As your prospects move through the buyers journey – and hence, through your sales funnel – they need different types of content to inform, motivate, and persuade them.
If you provide the right kind of content at the right time, it creates natural momentum that will help you keep your prospects moving. Otherwise, prospects will get too much information they either already know or aren’t ready for ... and that’s a recipe for disaster.
To segment this process in a meaningful way, we have these three weird terms—
Tofu, Mofu, and Bofu.
They might sound like a weird equivalent of the Three Stooges from somewhere over the rainbow, but these are actually three of the most important terms for optimizing your funnel.
- Top of Funnel
- Middle of Funnel
- Bottom of Funnel
Prospects’ Needs Change – Here’s How to Build a Content Strategy Around Them
We already know that inbound marketing is the science of attracting high-quality traffic to your site, then nurturing traffic into leads and ultimately customers. We do this by generating and providing high quality content that responds to prospects’ needs.
Here’s the thing, though: Those needs are changing constantly throughout the process.
And aligning your content to the prospect’s past behavior and current requirements can be tough.
With Tofu, Mofu, and Bofu, things get a lot easier. These are distinct stages of traveling through your funnel, and each of them comes with their own built-in goals your prospect definitely has. By taking these wacky terms on board, you can match your content strategy to your would-be customers.
Let’s take a closer look.
Top of Funnel (Tofu)
What It Is: At the top of the funnel, most prospects have probably just learned about you. At best, they’ve heard your name around somewhere before but haven’t felt motivated to look any closer. If you don’t act fast, you can lose these “Tofu” prospects in an instant.
What They Want: Most people go online to answer questions or solve a problem, and that’s why the Tofu prospect is here. He or she isn’t even a lead yet! These folks have no relationship with your brand (yet!) and are mainly interested in getting information that will help them with some quandary.
Your Goal: To get your prospects to raise their hands and put themselves on your radar. That usually means offering them an amazing lead magnet that will be worthy of them sacrificing the privacy of their email address.
What Kind of Offers Work for Tofu?
- Email Sequences
Tofu content needs to reach out and grab people by showing them you have the answer to their common problems and issues. The content should be solely for educational purposes – being promotional here can scare your prospects off!
Offer Examples for Tofu
- “The Ultimate Guide to CRM” – an e-book
- “10 Days to Faster Billing Cycles” – an email sequence
- “The Complete Guide to Compliance” – a video-enhanced tutorial
Middle of Funnel (Mofu)
What It Is: At the Mofu level, prospects realize there are multiple solutions for their problem. They are collecting and comparing solutions and will soon start narrowing them down to a handful that might be right for them. This is usually the longest phase in the buyers journey.
What They Want: These leads need information that will help them make the best decision – buying criteria. Content should illustrate exactly what it is they need to be looking for to be satisfied with their choice. Of course, your solution matches the criteria to a T.
Your Goal: It’s time to winnow down the competition and get prospects a lot more invested in your solution. Mofu content focuses in on your best brand attributes and why they matter as the prospect zeroes in on a small handful of alternative solutions.
What Kind of Offers Work for Mofu?
- White Papers
- Case Studies
Mofu content is still informative, but drills down into what it means to be a best-in-class solution and why prospects are unlikely to find “the total package” elsewhere. Offers should be concrete, but dense – packed with relatable, well-researched information.
Offer Examples for Mofu
- “How XYZ Company Grew Revenue $1 Million with Our CRM” – a case study
- “Complete Report: Faster Billing Cycles Will Be Vital in 2018” – a white paper
- “Automating Compliance in Just One Month with X Software” – a webinar
Bottom of Funnel (Bofu)
What It Is: Once they reach Bofu, prospects are confident they’ve worked out the two or three best solutions around – now they want to know which one is the best solution for them. They are on the verge of making a purchase decision in the near future. It’s time to shine.
What They Want: Bofu prospects want concrete information that shows them exactly how your solution will integrate seamlessly into their world and deliver the results they want. Nothing more, nothing less.
Your Goal: Bofu prospects are finally ready to open up their hearts – and their wallets – to the right vendor. It’s time to deliver an unparalleled level of responsiveness coupled with opportunities to learn more about prospects and tailor your offer directly to them.
What Kind of Offers Work for Bofu?
- On-Site Demos
Bofu offers are unique because they open a dialogue, instead of the one-way conversation you’ve been having so far. As a result, there aren’t as many different types of offers that can work in this space. The goal is to get your lead in front of someone who can answer questions, overcome objections, and set the stage for a meaningful, mutually beneficial partnership going forward.
Tofu, Mofu, and Bofu Can Turn the Sales Funnel into Your Friend
The Tofu, Mofu, and Bofu strategy is the key to getting there.
No matter what your business is like, your own knowledge is what brings this model to life. You have to know your prospects and know what you have to offer before your content can fill out these outlines – but now, you’ve taken the huge step of connecting the dots.
One reason why it’s so effective to optimize your funnel this way is because it fits perfectly into inbound marketing best practices.
These days, it’s no secret that people respond to inbound marketing really well. With Tofu, Mofu, and Bofu, the inbound mindset can fuel the way you look at your sales funnel. That keeps you coming back to the issue that matters most: Are you generating value for your prospects?
That question is vital not only because it keeps prospects’ attention fixed on your brand, but because it builds brand equity and, ultimately, trust: The kind of trust people expect to feel before they make a major investment with your company.
Unlock the power of your sales funnel today – you’ll be one step closer to inbound marketing mastery.