April 3, 2023 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
The type of marketing activities your team does and the messages you share differ based on where your leads are in the marketing funnel. Middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) marketing happens where you’d expect—after a lead learns about your brand but before they’re ready to make a purchase or build a partnership with your company. Today, we’re looking at all aspects of middle of the funnel marketing and how you can target this segment of the buyer journey to push more leads into the conversion stage:
Image via Ahrefs
You build relationships with your leads in the middle of the marketing funnel. This is the evaluation stage, where people research products or services they think fit their interests and needs to find the right option. Traditional marketing funnels typically have between three and six stages. MOFU marketing targets the interest and consideration stages, which fall under evaluation. The interest phase is where a lead takes the next step to learn about your company. They might visit your website and explore the services pages or browse your eCommerce store.
The consideration phase is where your leads start comparing products and services. They may compare your offerings to those from another brand or draw comparisons among all your company’s product or service offerings. When a client is at this point of the customer journey, marketers distribute content about their products and services to give potential buyers all the information they need to make an informed decision. The content should be persuasive so it encourages leads to the bottom of the marketing funnel where they’re ready to make a purchase.
No matter what type of MOFU marketing campaign you run, it’s important to keep a few key elements in mind. When your MOFU content incorporates these characteristics, it serves its purpose for both your team and your audience. It allows both of you to decide if a sales or working partnership is the right decision for both parties. To get the most out of your MOFU marketing materials, make sure they are:
Depending on which stage of the marketing funnel your leads are in, there are different goals your team wants to achieve. Some of the most common in the MOFU stage include:
Arguably, MOFU marketing might be the most important stage of the marketing funnel. It’s true that you won’t make sales without TOFU brand awareness and you won’t stay in business without BOFU sales. But MOFU marketing helps connect point A to point B and persuades the audience along the way. Not every lead you attract during TOFU marketing is a qualified lead. If you try to rush them from TOFU to BOFU, you won’t be making a lot of sales and you’ll be wasting your time and energy attracting these people.
But with MOFU marketing, you’ll be able to nurture a relationship with the leads you collect at the TOFU stage. This allows you to eliminate people who aren’t serious about working with your company (at least not yet) and find those ones who are really ready to move to the BOFU stage.
More importantly, if your brand isn’t doing MOFU marketing, it’s giving the competition the chance to come in and fill the gaps. You want to be the source of information for the best products or services in your niche. When you can keep your audience on your website or browsing through your content and materials, you have a better chance of getting them to purchase from or partner with your brand instead of another.
Some types of content work better than others when you’re targeting leads in the middle of the funnel. Some of these options include:
It’s just as important to track your MOFU marketing efforts as it is to create the right content. Tracking your success can help you discover the ROI of your content marketing and predict future success. Here are some of the most important MOFU marketing metrics to track:
Engagement metrics help you track how many people are seeing and interacting with your content. These metrics let you know who’s connected with your content and who keeps coming back. Important engagement metrics to consider include new and returning visitors, social post engagements, and referral traffic.
Consumption metrics tell you more about how people interact with content during engagement. They can tell you if people are spending enough time with each piece to make it worthwhile. Some good MOFU consumption metrics include click-through rate, average read or watch percentage, and completion rate for any piece of content.
Lead metrics tell you more about who is interacting with your brand and what they want from you. Checking these metrics can help you determine the quality of your incoming leads. Information to track includes things like event registrations, content downloads, and email sign-ups.
If you’re looking for a quick path to start developing MOFU marketing content, here are some things to consider as you plan your campaigns:
Leads at the MOFU stage want to know what your brand, products, or services can do to help them. They have a problem they need to solve and they’re looking for the right solution. Don’t focus on describing the problem. Your audience already knows what the problem is. Instead, talk about what you can do to make their lives easier. Using product demonstrations or fact sheets can help you focus on the features and solutions your company offers.
Your leads may be more likely to believe what people outside your team have to say about your products or services rather than people who work for your brand. That’s because there’s always a bit of brand bias from employees. They want people to partner with your company or buy from it so they can keep their jobs. But your customers and clients don’t have those same interests. Don’t be shy about sharing the good things current and previous customers and clients have said about your brand. Product reviews, testimonials, and customer interviews help with this marketing activity.
MOFU content often requires more time and effort to develop than TOFU and BOFU content. It’s information-rich, like TOFU content, but it’s more in-depth than basic online research. You have to truly understand what your brand’s products and services do for your company. This often means interviewing team members and clients or working with the products and services yourself. It may also include working with subject matter experts to make sure all the information you share and the language or visuals you use for each piece are just right.
It’s important to allow more time in the creation process for MOFU content to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your materials. Rushing them through production to get them done isn’t worth it—especially if you’re not nurturing and persuading your leads with each piece.
Similar to focusing on solutions instead of challenges, don’t use your MOFU content to dwell on pain points. Again, the lead already knows what’s wrong. Go beyond the pain point to look at what a client or customer can achieve after they’ve solved their problems.
For example, if your brand sells online data storage solutions, don’t just focus on the obvious. What does having a place to store your data mean for the longevity of a business? It might mean it’s easier to organize audience segments for email campaigns. This could lead to increased productivity and efficiency, which could lead to more sales.
MOFU marketing isn’t the time to be unclear or ambiguous about what your brand, products, and solutions do. This is the part of the customer journey where people want to collect all the facts. What does your product or service do? How much does it cost? What’s the expected lifespan? How does it help me? These are just a few of the questions people want answers to.
While you don’t have to answer every single question with every piece of MOFU content, you should have enough diversity that at least one piece covers each important question. For example, you may have a product fact sheet that shows the prices and features of different models. But you also have an explainer video that shows how the product works and reviews its usability and lifespan. If your lead has a question, you should be able to direct them to a piece of content that answers that question in detail.
This might sound surprising, but all your MOFU content doesn’t have to come from within your brand. While you want to provide content to answer your audience’s questions and meet their needs, that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent new content that already exists just to say it came from your brand. Curating resources or working with external writers or creators can help you scale your content creation efforts.
Doing this allows you to provide everything your audience needs without adding unnecessary work for your team. Content to curate may include sharing podcasts or articles your clients and customers developed about their experiences with your brand.
The way you communicate with leads in the middle of their buyer journey directly affects if they move to the BOFU stage or stop exploring what your company has to offer. It’s important to remember that the marketing funnel isn’t always linear either. Some of your leads may exit the funnel before the BOFU stage and come back later. They may also move from the MOFU stage to BOFU and back again.
It’s important to be flexible when working with leads in your content marketing funnel and nurture their specific path to purchase or partnership. This behavior helps set your brand up to earn loyal followers than can help you attract more leads in the retention and advocacy stages of the funnel.
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