When it comes to producing content for your lead generation efforts, you probably have a strategy in place already — emails, landing pages, blogs, social media posts, and the like! But what about the people in your audience who are already strong leads?
How do you nurture their interest in your SaaS brand and keep it going? The truth is, most brands do not pay nearly as much attention to this part of the content strategy as they ought to.
Your prospective lead has different needs, questions, and interests from the audience at the top of the marketing funnel. And they need content that caters specifically to their requirements and guides them towards the bottom of the funnel, i.e. where they become a paying customer.
Here is how we look at this: SaaS brands have all sorts of constraints on growth. In many cases, creating awareness is a major challenge. But imagine a situation where you already have plenty of warmed-up prospects or a freemium product with many free users but very few converting customers that pay.
Imagine being stuck with a six-month sales cycle? Awareness is just one small step. Content, when pushed in the right way, can drive more conversions.
That is where bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) comes into play. We have created this handy guide with everything you need to get started with BoFu. Interested? Read on.
What is the bottom of the funnel?
You have probably heard of the “marketing funnel.” It is used to describe the sales journey in a way that can be visualized more easily. While there are several sections one can divide it into, here is the simplest way to picture it.
At the top of the funnel, which is the widest part, you have your target audience. This is whom you market to for lead generation. The middle part is a little narrower, but still pretty broad. This is where the audience members who were exposed to your marketing content reach out further as potential leads.
The bottom part is the narrowest, converging towards a sale. This consists of your qualified leads — people who are interested in obtaining solutions to the problems you address and who have visited your website/signed up for your emails/subscribed to your social media pages.
The goal here is to keep them interested through content that guides them towards the final point in the funnel, i.e. conversion. In other words, bottom-of-the-funnel content focuses on providing customers with the right piece of information, validation, or social proof that helps them make a buying decision.
Why do you need bottom-of-the-funnel content?
When your customer encounters your blog posts, social media posts, or other top-of-the-funnel content, they likely have an interest in the general topic or industry you are writing about. However, they probably are not sold on your specific brand or product yet — which is where bottom-of-the-funnel content comes in. How does it accomplish this?
1. Addresses specific challenges
Bottom-of-the-funnel content demonstrates with proof and examples how your product can solve specific challenges.
2. Keeps your leads engaged along the sales cycle
Bottom-of-the-funnel content is designed to sustain the lead’s interest and continuously fuel it, whether through a handy PDF case study or a short explanatory video explaining the special features of your product.
3. Speeds up the buying process
Bottom-of-the-funnel content offers a clear link between the problem being faced by the customer and the solution you offer. The sooner they are convinced of this, the sooner they are likely to buy. BoFu content shortens the conversion cycle.
Types of bottom-of-the-funnel content
So, how do you avoid the mistakes we have talked about above? When you are working on lead generation, you need content that brings people to your website, whether through a blog post or an email list sign-up.
Once you have accomplished that, the focus shifts towards keeping the customer on your website. How you do this depends on the kinds of goals you have as a SaaS brand as well as what is usual in your space.
While some brands might go more information-heavy through brochures and whitepapers, others might keep it more personal with quick tutorial videos or use cases.
In general, you will want to invest in a mix of long-form and short-form content that you use across multiple channels. Here are 17 formats that work well as bottom-of-the-funnel content.
These are ideal for lead generation when being held live, but when freely accessible on your website, they are a great bottom-of-the-funnel asset too. Have a separate page on your site for webinar archives, and share links to relevant ones in email drip campaigns.
Customer communication platform Intercom has an entire page dedicated to storing their recorded webinars and promoting upcoming webinars.
2. Use cases
These are ideal for targeting consumers who are interested in the product but need concrete examples of how the product can meet their current needs. Feature such use cases prominently on your website and provide links to relevant ones when contacting clients.
Pizza to the Polls, created by three employees of Zapier, delivers free pizza to people standing in long queues while participating in civic life — for instance, elections and COVID-19 vaccination sites. So far, they have sent 82,797 pizzas across 48 states in the US.
They used their app automation tool Zapier to streamline the logistics as much as possible, most commonly, taking submissions from the website and turning them into pizzas. They wrote a solid use case about how they used Zapier and achieved their goals!
3. Video testimonials/use cases
These cover how you have been helping current clients achieve their goals and validate your prowess. Testimonials typically feature the client themselves talking about their experience working with you, while video use cases feature a mix of customer clips and your own explanatory content of how you addressed a client problem.
Mentioned below is the testimonial by Lemonlight’s CEO who runs a company offering video production services and she talks about how using the email service platform Adestra Upland was the right decision and how she uses it to help her customers.
A downloadable long-form asset like a whitepaper or ebook can significantly improve your credibility and attract your bottom-of-the-funnel customers. Include pictures and graphs to support your content and promote the asset via LinkedIn and emails.
5. Executive summaries
These are shorter assets that sum up your product and its applications in a more formal way. These work well if you are targeting customers who may need the approval of a CXO or other senior manager before buying your product. For senior leaders like these, easily digestible content is a big plus.
The following executive summary is designed around the launch of a new product — a new watch series. It includes a bunch of interesting statistics to keep the reader engaged and to show the company has done research into the need for a new watch series.
This takes the form of an explanatory video or an interactive walk-through that gives your customers an introduction to how your product works. In other words, you show them what to click, where, and when. Salesforce, for instance, has created a fun and creative product demo video for its Marketing.
7. Feature-based tutorials
Aside from the overall demo, interested customers often like to know about specific features in-depth. Create informative tutorials on each of your features, whether as a blog post or as an animated video. You can also design these as courses that guide your customer through real-life applications of each feature — just how social media workflow designer Kontentino does.
8. Behavior-based emails
This is essentially a tailored email campaign depending on what your customer clicked on. For instance, if someone checked out a tutorial on a particular feature, you send them an email with a successful use case for that feature. The idea is to further convince customers on things they already like about your product or service.
Here is an email sent by Uber after a user subscribes as a rider on the site. The content demonstrates the value of using Uber, which is to get around easily with just a tap of the button besides offering a guide on how to request a ride.
9. Behavior-based offers
This takes the strategy above to the next level. Essentially, you are targeting them with deals crafted around the features they have shown interest in. For instance, you can offer them a free upgrade to a premium plan if they were browsing a premium feature, or offer them inside access to a masterclass with an industry expert on using that feature.
10. Video sales pitch
This is another excellent asset to have if you are working with leads who need buy-in from senior management. A video sales pitch serves as a catchy ‘elevator pitch’ to convince senior leaders short on time that your product is the way to go.
11. An extensive explanation of plans and prices
As a SaaS brand, you likely offer different plans for your product with different sets of features. Invest in making this a highly visual page with feature comparisons, price points, FAQs, and any upgrade offers clearly written out.
You can promote this page via email and even do mini-tutorials on who would benefit most from each plan. This will help customers who might be dilly-dallying over the price make a quicker decision. Mailchimp does a fantastic job with its pricing page.
12. Comparison pages
Every customer does their homework nowadays before settling on a product. Savvy brands capitalize on this by creating their own detailed feature-wise comparisons showing how and where their product stands out from the competitors.
Be sure to target the right keywords with these pages — typically, you would want to attract people searching for things like ‘X vs Y’ or ‘XYZ comparison.’ ClickUp, a project management software, does not hold back when it comes to comparing itself with the competition.
It has created a series of comparison pages, comparing its best features with the competitor. One of them is with Trello as shown below.
These can be expensive to host and are not always scalable, but if you have the budget, an invite-only event is one of the best ways to woo bottom-of-the-funnel customers.
Have live product demos, invite your big-name clients to speak, host fun giveaways, and the works. Plus, an event allows you to create a host of extra content you can repurpose for customers who could not attend but would still love to know about the product.
Who does not love to save money? While discounts are often regarded as too sales-y, highlighting discounts that you offer to first-time clients can be a winner, especially if the customer is on a tight budget.
15. Free consultation
Want to truly personalize your customer interaction? Offer a free one-on-one consultation where you demonstrate exactly how your product can address your customer’s pain points. Make it easy for them by using a meeting scheduler as a pop-up form or a dedicated page.
16. User-generated content
A great way to add authenticity to your product is by sharing content that your happy customers have created for and with you. For instance, you could do short videos or interviews featuring ‘a day in the life’ for each customer and what role your product plays. Here is a video from Urban Outfitters, which features influencers as they go about their daily lives.
17. Retargeting ads on Google and social media
What happens when most people come to your site? They leave, of course. It is human nature not to purchase anything when they visit a website for the first time. The same also happens in SaaS. Think of retargeting as a reignite interest and boost conversions.
It is defined as a marketing technique to reach consumers with relevant messaging on the basis of their previous browsing behaviors — for instance, for how long visitors stayed on the site and which products or pages did they view.
Retargeting has the potential to boost ad engagement rates by up to 400%. It utilizes a cookie and pixel-based technology to keep track of your website visitors and to subsequently retarget them with ads even after they move to other sites.
You can display ads on Google or opt for social media retargeting. RollWorks, an ABM platform, leveraged social proof in its retargeting ad in a bid to convert more site visitors.
Similarly, the same approach can be taken on Facebook and LinkedIn to showcase ads on these social media channels after a prospect bounces off your website.
Bottom of the funnel content best practices
It is understandable to be less than certain about your bottom-of-the-funnel strategy when you are starting out. After all, you are used to focusing mostly on top-of-the-funnel so far. You will obviously be testing and tweaking as you go along and as your brand goals evolve. There are, however, some best practices you should follow:
1. Make the content similar to the product itself
You probably already have buyer personas in place that you use to craft your lead generation content. Now, drill deeper into that persona and imagine what their needs, aspirations, and actions might be once they have understood the solution as well as the specific product you offer. For instance, what are the final questions they might have? What concerns could they raise about pricing or after-sales service? Then, craft content that speaks to these.
2. Use a ‘show-don’t-tell’ content style
Want to rack up conversions quickly? Craft content that demonstrates incontrovertibly what your product can do. So instead of saying ‘our product comes with a one-click meeting scheduler to simplify your calendar’ say something like ‘our clients have seen a 15% increase in appointments scheduled within the first four months of signing up’. Tweak how you write.
3. Make the product the no-brainer for end-users
Highlight the benefits in a fashion that makes it obvious that you are the best answer to the customer’s problem. Use statistics, visuals, and customer testimonials to the best of your advantage. Ten Speed, a content optimization agency, richly demonstrates your target audience’s problem and shows exactly how their clients find success with your product. They offer social proof and build trust in the form of a case study.
4. Keep your content up-to-date
Numbers change all the time, and having statistics or prices on your website that are even a few months too old could significantly hurt your credibility. Keep an eye out for changes and incorporate them into your content, especially if you are doing competitor comparisons. Be sure you are reflecting their latest price points (even if they are now lower than yours).
5. Set measurable goals
Your bottom-of-the-funnel content strategy needs to be tracked, measured, and optimized just like the rest of your marketing strategy. This means setting KPIs and evaluating your performance against them. Typically, you would want to measure the number of conversions as well as your conversion rate.
6. Have a clear CTA at the start
Bottom-of-the-funnel customers need to be pushed towards an act of conversion, which means you should be direct and compelling with your call to action. Depending on what you intend to get your customers to do, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Book now — for booking a service
- Buy now/Get a quote — for either completing a purchase or starting the purchase process
- Download now — for downloading a resource or a mobile or desktop app
- Sign up/Start a free trial — for signing up for a product subscription
7. Include engaging visuals to highlight product features
You will find a lot of solid advice on SaaS SEO best practices, appropriate CTA language and attractive headlines. However, do not forget to use screenshots and software images to highlight product features. Be as detailed as possible to give the prospective customer an overview of what exactly your product can do for them. This will help them make a decision faster.
Bottom of the funnel content production mistakes
You will be surprised how many companies think that the same set of blog posts, emails and downloadables can be used for both lead generation and bottom-of-the-funnel selling. We are not saying they do not matter. But there is so much more you need to be doing.
Bottom-of-the-funnel content marketing must amp up your SaaS product and its benefits as much as possible, in highly specific ways. Four common ways brands get this wrong include:
1. Still keeping the broader audience in the target
With bottom-of-the-funnel content, you are no longer addressing a broad audience who may or may not have the problem you are fixing — or even the people who have initiated some form of contact with your SaaS brand.
You are addressing a set of strong, qualified leads who know what you do and are now evaluating whether you are the right brand to help them with their problems.
These are people who need to be treated in a personalized manner with detailed, insightful, solution-oriented content. You cannot market the same content that you would do for raising awareness about your SaaS product.
2. Not updating targeted keywords for SEO
You might think that SEO does not matter as much if your customer already knows about your brand, but that is not true. You just need to focus on different keywords, ones that emphasize the solution that your product offers rather than broader topics about the industry.
So, in case your customer liked your brand but forgot your brand/product name? They can still find you if they do a Google search. Plus, you can always run paid ads to ensure your product comes right at the top of the search results.
3. Not selling your specific product
When you are working on lead generation, it is best to avoid hard-selling yourself as your lead is in the middle of the funnel (MoFu), i.e., in a consideration mode.
The MoFu visitor has clearly defined the problem and narrowed down their solutions. When you start awakening their interest based on their pain-point, they will identify your brand as one possible option.
Once they are aware of what you do, however, you need to show them concretely why they should choose your product in particular because they might be considering other SaaS products as well.
This means talking about product features, offering comparisons with other products on the market, providing testimonials…anything you need to get them to convert as fast as possible.
4. Not repurposing bottom-of-the-funnel content for other channels
Created a great bottom-of-the-funnel use case and shared it only as a downloadable on your site? Bad idea. Just like for lead generation, you need to be present on all the channels your customers are present on to nudge them towards conversion.
Make a video version of the use case for YouTube, create snippets for LinkedIn, turn it into an emailer…you get the picture. Be everywhere you possibly can.
Over to you
In conclusion, the bottom of the funnel is like the homestretch in the buying race — your leads are strongly interested, they have understood what you do, and all they need is the right push to convince them to buy.
The best thing you can do to make this happen is have a strong body of content based on detailed research, thorough research, and a keen understanding of what makes your current and potential customers happy.
Keep experimenting, keep repurposing and keep testing — you will soon find the optimal balance that nudges your bottom-of-the-funnel customers towards a purchase. Good luck!
Image Sources – Truffle, Shopify, Evernote, ten speed, RollWorks, Geekflare, Focuslab, ClickUp, Mailchimp, SendPulse, Kontentino, Salesforce, Influencer Marketing Hub, vestd, Lemonlight, Zapier, Intercom, us digital partners
Vikrant Jhala is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Growfusely – a SaaS content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He loves to research, develop and populate content. He has a keen interest in photography, eCommerce, and emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence. Connect with him on LinkedIn: @vikrantjhala.