If you have a good number of MQLs, but struggle to nurture them to SQLs, you may need to consider your content.
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?
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finaly, when developing middle of the funnel content, remember: