Awareness-stage content introduced site visitors to your brand and products; now it’s time to take them farther down the buying funnel by demonstrating why your company is the best provider of solutions for their concerns. Your visitors are in the middle stage of the marketing funnel, also known as “MoFu” or the Consideration stage.
Consideration: The Middle of the Marketing FunnelConsideration can be the most critical stage of the marketing funnel. You’ve attracted visitors to your site, but that’s not the same thing as converting them. In the interim step, you must demonstrate to them (not convince them) that your solution is the best choice for their problem(s). At this stage, visitors have given a name to their pain, and have some thoughts about what solution(s) they need or want. Now, they’re investigating their options to see what would work best for them and weeding out solutions that aren’t a good fit. Make it easy for them to make that determination by proving that you’re experts in your industry with good content.
When Creating Content for considerationWhile a journalistic tone worked best for the Awareness stage, a scientific or professorial tone is better for Consideration-stage content. You’re presenting empirical facts about your product (and in many cases, your competitors’ products too) to demonstrate your product’s superiority. Of course, when describing a feature of your product, be sure to identify the feature’s benefit to the user. Keep the tone factual, and if you have any statistics about the benefit, this is the perfect way to use them. It’s not yet time to use a sales tone like “[This product] cuts reporting time by almost half, giving you more free time to enjoy!” Instead, say “On average, users spent 48% less time preparing reports when using [this product].” That statement does the selling all by itself.
Best Formats for Mid-Funnel ContentThe level of detail in your mid-funnel marketing content will vary based on its format. Case studies and comprehensive guides shouldn’t get too granular, as too much detail will decrease the likelihood that site visitors will read them. By comparison, research studies, educational content, and even some webinars benefit from being as technical and specific as possible.
- Case studies: What better way to show how good your company is at solving customer problems than by demonstrating a time you solved a customer’s problem? Try to build up a “library” of case studies with a variety of clients and solutions that visitors can filter to find the case study that best fits their needs.
- Comprehensive guides: Such guides could take the form of a buying guide advising a customer on what to look for when buying, a detailed comparison of products or brands on the market, or a “skyscraper” blog post telling a reader everything they’d want to know about a topic.
- Analyst reports: These reports can be very high-return, which is good, because they can also be expensive to develop. Why? Because you won’t be creating these reports; an outside team will. An evaluative report from an objective source carries more weight than materials created within the company.
- Webinars: Webinars don’t just require content preparation, they require content promotion to get attendees. When planning a webinar, as always, keep the focus on how the content of the webinar will benefit customers, and apply that same perspective to webinar promotion materials. In other words, “There’s a webinar” isn’t motivating; “Save an hour a day with this [service, product, technique, etc.]” is.
- eBooks: An eBook can easily be created by combining the text of 3 or more blog posts that cover related topics. A really good eBook offers additional information: useful text that didn’t make it into the blog posts, infographics, a case study, etc. Prepare for your team to spend a little time on the cover design, as it can make the difference between downloading and not downloading.
- Research studies: Here’s a chance for your R&D team to really shine! While whitepapers are fairly short and marketing-oriented, research studies are all about the science. As with whitepapers, the research detailed here should have a tangible benefit for customers, so have a marketing team member review the study for customer application and general edits.
- Educational content: If you’ve ever taken an online course or gotten a certification from the Google Analytics Academy, you’ve experienced educational content. Obviously it delivers a high amount of value for visitors, and motivates them to spend lots of time on your site. Is it worth the investment? Only a smart content strategy will be able to determine that.