If you want my team to help with your SEO & Content, click here.
👋 I hope you enjoy reading this post
If you want my team to help with your eCommerce SEO campaigns, click here.
☝️ The marketing funnel is widely known and understood marketing concept. This is a valid theory but it has its flaws, which can make it detrimental to your marketing strategy. If you want to stick with the basics, our 3 articles on BOFU, MOFU and TOFU content are enough. But if you want to explore this rabbit hole a bit deeper, you'd better read this article on the content marketing funnel.
The middle child in a family often gets less attention from their parents, who tend to focus more on their older and younger siblings.
That’s a pretty accurate analogy for middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) content.
It’s the middle child of content marketing that gets constantly neglected by marketers who prefer to focus on top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) and bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content.
TOFU and BOFU get more attention because their contribution to the sale is more direct. TOFU content attracts new leads, while the sales teams at the bottom of the funnel try to convert those leads into paying customers.
This approach overlooks the part of the process where the shift happens. More often than not, leads from TOFU content are pushed for the sale before they have a chance to make up their minds. No one likes that. It puts people off.
So, my question is: why would you prioritize bringing in new leads when you already have existing leads who just need some nurturing to be turned into prospects?
This is why you need MOFU content.
Many marketers often neglect MOFU content and focus on TOFU or BOFU content instead. That’s a mistake. While it may seem insignificant, MOFU is actually the most important part of the sales funnel.
Why? Because customers spend most of their time in the consideration stage - researching various solutions to find the best one.
MOFU content bridges that gap and moves people from the top to the bottom of the funnel. This article explains how.
What is Middle Of The Funnel content? (MOFU)
What is middle-of-the-funnel content, practically speaking? It encompasses content that addresses your prospect’s pain points and presents your product as the best solution to alleviate those pain points.
Therefore, middle-of-the-funnel content usually takes the form of solution-seeking or solution-comparing content:
Pros and cons lists,
Case studies, and
All these pieces of content have things in common. They all acknowledge your prospect’s pain points, present your offer as the best solution for them, and prove why it’s the best choice.
Another way to look at MOFU content is that it talks to people who are solution aware. They’re at the stage of their buyer’s journey where they know they have a problem and understand what type of solution they need.
The purpose of MOFU content
Consumers spend most of their buyer’s journey in the consideration and evaluation phases.
At these stages, they focus more on finding the best solution to their problem than choosing a specific provider. They’re considering many options, so they’re open-minded and can be guided toward a sale.
According to Marketo, companies that nurture prospects effectively get 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. Statistics also say that leads who are nurtured in the middle of the funnel spend 47% more than non-nurtured ones.
That’s the purpose of MOFU content: to move those undecided prospects through the sales funnel by educating them on possible solutions and positioning yours as the best choice.
This doesn’t mean that MOFU content has to be pushy or salesy. On the contrary - it should feel genuine, transparent, and credible. It should turn your business into a reliable source of information that your audience can trust and rely on.
What’s MOFU’s content role in the sales funnel?
Take a minute to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about their buyer’s journey.
After your prospects read your TOFU content - or that of your competitors - they now understand their problem better. Since TOFU content often sheds light on the type of solution prospects need to solve their problem, the next stage in their journey becomes researching those solutions.
Now, they’ve entered the consideration phase. This means that they’re considering your products or services. This is your opportunity to influence their decision through content that acknowledges their problems and shows them why your solution is their best choice.
That’s where MOFU content stands in the sales funnel. It’s still educating your audience, but it’s also positioning your solution as the best option for them.
Your top-of-the-funnel content addresses people with little to no awareness of your products or services. It creates more leads.
Yourbottom-of-the-funnel content addresses people already familiar with your products or services and almost ready to buy. It helps you turn prospects into customers.
But how about your middle-of-the-funnel content? It’s the grey area. It addresses people who don’t neatly fit into either category. They are aware of your products or services, but they aren’t ready to buy. They’re considering many solutions and need more information before choosing yours. They need more convincing.
And that’s exactly what MOFU content does. It helps you move your audience from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel. It cleans out the grey area and smooths out the transition from lead to paying customer.
Why is the middle of funnel content so often neglected?
There are two main reasons why too many marketers often overlook MOFU content.
First reason: Marketers care about bringing in the highest quantity of leads possible. Companies often focus on TOFU content to bring new leads into the funnel. Those leads are then passed to the sales teams that try to make a sale.
That’s because a marketer’s performance is often measured by the volume of leads sent to the sales team. But customers who are passed to the salespeople too early feel cornered into buying something they aren’t ready to buy.
Second reason: MOFU content results are hard to measure, so it’s easier to ignore it altogether than try to prove its value.
Regardless of your attribution model (and especially if lead source or last touch are determining factors for attribution), a sale won’t be attributed to MOFU content.
Let’s say someone visits your website after reading a piece of MOFU content on your blog. While on your website, they sign up for your newsletter.
Fast forward 6 months, and they buy something from an email newsletter. The sale gets credited to the email while, in reality, it all started with that MOFU piece of content that made them sign up for your newsletter in the first place.
The same thing happens with TOFU content. But while it’s hard to measure, marketers still prefer it because of the high search volumes that result in more traffic and exposure. With MOFU content, the keywords are more niche and, as a result, the search volumes are lower, so it doesn’t seem worth it (it is).
What happens when you neglect MOFU content?
Two things will happen when you leave out the middle part of your sales funnel from your content strategy:
You’ll miss out on potential customers who were interested in your product but weren’t ready to buy yet.
You’ll lose customers to competitors who are better at nurturing their leads.
You can avoid these two outcomes by providing value to your audience at each stage of their buyer’s journey - from awareness through consideration to the decision phase. This means creating content for each sales funnel stage, from top to bottom.
Create the right form of content for the middle of the funnel
Middle-of-the-funnel prospects need middle-of-the-funnel content that’s written specifically for them. You won’t be able to nurture them with your TOFU or BOFU content pieces. They need content that’s relevant to them. They need content that meets them where they are and helps them move on to the next stage in their buyer’s journey.
Let’s dive into the most common forms of MOFU content.
MOFU content 1: Frequently asked questions
FAQs are a great example of MOFU content because they provide your prospects with the exact answers they’re missing to move on to the decision phase. Having an FAQ page will be useful both to your prospects and to you.
For them, it’ll save them the time needed to contact your customer service team to get answers to their questions.
For you, it’ll give you more content to add to your website, the possibility to rank for more keywords, and addresses various topics that might need clarification.
Plus, it’ll help you create stronger relationships with your prospects by providing them with the information they want to know about your solution in a transparent way.
Why FAQs work
By creating a page with the answers to the frequently asked questions, you’ll provide your customers with the information they’re missing without them having to ask for it. It’ll help you shorten the sales process and position yourself as a reliable and transparent source of information.
FAQs best practices
The easiest way to build an effective FAQ page is to collect the most frequently asked questions from your sales and customer service teams. They respond to these questions every day. They’ll have a long list to share.
Keep your answers clear, concise, and straightforward. The clearer and easier to understand they are, the better. You can use screenshots, infographics, images, or videos to clarify your answers. If your prospects still need more information, you can link to additional resources.
You should also make it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for. To do that, you can create a table of content, an index, or jump links, or provide an online search system that allows them to find the answers to their questions in seconds.
Example of a great FAQ page:
MOFU content 2: White Papers
Have you ever come across those state-of-our-industry-style reports? These reports are often seen towards the end of the year. That's what a whitepaper is.
Whitepapers serve as excellent mid-funnel marketing assets, particularly when gated (meaning access is granted in exchange for a lead's email address). This practice opens the door to nurturing the lead to the bottom of the funnel.
Plus, whitepapers are a great way to position your company as a credible and authoritative figure within its industry.
Why whitepapers work
Whitepapers dive deep into your product's features and offer detailed data to show how it can solve your potential customer's problems.
This content format ranks high among B2B buyers because it helps them understand your product better. Whitepapers can take the form of a long-form fact sheet about your product or company, or they can provide an analysis of industry trends.
The main goal is to generate new leads, showcase your value, grow your email list, and establish yourself as a respected authority in your field.
Whitepapers best practices
To write effective whitepapers, there are key practices to be mindful of:
To make your whitepaper more believable and convincing, utilize concrete figures and unbiased information to back up your assertions. This is an essential step that should not be overlooked.
Attract customers with your solid research instead of excessive self-promotion.
Creating a user-friendly whitepaper requires following a few basic steps. Stick to the standard template layout, including a Title/Headline, Executive Summary, Introduction, Sections and Subsections, Sidebars, and Conclusion. Don't forget to keep your text simple and easy to read for your target audience.
Narrow your scope by selecting a popular topic and honing in on one specific issue. Highlight your product as the solution to this problem instead of attempting to tackle too much terrain.
Elevate your whitepaper's appearance with a concise table of contents, captivating images, credible expert viewpoints, and compelling customer testimonials.
Incorporate your brand into your whitepaper by adding your logo and using branded imagery. Additionally, include links to valuable resources on your website in your footer to increase relevance and engagement.
Example of a great whitepaper page
This whitepaper caters to mid-funnel leads who want to enhance employee experience but are uncertain about which service to choose. Zendesk guides them through the process and highlights itself as the top choice.
MOFU content 3: Ebooks
Like white papers, ebooks are all about educating readers. However, ebooks take a lighter, more relaxed approach, almost like a friendly "how to" guide.
Unlike the serious nature of whitepapers, ebooks are designed to be easy to read, with lots of white space and design elements. Instead of heavy academic text, ebooks break down information into bite-sized chunks that are easy to digest.
Why ebooks work
eBooks are effective because they allow you to share your product description in a relaxed and approachable style. Once a lead becomes interested in your product, you can direct them to an ebook that goes into more depth. This will help you build stronger relationships with your potential customers and make sure that consumers are well-informed about what your product brings to the table.
Ebooks best practices
The recipe to writing a great ebook your middle-of-the-funnel leads won’t believe they’re getting for free is to hone in on the topic you know well and create a micro-detailed piece of content that covers this topic in-depth. That’s it!
Example of a great ebook
MOFU content 4: Case Studies
Why case studies work
Case studies are a great form of MOFU content. They not only provide social proof but also help leads self-qualify. By reading success stories about how your product has helped others, leads can picture themselves as the main characters in those case studies. This can be the deciding factor that makes them purchase your product.
Sales teams can also use case studies when following up with MOFU leads. When a lead is on the fence about making a decision, sharing a relevant case study can be just what they need to tip the scales.
Case studies best practices
When writing case studies, there are some things you should keep in mind.
First off, pick the right candidate for the case study. That way, prospects can contact that featured client if they want more information. It's a way of showing them that you understand the need of their industry and can deliver results.
Your case study must keep readers interested, and storytelling is a great way to achieve that. Use your brand's voice and personality to tell your customer’s success story.
When speaking about your customer’s stellar results, back them up with numbers, charts, analytics data, and screenshots. When sharing how you helped your customer overcome their problem, dive into the deepest details.
You can also include a video interview with the customer or their real-life pictures to make the case study more credible and impactful.
Another thing to pay attention to is the layout of your case study. It has to be easy to read and digest. Use headers, bullet points, images, and text formatting. Space out the text to avoid chunky paragraphs.
And once your case study is done, share it wherever you can: on your website, email newsletters, and social media platforms. The more eyes on those studies, the more impact they'll have on your conversions.
Example of a great case study page
MOFU content 5: Product comparison pages
Why comparison pages work
Middle-of-the-funnel customers spend most of their time in the consideration phase. This means they’re constantly comparing you to your competitors, trying to figure out which solution is right for them.
By creating a comparison page, you can help your customers see how your product compares with your competitors. By facilitating this information to your potential customers, you help them make their final decisions.
While it might be counterintuitive to talk about your competitors’ products on your website, your customers are already making mental comparisons. Why not facilitate and guide this process? By allowing these comparisons to take place on your website, you can shape the narrative and control the conversation.
Product comparison pages best practices
The best way to manage comparison pages is to create a separate page for each competitor. This will increase your chances of ranking for some of their keywords.
The idea behind the comparison pages is to position your product as better than your competitors - or, at least, the right one for your customer. A great way to do that is to include a detailed comparison grid that highlights the unique features of your product compared to your competitors.
You also want to include customer testimonials - especially of those customers who have switched to your product after using that of a competitor.
It’s important not to use competitor branding, logos, or link to their websites. Just stick to the facts. You don’t want to draw your customer’s attention to your competitors!
Example of a great product comparison page
MOFU content 6: Listicles of alternative services
Why listicles work
Some of your future customers may come to you after using your competitor’s product. When they aren’t satisfied with the solution they’re currently using, they’ll start looking for alternatives. They may also be interested in a particular brand and searching for other options to compare before buying.
Listicles featuring alternatives are a powerful tool for engaging and converting potential customers. Clear, concise lists make it easy for readers to discover new options for products they are interested in. By crafting content that ranks for "[Brand name] alternatives," you can tap into existing search traffic and successfully capture the attention of interested parties.
Listicles best practices
A listicle of alternatives should be a concise overview of the different options available. Since prospects are already seeking alternatives, they don't necessarily need a convincing story to switch.
Instead, provide an honest list of competitors’ products - with their features, target audience, and pros and cons. Maintaining an unbiased approach will give you more credibility and won’t appear like you’re trying to undermine your competitors to make your product look better.
Nevertheless, focus on your own product first. Start the list by mentioning your product and explaining who it's designed for and which pain points it addresses. Offer use cases and, if available, include relevant case studies.
Example of a great listicle page
MOFU content 7: Demo landing pages
Why demo landing pages work
Demo landing pages aim to attract potential customers who have already considered various solutions and are now ready to purchase yours. Consequently, these pages employ lengthier lead capture forms to extract more comprehensive information about the prospect, which can then be utilized by the sales team to enhance the sales process.
Demo landing pages best practices
The purpose of your demo landing page is twofold: to have the prospect set up a call with the sales team and to gather their information. To accomplish this, be sure to include all essential elements that will increase the likelihood of success. This includes social proof such as customer testimonials and logos, as well as a comprehensive video that outlines the benefits and features of your product.
You also want to make sure that your CTA button is always visible. You need to make it easy for your potential customer to click it. So, place it either at the end of every page section or add it to the top bar where it’s always visible.
Example of a great demo landing page
MOFU content 8: Email flows
Why email flows work
Drip email campaigns are all about “dripping” pre-written emails to your subscribers automatically at previously set time intervals.
A welcome email sequence sent to new subscribers is a great example of this technique. The sequence can get triggered by different events, such as when a prospect signs up for your email newsletter or downloads a free eBook.
This clever email marketing technique lets you send emails to different email list segments. This helps you send more personalized campaigns and build trust with your subscribers.
Email flows best practices
Personalization is the ultimate weapon when it comes to email campaigns. According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from you if you personalize your advertising or marketing campaigns.
So, when creating your drip email campaigns, personalize them as much as you can by using your recipient’s first name, using “you” throughout the email, and inviting them to reply to your email.
Make your email campaigns worth reading. Include discounts, coupon codes, industry trends, relevant news, and best-selling offers. Link to other resources on your website to keep your subscribers engaged with your brand longer.
Example of a great email flow
MOFU content 9: Retargeting ads
Why retargeting ads work
Paid ads, especially display ads on third-party sites, have a higher chance of engaging prospects who are already familiar with your brand.
They can also be effective in retargeting campaigns when you’re reaching out to prospects who have already interacted with your brand somehow - maybe by attending a webinar or clicking on your ads.
Plus, paid ads can be used to promote your case studies and whitepapers.
Retargeting ads best practices
When creating your ads, think about the platform where you’re creating them. The way it functions will guide your approach to ad creation.
Consider, for example, if the platform allows your prospects to skip the ad or whether it limits the length of the ad. You must also consider the text-to-image ratio and the size of your ad graphic. Different platforms have different requirements that you must adhere to.
A good practice is to A/B test different variants of your ad to find out what works best. Experiment with videos, GIFs, memes, and images to see what type of ads your audience responds to.
Example of a great retargeting ads
MOFU content 10: Success story
Why success stories work
Success stories are similar to case studies. Both content formats showcase the customer’s results after using your product.
But success stories are typically more concise and focus solely on sharing the success rather than going into details of how it was achieved. They’re a powerful way to prove that your product works and improve your credibility.
In fact, most marketers believe that publishing success stories contributes to driving sales. After all, they’re evergreen pieces of content that keep attracting targeted leads from search engines.
Success stories best practices
To make your success stories resonate with your prospects, focus on how your product aligns with their mission. Use visuals like infographics, videos, and images to support the written content. For more credibility, back up your qualitative statements with hard data.
Example of a great success story
MOFU content 11: Trial period landing page
Why trial period landing pages work
Your trial period landing page has one goal: to get your prospects to sign up for a free trial (obviously). To make it happen, it has to make your prospects excited enough to use your product that they won’t hesitate to go through the necessary steps to start using it - like entering their email address and creating their account.
Trial period landing pages best practices
Your trial landing page has to be enticing enough to motivate your customers to click the CTA button and go through the sign-up process. Therefore, your landing page copy has to be really clear and direct.
Your headline and subheadings should clearly communicate to the prospects what benefits they’ll get after signing up. Use social proof and numbers to ignite your prospect’s desire for similar results.
Make your landing page copy easy to read and easy to skim through - space out the text into bite-sized chunks, and use bullet points and colorful icons.
Example of a great trial period landing page
MOFU content best practices
Your middle-of-the-funnel customers are deciding between you and your competitors. Your MOFU content should provide them with relevant information that facilitates their research, answers lingering questions, and clears out their objections.
Here are some best practices to make it happen.
👌 Research your content well
Since your MOFU content will often provide information about your competitors’ products, list alternatives, and include in-depth case studies, it needs to be well-researched.
Every piece of your MOFU content should contain information that’s highly relevant to your prospects - so much so that they feel like they can rely on it as a source of legit information.
👌 Showcase your differentiating factors
At the MOFU stage, your customers are comparing your product with similar solutions. Your MOFU content will often provide a direct comparison between you and your competitors.
You must make sure each piece of MOFU content highlights your unique, differentiating factors. It should show your prospects how your product differs from those of your competitors.
👌 Be vocal about success stories
Your middle-of-the-funnel customers are researching different solution providers to match their needs. They’ll heavily rely on what other people have said about your product in their decision-making process.
So, make sure your MOFU content highlights your customers’ success stories through case studies or testimonials.
👌 Solve people’s problems
Remember: you’re selling a solution to a problem. Your prospects want to know how your product can help them solves their problem.
That’s what your MOFU content needs to talk about.
👌 Be specific
If you throw generic information at your prospects, it won’t convince them that your product is the right solution to their problems. That’s why you must make your content as specific to them as possible.
Think about your buyer personas and their specific challenges, and address them in your content.
👌 Don’t make it all about you
The main mistake most people make in their content is focusing on themselves. Sure, you want to share with your prospect all the amazing features of your product and how great it is.
But they don’t care about that. What they care about is how your product can help them solve their problem. So, instead of making it all about you, make it all about them.
MOFU mistakes to avoid
Here are some common mistakes you could be making when producing middle-of-the-funnel content.
❌ Not positioning yourself as the answer to your prospect’s problems
When creating MOFU content, remember: it's targeting those prospects who are actively comparing solution providers. That's why your MOFU content needs to position your solution as the best choice for them.
If it fails to do so, it won't fulfil its purpose of smoothly guiding prospects to the next stage of the funnel.
❌ Pushing your products too much
MOFU content doesn’t necessarily aim to make the final sale. It focuses on educating prospects about possible solutions to their problem without pushing them to buy. Prospects in the middle of the funnel spend most of their time in the consideration and evaluation phases.
They’re not yet ready to commit to anything - they’re still researching, wondering, considering, and evaluating. Pushing for the sale too hard and early in the process can put them off.
❌ Being too salesy in your copy
Similarly, appearing too salesy in your copy may come across as desperate, as though you’re trying to sell them something they’re not yet ready to buy.
People love to buy things, but no one likes to be sold to - especially if they haven’t decided to buy yet. So, talk about your products in a subtle, transparent, and honest way and avoid salesy language.
❌ Focusing solely on the features
Your prospects want to know how your product can help them solve their problems. They seek effective solutions, not just features.
Your MOFU content must show them the benefits of switching from their existing solution. It shouldn't be about you - it should be about them.
❌ Not including enough CTAs
Strategic placement of CTAs is crucial in all of your content, including landing pages, case studies, and blog articles. These CTAs guide prospects towards taking action and inform them of what they should do next.
Failure to implement effective CTAs will result in missed opportunities for qualified leads and ultimately lead to lost customers within your marketing funnel.
❌ Only producing blog articles
When you think of content, you likely think of blog articles. And while blog articles are important, they’re not the only piece of MOFU content you should be creating.
MOFU content - such as case studies, whitepapers or listicles of alternatives - serves as a bridge between the topics you talk about in your blog articles and the value your product can provide to prospects.
So, make sure to allocate your resources to diversify your content pieces.
My takeaway on MOFU content
It’s no secret that most businesses focus on producing top-of-the-funnel content. After all, TOFU content promises more traffic, more visitors, and more attention.
That’s all great. But attracting those first-time visitors won’t lead anywhere if you don’t have a mid-marketing funnel in place to turn them into qualified leads. Without MOFU content, you have no way of pushing those leads from top to bottom of the funnel.
With MOFU content, you can reach people closer to making a purchase. It can help you target customers in the consideration phase - researching options and trying to pick the best one.
If you find them there and help them make a decision, they’ll be more likely to choose you.
Isn’t that what you want?
I'm Account Manager at Scalecrush. You'll find me here talking about my no-nonsense approach to content marketing.
Marketing gurus are lying to you. Am I?
Marketing Self-Defense Tips & Tricks
Not sure what the next move is? Not sure which guru to trust (hint: none)? Time for some marketing self-defense.
Learn what actually works in B2B
Real marketing advice from real marketers
Evidence-Based Marketing Findings
In your Inbox, every other week. Most B2B Marketing isn't effective. Here's an opportunity to take yours to the next level.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Content Marketing & SEO don't have to be that frustrating
Accelerate organic growth for your B2B SaaS with content that solves problems, and drives conversions.