Your wide-funnel content (blog posts, social media messaging) might be performing well, but is your mid-funnel up to the task?
Mid-funnel content is designed to move people who’ve already opted in to your messaging through some action, (typically Subscribe, Like, or Follow) to conversion.
It’s important because most businesses serve (or would like to serve) more than one kind of customer. For example, a psychologist might offer therapy programs for both individuals and families, and a digital marketing agency might offer SEO and social media services.
Some firms serve so many discrete market segments that they must create dozens of content libraries for each. Consequently, creating effective mid-funnel content can be expensive. And because creating mid-funnel content is an ongoing task that takes place alongside your wide-funnel activities, it can be challenging for a team to manage.
Here are some four ways to ramp up your mid-funnel content offerings for maximum impact:
1. Leverage E-Books
Create a unique e-book for each of your audience segments. Even if this e-book isn’t a 200-page opus, it should provide sufficient value for what your downloader paid for it (typically the right for you to contact him/her again). Most content marketing teams have access to the Microsoft Office suite, making the e-book creation process painless and efficient. Editing tasks are typically performed in Word, final formatting happens in PowerPoint, and the final result is a PDF. A few years back, creating large PDFs was not a best practice, but bandwidth constraints have eased, and the PDF has become a universally accepted method of distributing business documents.
2. Reprocess Your Wide-Funnel Content
A blog post created a year ago to get buzz, search visibility, and generate awareness might be attracting no hits right now, but that doesn’t mean that it’s worthless. Such an article – when combined with other old articles written on the same theme – might provide enough heft for a credible mid-funnel content item such as an e-book.
This extraction-based approach doesn’t work in every case. For example, an article written on SEO in 2009 would have very little applicability to today’s world, and it would be better to simply throw it out than consider it a candidate for an e-book project. Still, focusing on what you’ve already published and mining it for e-book content is a great way to jump-start the creative mid-funnel process. Sometimes all that’s required is a mild updating and copy pass to create a new product that can be immediately put to work in the mid-funnel.
3. Use SlideShare
This platform (with 60 million monthly users) is an ideal platform for showcasing your mid-funnel content. But it might be a mistake for you to upload your complete mid-funnel content library to the service, because it’s harder to determine who watched it (whereas if you put the PDF on your site you can get as much insight as your own analytics provide). As I mentioned back in August on ClickZ, SlideShare has been making more “pro-level” features available to its regular users, including improved analytics, which is great. Consider creating an edited/abridged version of your e-book for SlideShare that shares value without “giving away the store.”
4. Consider Video
Video is an excellent medium for in-depth explanations of complex subjects. Because it’s a sequential medium, it’s uniquely suited for “step-by-step” instruction. While the production costs of creating a quality video are very high relative to e-books, an entertaining and informative video has almost unlimited potential. Furthermore, the definition of “quality video” has changed in the popular mind in the past several years. Sometimes “low-tech” (cell phone) videos are adequate to convey your story (although you’ll still have to put as much thought into them as you’d put into a traditional big-budget shoot).
To evaluate whether video content would be effective (both in its mid-funnel role and in terms of gaining wide-funnel awareness for your company), check YouTube for content in your business vertical. You might find that there are very few competitors using the service for the distribution of mid-funnel content, which means you’ve got an opportunity. Check SlideShare as well, because it recently expanded its video capabilities, expanding file size to 500 MB, allowing much heftier videos to reside there.
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