Posted in Tofu Mofu Bofu. 5 min read
In a previous post, we introduced Tofu, Mofu, and Bofu – an approach to segmenting your online content according to prospects’ needs at different points in the sales funnel.
As a quick refresher:
- Tofu is the “Top of the Funnel,” when prospects are new to your brand;
- “Mofu” is “Middle of the Funnel,” when prospects want buying criteria;
- “Bofu” is “Bottom of the Funnel,” when they decide between options.
As people move through the sales funnel, their needs change ... and your content has to change with them! The better your content is aligned with those needs, the more effective it will be in motivating them to keep pressing forward.
Top of the Funnel
An e-book is a great way to answer your lead’s burning questions and demonstrate expertise in a relatable way. Despite the profusion of mobile technology, text isn’t dead – but it has to be truly informative and engaging to get attention from decision-makers hard-pressed for reading time.
To be effective, an e-book needs a few things in its favor:
- A hook based on a lead’s most important questions, pain points, or business concerns
- A layout with professional elements, including a good cover, design, and typography
- A clear call to action (CTA) to move leads forward to the next stage in the process.
When planning an e-book, take it as seriously as you would if your work was going to find its way to library shelves. Deliver real value by attacking a meaty topic with a substantial number of pages – but not so much that you stray from the point or the reader loses interest.
What’s the difference between a “guide” and an e-book? You can develop guides in a number of different formats, not all of them text-focused. The purpose of a guide is to deliver background information your prospect needs to start them on the road to choosing your solution.
Depending on your industry and offering, it can take a variety of forms. For example, you could have a research report that brings together a number of infographics. You could communicate with a handful of short videos that help prospects address a key business problem.
Whatever you choose, remember – the medium is the message.
You should select a format that helps you get your point across quickly and efficiently. Although blog posts can make for great guides, many decision-makers are visual learners. Think about your customer persona, how your content will be used, and where it will be consumed.
“How-to” content is less broad than an e-book or general topic guide. It provides your readers with step-by-step instructions. By the end, they should achieve something with a minimum of fuss and effort. A good how-to gives the prospect a sense of accomplishment.
If how-to content is accurate and easy to follow, then the format might not seem to matter. Still, users want to feel like they’ve gotten something substantial in return for their email address ... and you are collecting email addresses, aren’t you?
With that in mind, a how-to usually makes a bigger splash in one of two formats:
- Short videos in which each step takes less than two minutes to accomplish
- A long-form infographic supported by a blog post for the deeper details
People generally have an easier time following instructions that are visually interesting. If you go for a video, be especially careful to make sure your presenter moves through the points at the right rate – not too fast and not too slow – and avoids going into too much detail.
Email sequences are popular for on-boarding new prospects because they provide seamless connection between consuming your content and taking action on it. Each email in a sequence should build trust, inspire interest in what’s to come, and try to spark the next step.
Email sequences can be stretched out over any period of time, and your strategy will depend on what audience you wish to reach. A short sequence unfolding over five or seven days provides closure and a sense of reward, but a longer one can foster trust if the user keeps up.
Middle of the Funnel
A white paper consists of detailed research and information on a topic. This is your chance to establish just what a best-in-class solution looks like and why prospects should stick with yours. B2B decision-makers in particular appreciate lengthy, well-designed white papers with strong citations and plenty of quotes from industry thought leaders.
A case study is a special kind of research report that focuses on how your solution transformed business at a client company. It brings readers on a journey from the initial problem through the implementation of a solution and the results. Case studies show why and how your solution is better, integrating testimonials from the business stakeholders affected.
A webinar is a (generally) live event where subscribers sign up to get specific training or info, usually in 30-90 minutes. The best way to make a webinar compelling enough for people to show up for the live event is to make sure there’s plenty of time for Q&A with a real expert – someone your Mofu subscribers will be interested in talking with.
Bottom of the Funnel
Assessments and Consultations
The purpose of Bofu content is to turn a one-way relationship into a conversation .. one that ends in a sale. You can call it many different things, but all kinds of consultations have the same goal: To get more details on the prospect’s problems and figure out if you have the best solution.
If you have a software product or a piece of specialized equipment, nothing beats an on-site. Prospects get to see what you do, how you do it, and imagine your solution in their own space.
An inbound marketing strategy includes a full-scale embrace of funnel-focused content. With a full deck of Tofu, Mofu, and Bofu content, you attract more leads – and convert more paying customers.