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The Key to Becoming BFFs With Your Sales VP: Nurturing the Middle Funnel

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Butting heads with your sales VP over how many leads you’re bringing in and converting? Here’s a secret: you’re probably not nurturing the middle funnel with the right content.

Key takeaways:

  • Nurturing the middle funnel requires its own content strategy – it just won’t do to use the same content for every funnel stage. 
  • The content that nurtures the middle funnel needs to educate and engage leads. 
  • There are five types of content that educate and engage: case studies, whitepapers, blog posts, lead magnets, and drip campaigns. 
  • Don’t forget to put content quality first – your lead magnets won’t attract anyone if they don’t bring serious value to the table. 

Do you notice that your leads stall once they hit the middle funnel? Is your sales VP getting annoyed because you’re not bringing in enough qualified leads? 

Here’s the key to becoming best friends with your sales VP: You need a different approach to tackling the middle funnel. 

It’s common for marketing teams to miss the simple fact that you can’t use the same content for every stage of the funnel. Your top funnel leads need to become aware of your brand and solution, so you can build that by publishing social media ads. Bottom funnel leads need help making a sales decision, so webinars and consultations are great assets.

The problem is, you can’t use those same content types to nurture the middle funnel and expect it to work. It’s a nonnegotiable fact that you need to tailor the type of content to the funnel stage. Otherwise, you’re just throwing content at someone who’s not ready for it! 

When you take the time to nurture the middle funnel with the right kind of content, you’ll find that you get more qualified leads and your sales team and VP are happier with what you’re bringing in. 


Nurturing the middle funnel: Educate and engage

When you’re trying to nurture middle funnel leads, your goal is to educate and engage your audience. At this point, they understand their problem and know they have options for a solution. They just need help evaluating those options and deciding what’s their best choice.

You have to offer middle funnel content that:

  • Educates your audience on your solution to their challenge
  • Engages your audience with your brand and product 

Someone our team admires, Avinahs Kaushik, calls this the “think audience”.

“The Think audience intent cluster that contains a slightly smaller audience but one that, through their behavior, display weak commercial intent.” - Avinash Kaushik

Kaushik illustrates where the think audience fits within the buyers journey:



To Kaushik’s point, the content has to convince the middle funnel lead that you understand their problem and you have a solution that’s a better fit than the competition. 

Social media ads won’t cut it, and webinars will fly over these leads’ heads because they’re not ready. Instead, you have to use content types that are built to educate and engage. 


The 5 types of content you need for the middle funnel

So, what types of content can you use to educate and engage the middle funnel? It’s super important that content at this stage is designed to show your reader you care about their problem, then introduce a solution. 

All this has to happen while delivering value, so it’s really important to deliver true solutions at this point and convince your reader that you’ve walked in their shoes and know what to do next. 

There are five content types that are especially well-suited to the middle funnel: 

1. Case studies

Case studies are well-suited to the middle funnel because they increase your authority (boosting value at the same time) and show concrete success at tackling the lead’s problem or challenge.

You can use case studies as gated content on your website or throw them into your drip campaigns to ensure you’re delivering value to the people who will make the most use of it. 

2. Whitepapers

Like case studies, whitepapers outline a problem and delve deep into the solution. They’re typically longer and more in-depth than case studies, so they’re especially useful as gated content. 

A successful whitepaper should be very heavy on research and statistics to back up what you’re claiming. A good whitepaper can be super powerful in moving your middle funnel leads along to the bottom of the funnel. 

3. Blog posts

Blog posts are easy to access and digest, but at the same time, they’re a great way to deliver valuable solutions to the lead’s problem. 

A blog post can introduce the problem and go into the solution, then route the reader to another blog post (or more in-depth content like a whitepaper or case study) to get more information. Basically, a blog post fills an information gap for the lead and does so without requiring downloads or a ton of reading time. 

4. Lead magnets

Lead magnets are premium content that’s usually gated (but not always). This content delivers serious value – it positions your brand as an expert and puts your solution in place as the very best choice. 

A lead magnet can be multiple types of content – it could be an eBook, a whitepaper, or an interactive, downloadable resource (like a workbook and checklist combo). It’s nearly always free to download, leaving the audience feeling like they got a great deal on something really good. 

If it’s gated, then the reader usually has to give their email address in exchange for the download – so lead magnets are good for pairing with drip campaigns, which you can pack with follow-up knowledge. 

5. Drip campaigns

A drip campaign is a series of emails that usually follows a specific format to address a pain point and put a solution in place. The end goal of a drip campaign depends on the call-to-action, but usually, it includes scheduling a consultation, requesting more information, or checking out an asset (like gated content). 

It’s important that each email provides value even before the CTA. Try drafting these emails in problem, agitate, solution (PAS) format (which is pretty much what it sounds like). Introduce the problem your lead is facing, let them know what will happen if they don’t address the problem, and then present the answer. 

The quality of your middle funnel content matters

Here’s another secret: It doesn’t matter that you have the right content type if the quality sucks. 

Pay attention to your content quality. Prioritize creating great content that tells a story that’s familiar to your audience; they want to know you’ve been in their shoes. Put so much research and insight into your content that there’s no way your audience comes away feeling like they’ve been gypped on value. 

Take just five minutes of your time to take ContentBacon’s FREE content quiz. We’ll let you know whether your content is already sizzling – or fizzling. 

If you need help getting your content up to speed, ContentBacon will show you how and even take over the process for you. We’re experts at creating hot content that delivers spicy value. Check out our subscription packages to make your content sizzle! 

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