Everyone has heard the cliche, “It’s not the destination, it's the journey.” As someone who loves a good philosophical slant on things, I applied this philosophy to content marketing.
The goal of content marketing is to draw your prospects mindfully through the sales funnel, nurturing them through the various stages with content that’s relevant to their needs, and relevant to the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in at the time.
- At the top of the funnel (ToFu stage) – the widest part – prospects are just starting to do online research around their problem and when they find your ToFu content, they become aware of your brand and what you offer
- Progressing through the funnel, the opening gets smaller, so in the middle of the funnel (MoFu stage) there are fewer prospects, but those prospects are now aware of what you can do for them and are now looking for more information about your specific products and services
- At the bottom of the funnel (BoFu stage) there are even fewer, and this is when they’re basically “kicking the tires,” to determine who they should buy from
Relating this all back to the journey reference, MoFu content has the greatest potential to pull prospects towards the final stage – in which they make a purchase decision.
What Exactly is MoFu Content and Why is it So Effective?
MoFu content is designed to provide prospects with the information that will put your company and its products or services ahead of all others being considered. Here are a few characteristics of MoFu content:
- It acknowledges and confirms the prospect’s pain points (and the consequences of those pain points) and presents your company’s products or services as a practical way to address them
- It offers evidence of your product or service's superiority: side-by-side comparisons, study results, customer case studies, demonstrations, customer testimonials, etc.
- It reflects the prospect’s place in the funnel – he or she is at a point where they understand the scope of their problem and have a better understand of which type of solution will align with their needs, but they’re doing a lot of comparing. That could be comparisons of solution types, costs, results, companies or all of the above
One caution: MoFu content should not be too sales-y. You’ll lose credibility (you don’t appear to be helpful – you appear to be just trying to make money). A prospect should be encouraged to reach his or her own conclusion based on what you’ve presented.
Similarly, your prospect may not be ready to be contacted in person. Before you do that, make sure you’re leveraging smart form progressions to help further qualify leads each time they “bite” on a download offer. This will give you a far more concrete sense of when to reach out.
Examples of MoFu Content
Now that you have a better understanding of the role of MoFu content, here are some examples of advanced content types that are typically developed for this stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Data sheets - provide the details prospects are looking for (energy usage, size, cost-in-use, etc.)
- Checklists - be helpful by showing prospects the best way to do something. If you made supply chain management software, for example, you might do a checklist that helps the prospect understand that it’s definitely the right time to make a switch, like “8 Things That Tell You It’s Time for Better Supply Management Software”
- Webinars - Webinars blend audio with visual and, in that way, are very “digestible.” Use them to outline a process, educate prospects about a new product or method, compare the advantages of your product with another, etc.
- Comparison or “versus” blogs - People in the MoFu stage are evaluating their options, and that’s your opportunity to tell them why yours is better
- Case studies - real-life examples of how you improved a customer’s situation (reduced their overhead, improved their productivity, eliminated their bottlenecks, etc.) are meaningful to prospects because they showcase what you did for someone just like them
- How-to content - “How to Minimize Your Risks of Industrial Hacking,” “How to Reduce Energy Use by 18%,” and “How to Extend the Life of Your Valves” are all examples of useful how-tos
- Demo videos - Even more engaging than webinars are videos. You’re combining visual, audio and motion to show, not tell. In addition to demos, you could do testimonials, plant tours, process overviews, side-by-side in-use comparisons and many more
A Few Additional Tips
Mix it up. Don’t do only blogs. Keep prospects engaged with a lively mix that shows you’re putting effort into revealing as much relevant information about your company and its products as you can.
Ask for input. When you ask prospects for content ideas at the end of a blog or video (“Tell us what topics you’d like us to cover!”) they may not offer any, but it shows that you’re interested in helping them solve their problems.
Make it something to pass along. Ensure that those you target will share your content with others in the decision pool by keeping them all in mind as you’re creating content. That means that if you’re targeting an engineer but want that engineer to pass along a product comparison guide to the Purchasing Manager, include things the PM will be interested in, like cost-in-use, ROI, capacity, etc.
Above all else, make sure all of your MoFu content leaves the viewer or reader with a strong sense of your expertise and attitude; be confident but not arrogant, helpful but not timid and eager but not pushy. With carefully crafted MoFu content, prospects will enjoy the journey–and the destination.