Not all that’s TOFU is no vegan, sometimes its content also!
Yes, TOFU, MOFU and BOFU sound like TOFU, MUFA and PUFA, the terms associated with healthy food. Though considering these unique terms is also healthy, but this time it is for your content marketing strategy. Yes, these refer to the healthy marketing content that you should be pouring into the content marketing funnel to generate leads.
Now the questions arise, what is healthy content? Isn’t the regular marketing content healthy?
Yeah, in old times, the marketing content used to be the same for one and all, irrespective of whether it is hitting the target audience or not. Like an advert would bug the movie watchers, whether they are interested or not, irrespective of the buying phase they are in.
Yes, buying phase! It’s a part of the customer’s journey.
Phases of Customer’s Journey
The entire journey is divided into three parts – Attention (Awareness), Engagement (Understanding) and finally the Decision-Making. Traditional marketing never followed these phases separately, and rather that few second add would carry the responsibility of drawing attention, engagement and decision making.
Today, content marketing is not conducted the way it used to be, long time back. It has become an extensive process that creating the content for content marketing funnel, which is divided into various phases of the customer’s journey. Every phase requires a different content for marketing the product or service with.
What is Content Marketing Funnel?
It is important to note that buying does not just happen. It involves steps that lead to the buying decision. This is very well explained by the concept of a funnel which is divided into three parts – The upper wide part, the middle narrowing part and the bottom.
The marketing funnel follows the same trend with the topmost part which depicts the earliest phase which is about getting the attention or attracting the customers when they’d say, “Hey, what’s that? Let’s see..”
The middle phase is about engaging the prospective customers, when they are aware about you and are now interested to know more. They engage with the brand in various ways like subscribing to the newsletter, watching the video, asking questions or even sharing the information further.
The bottom of the funnel talks about the final conclusion of all that happened in previous two phases. The prospective customers enter the deciding phase. By this time, they are supposed to be convinced about the product or service and all they need to do is – take the decision of buying. So, you can see all stages are different, and therefore require different efforts with different types of content to generate leads, which is the core objective of all these efforts.
Content Required for All Phases of the Funnel
As the objectives of all these phases are different, they require different content to meet them. It has to be created in alignment with the objective of every individual phase. So, you should map the content according to each and every phase.
Top Of the FUnnel (TOFU) content is meant to draw attention for the people who have absolutely no idea about the product or service. The best way you can address them, is by touching their pain-points. The people looking to resolve their pain-points will quickly pay attention, as they had been already looking for sources that may be useful for them.
Well, to get the attention of the prospects does not mean that you should be pushy about the particular product or service. Here the object should not be to sell the product directly, it is to educate the people, so that they get to know you and your offering, and on the basis of that they can research further.
Blog Posts, EBooks, Guides, How-To Content
The digital content mediums to educate prospective customers include blog posts, ebooks, and guides. The blog section in your website should be regularly updated with introductory and informative blog posts. Suppose, if you want to market Yoga sessions. So, you can start writing about Yoga and its benefits. People should know how is yoga going to sort out their various kinds of ailments. So you will be generating awareness about Yoga so that they further research on it and get to know its benefits from other sources as well.
So, you are not selling the sessions conducted by you. You are simply educating them on how in general, Yoga helps.
Of course, the presentation of content, whether it is a blog, an ebook or a guide, has to be impressive and engaging. It will be better if you open the door for them to the next stage. Yes, that door is a call-to-action (CTA).
Apart from this, the How-To content can be of great help for those looking to have the information in a quick mode, as it consists of a series of steps or instructions for the readers to follow. This type of content is the most preferred TOFU type as it requires minimum effort from the person to understand anything with accuracy. It provides maximum information in minimum possible time.
If you still have doubts, just step into the customer’s shoes looking for some quick information desperately, and then imagine you get a ‘How-to’ content. This kind of content is presented in the form of short videos and infographics and carries the capability to engage people quite easily.
Middle Of the FUnnel (MOFU) content takes the prospective deeper into the subject, to make them understand it better. During this stage, they will be getting an insight on how great can a particular product or service be and why should they buy or avail it.
Whitepapers, Case Studies, Webinars and Social Media Posts
Well, the content for this stage can be presented in Whitepapers, Case Studies, through Webinars and social media posts.
This type of content is presented especially for B2B marketing, which involves detailed research on a particular subject. The content is lengthy written in highly professional and presentable tone with industry-relevant quotes and citations.
The content should explain about why should you buy a particular product or service. The best way to do is by first elaborating on the pain points that you touched while presenting TOFU content, followed by finding out the solution. In the case studies, the same pattern should be followed. It is up to you how lengthy do you want the case study. It can be long or a one-page also.
The webinars also engage the best way, by providing a live presentation, especially for training. The best part about webinars is, that they are interactive. The interaction of the audience with an expert can be really compelling and drives great results.
For example, to help the audience understand about the benefits of new league of environment-friendly sanitary products such as menstrual cups, a webinar can be very helpful, as not every woman feels free to discuss this otherwise. A webinar overcomes hesitation and presents complete information, leading to the decision-making stage.
Another great medium for engaging people is social media posts which carry the power to connect. In fact, people are now taking them quite seriously, as a lot of business happens through them. Social media posts not just engage, they influence.
Bottom Of the FUnnel (BOFU) content further motivates the people to take the next step. Yes, now that they are provided with enough information about the subject through TOFU and MOFU content, it’s time to present them the content that motivates them to take the buying decision, which is the core objective of all the efforts in totality.
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Product Demo, Free Trial, Case Studies, Testimonials
The content presented for this stage is about strengthening the facts that had already been presented, to drive conversions. Product demo explains very closely about the product, its benefits with unique selling proposition, and explains about why it is better than others. The features if the product are described to help people understand the product further.
Comparing the product with other contemporaries and outlines the differences between them. Free trial takes them a step further as the prospective buyers are given an opportunity to try the product, which is the ultimate means of making them take the next step – make a buy!
Not only this, they are also provided with reviews and testimonials of other people who used it, which convinces them further.
Well, That’s Not the End!
Once you reach the bottom of the funnel, does not mean that as a content marketer, your job is complete. It goes on with maintaining the relationship that you have built with them – yes, the relationship of trust.
Your customers may be advocating your brand to others and that’s the most important achievement for you. To maintain this treasure, you should keep looking for new means of presenting your content better through all the three stages of the funnel.
The journey never ends, it goes on.
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