How to Create Middle of Funnel Content
- 1 What is Middle of Funnel Content?
- 2 6+ Ideas for Middle of Funnel Content
- 3 Final Thoughts About Middle of Funnel Content
The golden rule of marketing is that you have to understand your audience. You need to know how they think, the questions they have and the way that they educate themselves and make decisions.
When you know that, it’s a lot easier to create the different types of content they want at each stage of the customer journey.
Without paying attention to the customer journey and creating middle of funnel content, you won’t move buyers through your sales funnel. That means that you’ll spend time creating and marketing content that your target audience doesn’t relate to. They won’t take the steps you want them to take, and you’ll miss out on sales.
Instead, consider each stage of the customer journey, where that falls in the marketing funnel, and how to deliver the content the buyer is looking for while there.
What is Middle of Funnel Content?
The customer journey has three main stages, and they coincide with the marketing funnel (also called the sales funnel):
- Stage 1: Awareness; top of the funnel
- Stage 2: Consideration; middle of the funnel
- Stage 3: Decision; bottom of the funnel
The awareness stage is about introducing your brand to the customer and positioning yourself as an authority in your niche. The decision stage closes the deal — by that point, the visitor knows they want to make a purchase.
During the consideration stage, the customer is ready to solve their problem and they’re trying to find the best solution. Preliminary research is finished, and they’re ready to dive deeper into the topic. They also know they might be making a purchase in the future, but they’re not there quite yet.
You’ll have fewer people here than in the awareness stage, but those who have made it to this step are more likely to engage with your middle of funnel content.
An example of a consideration-stage Google search is “regular sneakers vs. trail running sneakers.” The buyer has determined that they need better footwear for trail running, and they’re exploring the different types of shoes to consider.
While they’re not ready to buy anything yet, they’re getting closer to figuring out what to spend their money on.
As a content creator or marketer, your goal is to help people make a decision. For example, if you sell hiking gear, you could write an article with the pros and cons of wearing sneakers and trail runners on hiking trails.
Remember that buyers may spend a lot of time in this stage, so you could need a good amount of content to continue nurturing them until they’re ready to move forward.
Middle of Funnel Content Metrics to Measure Performance
Most people are going to find your middle of funnel content via organic search, so you’ll want to put time into your SEO strategy. Your two most important metrics for measuring the efficacy of middle of funnel content are the number of leads and conversion rate.
6+ Ideas for Middle of Funnel Content
Your goals in this stage are to build a relationship with the buyer and help them trust you. You do that by providing the deeper understanding the customer is looking for since they’ve now moved beyond having an initial idea.
Middle of funnel content should be educational, persuasive and targeted.
- Nurture any leads you captured in the awareness stage (top of the funnel)
- Build an emotional connection with the customer
- Encourage the potential customer’s purchase intent
Middle of the funnel content typically gives away something of high value for free. You can also start to talk about your product in more detail to show how it will be helpful for the customer, especially when compared to your competitors.
Case studies are powerful middle of funnel content because they show real-world examples of how brands can solve customer pain points. This type of content combines emotional appeal with data to connect with the buyer and then showcase the results they can expect.
If a customer is seriously considering a brand’s offerings, case studies can push them forward in their decision-making.
Free samples can help buyers compare solutions by giving them a small taste of what to expect from your brand.
This approach is especially useful when you have a tactile offering, like a physical product. It can be difficult for buyers to picture their life with your product when they only have digital content to refer to.
For example, if you offer photo printing services, sending customers a free print can show them the quality of your products and encourage them to go with you when making a purchase.
How-to guides that show customers how to use your products are excellent at this stage. You’re still not forcing them to make a purchase, but you’re talking more about how your product can enhance their life.
Here’s an example — the Glamp Cooking with Stephanie Tea guide on the Stanley website shows how to make dinner and a cocktail at a campsite using Stanley products.
Production Comparison Guides
Since buyers are considering their options for solving their problem, middle of funnel content helps them make important choices.
Product comparison guides pit two similar and competitive brands, products or services against one another. This way, buyers can get an idea of what to expect from each one.
Product comparisons should include the following:
- Overviews of each product
- Strengths and weaknesses of each product
- Clarity on how the products differ
- Guidance on which elements to look for when making the buying decision
It can be helpful to include bullet point lists and charts in product comparisons to break up the text and make it easier to skim.
Instead of putting together a webinar that covers a broader topic like you might during the awareness stage, a middle-of-the-funnel webinar will be a deep dive into a product or service you offer. Showing the customer how it works can convince them that it’s the right choice.
You have the customer’s attention enough to start talking about your products. You may not send them directly to a sales page, but you can start putting your offerings in front of them so they can learn all they want about it.
Disney Vacation Club found a clever way to do this because they have to appeal to people who aren’t present for an in-person tour: They offer virtual room tours via the website.
More Middle of Funnel Content Ideas
Here are a few more options when creating middle of funnel content:
- Landing pages
If you’ve explored the topics of top of funnel or bottom of funnel content, you may notice some overlap. That’s because certain types of content can be adapted to meet a specific stage of the customer journey.
Final Thoughts About Middle of Funnel Content
Different types of businesses will have different needs when it comes to the content they create. For example, a startup may be most interested in getting leads, so the priority would be middle of funnel content. A large corporation may find that the more authority it builds, the better, so it would put the most effort into top of the funnel content with a focus on thought leadership.
In the consideration stage, the buyer has moved on from broader research and is now looking into solutions to their problem. They’re still researching, but it’s more targeted and specific. That’s what middle of funnel content should appeal to.
You can also make it easier for visitors to get around your website and find more middle of funnel content with an internal link plugin.