Stuck in the Middle: Take Content From Crashing to Converting
[00:00:00] Jordan Harris: So today we’re gonna be talking about the middle of the funnel. So we’re gonna be talking about the marketing funnel and specifically what to do when customers or PR prospects are in the middle of the funnel. But to set the stage, Chad, maybe we can get all work in the same frame of reference.
[00:00:23] Jordan Harris: Will you give us a quick overview of the marketing funnel?
[00:00:27] Chad Jardine: Yeah. Yeah, sure. I think, do we have a slide for that? Yep. I’ll talk to that. I, a lot of the people who are registered for this, are experienced marketers, and you have a sense for this already, but I think it’s a good preview, right?
[00:00:39] Chad Jardine: So there’s a lot of talk right now about the dark funnel and why is it dark? It’s dark because we don’t. As the marketers or as the companies we work for, we’re unaware of the people who are in there, they’re getting educated about us and we don’t know. We can’t see what they’re doing. And so we call it dark.
[00:00:54] Chad Jardine: And also dark is like way sexier name to call it than like the Prefu. Like what? I don’t know. Our, Catherine and I were talking about this earlier as we should rename these all to be, instead of just food. It should be fun. Like a pre fun tofu mo fun. Mo fun is really what we’re talking. Mo Mo.
[00:01:09] Chad Jardine: Fun. Mo fun. But I like to look at these as they’re about awareness. These are ways of mapping the buyer journey. And so so this week I have a daughter who just turned six. And so my wife held this birthday party for her. And who’s the ICP for a birthday party of six year olds.
[00:01:26] Chad Jardine: A whole bunch of other six year old girls. And when, how do they know about this party? We send out invitations, so that’s like kind of our original marketing awareness. And then MOFU is like everybody who RSVP’d. They haven’t come to the party yet, but they have indicated that they’d be interested in coming to the party.
[00:01:41] Chad Jardine: And there are some interesting things that happen in MOFU that we’ll talk about. And then the bottom of the funnel is really the handoff to sales or in a like a product directed organization. They go straight to the self-directed purchase at the bottom of the funnel. And so the one other thing I want to comment about that is that early on it’s common for companies to.
[00:02:03] Chad Jardine: They start a content engine, they start making a bunch of content and they’re like, okay, we don’t wanna be too salesy. So it’s mostly tofu content, which is ed educational. It’s so that prospects can come up to speed about what the company does. They’re going through stages of awareness, becoming aware of the problem and of the solution.
[00:02:21] Chad Jardine: And then sometimes those companies are, hesitate they’re hesitant to create content that pulls people out of tofu and into mofu. And really somebody enters MOFU by raising their hand in some way. They’re like, Hey, I’m interested. I want to like, this webinar. Or hey, send me some other content.
[00:02:37] Chad Jardine: And so they’ve said, I wanna be known and I want more information. And that’s where they enter mofu. The big thing that happens in the early days is right, companies are just focusing on tofu and everybody who wants to convert converts. So it’s like a one step conversion and they drop through the funnel really fast.
[00:02:54] Chad Jardine: And, but I was talking to somebody earlier this week that, in fact, I think you’re on the call, Tom, talking about how it’s five or 10% of the market, who actually is a fit for your company is actually ready to buy right now. And so timing is the thing that pushes people off.
[00:03:08] Chad Jardine: They’re, everything else is the stars are aligned, but Right. They need, they’re not gonna be ready for. Three months, five months. And so how do you keep a relationship with them so that when they are ready, they, they want to come by from you. That’s what MOFU is all about, awesome. Thanks Jordan.
[00:03:24] Jordan Harris: Yeah. So now kinda have that frame of reference of what we’re talking about, Catherine. Talk to us a little about, so we know top of funnel, we have middle funnel, bottom of funnel, what is middle of funnel and specifically what is middle of funnel content.
[00:03:38] Catherine Bennett: Yeah, perfect. That was a really great intro, Chad, to set the stage for what middle funnel is.
[00:03:43] Catherine Bennett: So we saw through that funnel, that top of funnel is awareness. We all know, we know that most of you prob have probably heard that at some point. So we know you exist. And even this webinar is a really great. Example because we are in the middle of the funnel right now or you are in the middle of the funnel right now.
[00:04:01] Catherine Bennett: At some point, maybe I posted on LinkedIn or we met at an event or whatever that top of funnel looked like for us. Or with you and Chad or you and Jordan, you met at some point you were like, oh, interesting. This is worth, this connection is worth exploring and learning a little bit more.
[00:04:17] Catherine Bennett: Some of you, maybe we’ve known for a day, some of you maybe we’ve known for a year. But it’s led us to a point where you say, okay, I trust you enough to say I and feel like you could give me enough additional value that I’m willing to continue to listen. So the middle of the funnel for me, and the way I see it, is I trust you enough to continue to listen.
[00:04:40] Catherine Bennett: But it really is the most critical. Piece of conversion that I’ve seen in when I’m working with clients. And it takes a lot of patience because like I said our goal as marketers or your goal as a business owner is to be there when they’re ready to buy. Like Chad, Chad mentioned this, we can’t force people to make a decision, it, it needs to line up.
[00:05:03] Catherine Bennett: And so you have to continue to show up. Consistently so that when they are ready to buy, you’re there and you’re the first person that they think of. And middle of funnel is a long game. It can be a short game, but also really is a long game. And it’s something that people don’t do often because it’s, or they don’t do well because it’s.
[00:05:22] Catherine Bennett: Sometimes does this really, is this worth my time? I’m not getting the, I’m not seeing this quick purchase from this. But what middle funnel content looks like? It’s those email automation sequences that maybe you see when you sign up for a lead magnet or whatever. However, someone has, someone’s received your information and they’re dripping on you, but it they’re slowly communicating over time with you in a way that’s hopefully not annoying.
[00:05:49] Catherine Bennett: It’s finding that balance right between what feels helpful to you versus spammy. It will look like email newsletters. Some businesses are completely built around newsletters webinars. So like we’re doing now. You’re allowing us to have a little bit more of your time to listen to what we have to say.
[00:06:07] Catherine Bennett: That’s what all of these, so case studies, sending you case studies so that you’re more informed on what exactly I do or Chad does or, if whatever your business is, you have more You’re, you have more. Yeah. People are granting you more time to, to listen to what you know, the successes that you’ve given to people.
[00:06:28] Catherine Bennett: And then in-depth blogs. This one’s a little bit of a gray area for me because people can find an in-depth blog, right? That’s the first thing that they see. So it can be top of funnel, but if you’re sending it out in a newsletter or it’s inter, it’s woven through other content that you’re putting out.
[00:06:46] Catherine Bennett: It can be considered middle of funnel because it, you, it’s very specific and to your customer and you know that they’re gonna want to know more about this maybe quick education piece you put out on Instagram or something. You’re willing you’re going into more depth cuz they’re giving you more time.
[00:07:04] Catherine Bennett: Yeah. Any, Chad, anything you would
[00:07:07] Chad Jardine: add to that? I love that. Yeah, I think it’s important to view, like customers are going through this buyer’s journey, but we’re also going through a deepening relationship with the customer. And so there’s a starting point for that relationship. And then this space in the middle is an opportunity to deepen the relationship to where the customers know and trust.
[00:07:27] Chad Jardine: Us like, Hey, when the time comes that I’m gonna, buy this product or do business with this service category this is the one that I’m gonna select because I have a relationship there.
[00:07:37] Jordan Harris: Yeah.
[00:07:37] Catherine Bennett: Yeah. Chad, oh, sorry. Go ahead, Adam. Oh, okay. I was just gonna add to that and say every time I talk to a business owner about, and they’re, I can tell that they’re overcomplicating marketing in their mind, I just say, if you were to start a friendship, What does that first contact with them look like?
[00:07:54] Catherine Bennett: It might not be like, maybe you pour your whole soul out because it’s the perfect fit. But usually it’s kinda oh, I got to, for me it’s I met you at gymnastics and like we sat next to each other and it was awkward and, but like we said, hi. And then the next time I feel more I know a little bit more.
[00:08:10] Catherine Bennett: So I’m willing to listen and deepen that relationship, as you said. So it’s really not this, the funnel really mimics like the way that. Any relationship with a friend, a boyfriend like it, it mimics the same process.
[00:08:25] Jordan Harris: Yeah. And Chad, as we were preparing for this, we talked about the idea that, sometimes there’s a little bit of a misunderstanding too, that everybody needs to take every step of the funnel saying, Hey, if I have a prospect, they have to go top of funnel then they gotta go to middle of funnel.
[00:08:38] Jordan Harris: Then we’ll get em into the bottom of the funnel. But we’d talked about the importance of having off-ramps for your people who are just ready to go, like they’ve come to you. Solution aware. Yeah. They’re like, I need to buy. I need to go. It’s totally good for them to skip the middle of the funnel.
[00:08:52] Jordan Harris: But the reality is as you scale, you’re gonna get less and less of those people that are ready to just skip through, especially if you’re in a, in an area that has competition where they’re considering multiple options and some of those other things. But it is important to actually have the off ramps for the people who are ready to go.
[00:09:07] Jordan Harris: There’s no reason we should impose friction for somebody who’s ready to buy. This is.
[00:09:14] Chad Jardine: I think one of the big things, timing is one of the big things. It’s thinking about timing. So for everybody who would buy, if the timing was right, like everything else lines up, right? They want, they have the need, they have the problem that your product solves, and now they know, you’ve already spent the time and effort to become aware.
[00:09:32] Chad Jardine: So for them to become aware of you, I should say. And so you’ve already paid to the price to get that relationship to that point. And the only thing that’s missing is timing and middle funnel content is a great way to keep that relationship warm and keep, have a reason for them to, for you to stay top of mind for them so that as cuz time like moves on for all of us.
[00:09:52] Chad Jardine: And the timing will be right at some point in the future. And that, and you want to be top of mind when they’re making their decision. Yeah. And
[00:09:59] Catherine Bennett: I think combining, go ahead. Oh, sorry. I was just gonna say, combining what Chad said with what you said, Jordan, I think through that middle funnel content, I always have a sub what, however, subtly it’s placed that off-ramp, right?
[00:10:12] Catherine Bennett: Like I’m reading this in-depth blog, I’m reading this thing, but at the bottom there’s always this opportunity like, okay, I’m ready now. Cuz you, you don’t know when they’re ready. You can’t predict when they’re ready. So there always needs to be that opportunity to, what’s the next step? If I am ready right now?
[00:10:27] Jordan Harris: So our next question ties in really nicely with this. One of the challenges for most businesses that, that we’re working with is saying, Hey, I’ve got this big database. How do I actually identify who is my middle of funnel? So Chad, maybe this is for you. When you’re starting from scratch or you’re saying, Hey, I got everything bucketed as prospects, and then I’ve got my sales contacts.
[00:10:47] Jordan Harris: How do I start to identify. Who is in the middle of funnel versus who is in my top of funnel versus who’s the bottom of my funnel.
[00:10:55] Chad Jardine: Yeah, I I think the easiest thing is sometimes like we’re, as we’re trying to identify our personas and our ICP and the different flavors of target customer that we’re looking at, it feels, that feels like something that we like project out.
[00:11:08] Chad Jardine: It’s okay, we just need to, put all the red ones over here and the green ones over here and understand the criteria to segment them. With the funnel stages, really they opt into that. So they take, it’s about behavior. They take a behavior, they take a step they respond to a call to action.
[00:11:25] Chad Jardine: And that, that puts them like they opt in to the middle of the funnel with their behavior. And hopefully we’ve been thoughtful enough in creating our calls to action that. Okay. If somebody’s asking for this, that actually is communicating to me that they’re closer to a purchase decision than somebody who’s hanging out in tofu enjoying all of the education that we’re providing.
[00:11:44] Chad Jardine: So I think that’s important, right? To know that this is, this comes from them. The customer. The customer actually puts themself in MoFu. And it’s not just a label that we like put on them. I dunno. Catherine, what would you say?
[00:11:56] Catherine Bennett: Yeah I like what you said, that it’s not a label, it’s.
[00:12:00] Catherine Bennett: It’s that your top of funnel content has done its job. I think we like top funnel content. It’s fun. We get to talk about what we like. And so the psychology on the other end is they get that entry point of oh, I’m in the right place. That’s what top of Funnel Con content psych, like from a psychology standpoint is they understand that they’re in the right place and that they’re in a place that can help them.
[00:12:21] Catherine Bennett: But if you do that content right, and lead them. Appeal to their psychology from the beginning. I they do, they place themself. And too, you have to realize that there’s content kind of in between like that gets you into that. Often there is that they sign up for something they take an action.
[00:12:40] Catherine Bennett: So they’re in and I think, like you said before, Chad, in the other question is. Since they’re in you need, capitalize on that. They’re ready to hear from you. So I think their psychology informs yours in how you can show up for them.
[00:12:56] Chad Jardine: Yeah. What you, your comment made me think about something else related to that.
[00:12:59] Chad Jardine: And that is that sometimes we get we get so bought into the idea of, hey, we’re creating top of funnel content. And that isn’t, that’s intended not to be salesy. And so we’re not pushing ourself on the customer. We’re just teaching them. That, that we forget that some customers are like, o okay, like I want to take the next step.
[00:13:17] Chad Jardine: I want more, I want a closer relationship with you than just, this teacher-student relationship or this casual awareness. And even if the timing isn’t right, like for those who are like, I want more and I wanna buy, right? They drop through the funnel. But there are some are like, I want to be ready to buy.
[00:13:32] Chad Jardine: I want that kind of depth in the relationship. I. Because I am, I’m making the decision to buy now, even though the timing’s not right. And if we don’t have a place for them to go we’re giving ’em the Heisman saying, Hey, no thanks, just stay out there.
[00:13:44] Chad Jardine: Please do. Yeah, totally. When they’re willing to more.
[00:13:49] Catherine Bennett: Yeah. And I think too, it’s important to bring up that it’s education at the top, but it’s also empathy too. You’re depending on the industry you’re in it’s just. Relating to them in any way. But yeah, I think it’s you’ve done all this work at the, on the front end.
[00:14:04] Catherine Bennett: Don’t just say, okay, thanks. I hope at some point you make that journey to the end on your own and like we leave them hanging so
[00:14:13] Jordan Harris: And from a practical standpoint, in your crm, you actually need to move them to mid middle of funnel. So there’s a lot of ways you can do that, but you need to have a stage in your C RM that says, these leads are my middle of funnel leads.
[00:14:26] Jordan Harris: And then think about how do I move, how am I deciding to move them there? And Chad, we’ve talked about this before in the past, that it’s a little bit like reading tea leaves and it’s gonna be. Imprecise, meaning you’re gonna put people that you think are middle of funnel into the middle of funnel that aren’t either they’re not great buyers, or maybe they’re not ready they don’t have the budget, they’re not actually interested in your thing.
[00:14:46] Jordan Harris: But in, in marketing, a lot of what we’re doing in that funnel is winnowing people out. And we’re making some guesses. And so that can be things like as simple as, hey, we’re gonna create a lead score and we’re gonna say, Hey, depending on your engagement with my emails, my content in the top of funnel. If you engage X number of times and you maybe have these firmographic properties that we’re looking for, meaning, hey, you’re in a target market, you have the right size, maybe you have the right title, we’re gonna now move you to middle of funnel.
[00:15:12] Jordan Harris: And so there’s read a little bit of reading tea leaves, but I think one of the most important things that we’ve talked about with a lot of our clients as we work with them is like, You need to make some middle of funnel content and float it to your top of funnel and see who interacts. That’s a really good sign to say this is, these are people who are ready for more middle of funnel that I can maybe push a little bit harder on.
[00:15:31] Jordan Harris: So whether that’s a once a month, once a quarter cadence, you need to be teasing things out to your top of funnel to say, Hey, who’s ready to go? Cuz what I don’t wanna do is wait forever for them to raise their hand. I want to be proactively trying to bring them down. So there’s like the logistics of it and the psychology of it as well.
[00:15:47] Chad Jardine: Yeah, I think that’s a really important thing, right? That as you think about what to create in your middle funnel content, it should be a little discriminatory. And what I mean by that is that it should be if you are not interested in taking this step, I don’t want you to take it. I want you to stay in the top of funnel.
[00:16:02] Chad Jardine: Like the funnel should narrow. Yeah. And and so that the people you’re communicating to, they really are closer to buying. They really are interested at a deeper level than somebody who’s hanging out in the top of the funnel. It’s okay for people to stay in the top of the funnel forever.
[00:16:16] Chad Jardine: Yeah. It’s like the game that we’re playing is one where it’s we want to increase awareness first. And then we’re going to tighten that up. And in fact we’ll have a link to some resources for like awareness stages. Just a one sheet PDF that kind of walks through how, because those awareness stages can be really useful as you map out your buyer’s journey and then map content to base to then based on their stage of awareness.
[00:16:39] Jordan Harris: Yeah, we have a couple comments I’d like to call out. So first off, from Tom Judge, he’s saying, Hey, we’re seeing live chat as a really good way to get people to reach out and make that next step. And the thing I really like about that is you’re matching the friction to their stage. Meaning like a lot of times what you’ll see is some people, they’ll be like, Hey, would you like to find 30 minutes on my calendar?
[00:16:58] Jordan Harris: To your middle funnel group and they’re like, no, I really don’t I don’t want to go to your calendar and find 30 minutes to sit and talk about something. I’m not totally I have questions and I think that what’s smart about like live chat is that friction’s super low. Like I’m not committing to anything, but now I’m actually having a conversation and you’re matching the right friction to the right stage of the funnel.
[00:17:17] Jordan Harris: Whereas sometimes we get a little bit salesy in the middle of funnel. And people don’t respond. They’re like I don’t know why they’re not responding unless you’re too much friction. They’re too much friction for where they’re at. They’re not to the point where they’re willing to overcome some of those hurdles.
[00:17:28] Jordan Harris: So I like that suggestion from Tom a lot. And Keith just calling out that he mentioned Black Crow, which I’m not familiar with, is a tool he is been using to identify middle funnel customers. So that’s, that sounds awesome. A lot of cool tools that are coming up, a lot of intent data, tools that are using to try and solve these problems.
[00:17:44] Jordan Harris: But that’s really awesome. I was
[00:17:47] Catherine Bennett: gonna add, I think, go ahead, Catherine. Oh, sorry. I was just gonna add, I think not, I think, but this conversation to state the obvious is just proof of how important tracking analytics are in the middle and seeing and to. Understand who is middle funnel.
[00:18:03] Catherine Bennett: For me, it’s like being in Salesforce and looking at that score and actually I’m like, I’m a newbie to Salesforce, cuz I’ve been very much on the emotional, like psychological side of marketing. But to go in there and see, oh my gosh, this person has engaged and engage and no one is reaching out.
[00:18:18] Catherine Bennett: Oh, there’s no next step for this person. They’re just chilling. They’re just straight up chilling here for years. And they’re they’re waiting for direction like they’ve been. And so to they, to look at that, the scores, to look at the engagement, look at the numbers behind certain people and say they’re ready, like they’re ready for something else.
[00:18:36] Catherine Bennett: Because of, the repetition of engagement. Yeah, I like that.
[00:18:41] Jordan Harris: Let’s move to our next question, Kathryn, this one’s for you. So we’ve talked a little bit about how do we identify who’s in the middle of the funnel. We’ve talked a little bit about the psychology what we’re doing. So the question we’re here for, what do we do to make great converting middle of funnel content?
[00:18:55] Jordan Harris: How do we do that?
[00:18:56] Catherine Bennett: Yeah. I know we’re running short, but we’re, I want to. I’m just, I’m gonna try to cruise through this, but give you as
[00:19:02] Jordan Harris: much as that can. You’re good. This is the meat of what we’re doing
[00:19:04] Catherine Bennett: yeah. Perfect. Let’s talk about it. Okay. So what I would just say I’m gonna go back to this mo fun idea, d because to me, middle funnel, middle of funnel content, Can be fun, it can be interesting and eye-opening.
[00:19:20] Catherine Bennett: And it really just takes looking at it from a storytelling perspective to get into that mindset. Cause I think we think top of funnel’s really fun. It’s sexy, it’s. Flashy, it’s whatever. And then you get into the middle and you’re kinda like now I have to try to coax them into, it doesn’t have to be that way.
[00:19:38] Catherine Bennett: So I, I want to just inspire you to know that it can be engaging and creative and that. You can continue to provide value. There’s not, it’s not black. A funnel is not like black, white, it’s fluid. It’s li it’s more fluid than that. So continue providing value and find a cadence in the middle of the funnel where you can bring some top of funnel content in there that they’re still going to, those people are still going to be digesting top of funnel stuff, but bringing the content.
[00:20:10] Catherine Bennett: More toward why you’re the right fit for them. And that can look like. Talking about objections, what are some things that, like, why would they maybe not hire you? Or why are they struggling to make that decision? How can you address that? Is there an interesting way that you can address that?
[00:20:27] Catherine Bennett: Is there video? Can we do something with video here? Can we have a live chat kind of conversation about it? Can we have, how can we open up a forum about it to really get into what the root problems are here and how we can, and then, and which opens up an opportunity to then say here’s how we fix that, I had a couple other ideas. Oh, this is where you can talk more in depth about the problem solution. You can give them that paradigm shift too. So there’s the objections that they, that you address and then you can say here’s a new way to look at that. And so opening their eyes to something they haven’t considered before.
[00:21:05] Catherine Bennett: And then, Oh yeah. And then this is a great place to do a lot of storytelling with testimonials, show story. It doesn’t have to be like, I, I loved working with this company cuz blah blah. Show the story get a video crew on it and show how their life transformed. Show those transformations.
[00:21:23] Catherine Bennett: And I think we, we think about like weight loss or I don’t know, the very stereotypical every business offers transformations. And if you can paint those pictures, middle, middle of the funnel. You’re going to see, so you’re gonna see an, a huge increase in the number of people who convert if you can do that well.
[00:21:45] Catherine Bennett: But I just, I will just end that saying, give yourself permission to sell. And that doesn’t have to say, buy this for a 9 99, It’s sell through the story, sell through the story of the transformation your business is offering and open up communication with them. Say, Hey, I wanna talk.
[00:22:01] Catherine Bennett: How can I help you? And get into that deeper friendship.
[00:22:04] Jordan Harris: So I, I love that. And one of the, one of the things that I see at the middle of funnel where we sometimes get confused is thinking that we’re selling our business to you. Meaning, Hey I’m telling you everything that’s great about my business, but that really doesn’t land with the middle of funnel people.
[00:22:19] Jordan Harris: What lands is showing other people that have the same problem of them. And how they solved the problem and you were the sidekick that enabled it. You’re not the hero of the middle of the funnel story. Your business isn’t the hero of it because people don’t really care about your business. Like they care about their problem that they have and how somebody else solved it.
[00:22:36] Jordan Harris: And you are the solution to help bridge that gap between them. And if you can’t illustrate that, it’s hard to get people excited. Nobody’s gonna be pumped about your business because you have a business. They have a problem, they need solved, and they’re hoping you are the answer to it. Exactly
[00:22:51] Catherine Bennett: worded perfectly.
[00:22:53] Jordan Harris: Chad, anything to add there?
[00:22:56] Chad Jardine: Just I think that, so that is a pitfall, right? It’s a pitfall that we, you know I think storytelling is super powerful. We could do many hours around the impact of storytelling, but just remember that like the, your product, your service, your obiwan, not Luke, right?
[00:23:11] Chad Jardine: Luke’s the hero. That’s the customer. They’re the hero. We’re obiwan. We’re the one that shows up with the Lights saver, gives him all the context for how he’s gonna go, blow up the death star. We’re we empower the hero. We aren’t the hero ourselves.
[00:23:23] Jordan Harris: Yeah. And I think that matters more middle of funnel than just about anybody else or anywhere else.
[00:23:28] Jordan Harris: So I’m gonna, I’m gonna jump to We have two last quick questions and then we’ll get to the q and a. But this one I think we can go through quick. One of the things we’d love to do as marketers is when we come and do work with a new company, whatever it is, we wanna look for low hanging fruit.
[00:23:42] Jordan Harris: Like what’s something that I can do today that will make a difference in this world? Chad, I’ll start with you, but Kathryn, and I’d be interested in yours as well, what are some low hanging fruit you’ve seen in the past where companies can get value from targeting middle funnel quickly?
[00:23:55] Chad Jardine: If you’re, if you don’t have anything in the middle of the funnel, I think it’s, it is transformative just to be aware of the middle of the funnel and be conscious and thoughtful about, what content would help people move from the top to the middle? Because they don’t come, if they’re not, aren’t invited.
[00:24:10] Chad Jardine: So you need an invitation that, that says, oh yeah, I’m, I am actually interested in moving closer in this relationship, getting closer to a sale and learning more. And so I think that’s the first big one is if you’re not doing middle funnel content, take a close look at that because there’s, there is a ton of value in the prospects that belong there.
[00:24:29] Chad Jardine: And then, I like, I really would just echo what Catherine said, right? The, what you want is you have the transformation. That’s the root of the story, right? Every story we see anywhere is about a protagonist that starts in one place, something happens to them, that puts them in another place.
[00:24:45] Chad Jardine: And we can jump into Keith’s question about StoryBrand in a minute too, but that’s a great place to start. So who you know, who do you like? Case studies are a great example. Here’s a, we’re gonna tell somebody else’s story of transformation. And because we’re telling it in the format of a story, you’re gonna be able to empathize with that, and that means you’re gonna feel the things that character feels.
[00:25:04] Chad Jardine: And you’re going to think the things that they think because that’s how we relate to each other as human beings through stories. And that’s a powerful way of unlocking the both the relationship and that empathy was like, oh, hey, if this worked for them I want a lights saber. That guy’s got a lights saer.
[00:25:18] Chad Jardine: I want a lights saber. And that’s how I would approach it. Catherine.
[00:25:24] Catherine Bennett: Yeah I think the for and you touched on this too, but there are currently people on everyone’s funnel that are just not being served well in the, in that middle. There are people there. So look at, a quick win today is look at a success story that you have been a part of.
[00:25:41] Catherine Bennett: Figure out how you can communicate that to people who have been following you for a while, who have been engaged with you for a while. You have an email list. Middle of funnel, send them a success story. Easy as that you’re creating middle of funnel content.
[00:25:56] Jordan Harris: I love it. The last thing I wanna do I love this as part of any webinar, so if I’m a marketing leader or I’m somebody who’s a founder, or c e o, somebody on this call what’s the thing that I should leave with?
[00:26:07] Jordan Harris: We talked about a lot of content and we’ll send you all this so you can come back and reference it if something needs to spark your memory. But what’s the thing that I should leave with today? Catherine, I’ll let you go first on this one.
[00:26:18] Catherine Bennett: I would say leave knowing that. Your marketing should sell to you.
[00:26:25] Catherine Bennett: Your marketing is awareness, but marketing informs the sale. It’s, you need to be speaking the SA sales language. And that should be. Appearing in middle of funnel. And look at selling as helping. I’m sure you all know this. If you can shift your mindset and shift the language around the way that you sell it will appear as helping and not buy this thing that I want you to
[00:26:54] Chad Jardine: buy.
[00:26:56] Chad Jardine: Yeah. I, man I don’t know if I could say that better than that. I, but that idea, right? That, hey we’re, if we’re marketing, trying to manipulate people to buy something that they don’t want or need then we’re just bad actors, right? We’re just, we’re using our powers for evil. But if instead we’re taking, Hey, this is.
[00:27:12] Chad Jardine: A genuine match. This person genuinely has a problem. Their life is genuinely better with this product and we’re matchmaking them now. We’re now we’re, using our powers for good. And so I think if I had one takeaway, I would say of all of the things that command your attention, it’s worth setting aside some time, some attention, some piece of your focus to think about middle of the funnel and think about if you can unlock the things there.
[00:27:35] Chad Jardine: Cuz there’s. It could be a low effort opportunity for you to capture more revenue, really more revenue without additional customer acquisition cost. As everybody’s belt tightening right now and this is a way of doing more with what you’ve already brought in. And so I think that’s what I would give as my
[00:27:52] Jordan Harris: one takeaway, and I’ll add mine from a revenue operations kind of background perspective.
[00:27:58] Jordan Harris: If you haven’t identified your middle of funnel work on it, and it may not come right away. It may not be the type of thing where it’s like, Hey, I spent 15 minutes and this is my middle of funnel. It’s probably gonna be a collaborative discussion with your sales team and your marketing team about Hey, who should we be taking out of this big?
[00:28:14] Jordan Harris: Pool of prospects and putting in a second pool that maybe commands a little bit more of our focus. Just taking that simple step of dividing your marketing funnel into two halves instead of maybe a full marketing funnel, you’ll start to pay dividends and you’ll think about how you’re messaging these people differently.
[00:28:29] Jordan Harris: And you can start to get a little bit more specific for their needs. And in the end, what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna get a lot of conversions and nailing that conversion at middle of funnel. Man, if you can increase your conversion rate from middle of funnel to bottom of funnel by 10%, that’s worth thousands of new leads at top of funnel.
[00:28:43] Jordan Harris: So sometimes that’s the place that’s worth focusing on. So if you haven’t identified ’em already take some steps to say, I’m gonna work on identifying my middle of funnel. Great.
[00:28:53] Catherine Bennett: Let’s let both those comments were so good by the way, just to say, I was hyped about both of your comments.
[00:28:59] Jordan Harris: Love it.
[00:28:59] Jordan Harris: We’re all hyped about middle of funnel here. Let’s do a couple q and a questions. First one here. And I’ll let anybody else jump in that, that ha wants to answer these. If I’m just starting to build my content strategy, so I’m like a newish marketing team and I have limited resources, should I be doing top of funnel first or should I be doing middle of funnel first?
[00:29:19] Jordan Harris: Depends.
[00:29:20] Catherine Bennett: It depends. If you have And I don’t think it’s one or the other. And I realize you have a lean team, so it’s hard to be like, you gotta start somewhere. But if you have middle funnel, you’ve identified them already, start there cuz it’s an easy win and you can look awesome, do your team and say, look at all, look at this engagement that I’m getting.
[00:29:39] Catherine Bennett: So it’s a quick win if you already have it. If you don’t and you’re, you don’t have a list or it depends on the age of the company too. Do you, is it brand new? And you don’t have if you don’t have the people you need to go heavy on that top of funnel, so you can, at least you need to start getting that awareness.
[00:29:56] Catherine Bennett: So I think it really just depends on a couple of those things and in including who, who’s already in that
[00:30:04] Chad Jardine: Chad. Yeah, I would echo that too. So if you think about, if you think about, okay, we have the marketing funnel, right? And it has its steps, and then at the end of the marketing funnel, we go into the sales pipeline and it has its steps and the end of the sales pipeline is a closed deal.
[00:30:16] Chad Jardine: And then beyond that, we have renewals and our customer service engine. The further somebody moves from the top of the funnel, right? Or even Prefu, right? The dark funnel. But the further along that step that they move, the more we have invested in them and the more likely they are to buy.
[00:30:33] Chad Jardine: And so in prioritizing them, the closer they are to the end of that journey, I would prioritize serving them first and then move up. But it, but they never get in that in the funnel at all. If you don’t start at the top,
[00:30:48] Jordan Harris: Yeah. And I would just add, be really thoughtful the content you’re taking and how you can use it in multiple places. If we look at the webinar that we had today, if we were to splice up different segments of this webinar, we could put some of this. In top of funnel, and we can put some of this in the middle of our funnel as we’re going through it.
[00:31:06] Jordan Harris: So what you’re looking for is Hey, what are the things that I can leverage as a small team? Which is also one of the reasons we love webinars, we love podcasts, is because the idea is that you’re creating content that can be multipurpose beyond just a single use. So be beware, be wary of a small marketing team creating things that only serve one purpose one time.
[00:31:24] Jordan Harris: You want to start to set things up mOFU drips that say, Hey, I’m gonna invest maybe a couple weeks of time of building a mofu drip of four emails anytime somebody enters mofu, but I’m gonna run it for the next year. Or, I’m gonna run and tweak it for the next year. And so I’m getting high leverage from a single spot.
[00:31:41] Jordan Harris: Whereas if you’re creating things where it’s this only matters once, I just, that would raise the bells for me of doing that when I have a small marketing team.
[00:31:49] Catherine Bennett: That’s huge. I just super quick if you can look at topics and then understand how to position it for top of funnel and then go deeper on it for middle of funnel repurposing for a lean team.
[00:32:03] Catherine Bennett: I’ve been on a number of those is everything, so that’s a great
[00:32:06] Jordan Harris: advice. Catherine, I’m gonna send this next question to you as a sort certified story brand veteran here. When we’re ta this is from Keith. He says, Hey, do you focus on any particular part of the steps from the StoryBrand script when you’re aiming for middle of funnel content?
[00:32:23] Jordan Harris: Is there any that you’re emphasizing more than others? When it’s middle of funnel?
[00:32:27] Catherine Bennett: So honestly, I view the entire StoryBrand framework as middle of funnel. It’s the full story that you’re telling to that client to get them to understand the problem deeper to help them see their success, to avoid their failure.
[00:32:42] Catherine Bennett: The whole thing is really set up as it’s marketing, but it’s also in like a sales light. It’s not, I’m posting a store like, something on tick, a funny video on TikTok that just. Is relatable, which is top of funnel. It’s just oh, I like this person. They have, I, I know they, they’re doing something in this industry.
[00:33:01] Catherine Bennett: I, I, I relate to that. It’s so that, that’s the way I see it. But I think more specifically, if we could look at the framework itself. Really being clear about because the authority piece of the framework where you say I’m the person or the credibility the empathy and credibility shows up a lot at the top of the funnel.
[00:33:22] Catherine Bennett: So to be able to illustrate successes that you help them achieve and failure that you help them avoid is them being your customer. Is a really huge part of that storytelling and being able to clearly state the transformation that you offer to them through your services or product.
[00:33:42] Chad Jardine: Could I just comment too if anybody’s not familiar with StoryBrand, I.
[00:33:46] Chad Jardine: So that’s StoryBrand by Donald Miller. He has a book and a framework and it’s it’s essentially taking the hero’s journey or the old Joseph Campbell thing and converting that into a marketing tool set. It’s really cool. So if you’re not,
[00:33:58] Catherine Bennett: you’re gonna simplify your life a little bit and not stop overcomplicating your marketing.
[00:34:03] Catherine Bennett: It’s a really good
[00:34:04] Jordan Harris: tool for sure. We’re buttoning up against time here. As we wrap up, one of the things I just wanted to quickly point out is that this many, like marketing crash courses we called it, is a sub-segment of truly one of the biggest challenges your marketing team will ever face is nailing.
[00:34:21] Jordan Harris: Content for the funnel. There’s no expectation that you’re gonna be perfect in day one or any expectation that you can even be great or good at day one. It’s just more that one of the things that we wanted to address this topic was specifically was you don’t wanna let this linger forever, because there’s a million things that you can do in marketing and you’re gonna have a ton of priorities that are competing for your time.
[00:34:41] Jordan Harris: And ignoring middle of funnel content will ignore opportunities for revenue, which is ultimately what we’re doing as marketers. But sometimes we can get lost in the sauce a little bit and start to think, oh, I’m building this amazing top of funnel content. I wanna do more of this because it’s working.
[00:34:56] Jordan Harris: But if it’s not turning into revenue, then that’s where, as marketers, we need to pause and say, okay, gotta do something a little bit different. So understanding this is a really big and overwhelming topic that we could go on and on about for several hours. We tried to pull out some of the important things for you to start thinking about.
[00:35:12] Jordan Harris: As you’re thinking about that, you may have questions that pop up. After this webinar, we’ll shoot you an email that has our LinkedIn profiles ways to get in touch with us, all the resources that we talked about today, and a transcript of this meeting. If you have questions, please reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to, to dive deeper on some of these topics and give you guys insights that we’ve learned over, combine dozens and dozens of years of marketing and making every mistake in the book that you can ha, that you can have.
[00:35:36] Jordan Harris: Just opening that up for you guys. Thank you so much for coming today. Chad, Catherine any last things for you as we wrap up here? I just
[00:35:44] Chad Jardine: wanna say thank Oh yeah, go ahead. For spending the time with us. This is a fun topic for us. Thank you Catherine for being willing to do this with the CMO Zen team.
[00:35:52] Chad Jardine: Thanks so much. We appreciate your time and that this, hopefully we rewarded that time with something that was worthwhile.
[00:35:59] Catherine Bennett: Yeah I was just gonna second say exactly that. Thank you so much for your time. I hope it was valuable. I am, I always love talking marketing and swapping ideas.
[00:36:08] Catherine Bennett: And Chad is, and is so smart and the whole CM Zen team is incredible and an, a great resource. So yeah, just
[00:36:15] Jordan Harris: thank you. Great. Thank you all for coming. Check your email and we’ll talk to you soon. Thank you. Thanks.