If you have a good number of MQLs, but struggle to nurture them to SQLs, you may need to consider your content.
Do You Have The Right Content In Place To Nurture MQLs to SQLs?
Having the right top of the funnel (TOFU) content in place is the first step in securing great MQLS.
An MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) is a lead who is a good-fit opportunity, and worth pursuing further.
But for many B2B marketers, converting MQLs to SQLs can be a challenge. A common cause of processes stalling at this point is not having the right content; specifically, not having content that addresses more middle, or bottom of the funnel buyer challenges.
According to the 2016 Content Marketing Institute’s B2B content marketing report “Only 6 percent of B2B marketers rate their content marketing strategy as “highly effective” - this is due to a shortfall in relevant content being delivered after the buyer has passed the first (Awareness) stage of their journey.
So, if you’ve conducted a content audit and determined that you need more middle of the funnel (MOFU) content to kickstart your nurture efforts - what should you be creating?
5 MOFU Content Ideas to Nurture MQLs to SQLs
Middle of the funnel/ consideration content is important to nurture, build relationships and establish trust. At this point, your potential buyers will have identified the answers to the immediate questions surrounding their pain points and will be looking for more in-depth, data-backed, often personalised information to progress toward a decision.
Note: Many of the content types outlined below can be used at any stage of the funnel. For effective middle of the funnel nurture, it’s all about the angle; you need to dig deep into the challenges and purchase obstacles that your MQLs have, then explore them across a range of content types.
Forbes recently published some statistics that underline the importance of video marketing:
- Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019
- Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%
- 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions
Clearly video can be a useful format to hold an audience's attention and push them towards an action. For best results, videos used in the middle of the funnel should provide more in-depth value. For example your videos might:
- Explore how your solution or service works (and results they can achieve)
- Outline case study success stories
- Summarise common questions and consideration challenges (webinar recordings may be useful here)
2. Case Studies
Case studies are a good way to demonstrate how other organisations have seen success with your products/ services and encourage trust in your brand and solutions.
If you target a range of buyer personas (such as different sized businesses, or different industries) it’s wise to create multiple case studies, specific to each persona. That way you can prove the value and benefit of your solution to each specific audience and explore how results might be replicated in their company.
3. Product Guides
Buyer solution guides and kits that outline the aspects involved in a solution (such as strategy planning guides, templates, or product guides) can demonstrate further considerations and features, helping buyers understand what to expect should they purchase. If someone is considering your solution, a well-timed guide may provide the detail they need to make a decision.
4. Client Testimonials
Do you consider reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase? Your buyers will, so don’t shy away from asking clients for testimonials.
Similar to case studies, a positive client review of your product/service can establish trust and demonstrate credibility. Where possible ask your clients to detail the buying issues they had (causing them to choose your solution) and ensure they outline how you resolved them.
5. Frequently Asked Questions
What questions are your prospects asking about your solution? What obstacles to purchase do they have that you’ve identified? Do you have content to answer those more in-depth questions - of all varieties?
Content based on frequently asked questions can come in many forms; from a section of your website, to videos, articles, guides, explanatory webinars and more and is invaluable to answer questions that may not have been addressed elsewhere.
Points to Remember When Writing Content
Finaly, when developing middle of the funnel content, remember:
- Content should be delivered in a contextual and timely way; answering buyer’s challenges at the at moment they’re experiencing pain most. For example, if an MQL is reading a piece of your content on a particular topic - why not simultaneously recommend other relevant content, that pre-empts the questions they’ll have afterwards?
- Use sales insight to really understand the challenges MQLs are having and further hone your content, and targeting approach
- Consider the content formats that your buyers respond to most; make sure you create content to suit
- Consider how your prospects like to consume content; where do they go to find answers? Make sure your content is available via these channels
- Many of your MQLs will have different challenges, depending on their needs, niche, organisation size, level of education with your solution and more. For best results, segment your database to ensure you deliver the right content to the right prospects, at the right times