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Marketing Funnels – Navigating the Messy Middle

Don’t ignore this area like the middle child. The top and bottom are more sexy and exciting, but the middle is necessary. It may be harder to define, but it’s just as important if you want qualified leads moving into the bottom of your funnel.

Middle of Funnel Goals

Your primary goal at this stage of the funnel is to nurture and qualify leads. You’re building trust with your leads and starting to generate that brand loyalty everyone loves.

Think of middle of the funnel like the bridge that takes your leads from interest to purchase. They need to have the confidence in your brand in order to walk across that bridge with you.

This is where you start explaining why your solution is the best one for their needs and why they should move forward with you. But you can’t just sell, sell, sell. You need to be strategic in your middle of the funnel content.

Middle of Funnel Activities

So what should you use in the middle of your funnel? Case studies, white papers, e-books, calculators, webinars and email automations are ideal at this point. You’re providing value by educating your leads, and throwing in a little persuasive call to action in the mix.

A key part of your activities here should be targeting. You should not be talking to all leads the same. Segment them based on their interests, or how they came into your funnel. Let them know that you know them, you understand them and you want to help them.

Middle of Funnel Steps

Now that you understand the importance of the middle of the funnel and how you should be talking to your audience, what steps should you be taking?

First, look at your current funnel leads. How can you segment them that makes sense to their needs? What would be your ideal segments so you can talk to them more personally? How do you go from where you are today to where you want to be? Maybe you need to collect different data at the top of the funnel. Perhaps you should track engagement with your content differently using tags and links. Figure out what you need to change at the top so you can be more effective in the middle.

Next, look at the content you currently have that is persuasive, educational and can be targeted to one of your segments. Identify where you have holes in your funnel. These could be areas where leads are leaking out since you don’t have the content to keep building trust with them and move them towards the purchase decision. Create a list of what you need to fill those holes. It might be an e-book, or a checklist. Maybe you need a case study for a specific segment. Use what you have, and create the rest.

Just remember that everything you publish in the middle of the funnel should direct people towards a purchase decision. Here’s to building your middle… it may be messy at first, but you’ll soon have a well oiled machine pumping leads from top to bottom!

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