You Ask, I Answer: Content for Middle of Funnel Marketing?

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You Ask, I Answer: Content for Middle of Funnel Marketing?

Melissa asks, “What content works best for moving prospects from the awareness stage and turning them into leads?”

The answer to the question of middle of funnel content is contingent on what kinds of prospects they are and where they are in the demand spectrum. You’ll fundamentally need 4 kinds of content.

  • Branded demand content – I have a problem and I need YOUR help
  • Unbranded demand content – I have a problem and I need someone’s help
  • Related demand content – I have this problem, and I might also have your problem
  • Diagnostic demand content – I think I might have a problem but I’m not sure

You Ask, I Answer: Content for Middle of Funnel Marketing?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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In today’s episode, Melissa asks what content works best for moving prospects from the awareness stage and turning them into the leads for middle of the funnel? So, middle of funnel marketing, if you’re unfamiliar is you’ve gotten past Who are you? Right? But you’re not quite to let me sell you something.

And the question here is contingent Well, the answer is contingent on what kinds of prospects you’ve got, because there are different types of prospects and different needs that each of those prospects have.

And prospects at the middle of the funnel are some of the trickiest to solve because they don’t all have the same needs.

And so you need different kinds of content, different kinds of processes and procedures and marketing automation tasks and such to get them to close.

And there’s four fundamental kinds of content at the middle of funnel.

And they kind of work on a spectrum.

If you think about it, a lot of middle of funnel is sort of in house SEO of sorts where you’re trying to understand the different things people are looking for, and be able to answer them.

So there’s four categories.

Number one is what I call branded demand content.

branded demand content is when someone has gotten to the middle of the funnel because they are looking for you by name, right? They have done a brand search.

They have come in through your social media accounts or when your ads whatever the cases, the prospect of saying, hey, I’ve got a problem and I need your help.

So like, in my case, someone who’s in at this stage would have come to Trust Insights, searching specifically for by name, or searching for me personally by name.

So that’s category one, you need content that addresses that.

Like, why is Trust Insights, the right choice for your marketing analytics consulting? And we could dive into the whole motivations and things and stuff of people at that stage.

But for now, let’s just say you need some content that addresses the question of who is coming to you by name, who’s in the middle of the funnel by name and you need them to convert? Second is, obviously if you have branded content, you have unbranded content, right? This is where a prospect is saying, I have a problem and I need somebody’s help.

Right? They know what the problem is, but they don’t know that you have the answer to that problem.

They’re saying, hey, my Google Analytics is totally hosed.

And this is where a lot of help content comes in.

You give away some of the recipes or somebody’s ideas and some of the tactics and that in turn helps people go okay.

You clearly have expertise.

doing this.

So after they read your article, and they realize they have no chance whatsoever of doing whatever it is that you’re describing, they asked you for help.

Right? So that’s unbranded content.

I have a problem, I need someone’s help, but not necessarily you by name.

And we see a lot of that obviously, in existing SEO tactics brand non branded search.

The next stage in this sort of content demand spectrum is related demand.

So people say I have a problem, I might also have your problem.

So a real simple example for this would be, let’s say you run a coffee shop, and you have content about espresso, and somebody is looking for a latte, latte and espresso are logically related.

And so you need content that addresses hey, we’ve also got this or if you have this problem, you might also have this problem.

If you’re say a plumbing business if you if this thing is leaking, chances are it’s because of this thing right? Very clear.

connections between these things.

And again, from an SEO perspective, we see this happen a lot with things like topics, right, someone may be searching for help on a specific topic.

But there could be a bucket full of different words and phrases and content that would fit inside that bucket.

your roof is leaking all your water damage and fixing paint and looking for structural problems and rust on pipes.

There’s any number of related things that occur there.

That again is the type of content you would want to have to try and bring out that kind of demand that’s closer to the top of the funnel right so that content is is not as good for middle of funnel but it for for Batman to that transition stage is not bad.

And then my favorite is diagnostic content.

And this is where somebody has passed awareness right.

They know that There’s a problem there on your blog or your social channels or whatever.

And the thing, I think I might have a problem.

But I’m not sure if I have a problem.

And the reason this is a favorite of mine is because there is little that reassures somebody more in the beginning, then you being able to help them understand that the problem that they have, and be able to provide expert guidance, and may not even be the solution for their problem, but you point them to the solution for the problem.

So you have an opportunity to be helpful.

This is things like oh, diagnosing Why is my my website traffic down? Why? Why can’t I reheat coffee in the microwave? Why can’t I get this device to work as promised diagnostic content is is amazingly powerful at that middle of the funnel stuff because again, you’re Get you’re taking advantage of demand that may be there.

But if your competitors are focused on one very specific kind of demand content, this is a way to kind of work around them to look logically at the problems that people have and figure out.

How do you help them solve that problem? How do you help them understand that problem in a way that is beneficial to them? They could spend a lot of time on formats white papers, webinars, ebooks, all this stuff.

But if the content is not themed, correctly, based on that demand spectrum, none of it matters, right? If you have an audience, that in the middle of the funnel, they’re going, Hey, I have this problem and the anybody’s helping you’re all creating content about how awesome our brand is, you’re gonna get no results, right? Because the audience isn’t there.

So how do you know which kind of demand you’re facing? Well, as I mentioned a few times, you’re looking at this data you can extract data from search from search techniques and social media conversations you have with people and surveys and emails to your audience looking at your customer service inbox.

Do your best to take any of those types of data and bucket them into one of these four categories literally take your top 100 or 200 emails randomly sampled and categorize a meal branded unbranded related diagnostic.

And in doing so, you’ll be able to get a sense of where your audience is.

If your audience is never searching for you by name.

And never inquiring or mentioning your name and social media conversations.

Guess what branded demand content probably is not a priority.

You should have some eventually, but if everything is in your customer service inbox or in your contact forms on your website is all diagnostic like Hey, is this something that you can help with? Do you know anything about this? Can you recommend anyone Is this really a problem? What should I do? Then, you know, you need to spend your time on creating diagnostic content, you know, checklists, quizzes, video, how tos, all those kinds of things that address that specific type of content for demand.

So there is no one type of content that works best.

You have got to do your research.

You’ve got to do your own analysis of your data, to make that determination and then create content that answers those things.

It’s the most straightforward way to get to that.

Really good question.

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