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Lead Nurturing in a Funnel
Lead nurturing is a crucial component of the sales process that is often overlooked by marketers. While the top of the funnel brings in leads, the middle of the funnel content helps nurture those leads into lifelong customers and build brand affinity. In this blog, we will discuss the middle of the funnel, different content types you can use for it, and how to use marketing automation for nurturing leads. By understanding the various aspects of the middle of the funnel, you can target the audience with better content and create a good experience.
Paths to the Middle of the Funnel
There are two paths through which prospects can get into your middle of the funnel stage. The first path is if prospects interact with your top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) content, and that’s how you captured their email address. The second path is when prospects directly interact with the middle of the funnel content using specific channels like Google ads. We will cover both these paths, but before that, let’s establish the aim of the middle of the funnel marketing.
The Aim of Middle of the Funnel Marketing
In the middle of the funnel, the objective is to build trust, authority, and persuade prospects to take the next step of either becoming a marketing qualified lead (MQL) or making a purchase. In the middle of the funnel stage, your content should have the theme of how YOU can solve your prospect’s problem and position your brand as the solution to your prospect’s needs.
Let’s take an example, say we want to sell insurance for freelancers. In the top of the funnel stage, prospects would be searching for information. Now, there are two paths through which prospects can get into your middle of the funnel stage. The first path is if prospects interact with your top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) content, and that’s how you captured their email address. The second path is when prospects directly interact with the middle of the funnel content using specific channels like Google ads. Let’s comprehensively discuss both scenarios.
Path 1: Interacting with ToFu content
In the second scenario, a prospect skips the top of the funnel, interacts with the brand, and becomes a marketing qualified lead. It happens when a prospect is looking for a solution provider, e.g., in our freelance insurance example. The prospect could type in keywords like “freelancer insurance company” or “freelancer insurance provider.” These keywords show higher intent. To convert prospects into marketing qualified leads, you can use high intent keyword campaigns on Google and send qualified traffic to your website. Here is an example from funnelpreneurs.com, where prospects interested in life-term insurance convert directly into marketing qualified leads by skipping the ToFu stage.
So you might be thinking, why not just skip the top of the funnel stage and directly engage with the middle of the funnel prospects. That’s a good question, and it all comes back to the cost. When running Google ads, high intent keywords have a high cost per click which means you need higher ad budgets to compete against the big players. It’s crazy, but sometimes high intent keywords can go up to $100 per click. So by targeting the low-cost top-of-the-funnel keywords, you can effectively reduce your cost per lead or cost per acquisition.
Content Types for the Middle of the Funnel
For any successful marketing campaign, you need collateral to complement your marketing activities. Here are some examples of the middle-of-the-funnel content that you can use as part of your nurture sequences:
- Case studies
- Product demonstrations
- Comparison charts
- Interactive quizzes
Now that you have your content ready, let’s start promoting it. If you already have your prospect’s email address, you can easily email your information-qualified leads and send them more valuable content. If you want to send direct traffic to your middle of the funnel stage, you can run social media ads from Facebook and send traffic to your landing pages.
Speaking of landing pages, you can also run high intent Google ad campaigns, targeted keywords like “your service supplier,” “your service agency,” “your service consultant,” “your service developer.” Below, I have discussed the two most significant ways of effectively nurturing your leads.
Path 2: Direct interaction with middle of the funnel content
Marketing automation is at the crux of converting information qualified leads (IQLs) into marketing qualified leads (MQLs). We talked about what content types you should use, but now let’s talk about what emails you should send. As part of lead nurturing, you can do things along the way to qualify prospects. Using progressive fields, you can enrich your lead data with more info. For example, in the top of the funnel stage, if you capture name and email, now when offering middle of the funnel content, you can replace the name field with the Job Title. By capturing more info about your lead, you can create a start to segment and personalize their experience.
Use software to track user activities. For example, using ActiveCampaign will allow you to collect data through email workflows, and page tracking will allow you to build unique email workflows. You can develop your scoring system based on:
- Engagement with your emails
- Visiting certain pages on your website
- Downloading content
- Filling forms
- Social media activities
Ending the Middle of the Funnel Content
The next step is to end your middle of the funnel marketing content with a call to action that tells prospects what to do next. Group MQLs into buckets and match each bucket with a target audience or persona group. When matched, you can create marketing messages that resonate with that particular persona group. With the help of segmented lists, you can share relevant information that talks about the leads’ pain points and how your services can be a solution to them. Break down the middle of the funnel content into smaller funnels and organize them according to prospect behavior that you can get with marketing automation.
Great stuff! You now know how to generate marketing qualified leads at the middle of your funnel. When focusing your marketing efforts on the prospects that have already shown interest in your services, middle-of-the-funnel marketing assists you. It decreases your client acquisition cost and drives sales by bringing focus to quality leads with the help of nurturing methods like lead scoring and lead segmentation. I hope you found this blog helpful. Value packed actionable tips delivered.