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Mid-Funnel and Bottom-Funnel Content the Next Wave of Online Marketing

Mid-Funnel and Bottom Funnel Content the Next Wave of Online Marketing.pngMarketers use the sales funnel as a schematic to describe the nurturing of prospects. The top of the funnel represents the initial stages, when brands focus first on casting a wide net then, as the funnel gets narrower, assisting potential customers to evaluate and finally purchase the product. Depending on the stage, sales agents have to use different methods in order to drive the customer towards purchase.

Content marketing has mostly focused on eBooks, videos and blog posts, all of which are essential to build brand awareness and get new sales leads. This type of content serves little use for prospects at the mid- and bottom-funnel stages, however, since they already have substantial brand awareness. At these points, it's crucial to produce new kinds of content to keep them interested and ready to buy. 

Middle of the Funnel Content: Helping Customers Evaluate

Customers who get past the top funnel stage, awareness, know about your brand and are ready to learn a bit more. At the mid-funnel stage, they need to know what makes you different from your competitors. Your content should be informative and invoke an emotional connection and trust between your brand and the consumer. 

At the middle of the funnel stage, you should focus on content that is brand-specific and informative, like product demonstrations, case studies and how-to guides. With this kind of content, you're taking steps to convince the consumer that you're the right purchasing choice. 

Marketing expert Andrew Raso also argues this stage should weed out potential customers who won't benefit from the product. You may want to get as many people from mid-funnel to bottom funnel as possible, but if the wrong people buy your product they won't stick with you for very long. A low retention rate can cost you more in the long run, especially in industries where customer support is crucial in the early purchase and implementation stages. 

Bottom of the Funnel Content: Giving the Option of Buy

Your content marketing is crucial at the tip of the funnel, where your best leads have learned about your product and are ready to give it a try. At this point, you want them to sign up for a service or fork over a credit card. 

Your content will describe what you get with a free trial, demonstration, estimate or any other hook that converts your prospect into a customer. It can be in the form of static website content, online advertising targeted at late-stage customers, email solicitation or any other collection of text that has a call to action and an incentive to follow through.

Think of your content marketing as a full-funnel strategy that uses different information to appeal to customers at different phases in their relationship with your brand. At the end of the day, awareness isn't enough if it doesn't ultimately lead to purchase. 

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Vera K. Fischer is the CEO of the brand marketing agency, 97 Degrees West, a digital marketing expert, speaker and the host of System Execution Podcast.

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Vera Fischer

By Vera Fischer

The visionary of 97 Degrees West for more than thirteen years, Vera has served as the CEO and President since 2004. During Vera’s tenure, the agency has achieved steady growth while surviving both economic recessions in Austin, Texas. Vera began her advertising career at GSD&M where she worked on accounts: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Houston Rockets, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Pearl Vision, SeaWorld and DoubleTree Hotels. Her next stop was the nationally recognized T3 known as “The Think Tank.” While at T3, Vera spearheaded the Dell Computers launch of the Preferred Accounts Division and lead national projects for the ESL and Enterprise Divisions. Other notable accounts included Quintiles Oncology, Austin Lyric Opera and St. David’s Hospital. In 2001, Vera left the agency world to embark on the client side as Director of Marketing for Forgent Networks, the software spin-off of VTEL video conferencing. Vera managed an annual multi-million dollar marketing budget, developed online lead generation programs, managed the inside sales team and consistently delivered high-quality MQLs to the sales team. In 2004, after a company wide re-org, Vera was laid off while on maternity leave. Within the day, she founded her agency, 97 Degrees West. Vera’s weekly podcast entitled, “System Execution”, launched in mid-2016 with notable guests like Ari Weinzweig, Jeff Smith, Gary Bizzo, Dr. Alan Pitt, and other business and thought leaders. Vera is the first woman to host a podcast devoted to systems and processes of successful companies. She is quickly becoming one of the country’s leading authorities on the topic of execution Vera is a member of the Austin University Area Rotary Club, an advisory board member for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University and a Mentor at Capital Factory in Austin, Texas. Vera is completing her Master’s in Strategic Communications at Texas State University in May 2018.