Similar to a dining experience where your meal begins with an appetizer, followed by the main entrée and dessert, your lead attraction and nurturing efforts should be organized in similar fashion to ensure you're dishing up the right content for every buying phase.
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, here's a lesson on nurturing your inbound leads through the use of ToFu, MoFu & BoFu content creation and related promotional tactics.
What is ToFu, MoFu & BoFu?
Sorry if I made you hungry with all the dining references in the introduction, but we're not talking food here, folks! ToFu, MoFu and BoFu are shorthand references to the stages of the Inbound Marketing sales funnel, as outlined here:
1. ToFu: Top of the Funnel
At the very top of your sales funnel you're looking to attract a much larger audience of 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, like tip sheets or eBooks that encourage leads to trade their contact information for the helpful content inside.
Your goal with ToFu content should be to educate your audience on a specific question, need or pain point that 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.
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 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. Advanced eBooks are a great form of content in this stage but case studies, white papers and videos will do wonders with beginning to build your credibility.
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 leads know you and are comfortable engaging one-on-one. This is where a free assessment, evaluation or trial works nicely to start the dialogue and to begin to fully qualify your most interested leads. If you have an e-Commerce-based product, you can leverage a discount code to use at the time of transaction to establish some urgency around making the purchase.
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 content, and score and evaluate the leads you convert as they move down the sales funnel.
It's also unrealistic to think you have the time in your day to manage this process manually. This is where an automated marketing software solution is a must if you plan to implement multiple lead nurturing campaigns.
Automating your campaigns can still be personal by deploying emails with a customized greeting or subject line, and having them deployed from a specific contact from your company. But they can be created before a lead even converts and then triggered based on a specific conversion that is then scheduled at a frequency that is aligned with your industry'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) that are closer to a point of making a purchase for your product or service.