B2B Sales Middle of the Funnel Content Checklist

B2B companies use terms such as “sales funnel,” “buyer’s journey,” or “buyer’s lifecycle” to discuss how a potential client goes from a prospect (or someone who knows nothing about the B2B company) to purchasing the product or service. No matter which term you use, content plays a significant role in moving the person along until they purchase. Since B2B sales cycles can take weeks or months, it’s important that companies utilize content as touch points and reminders, so the potential client remembers the value of the product or service.

Thinking about the buyer’s journey (or sales funnel), there are three main stages to consider.

  1. Awareness stage (top of the funnel): The prospect is becoming aware of the problem and may have begun to search for solutions.
  2. Consideration stage (middle of the funnel): The prospect is considering different solutions to solve the problem.
  3. Decision stage (bottom of the funnel): The prospect is choosing between different vendors.

Conversion funnel - middle of the funnel

 

82% of buyers viewed at least five pieces of content from the winning vendor (Forrester)

 

At all three stages, companies must provide ample content to push the prospect down the funnel until he or she finally becomes a client. In this blog, we’re going to discuss the content that belongs in the “consideration stage” or in the middle of the funnel. Companies often confuse this content with what belongs in the awareness stage, so it’s important to make a distinction in the buyer journey.

Why use content in the middle of the funnel

Content can serve as touch points in the middle of the funnel, as the prospect considers the various solutions available to solve the problem at hand. What’s most important, however, is the content offered adds value. 82% of buyers viewed at least five pieces of content from the winning vendor (Forrester), which means the buyer wants content, so the company should provide it.

Furthermore, 68% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it (iMedia Connection), so content can connect the prospect to the company. The idea is to provide content offers that help these prospects choose your solution.

Middle of the funnel content marketing

Types of content that add value in the middle of the funnel

 

At this point, the prospect most likely has already read your blogs and browsed your social media posts, so now it’s time to offer different content. Here are the types of content that work well in the middle of the funnel and help push the prospect down to the decision stage.

Content marketing for the buyers journey

White papers: Of the top three content requests from B2B buyers, a white paper comes in first with 78% requesting this type of content (Demand Gen Report). A white paper can take many forms – from an analytical look at industry trends to a long-form fact sheet on certain policies. A white paper can detail how your product or service helped others or include facts about the company and its beginnings.

 

Case Studies: The second most requested piece of content, according to Demand Gen Report, are case studies (73% of buyers want to read them). Case studies actually prove the value of your product or service, because it shows how someone else used it. The reader can see how your company supported another client and realize the potential of the technology you offer. Learn how to write B2B case studies.

 

Data Sheet: This is a great way to numerically show your value. Data sheets (also called fact sheets) can showcase what you know about the problem being addressed and how well your company is able to solve it. Clients like data sheets that give statistical evidence as to why your company has a competitive edge as well.

 

In-depth guide or webinar: 67% of B2B buyers want to see a webinar to get a better idea on how the technology works or how the industry is addressing the problem thus far. Consider offering an in-depth guide to accompany the webinar or for individuals who could not attend the presentation. The webinar does not necessarily need to discuss your technology but rather give an overall industry look at the problem and solution. It will showcase your expertise in the area and offer valuable information to potential clients.

 

Demo Video: A demo video might be better suited in the decision phase, but some B2B buyers want this earlier on in the decision-making process. A one-on-one demo video offers you a way to showcase your product or service and answer and questions from potential clients. It also shows you are willing to give up time and resources to win over the buyer.

 

Other content considerations:

  • Targeted, nurturing emails
  • Role-based or industry-specific content that aligns buyer need with your methodology, philosophy, or unique disposition
  • Educational eBooks
  • Solution teaser videos
  • Thought-leadership content that shows your advantage
  • Portfolio decks or other proof points
  • Calculators that reveal value, savings, or ROI
  • Learning courses

Remember to add value to the buyer’s journey.

Content marketing must focus on buyer needs. Content should play a role to inspire, educate, guide, inform, prove, and build trust. For B2B content marketing, this is especially true–content must provide concrete help to the buyer’s journey.
No matter which type or types of content you decide to offer in the middle of the funnel, remember to add value to the potential buyer. At this point, they are relatively well-versed with the problem, and they want to understand how to bring about a solution. Using content, you can offer in-depth analysis that can help them better understand the different solutions and, ultimately, why your company stands apart from the rest.

A CMO's Guide to B2B Lead Generation [Free eBook PDF]

Sources

https://go.forrester.com/blogs/15-04-14-death_of_a_b2b_salesman/

https://www.imediaconnection.com/articles/ported-articles/red-dot-articles/2013/nov/27-marketing-myths-that-we-all-believe/

https://www.demandgenreport.com/industry-topics/content-strategies/2746-b2b-content-preferences-survey-buyers-want-short-visual-mobile-optimized-content.html#.VLfy2S7F_Cc



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