1.88 billion websites exist on the Internet
That's a lot of content. For those looking to convert leads into actionable buyers, 1.88 billion websites present a staggering amount of competition.
And that's why market research, keyword optimization, and other marketing tools are so vital for the success of your business.
If you're familiar with current marketing strategies, chances are you've heard of the terms ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu. And no, these aren't pieces of soy protein; instead, they are practical tools you can use to convert website visitors into actionable consumers.
Below, we'll go over everything you need to know about ToFu vs. BoFu so that you can increase your website traffic and income.
A seesaw-esque balancing act
With so much content available, your company's success depends on how easily potential clients find your site.
If you're not working with a company that people already know, chances are you're trying to pull people to your site by popping up on the search list when people search for keywords that relate to your product.
As any marketer knows: If you're on page two of Google, you may as well not exist at all.
It's paramount that you utilize keywords to attract people to your content. Market research and keyword research are vital steps to ensuring that customers find your page when they type in their concerns or questions.
As a marketer, you must develop personas for your customers by understanding their points of view.
In order to understand the customer’s search intent and to potentially increase your website traffic and leads, you need to...
- Understand the predominant types of customers
- Perform keyword research
Understanding the keyword search intent of similar terms will help you to increase your website traffic and potential leads.
A balanced marketing funnel
Nowadays, most companies employ what marketers call a "balanced marketing funnel." It works off the principle that each visitor has a different knowledge base, expectations, and needs when visiting your website.
To cater to these different needs, the balanced marketing funnel chops up your website into different stages in an effort to personalize the experience for every visitor across every touch point.
Each stage of the marketing funnel requires different forms of content. Having numerous content forms allows you to cater to the buyers' personal needs much better. After all, no two customer journeys are the same.
This drastically increases the chances of selling your product, which focuses on a few key topics. However, it doesn't include too much content solely on one end of the spectrum: ToFu, MoFu, or BoFu.
At the top of the funnel (ToFu) are consumers who have very little knowledge of your product or their needs.
These are very general visitors, visitors who don't want to be bombarded by sales tactics when they're not even sure what problem they have. Content for these consumers is more generic, informative content, such as...
- How-to articles
- Inspiring infographics
- Blog posts with high-authority information and keywords
- Short-form videos
Salespeople should stay clear of any leads at this level as they are the least qualified. If your sales team reaches out to the leads at this stage, they risk pushing them away. However, they can still provide the marketing team with customer information and friction points that need to be addressed.
As the lead continues down the funnel, they'll enter the MoFu stage, representing the funnel's middle. While most marketers view this as the most complicated stage of the funnel, it is this stage that presents the most opportunities.
These leads offer a broad diversity of interested leads who haven't been fully qualified.
Content in the MoFu stage should comprise of...
- Case studies
- Solution comparisons
- Long-form videos
Now is the time for your salespeople to hold a webinar or perform another form of outreach, such as email or a phone call, for any leads that have made it this far.
It is key at this level that the salespeople use solution comparisons to make their product/service stand out from the competition.
Basically, you're trying to provide information that better equips your lead and funnels them down to becoming a highly-knowledgeable, actionable buyer.
As a result, solution comparison content is the most effective as it points out why your company offers the best solution.
You want to focus on building up their knowledge base so that they are as prepared as possible to make a final decision once they are funneled down the pipeline.
The most knowledgeable leads who have a strong base knowledge of your product are at the final stage. These leads are in the BoFu stage (bottom of the funnel).
Additionally, BoFu leads are the most profitable. Content would be product demos, customer references, or a trial offer or sample request. You should focus on creating content that gives these buyers the extra push they need to finalize a sale.
BoFu content could be...
- Live product demonstrations
- Case studies
- Free trials
These are the leads salespeople should focus on, as they are the most qualified. They should step in, make personalized phone calls, set up meetings with clients, and send follow-up emails to everyone at this level of the funnel.
Salespeople can even facilitate one-on-one demonstrations and consultations with leads still on the fence.
Of course, not every company fits the same mold.
Some companies may find it beneficial to create an alternative marketing architecture structure instead of a clean funnel structure.
Sometimes, solely focusing on BoFu content is the most effective strategy for your marketing campaign.
For example, if you have a company that people already know what needs it serves, you may be better off prioritizing BoFu leads.
Let’s take conversation intelligence as an example domain.
Most people aware of the domain are often comparing Gong vs. Chorus. Avoma created a BoFu blog post that compared the above two products in-depth, clearly positioning who Gong was for, who Chorus was for and also threw light on who Avoma was for.
Though marketing funnel strategies are the dominant marketing strategy in the current industry, some companies argue against its effectiveness. Primarily, they cite that recent buyers are too unpredictable to be "funneled".
Proponents of the ‘life-cycle marketing’ strategy claim that marketing funnels are too rigid to accommodate buyers successfully.
Whole Foods, Mercedes, and Nespresso are three companies that use alternative marketing strategies. They focus on a lifecycle marketing strategy that builds longevity in their customer base.
Companies like these focus on building trust to retain customers past the funnel approach or past customers who impulse buy.
It also helps that these companies are so large that they can focus on nurturing long-term leads rather than on making quick sales. Because they have accumulated such a mass of wealth, they can focus more on longevity and loyalty amongst their customers.
While this is undoubtedly a worthwhile strategy, there is no doubt that the funnel strategy is the dominant marketing strategy in today's world. As such, it has helped countless companies reach immense success, and that success should not be discounted.
Do you really have separate stages?
The key to the funnel strategy is nurturing your leads down the funnel.
The aim is to make ToFu leads more knowledgeable until they are convinced that your product is the right product for them, thereby turning them into paying, profitable buyers.
Shockingly, 92% of first-time visitors are not likely to make a purchase. If you spend all of your content on information on how to buy the product without first illustrating why your product is the answer, you'll more than likely lose the buyer.
Therefore, it's pivotal to nurture leads.
That's why having personas is so important. Distinguishing your content at different stages caters to the buyers' personal needs much better, drastically increasing the chances of selling your product.
On the converse side, sometimes it makes more sense to prioritize BoFu over ToFu or even approach the marketing funnel as a continuum.
Fitbit is a brand that has very little ToFu and MoFu funneling on its website. All of the information on their website is targeted for high-quality traffic. This traffic most likely already has a strong understanding of what Fitbit is and why they might want such a product.
As a result, most of the content is geared towards answering questions like which one of their products you should buy and why you should buy them, including tantalizing offers of warranties, free shipping offers, and so forth.
The search-driven buyer journey
As we learn more about marketing, it becomes more apparent that users never take a straight path and that search-based marketing is more probabilistic than deterministic.
Take, for example, the idea of a marketing pretzel. In this idea, every facet of the business is interconnected.
One can almost compare it to the likes of transmedia, in that you can enter the company from any different point or entry point; story-based ideas, blog posts, webinars, and so on.
Or, let's take the idea of outbound vs. inbound marketing.
While outbound marketing means that you are reaching out to potential customers (salespeople, we will leave this one up to you), inbound marketing means that potential leads are coming to you and your content using SEO: How-to articles, social media posts, webinars, and more.
At its core, customers are drawn to your content through interactive content, and this participatory action is much more effective since it's so active.
Users don't take a straight path, and there's no right way to pull in leads. Ideally, you want to have a mixture of different strategies based on the most effective model for your business or company.
A marketing journey: In detail
Let's take a closer look at a marketing journey in detail.
Let's say you plant a few paid marketing ad campaigns on Facebook or Instagram, and then that person visits your website.
Even if they stop the funnel by abandoning their cart, your first marketing strategy was successful. Future paid campaigns will most likely redirect them to your page in the future.
The next time, they may follow through the funnel to become a profitable lead.
Another popular marketing journal is for shoppers to stumble across your content through an organic search. By typing in a keyword, shoppers find a resource page or pop up. Ideally, these ToFu shoppers read more and then subscribe.
Afterward, they receive more content. After reading enough content, they complete a purchase in a little while.
There's more to balancing your funnel than keywords like any multilayered content. Your content's design, color scheme, whitespace, and look/feel should maintain commonalities.
Clorox is an excellent example of a brand that utilizes ToFu multilayered content for the mainstream while creating BoFu content for serious buyers.
Another excellent example of a successful funnel marketing plan is the ubiquitous Netflix. Through their targeted social media campaigns, they always make sure that their audience knows what content is available to stream.
When BoFu visitors land on ToFu pages
At times, some BoFu-qualified people may land on ToFu pages. When designing your website, you must consider this a possibility and make sure the following steps exist to redirect them to where they should go.
Consider adding threads throughout your content that allows users to move up and down the funnel seamlessly.
The key here is to make the traffic flow as easily as possible. The moment a person struggles to find the following step or where they should go next, the greater the chances of leaving the website altogether.
While, of course, they can always revisit the page, especially when you implement enough SEO keywords at different stages. Still, the longer you can keep them on your website, the better for your company.
This helps them further remember your brand name, and it also increases the chances of making a sale.
Different people, different tones
Another element to discuss is targeting different groups by changing your name. The voice of your business may want to vary slightly from your ToFu content to your BoFu content.
Some brands take on different tones depending on the platform. This idea is perfectly illustrated in the following meme of a TikTok profile vs. Facebook vs. LinkedIn vs. Tinder.
Though the meme is a joke, there's some truth to it.
This is an effective strategy because you want to cater to the different personalities and needs as much as possible—the more specific, the better. TikTok’s demographic is drastically different from the demographic on Linkedin.
If you design campaigns for both platforms but don't take the time to specialize the voice or tone, you most likely will lose out on half of the demographic.
That's not to say that you must completely change your brand identity or brand voice to attract every lead possible.
However, it is still something to consider as you launch advertising campaigns on different social media platforms.
To ensure you have the most success in your advertising campaign, conduct as much research on each platform demographic as possible. Understand what each demographic responds to best and target that to guide them into your marketing funnel.
Today's most popular content
The most popular type of content in today's world are blog posts, how-to articles, and listicles.
With our ever-shortening attention spans, listicles are a great way to get your point across to people in the shortest time possible. Adding humor to your blog post, articles, and listicles keeps readers as engaged as possible.
As it happens, these three types of content work seamlessly in the ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu funnel stages.
When considering content for ToFu vs. BoFu, you want to remember that all of the information that can help leads make a consistent decision should be geared towards the ToFu parts of your website.
The chances that a BoFu lead will read an article on general information are low, so you must find other types of content that will engage and push BoFu leads towards conversion.
The key is to craft blog posts with high-quality content. And, of course, you want to input as many targeted SEO keywords as possible to make sure that your content connects with the readers who are seeking the information you can provide.
Popular BoFu content is customer testemonials and videos.
96% of consumers find product videos helpful, and nearly 75% are more likely to purchase after watching a video
As a result, video content has become a popular form of content to help push BoFu leads further down the funnel towards a sale. Other popular content for BoFu leads are case studies or webinars and consultations. The latter two being vital for salespeople.
Ensure that your BoFu content always caters to buyers who are almost ready to make the final purchase.
The marketing funnel is a lucrative, seamless strategy that can help your company nurture leads to become actionable buyers.
While this strategy may not be suitable for everyone, it certainly is helpful for newer companies who are just starting.
Companies that have not achieved brand recognition may find this strategy particularly helpful. It is a seamless way to convince new buyers that your product is the best product available to fix a specific problem.
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