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Do you have that right content for the bottom of the funnel?
The sales funnel and content. Content and the sales funnel. The two marketing entities are more linked now than ever before, and their relationship is generally made of three different categories.
Top-of-the-funnel content is where your marketing creates awareness, brand identity, and new leads. It’s designed to have the most reach and cover a broader introduction to a product, service, or company.
Middle-of-the-funnel content is where you continue to nurture leads, score them based on engagement, and identify their specific interests in the product. This content is largely for prospects already in your database with known interest.
These two categories get a lot of attention from content creators and demand gen teams tasked to produce as large a number of MQLs (marketing qualified leads) as possible.
However, the final stage of the sales funnel could be considered the most important, because this is where your content actually turns a lead into a customer.
This post will walk through the nuances and different approaches to making high-converting content for this important part of the buyer’s journey.
Bottom-of-the-funnel content is marketing material that gives your highly-qualified lead that extra-nudge, the final persuasion, the specific answers to any lingering questions of “is this the right product/ service for my needs?”
Depending on individual program definitions, the bottom of the funnel either converts the lead into a customer (most of the time), or converts the MQL into a sales qualified lead. Either way, the content for this part of the buyer’s journey needs to be both varied and specific.
Different buyers will be looking for different information personal to their roles and organization’s needs. There can’t be a “one size fits all” piece of content for the bottom of the funnel like there might be for the top of the funnel. Rather, the bottom of the funnel needs many different pieces that can be culled from depending on the prospect.
The content subjects need to be more granular and close-up than previous higher-funnel content. Think of it as a microscope’s different focuses: 5x view is top of the funnel, 10x view is the middle, and 30x view is the bottom – really looking at how each part of the product works and what it will do for the buyer.
Executing a content plan where the entire buyer’s journey is covered requires some specific structures to be in place. Without these structures, you’ll be guessing at who the prospect is, what they are looking for, and if they are even a good fit as a client.
Best practices to successfully knowing where a lead is in the funnel include having the four below pillars.
Identifying both who your ideal targets are in a broad capacity, and within that broad target – what individual roles make up the team so you know to whom you’re talking and targeting. Knowing this, you can start mapping out the ideal content for each persona within the organization, and when they may want it.
According to InfusionSoft, if you allow more than 30 minutes to pass before following up with an engaged lead, that lead is 21x less likely to turn into a sale.
Having a strong marketing automation system is crucial to connecting your personas with the right content when they are wanting it.
Ultimately, this is how you identify a prospect's position in the funnel. Using your automation system and your personas to guide your prospects as they engage in your content allows you to do two crucial things:
If your target buyers are companies with 500 - 1000 employees, then a lead with a company size of 50 employees may not be a good fit.
Even if a lead seems highly engaged with your content, if they are not a good fit as a client you may end up wasting sales efforts, or having quick churn if they become a customer.
“61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified.” - MarketingSherpa
Once you collect lead contact information and engagement data – this is where it all should live so that your sales teams can have visible insight into qualified leads and current customers. Taking the initiative at the bottom of the funnel is key.
According to Mckinsey, three in five leads at the bottom of the funnel do nothing simply because it’s easier than making a decision.
As stated in a post by Kapost, “bottom-of-the-funnel content should prove the value of purchase, and explain how the products and services will be implemented within the organization.”
With that being said, what subjects and content types should make up the bottom of the funnel?
As we already went over, the subjects should be whittled down to highlight very specific functions of the product depending on the lead’s interest. These can include:
As much as possible, these pieces of content should be made to be easily passed along to internal team members who have a part in the decision making process.
If your main contact and supporter is a content creator but has to get sign off from their CMO or a more finance-focused team member, that contact will want to have material handy, and easily presentable, to make their case. This tip especially supports the case for ROI calculators, as they present real numbers for the investment.
For some in-depth content examples, check out our recent post, 7 Creative Examples of Bottom of the Funnel Marketing.
Not only is bottom-of-the-funnel content used by your marketing team to nurture and convert the lead, but once your sales team is working with that lead – they, too, benefit from strong content.
Having an easily navigable resource gallery of customer examples and case studies aids your sales team hugely when they are on a call with a prospect and learning about their specific needs.
Not to keep harping on the ROI calculator, but it’s a great example of sales-enablement content.
Imagine a member of your sales team is on a call or a demo and they really want to articulate the investment value of the product – what better way to demonstrate than by showing vs. telling. With a ROI calculator, the prospect could give their specific metrics, and see an individual outcome based on those numbers right there on the call.
Another scenario to think of is the “live chat” scenario.
Not all bottom-of-the-funnel leads come from a slow drip campaign, passing through the entire funnel. Some leads skip all those steps, go to the website, see a live chat option, and request a demo right there on the spot. I did that exact thing two weeks ago.
With a fresh lead going directly to sales, it’d be beneficial to gather some key facts about the lead before the demo.
Having a short, but powerful piece of content like an interactive assessment or survey to have that lead engage with before the demo allows essential qualifying data to be learned and helps shape the call focus and depth.
Content tip: Make the content fun and light, or even seasonal. Check out SnapApp’s “Bachelor” themed assessment below to see how to grab key information in an engaging way.
Certainly every stage of the funnel is important for marketers. Strategizing your content creation plan and making sure you have assets for the many different personas and stages of the modern buyer’s journey is the most effective way to get conversions out of your content.
When going through your content inventory, ask yourself if your bottom-of-the-funnel pieces answer all the questions a prospect would have at that stage.
Does it demonstrate the product or service in all its different capacities? Does it articulate a strong return on investment? Can the content be easily shared with less-involved members of the decision making team? Is the sales team benefiting from these assets?
If you can answer yes to these questions, then your content is well on the way from not just informing and educating, but actually converting.