What is TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU? Well, it's definitely not the latest vegan dish or dance craze.
In the marketing world, TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU are three distinct stages of the buyer's journey.
TOFU stands for top of the funnel, and it refers to activities that help to attract potential buyers by raising awareness and generating interest.
MOFU is short for middle of funnel, and it refers to actions that move potential buyers into the consideration phase.
The final stage in this journey is BOFU, or bottom of funnel. BOFU is where potential buyers make their final decision about whether or not to buy a particular product or service.
The sales funnel content strategies for these different stages include a range of content types, from blog posts and infographics to video demonstrations and case studies.
Successful marketing requires an understanding of the needs and motivations of potential buyers and qualified leads at each stage on their journey from ToFu through to BoFu.
TOFU - Top of The Funnel
TOFU content, or top-of-the-funnel traffic, is the first stage in the buyer's journey. Here, someone might have a problem they want to solve or have some questions. They are in what is called the awareness stage of their journey.
They may do a Google search to address the issue they are having. The searcher is not looking for your product or service specifically, but for information about their problem.
Your goal at this stage is to attract attention and get in front of the right people. You do this by creating detailed content that educates them on their problem and provides valuable information. Once you have their attention, you can then introduce them to your brand and begin building a relationship.
Content types that work well at this stage include:
- Blog posts - Write how-to content articles, top 10 lists, and other types of blog posts that offer helpful information to people who are just beginning their research on a given topic. These will be found in the search engines like Google.
- Infographics - Create infographics that offer an overview of a particular subject or product. Be sure to include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your infographic so that viewers know what to do next.
- Videos - Create video content that provides a solution to a problem that your target audience is facing.
- Social Media - Use social media to raise awareness of your brand and drive traffic to your website or blog. Share helpful, educational content that will attract potential customers and help them to see your company as a valuable resource.
- Email Newsletters - Send email newsletters with helpful information, such as tips and tricks, that will encourage recipients to visit your website or blog. Include a CTA so that viewers know where to go to get more information.
- Ebooks - You can create an entire eBook on the subject matter that your target audience is interested in. This type of content goes into more depth than a blog post or infographic and can be used as a lead generation tool.
Example of a TOFU Journey
To give an example of a TOFU journey, let's use the problem of acne and how someone can go through all three stages of TOFU, BOFU and MOFU.
Introducing Jack. Let's say Jack has an acne problem that he wants to solve. He goes on Google and types, "how do I get rid of acne" into the search bar.
At this stage, Jack is in the TOFU stage of his buyer's journey. He is looking for information about his acne problem and how to solve it.
He is not specifically looking for a product to buy yet, but for information that can help him.
This is where your content comes in.
You have written a blog post titled, "5 Tips to Get Rid of Acne Fast." This post provides valuable information that helps Jack understand his problem and provides some solutions that he can try.
You might have some tips in the article for home remedies but also a product that you can recommend that you are an affiliate for. Let's name this product "Acne Buster". But in the TOFU stage, your goal is not to sell - yet. Your goal is to educate. This builds trust.
Once Jack has read your post and found it helpful, he is then introduced to your brand. He might not be ready to buy the "Acne Buster" product yet, but he knows who you are and trusts you as a source of valuable information.
Sales can happen at this stage, but they are generally low.
Let's move Jack to the next phase - MOFU.
MOFU - Middle Of The Funnel
The MOFU stage is a consideration stage where potential buyers are starting to compare different options and narrow down their choices. They might still have some questions but are getting closer to making a decision.
Your goal at this stage is to provide more in-depth information that helps potential buyers understand the features and benefits of your product or service. You want to continue building trust and relationships so that when they are ready to buy, they think of you first.
MOFU involves building interest and engagement at this critical step, by providing high-quality content and resources that highlight the value of your product or service. This might include things like whitepapers, case studies, webinars, or educational videos.
By engaging customers at this stage with highly relevant and useful information, you can help them to make informed decisions about whether they want to buy from you or not. Ultimately, the goal of MOFU is to move potential customers further down the marketing funnel toward conversion.
Content types for the MOFU stage
- Blog posts - Provide answers to questions about your product
- Webinar - Hold a webinar and a particular topic by providing training and time for Q&A
- Email Marketing - Get Jack to sign up for your newsletter which gives more information about your "acne buster" product and how it can help him.
- Case Studies - Provide a case study where you showcase positive results from your product.
Example of a MOFU Journey
So Jack has read your article on acne removal tips. He's also discovered that the best way to get rid of his acne is to buy a product. But, he's not sure what product to buy. He's already been made aware that you have a suggested product but is also considering others.
This is where you provide him with more in-depth information about your product through a case study, webinar or educational video. In this content, you highlight the features and benefits of your product and how it has helped others with acne problems just like his.
If you don't have a product but are an affiliate marketer, this is where you can direct him to a round-up post on acne products. A round-up post is where you review several products that solve a particular problem, in this case, acne.
At this stage, you want to provide as much information as possible to help Jack make an informed decision about which product to buy. By doing this, you are increasing the chances that he will buy the "Acne Buster" product from you because he trusts you and knows that you have his best interests at heart.
Jack is getting closer to making a decision but may still have some questions. You can help him by providing more content that answers these questions.
If you have been able to build a lot of trust with your content and convinced Jack that the "Acne Buster" product is the best choice, he will likely buy at this stage.
BOFU - Bottom Of The Funnel
Jack has now reached the BOFU or bottom-of-the-funnel stage. It is also known as the decision stage. He has compared different options and decided that your "Acne Buster" product is the best choice for him. He is now ready to buy.
Your goal at this stage is to provide a smooth and easy purchase experience so that Jack can buy your product with confidence. You also want to continue building trust and relationships so that he becomes a loyal customer.
BOFU involves creating compelling offers and calls-to-action (CTAs) that encourage potential buyers to take the next step and make a purchase. It's also important to provide social proof, such as customer testimonials, to reassure potential buyers that they are making the right decision.
Content Types for the BOFU Stage
- Product demo - Show how your product works
- Customer testimonials - You can also offer social proof through customer testimonials to reassure Jack that he is making the right decision. If you have a product demonstration video, this is also a good time to share it.
- Product landing page - A dedicated page for your product that includes all the information a potential buyer needs to know
- Free Trial - Offer a free trial of your product
- Coupons - Offer a discount to encourage the purchase
- Calls-to-action (CTAs) - Include CTAs throughout your content to encourage potential buyers to take the next step and make a purchase
Example of a BOFU Journey
Jack is now fully aware of your product. He might likely want more information on this product by searching "Acne Buster review" on Google.
Hopefully, your page will be at the top of Google search results. You might get lucky and have Jack read your review directly from your site, but a lot of people will also find competing reviews from other sources, such as YouTube, the search engines or social media.
This is why if you're a blogger or website owner, SEO is so important.
Assuming that Jack likes what he sees in your review, he will now be looking for a place to buy the product. This is where you need to include strong calls-to-action (CTAs) and buy buttons that lead him to your product landing page or checkout page.
Wrapping This Up
Congratulations - you have taken Jack all the way from TOFU, MOFU and finally BOFU and convinced him to buy your product through your content marketing funnel
As you can see, writing helpful content whether it's in the form of a blog post, an infographic or in social media, is essential to getting potential customers through each stage of their buyer's journey.
Understanding your buyer persona helps you to know what kind of content to create and where to share it. Your content assets are your secret weapon to beat your competition.
Keep in mind that not everyone will go through all the stages of the buyer's journey or even read your content in a linear fashion. In fact, most people will likely move back and forth between stages as they learn more about your product.
The important thing is to provide helpful and relevant content at each stage so that you can guide potential buyers toward making a purchase.
Have you used content marketing to successfully take someone from TOFU to BOFU? Share your experience in the comments below!
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