December 14, 2021 | Sean Foo
Every business has a sales & marketing funnel, a process of gathering leads and turning them into paying customers. And in today’s information-rich world, buyers are getting more empowered when it comes to making an informed decision.
This means providing your potential customers with the right content throughout their customer journey while also qualifying them at the same time.
This is where creating the right TOFU, MOFU and BOFU content for your audience comes into play!
TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU are stages in your marketing funnel. Let’s break it down.
This is the start of your buyer’s journey and where leads are being generated. Your audience here has just encountered your brand – it could be from your content marketing efforts, an online ad campaign, or from your outbound sales.
While your reader isn’t specifically thinking about your offerings, how much value your content delivers at this point builds ‘brownie points’ with them.
The key is to build enough ‘brownie points’ with your content for them to commit further to your brand such as by subscribing to your newsletter.
Because they are new to your business, the goal here is to be as useful and add value as much as possible to your TOFU audience.
In the middle of the funnel, your leads (or audience) know about your brand, understand that they have challenges to solve, and want to know more about how you can help.
Your audience here has seen some value in your product or service and wants to learn more about what you have to offer.
In the MOFU stage, your audience is asking themselves:
“Can this solution help me solve my challenge?”
“What can this solution do and what makes it different from the competition?”
“What other alternatives are there in the market I should be aware of?”
Prospects in the middle of the funnel are still in their research phase and the information presented to them here is all about assisting them to learn more about your solution.
When your lead reaches the bottom of the funnel, they are qualified and ready to buy – all you need to do is to position your solution as the best option.
At this point, you need to instill trust in your brand, show that your solution solves their challenges, and beats the competition.
You have to address three big questions your prospect has to close the sale. These are:
“Is the product or service a good fit for my specific needs and situation?”
“Is the solution a proven product and has it delivered results for people like me?”
“Can I trust the product to work and the brand to deliver on their promise?”
As sales cycles are getting longer and more complex, providing the right types of content is mission-critical in helping your readers progress down your funnel – converting them from casual observers to delighted customers.
Let’s quickly touch on the different types of content to create for each part of your sales & marketing funnel!
At the top of the funnel, your audience is miles away from making a purchase and is just getting aware of your brand.
Content here is primarily created to reach your ideal prospect in mass by solving a common set of challenges that they are facing.
They have immediate problems and you are the subject matter expert with the answers that they seek – it’s as simple as that in this phase.
Do not worry about them not knowing what your company is about or does, they are in ‘education’ mode. Your job here is simple – educate your reader with quality content to build value.
The types of content you can create at the top of the funnel include:
Shopify’s blog post is an example of TOFU content that is crafted to solve a problem that their audience has – how to open their online store for cheap.
While it might not reap any immediate benefit, readers will gain valuable insights from the content and they will sign up for their newsletter to gain more business and marketing tips – content similar to what they have read.
This allows Shopify to further nurture the relationship with the reader down the funnel with even more targeted content.
Here’s how to get started with TOFU Content:
When your leads are in the idle of the funnel, they want to know more about your solution and how it can help them reach their goals.
Creating MOFU content is straightforward – you want to support their research process while simultaneously building the desire for your product or service.
This means developing content around your solution and how it can specifically help your prospect solve a particular problem they face or in the industry and niche that they are in.
“What features stand out that can help my reader reach their goals?”
“What specific challenges do my prospects have that my product or service can solve and what is the best approach?”
“What can I teach my audience that frames my solution as the enabler to get to their end goal?”
These are some of the questions to ask yourself as you brainstorm on your MOFU content topics.
The types and formats of MOFU content you can create include:
ConvertKit, for example, uses customer stories to not just educate or inspire their readers, but to also subtly showcase how their product has transformed the customer’s business and life.
Customer stories are an effective type of MOFU content that teaches valuable lessons to the reader while relating to their hopes and struggles.
Best of all, you get to weave in key aspects and features of your solution into the narrative, subtly selling to your readers in a natural way.
Here’s how to get started with MOFU Content:
At the bottom of the funnel, your leads are qualified, they know what your product is about and what you have to offer.
They have done their research, including checking out your competitors, and are seriously considering making a purchase.
However, getting them to convert requires you to persuade and instill confidence that you are the best choice. This is where BOFU content comes in.
Your content will have to take a consultative approach to sell and provide the final bits of information framed persuasively to seal the deal.
This includes building trust through customer testimonials and showing competence by making comparisons.
The types and formats of BOFU content you can create include:
Basecamp, for example, intelligently combines competitor comparisons with customer testimonials on their ‘before and after’ page.
This not only highlights the drawbacks of their competitors and what Basecamp is doing better, but the statements also come from their customers themselves – adding credibility to the claims and inspiring genuine trust!
Here’s how to get started with BOFU Content:
Unlike the good ol’ days of cold-calling, running expensive ads, or prospecting for clients at industry trade shows, content marketing is how quality leads are being generated and closed.
This means providing value throughout the buyer’s journey from the moment they first interact with your brand and long after they become a customer.
The key is to educate and inform your prospect at every step of the way.
Let’s say you have a challenge of an unorganized team with deadlines being missed ever so often.
In your frustration, you probably went to Google and typed in “How to organize my team”.
And the first thing you probably will see is a blog post that helps you organize and prioritize your team’s tasks.
You love the content and find it helpful enough to subscribe to the mailing list.
Then you get an email once a week about the best productivity tips and get introduced to articles and webinars about how the company can actually help your business.
You do more research and now you believe their solution is a viable option.
Finally, a month or so down the line, you are ready to purchase a collaboration app subscription and you head back to the company and read their case studies to see if they can really deliver results to people who have the same challenges.
They do and then you make the purchase!
Let’s say you have a dog and you love it to bits, so much so that you spend hours a day taking pictures with him and posting them on Instagram.
One day you encounter an awesome picture of a dog on Barkbox’s Instagram that makes you chuckle – you love the posts there and subscribe to their Instagram account.
Over the next few days, you get even more posts and check out their website, understanding what they have on offer, doggie toys and treats, and scour through YouTube for influencer reviews and unboxings of their product.
Finally, you view their customer testimonials and pictures of dogs (the true end customer) playing with the toys and you’re sold!
This is how TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content works together to help push the sale along your marketing funnel to the close.
Your TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content are some of the most important assets to help assist your buyer throughout the sales process.
It helps to drive brand awareness from scratch.
It helps to nurture prospects and build their understanding (and desire) for your product.
And it helps to close the deal, assisting the potential buyer to make a confident purchase.
Be sure to check out these guides to help you get started with your content marketing:
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