When it comes to capturing the attention of your prospects, it’s critical that you know where they are in their path to purchasing from you. Why? Because sending someone who’s just about to buy from you doesn’t want or need the same information as someone who has just landed on your website.
It’s highly unlikely that all of your leads and prospects are at the same stage of your sales funnel. Some have just clicked on an ad and come to your landing page where they can download your free report. Others used keywords to arrive at a blog post on your site that offers information on a certain aspect of their goals or challenges. Still others have been receiving e-mails from you regularly in which you provide links to other blog posts and reports. And a few will actually have been in your pipeline for weeks or month and perhaps need a special offer or discount to finally hit the buy button.
ToFu, MoFu and BoFu: Your Prospects Are in One of These Three Stages
Inbound marketing (which is what Red Wheel Media uses to help you find targeted prospects and then convert them into customers or clients) describes the stages of your prospects’ buying journey as Top of the Funnel (ToFu), Middle of the Funnel (MoFu) and BoFu (Bottom of the Funnel).
Basically, the three stages are:
- ToFu: the awareness stage. Prospects are researching and looking for data, insight and answers to their problems/questions.
- MoFu: the middle stage, where folks know enough to know that they need to dig and research more. They’re aware of your products and services and may be at the point where they want to know if you – or one of your competitors – is the best choice for them.
- BoFu: They are ready to buy and need to know how to buy from you.
(Note: some these three stages sometimes can be called the Awareness, Consideration and Decision stages.)
Not Every Prospect Goes Through Every Stage
A person’s travel from interest to knowledge to purchase rarely follows a complete and linear funnel. Some people may already know what solution they need (they are in the middle) and just need to know that YOU are the one to provide it for them. B2C prospects looking to purchase something of great value often spend a lot of time in the middle part of the funnel, especially if they are thinking of making a very large purchase such as a home or home renovation, a honeymoon destination, a new car, a facelift, etc.
But some consumers spend little time in either the top or the middle of the funnel: it doesn’t take a lot of research to decide to buy a Netflix subscription, for example.
On the other hand, B2B prospects often can spend a good deal of time in the middle funnel as they research and research some more because many of their purchases are “considered”: services or products that costs tens of thousands of dollars or more, or require a multi-year contract that entails an outlay of thousands of dollars over the life of the agreement. Software and machinery as well as law, engineering, healthcare, and manufacturing services are examples.
Appropriate Content for Each Stage
If you remember one thing, remember this: don’t sell in your content. Inform. Your prospects want information and answers, not a sales pitch.
ToFu content should be informational. Prospects are looking for solid information at this stage and so blog posts that answer their questions and concerns, as well as white papers, ebooks and guides are good for this stage.
This stage often is the one where your main job is to entice website visitors to provide you with their e-mail address so that you can then send them more information directly to their in-box. Offer them free, in-depth reports for their information. They may not move to the MoFu stage once they provide you with their e-mail information, but they’ve definitely moved into the right direction.
Once prospects move to the consideration stage (MoFu), they need more meat: they want to know about options available, compare products/services. Typical content in this stage could be expert and/or comparison guides, video demonstrations, question and answer sessions via video or podcasts, etc.
Prospects in the BoFu stage are ready to learn about purchasing, so this is the where you can start selling. Content appropriate for this stage could be customer testimonials/case studies, offers of a free trial or live demonstration, spec sheets or products/services brochures and literature, and special limited-time discounts.
Content creation for any stage of the sales funnel takes considerable time and strategy. To learn more about the benefits of strategic content creation and distribution, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at 970-925-6025.