When Blogging for Business, Don’t Forget the Middle of the Funnel
Starting a blog for your business is just the very beginning of a long, hard, super-valuable process. When you make your first content calendar, there are quite a few things to remember. First, you want to use keywords that will make your blog (and website) easy to find in Google searches. Second, you want to provide content that people enjoy reading, while also positioning yourself as an expert in your field. Finally, you want those readers to find value in your products and services—so much so that they become customers.
Mastering the Top of the Funnel
We’ve discussed the marketing funnel before as a tool for getting the most value out of your blog. Most find the Top of the Funnel the easiest part of the blog to write for. This is where you’ll pull in readers interested in a wide variety of topics that relate to your company in some way. For instance, if you’re blogging for a business that relies on local shoppers, you’ll want to include plenty of content about your city. If you offer a service of some sort, tips and tricks are a great way to keep readers coming back for more. Coming up with fresh and engaging content for this section isn’t very hard, but you may not get much value from your blog if you don’t provide content that moves potential buyers down the funnel.
Making the Most of the Middle of the Funnel
Where many business blogs fail is right here in the middle of the funnel. Providing quality content that people want enough to provide contact information isn’t easy. You want to keep the topic open so as to draw in a large crowd, but also specialized so as to weed out the readers who will never be interested in buying from you.
So, what kind of content can you offer to your potential customers? At this point, you want to solidify your company as experts in your field. White papers and eBooks are an excellent choice. Travel agents may provide information about the hottest new travel spots or a quick list of the best travel apps. Editing companies might provide a checklist for authors who hope to submit a manuscript for publishing. The point is to create specialized content that may be too focused for a regular blog post and offer it as a free download on your site.
If your content is compelling enough, your readers will exchange contact information for the free download. At that point, they move directly into the “lead” category and have successfully passed through the Middle of the Funnel.
Why Is the Middle of the Funnel Neglected?
As mentioned, many companies will never take full advantage of this area of the marketing funnel. Without it, converting leads to sales is nearly impossible, and yet so many continue to create content solely for the Top of the Funnel. There are quite a few reasons for this, not the least of which is inexperience.
The first big reason many neglect the Middle of the Funnel is simply because they don’t know better. Another reason may be that business owners aren’t sure what constitutes excellent content for eBooks, white papers, and checklists. Finally, many are simply too busy or too uninterested in their websites and blogs to create the offers that bring in leads.
Now that you’re aware of the problem and have some ideas for filling the empty spaces in the middle of your marketing and sales funnel, what do you do next? If you’re not a writer, you’ll need to come up with other ways to pull in potential leads. Demonstration videos about your products and services are a great idea, too. Infographics about what you can do help buyers visualize the possibilities. Even a checklist with a great design looks more involved than it really is. Sometimes, however, you really need to provide writing of substance for your potential buyers to continue trusting you. When you realize you have no other choice but to offer an eBook filled with excellent facts and statistics to keep your visitors hooked, hire a ghostwriter. The results will more than pay the price in the long run.
The bottom line is you can’t hook your readers if you don’t offer information they need to consider your service or product. Blogging for business isn’t worth much without that hook, so start paying attention to the middle of your sales and marketing funnel.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/renjith krishnan