Specialized content & technology guide prospects through the funnel
For many companies, the marketing funnel is an endless black hole of unpredictable behaviors, failed attempts at engagement and major drop off at critical stages of the funnel. Content is responsible for catching the attention of the audience at the top of the funnel, while bottom-of-the-funnel content seals the deal.
But content at the middle of the funnel has a tall order to fill. First, it must educate the consumer and address issues such as differentiation and meaningful connection. Second it must actually nurture the leads into conversions.
The middle of the funnel is complex. Where are the leads coming from and how do they want to interact with content? What type of content do they prefer to consume and is it relevant enough to move them along to the buying stage?
The modern digital marketer has come to rely heavily on technology to answer these questions and develop strategies that are in line with the various customer profiles and behaviors. Most importantly, as data is aggregated, analyzed, implemented and optimized, content gaps between the three stages are minimized. So, for example, higher-level content consumed too soon in the funnel might deter a lead from moving into the middle stage where a personalization and higher-level engagement can take place. Technology solves problems like this in a couple of ways.
Break Them Up!
Mistargeted messaging can easily dissuade a lead from moving through the middle of the funnel and loses a lead by being untimed, irrelevant or lacking specific value. Middle-of-the-funnel content has to be targeted and segmented in order to be consumed. Segmenting by demographic features and behaviors such as how customers engage and with what types of content they consume, sets the stage for identifying and plugging leaks in the funnel and ultimately leads to automation.
Nurture With Content
Content at this stage of the funnel has to be tailored specifically to the group. This means that it must solve specific problems and dive into complex issues, educate, inform and empower the lead. It must offer value, jam-packed and detailed information and prove that the company is worth engaging with. Good middle-of-the-funnel content includes blogs that go beyond intro-level content, case studies, e-books and white papers.
Personalize The Experience
Personalization is also a big part of the middle of the funnel and can be implemented dynamically and in real time with contextual content. As prospects have a much higher level of interest in this phase of the relationship, content has to speak directly to the individual. By now the needs and wants of a user are clear, so using personalization in emails, landing pages, mobile marketing and social channels delivers an experience that the prospect is expecting. Higher response and engagement rates are a result of using testing and feedback loops to deliver relevance, value and timeliness.
Want to learn how content marketing, email, technology and digital strategies can get more prospects into the funnel? Join us for Top-of-the-Funnel Marketing Innovations: Awareness Strategies & Technologies on Tuesday, October 11, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at DowntownWorks in Downtown San Diego. Top marketing tech experts from Raindrop Marketing, Ignite Visibility, SearchMetrics and Goodway Group will offer a deep dive into the strategy and technology landscape for top-of-the-funnel marketing activities.
Julie is a talented and passionate marketing expert with more than 11 years of digital, traditional and integrated marketing solutions experience. She is the Sr. Marketing Manager at Mapp, an email service provider that empowers marketers to launch email marketing programs, small or large, with sophisticated and advanced email segmentation. Prior to joining Mapp in 2013, she created and executed strategic events and campaign marketing for peak performance strategist Tony Robbins, and DriveCam, a global driver risk management firm. Julie is originally from Michigan, where she graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Marketing and Public Relations. She currently resides in San Diego and when she's not juggling multiple marketing projects or volunteering, she enjoys camping, hiking with her Australian Shepherd, good food and wine, and the great outdoors.