Mid-Funnel Marketing: 6 Brands Doing An Epic Job Bridging the Top to Bottom of Funnel Gap
Every person who’s landed a spot on your previous customer list likely went through similar buying journeys.
Something brought them to your site for a first visit. Then, they converted into a full-blown sale at some point down the line—anything from minutes to months later.
Bridging that gap between the top and bottom of the conversion funnel is where many marketers struggle.
So, we created this guide to mid-funnel marketing 💪
We cover both mid-funnel marketing tactics and channels. Plus, we go deep on examples of how top brands are using mid-funnel content and materials to move people out of top-funnel—and closer to hitting "buy now."
Ready? Let's go 👇
<what>What is mid-funnel marketing?<what>
Mid-funnel marketing (MOFU) reaches the people in the middle stages of their buyer’s journey, just before they’re ready to buy. Unlike top-of-funnel visitors, they already know they’re suffering with a problem—and are looking for a way to solve it. They just need a nudge.
A mid-funnel marketing strategy reaches potential customers at that point and starts positioning your product or service as a possible solution to the problem at hand.
<tactics>Mid-funnel marketing tactics<tactics>
Now that we know what mid-funnel content is (and the types of people stuck there) let’s take a look at different types of middle-of-the-funnel content you can use to engage them.
1. Blog posts
Most marketers fall into the trap of thinking blog posts are to generate traffic at the top of their marketing funnel.
After all, "how-to" guides seem to get the most traction in organic search and social media. That’s what a content strategy is for, right?
Blog posts are also a fantastic opportunity to move people through the middle of your funnel. These people know they have a problem and are actively looking for the best solution to solve it.
Pain point-targeted blog posts help do that.
Take Ahrefs, for example. Someone searching for "how to do keyword research" is likely looking for a step-by-step tutorial—so traditional thinking might prohibit a lot of marketers from mentioning their product at this early funnel stage.
Ahrefs, however, sees a chance to showcase its product front and center. The post is effectively a detailed help guide on how to use Ahrefs for keyword research, with a subtle nod to other alternatives:
The key is that the post is still genuinely useful—a claim backed up by the sheer backlink and traffic numbers it boasts:
Similarly, Sencha Tea shares the different recipes customers can use for its tea.
The posts give the useful recipes people are searching for. But, then also gives leads sitting in the middle of the sales funnel a nudge to buy by linking to Sencha's tea in the ingredients lists:
The best part? Blog posts reach people when they’re actively searching for something. If you’re reaching mid-funnel leads using blog posts with subtle product mentions, you could drive those people closer to buying 💪
2. Customer case studies
Case studies are slightly more advanced than blog posts. They dive deep into a success story of how your product (or service) has helped someone in the past in the hopes of building trust with those thinking of doing the same.
Databox does this as part of its content strategy. The team published a case study on how one customer hit 85% of their goals after using Databox's app:
Stories like this gives mid-funnel audience members confidence to try the Databox solution themselves.
Case studies are great for helping leads self-qualify. They can picture themselves as the ones in your case study.
They’re fantastic assets for sales teams, too.
If you’re selling a Facebook advertising service, salespeople can follow up with MOFU leads and point them in the direction of a case study. It’s impressive for them to see you got a 600% ROAS for a client similar in business size to them.
Note: Take a look at ConvertFlow's bank of customer stories right here 😉
3. White papers/PDFs/reports
Ever seen those "State of Our Industry"-style reports that appear towards the end of the year?
Those white papers and executive reports are superb mid-funnel marketing assets—especially when they’re gated. Only allowing access in return for a lead’s email address lands them a spot on your mailing list. You can use that for future nurturing toward the bottom of your funnel.
Not only that, but lengthy white papers do a great job positioning the company as a credible and authoritative figure in its industry.
Take a look at Gong, for example. Its white paper titled "How to Choose a Revenue Intelligence Platform" is hidden behind an email opt-in page form:
The white paper topic appeals to mid-funnel leads who understand the need for a revenue intelligence platform, but aren’t sure which to pick. Gong walks them through the process—and (unsurprisingly) pitches itself as the best option.
SEE MORE: How to Write a White Paper (Old Way vs. New Way)
Sometimes, people thinking about buying your product need contact with a real person before making their decision.
They can read blog posts, white papers, and case studies, as already mentioned. But, they might not feel understood until an actual human validates their wants and needs.
Webinars help to close that gap.
For mid-funnel content, webinars should be a short video session that walks through a pain point your leads are experiencing. The final few minutes of the webinar acts as the sales pitch with the hope that if they like what they’ve seen, they’ll take the next step there and then.
Close.com is the perfect example of how B2B companies can use webinars in their mid-funnel marketing strategy.
They understand that some customers feel overwhelmed with how much their CRM can do. In a bid to ease those fears, the marketing team holds weekly "Close for CRM Newbies" webinars.
There's even a great site message popup promoting it on the website's product pages:
5. Comparison pages
Regardless of which industry you’re in, there’s a high chance that you’re constantly competing with other companies in a war for sales.
That’s not always a bad thing.
Comparison pages do what they say on the tin: compare your product or service to a competitor’s. While giving your competitors airtime might sound silly, it’s your chance to prove why you’re better suited to mid-funnel audience members.
Let’s put that into practice:
Say you're a mid-funnel lead for an online course tool. You’re stuck between two options—Podia and Teachable—so head to Google to search for more information before making your decision.
You stumble upon Podia’s comparison guide against your other option, Teachable. It explains how (despite being more expensive) Podia is:
- Free to migrate to
- Has more features
- Boasts better online support
There's also a video, FAQs section, social proof, and more 🤩
What action are you likely going to take after that?
I’ll bet it’s choosing Podia over Teachable to host your online courses. Podia’s marketing content won you over and moved you from the middle of its marketing funnel to the bottom (and likely out of Teachable’s altogether).
6. Use-case and solution pages
Most customers need to be educated on a product before they’re ready to buy it.
Use-case and solution-specific landing pages do that. They’re individual pages on your site that are geared towards:
- Segments of your audience (such as Asana’s Teams landing page)
- Use-cases of your product (such as Shopify Plus’ landing page for ecommerce automation)
- Specific problems your product solves (such as Wise’s landing page for low transfer fees)
A combination of all three means you’ve got content ready for people when they have a concern about your product or wonder what it can really do.
Asana even does a great job promoting all of its "solution-focused content" directly in the site's main nav bar, neatly organized by team or by workflow:
Plus, since those types of content are product-specific, it’s your chance to sell it. Go whole-hog on your USP, why you’re better than other competitors, and use social proof (like testimonials) to back it up. People landing there already have an intention to find out more.
<segmentation>Advanced: Address specific problems with segmentation<segmentation>
Earlier, we mentioned that customers likely go through the same sales journey when buying a new product for the first time.
That doesn’t mean they want to see the same content, though.
Remember: your mid-funnel leads are, in fact, people. They have different problems they want to solve and different content consumption preferences. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all to mid-funnel marketing.
What does that mean for you?
The short answer: you need to segment your audience into different buyer personas to serve more relevant mid-funnel content to each segment.
Let’s break it down and put it into practice.
Say you are a B2B software company selling accounting tools. You use a quiz to figure out what type of company they’re working for, with these three people are lingering in the middle of your sales funnel:
- Person A: Has $20,000 turnover per month and two members of staff.
- Person B: Is a freelancer with no team, turning over $5,000 a month.
- Person C: Is the finance manager for a mid-size company turning over $5 million a year.
Yes, those three people are all in the same customer journey stage and are qualified leads for your company. Yet, if you were to send the same content to each one, they all likely wouldn’t progress to the next stage.
Instead, you need to take what you already know about a lead (from the quiz) and personalize their mid-funnel marketing content from there.
That can be as simple as tweaking the landing page you send them to after completing the quiz. But, you can also think about creating specific email follow-up campaigns and hosting/recording webinars for other mid-funnel leads in each audience segment.
To get started with audience segmentation, check out our guide to conversion marketing as well as ready-to-use quiz templates and survey templates.
Here's one you can use right now:
<channels>Mid-funnel marketing channels<channels>
You’ve invested in your mid-funnel content. What next?
Instead of leaving your new content around waiting for it to fall into the right hands, use these four marketing channels to place it there.
1. Retargeting ads
Retargeting ads work by collecting information about people who’ve visited your website and following them around the internet to remind them of the product(s) they were viewing.
Most social media platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) can run them, along with Google Display Ads.
Retargeted ads are superb for distributing mid-funnel content.
Why? Because people left your website for a reason.
Maybe they had a concern about whether you were the best product for the job. Perhaps they exited to compare your service with a competitor. Or, their kids came home from school, and they just got distracted 🤷♀️
Whatever the reason, retargeted ads remind them of the product or service they were browsing.
But, instead of directing them back to a generic home page, promoting your mid-funnel content has a lower barrier to entry. They’re not being asked to purchase. They’re simply being given the information they need to make their own decision.
It’s no wonder why website visitors who are retargeted are 43% more likely to convert.
2. Email sequences
It’s often said that an email list is a marketers’ most valuable resource.
Why? Because, unlike social media, your audience is owned. People who’ve opted in to your mailing list have explicitly said they want to hear from you.
Plus, depending on how they landed a spot on your list, you can personalize the experience they have when joining—and deliver content most likely to nudge them into the next stage of your marketing funnel.
Litmus, for example, sends this welcome email to people who opt into its monthly newsletter. They use the opportunity to direct subscribers to mid-funnel content—a guide to responsive email design (a topic their leads are likely to be interested in):
3. Email broadcasts
We already know that people on your email marketing list want to hear from you.
But what happens when you send a welcome email series that directs them to your mid-funnel content resources, and they still don’t buy?
The answer: you send email broadcasts.
Acting as a regular newsletter, email broadcasts keep your mid-funnel leads in-the-know. You can use it as a way to share more mid-funnel content—such as new product features, customer testimonials, or discount codes to redeem on their first purchase.
Content marketing is a fantastic lead generation strategy. Part of that boils down to the fact that written content—such as blog posts and case studies—can be optimized to reach people in search.
One report found that 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine. (According to the report, search is so popular that SEO typically drives 1,000% more traffic than organic social media 🤯)
It’s not just people lingering at the top-of-the-funnel, either. Take a look at these mid-funnel search queries and the number of people searching for them every month:
Someone searching any of those phrases is likely looking for more information before buying. Should you appear on the top page of search results for it, you’ve got their attention when they’re open to being sold to—they want something (or someone) to solve their problem.
Of course, these are just quick example keywords and are quite difficult to rank for. But if you can find keywords like this that are not so competitive, you'll be sitting pretty.
Take a look through this post on "pain-point SEO" by Grow & Convert for more info on this kind of approach to search marketing.
<capture>Capture your mid-funnel marketing leads<capture>
It’s no secret that the top-of-the-funnel tends to get the most love and attention. The promise of reaching new people is appealing—but often, marketers forget to have a mid-marketing funnel in place to turn those first-time visitors into qualified leads.
Kick off your mid-funnel marketing strategy by testing the waters with the six types of content mentioned in this post. Then, use a variety of marketing channels to reach them where they are—personalizing that journey depending on their stage of the buyer journey, if needs be.
Ready to get started?