TOFU, MOFU and BOFU.
No – they are not festivals held in Tasmania pre-covid but rather stages of the buyer cycle or sales funnel process that we outlined in our previous blog post.
In that article we spoke making sure that you understood how your customers came to choose to deal with you.
We spoke about the 5 stages along the buyer journey when it comes to content marketing
- Stage One – Recognition of a problem or a need
- Stage Two – Information Search
- Stage 3 – Evaluation
- Stage Four – Purchase
- Stage Five – Post Purchase Behaviour
Understanding your buyer journey is one thing, what you need to do now is create the right content for each of those stages, whether you are at the top, middle or bottom of the funnel.
Top of the Funnel Content Marketing
Top of the Funnel content tends to be the type of content that helps with the recognition of the problem or need and provides the information that happens during the information search phase.
So what kind of content does this look like?
- Social Media Posts
- Infographics are some of the key tools at this stage
Blog posts are an easy one for business to create, especially for professional service firms, as long as you are clear on the problems or needs of your clients and focus your blogs on those areas. Other tools at this early stage of the funnel include social media posts, videos and infographics. Items that spark interest and help people want to learn more, this is what is needed at this stage, so that you draw people into you.
However if you only focus your content at this top level, then you are not going to generate leads that will help you secure sales. This is often why businesses say that posting on social media or creating blog content is a waste of time, they aren’t understanding where this type of content fits into their funnel and what has to happen next. They are not seeing an immediate benefit and hence think the entire exercise is pointless. DOn’t make this shortsighted mistake. Understand your funnel and the content required at each stage. If you are only creating content at this top level, well of course it will be a waste of time – as it is not leading anywhere.
This is why you need content for the MOFU – Middle of the Funnel stage. (Not to be confused with dark MOFO in Tassie)
Middle of the Funnel Content Marketing
There is probably a little cross-over of content from the information search and evaluation phase here. Again be careful of the freeples.
The kinds of content you should be creating at the middle of the funnel stage might include
- Ebooks, White papers and Case studies
- Templates & Toolkits
- Quizzes & Assessments
- Email Courses
- Guides and Webinars
This kind of content requires more commitment, both from you to create it but also from the prospect as this kind of content requires them to do more than just read a post or follow you on social media. They need to give you something far more valuable than a like – they need to give you their email address.
It is this part of the funnel that is actually where you are likely to have lots of content in your head or offline in your proposal documents. You just need to drag it out and think about the best way to use it to help you bring more people to you.
Bottom of the Funnel Stage
The final piece of the content puzzle is BOFU – Bottom of the Funnel stage.
This is where you are securing the sale and also building client retention and loyalty (but more on that later)
At this stage of the funnel you need to be focussed on herding people to the point of making the sales decision – yes or no.
So the kinds of content you create here are all about helping them click buy now, or commit to the proposal. Again you may already have this information, but it might be just in your head, knowledge you share on the phone to a prospect or just drop in your proposal.
So let’s bring that content into the light of day.
- Competitor Analysis
- Testimonials & Customer Stories
- Promo codes and discounts
- Free trials & Demos
- Detailed specifications, Clear USP outlines and effective product descriptions ( SEO!)
As mentioned, this may not involve creating new information, but rather reviewing your internal materials to see what is missing from my online footprint that helps people at this stage of the buying cycle to choose me. What is in the heads of your business development or sales team that needs to be in the public domain to help people choose your business.
Have a long detailed look at your website content and email tools.
Is any of this information available for people to access on your website? It doesn’t need to be visible, some of the above content types might be behind the email marketing wall – ie you have them on your list and you then help them choose you.
And if you are a professional service firm or provide consulting services, don’t feel that you are giving it all away, no-one can come close to your 10000 hours of expertise by simply reading your blog content and downloading your case studies.
They just can’t.
So be generous in the value you provide.