let’s review two commonly asked questions.
The middle of the funnel is the stage in the sales cycle where prospects are actively searching for a solution to their problem. They’ve become aware of your brand and now start comparing you against other solutions they’ve uncovered during their research.
A marketing funnel is the process prospects go through from the time they become aware of your company to when they make a purchase decision. The mid-funnel stage is an essential step in this journey because it helps you educate prospects on their options and why your solutions are better than anyone else’s.