Many sales and marketing professionals are confused about the meaning of ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu when it comes to inbound marketing. No, we’re not talking about some crazy, new health food products. The acronyms represent the different stages of the buyer's journey (top of funnel, middle of funnel, bottom of funnel), each of which requires the right content to be delivered at the right time to move the prospect through the funnel.
It's a fact: 50% of qualified leads are not ready to make a purchase when they first convert. So, rather than pestering them with old forms of selling, such as frequent sales calls about products or solutions, here's a lesson on nurturing your inbound leads through the use of ToFu, MoFu & BoFu content creation and related promotional tactics.
Watch the video above for a quick overview and then continue reading below for more details about how to effectively nurture leads as part of your marketing strategy.
What is ToFu, MoFu & BoFu?
ToFu, MoFu and BoFu are shorthand references to the stages of the inbound marketing and sales funnel, requiring specific lead nurturing strategies.
1. TOFU: TOP OF THE FUNNEL
At the very top of your sales funnel you're looking to attract a much larger audience of potential leads, because you're working to attract relevant traffic without deliberately filtering or discouraging conversions. The most common form of ToFu content would be your blog articles. From there, calls-to-actions should lead ToFu prospects to conversion opportunities that encourage leads to exchange their contact information for the helpful content inside.
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Your goal with ToFu content should be to create awareness and educate your audience on a specific question, need, or pain point they're looking to address, but without a sales tie-in. You'll get the opportunity to do this with your MoFu content as explained below.
Examples of ToFu content:
- Introductory blog articles
- Social media posts with links to content
- Introductory videos
- Tip sheets and checklists
- Simple ungated infographics
2. MOFU: MIDDLE OF THE FUNNEL
Once a lead converts on an initial ToFu content offer, they'll progress into the MoFu stage. This is viewed as the most complicated funnel stage because of the broad diversity of interested leads who haven't been fully qualified.
In this consideration stage of the funnel, your content should continue to educate but also start the process of positioning your company as the solution to the lead's needs and challenges.
Use gated offers and consider using smart content to tailor information to a prospect’s interests and build your credibility.
Examples of MoFu content:
- Advanced eBooks
- Case studies
- White papers
- Long-form videos
- Solution comparisons
3. BOFU: BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL
So, you've attracted a healthy collection of leads with your ToFu content and continued to engage and warm them up with your MoFu content. Now what? In comes the BoFu stage which is obviously the most crucial since you're going for the sale.
For many industry types, your BoFu stage may not consist of content at all. At this point your potential customers know you and are comfortable engaging one-on-one. Start the dialogue to fully qualify your most interested leads and establish some urgency around making the purchase.
Examples of BoFu content:
RELATED VIDEO: How to create ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu content
Automating Distribution of Your Lead Nurturing Content
Although the concept of lead nurturing through ToFu, MoFu and BoFu content may sound simple in theory, it's not. It takes significant time to consider your overall lead nurturing strategy, create the necessary relevant content, and evaluate the leads you convert as they move down the sales funnel.
Making the effort will definitely pay off! Research shows that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads and those leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
It's unrealistic, however, to think you have the time in your day to manage this process manually. This is where marketing automation software is a must if you plan to implement multiple lead nurturing campaigns. The ROI on such an investment will come quickly for most companies, as those that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue within 6–9 months.
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Automating your campaigns doesn't mean you have to lose your personal touch. You can still deploy emails with a customized greeting or subject line and have them sent from a specific contact within your company. They can be created before a lead even converts and then triggered based on a specific conversion that is scheduled at a frequency that aligns with your company's buying cycle.
This frees up your time to create more compelling content and keeps your sales team well fed with warm MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) and SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) that are closer to the point of making a purchase of your product or service.
We all know, however, that getting the sale is just the beginning. It’s critical to delight your customers from the first touch and continue engaging and delighting them so they become your best promoters and brand champions. That's why embracing the inbound flywheel is so important.
Learn how to develop your Buyer's Journey to leverage ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu content and the flywheel methodology by downloading our Buyer's Journey Worksheet below.