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5 winning strategies for mid-funnel consideration campaigns



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February 14, 2024 | 8 min read

Mid-funnel marketing is often overlooked, but is crucial to drive customers towards making a purchase, says Emilie Coalson-Kiner (UK marketing manager, Taboola). Here are five strategies to help bridge the gap between awareness and conversion.

Mid-funnel marketing is like the middle child of the family. That is, its true place in the funnel can feel a bit unclear at times. Its purpose isn’t necessarily to drive brand awareness like the first stage of the funnel, for example, or to drive sales like the last stage. Instead, it sits in that awkward middle ground of the customer journey — when audiences have already learned about your brand but aren’t yet ready to buy. It's easy to forget about, but it's actually a crucial step to bridging the gap between awareness and conversion. 

That's why it’s important for advertisers to build clear and effective mid-funnel strategies that drive consideration. So they can better plan and meet their KPIs and keep buyers moving along the path to purchase.

Here, we’ll unpack just what mid-funnel marketing is and five winning strategies you can use to fuel your consideration campaigns.

What is mid-funnel marketing?

True to its name, mid-funnel marketing sits, well, in the middle of the marketing funnel:

  • Brand awareness (top of the funnel): When consumers first learn about your brand and products.
  • Consideration (middle of the funnel): When consumers consider your brand and products by conducting further research and comparing your offerings with those of competitors.
  • Decision (bottom of the funnel): When consumers decide to buy from your brand and complete a purchase or conversion.

Mid-funnel campaigns are aimed at reaching people who have already been introduced to your brand, with the aim of moving them to the decision stage. In that fuzzy, mid-funnel phase, customers are interested in what you have to say but they might not be fully ready to commit. They may also be actively comparing between you and your competitors.

Consider the last time you purchased a household appliance like a vacuum cleaner or stand mixer. You likely started out by searching the web for popular models, or visiting a store to look in-person at the models available (top of funnel). You probably narrowed the choice down to two or three models based on the criteria that were important to you. At this point, you may have read online reviews or comparison articles about those models, or asked a salesperson to distill the key differences between them; this is the middle of the funnel. Finally, you will have weighed up all the information you received, and made a purchase (bottom of the funnel).

Without the crucial consideration step, you would have been overwhelmed by all the options available and picked a model at random, or given up the endeavour entirely. Effective mid-funnel marketing helps a brand stand out amongst its competitors and reassures the consumer that they're making the right choice.

What are mid-funnel KPIs?

Measuring the impact of mid-funnel campaigns can be tricky, but common KPIs include:

  • Brand favorability — How positively people feel about your brand.
  • Consideration — How likely people are to consider buying from your brand.
  • Message association — How closely people can associate your marketing messages with your brand.

The most effective way to measure mid-funnel success is with a brand lift study that tracks that tracks the percentage change in each of these metrics between users who interacted with a campaign, and a control group who didn't.

Strategies for mid-funnel success

Advertisers can use these proven mid-funnel marketing strategies to help drive consideration and conversions for their campaigns.

1. Retargeting ads

Sometimes one — or even two or three ads — isn’t enough. That’s where retargeting strategies come in. Advertisers can use their awareness campaign data to see who interacted with their content, and then reach those users again with personalized ads, keeping their brand top-of-mind during the crucial consideration phase.

Say an auto brand launches a campaign for a new line of cars, for example. Through their analytics, they see that select users clicked on their ads and engaged with the landing page for their SUV model. The brand can then retarget just those users with ads that promote the benefits and features of that specific car – Honda was able to increase conversion rate by 291% and decrease CPA by 58% by doing just that.

2. Gated and downloadable assets

Retargeting ads can lead retargeted users to gated content. They can use this content to share valuable information with potential customers and gather high-quality leads.

For example, you might invite people to download a whitepaper, case study, report, or e-book in exchange for their email address. Or you might gather signups for a webinar, virtual course, or exclusive product demonstration. Any of these can be valuable tools to help convince the consumer that your product is the right choice for them. Another popular strategy is to offer users a 10% discount in exchange for opting in to marketing communications.

3. Email sequences

Once you have those email addresses, you can use them to follow up with even more relevant content or product recommendations. For example, you might release an email sequence that looks like this:

  • Email 1: Thank users for subscribing. Send them the gated content or discount they signed up for.
  • Email 2: Follow up with highlights or key takeaways from the downloadable, or an email highlighting different ways to use the product.
  • Email 3: Send personalized suggestions for more content or products that match their interests.
  • Email 4: Highlight a case study, testimonial, or success story from a happy customer.
  • Email 5: Offer a special discount or remind them that their first-order discount is waiting to be used.

As customers move through the email sequence, you can gather more data about their interests and behaviors, and continue tailoring content to meet their needs. This allows you to nurture your warm leads and drive them to making a purchase.

4. Native video

With the help of native ad platforms, mid-funnel advertisers can run high-impact videos in strategic placements across publisher sites, like on the homepage, in the middle of articles, and at the end of articles when people are ready to consume something new. For example, a brand might launch a quick video demonstration of how their product works or tell an interactive story that incorporates their product.

A study by Kantar found that native video ads have a stronger impact on favorability, consideration, and brand image than social and streaming video ads. That’s why, when Ancestry wanted to increase brand familiarity in the UK, they turned to high-impact video ads to engage and educate target audiences. A brand lift study showed that the campaign drove a 38.8% increase in online ad awareness, 13.4% increase in brand favorability, and 16.6% increase in consideration.

5. Commerce content across publisher sites

In addition to ads, commerce content is another way that brands reach high intent shopping audiences on top editorial sites. These prestige editorial brands use their editors' expert insight to create buying guides and comparison articles and gifting articles to help their readers make better informed purchases. Brands pay out commission to publishers when the commerce content drives sales on their homepage.

Advertisers can work with Skimlinks, one of the world's largest commerce content platforms, to reach these shopping audiences with major publishers around the world like Condé Nast, Yahoo, Hearst and News UK to drive sales.

Converting prospects to sales

In an increasingly competitive digital marketing world, marketers can't afford to neglect mid-funnel strategies. They need to proactively and continuously nurture customer relationships to drive high-quality leads and conversions. That's where these winning mid-funnel strategies can help you move customers from that initial awareness stage through to the conversion stage — so they're fully confident in your offerings and ready to buy.

By Emilie Coalson-Kiner (UK marketing manager, Taboola)

Open Mic Marketing


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