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Content for lead generation: what has tofu got to do with it?

Content for lead generation: what has tofu got to do with it?

When you hear the marketing team talk about ToFu, chances are they're not discussing vegan lunch options. They're talking about content for lead generation - engaging stuff to publish on your website to drive traffic your way.

It's unlikely that newcomers to your website are ready to purchase, and they may react unfavourably to overt sales pitches. So, many marketers prefer to create a content hub which is frequently updated with snappy articles and brand-relevant media to demonstrate and complement your company's expertise. This is a proven strategy to attract, keep and convert leads.

The sales funnel

Visualise, if you will, a giant "funnel" to represent the process by which leads are captured and filtered down into sales conversions. ToFu is shorthand for Top of the Funnel, MoFu (middle of the funnel) and BoFu (bottom of the funnel). These flavours of content serve different purposes for the various stages of the buying cycle.

The idea is to tailor different styles of content depending on how developed the lead is.

ToFu: Top of the Funnel

This is the widest part of our conceptual funnel and refers to marketing methods that appeal to the widest audience possible. The most common example of this is a content hub - a dynamic blog-like space with compelling articles broadly covering topics related to your business. By publishing engaging and free content you can attract organic traffic - without visitors feeling like they're being "sold to".

When brainstorming ideas for ToFu content, ask yourself what questions your potential customers might be asking themselves, regardless of whether they are ready to instigate a purchase. Then turn your answers into informative articles, using your industry know-how. Topics can be very diverse, the key is to produce quality content and plenty of it. Strong headlines and captivating pics, vids and social embeds are a must.

If your ToFu content brings in a steady stream of new traffic, you can include prominent calls-to-action to introduce potential leads to your products and services – or onto that path via your MoFu content, which is a tad more salesy.

MoFu: Middle of the Funnel

As your ToFu content is so broad, you'll bring in a diverse range of possible leads. That presents a real challenge and will take considerable resources. You want to continue to create readable and educational content, while promoting your company's credentials in relation to the articles.

Some types of content in this stage of the funnel are videos, advanced eBooks, white papers and case studies. Regularly create new MoFu, while tweaking existing content as you analyse what's working.

BoFu: Bottom of the Funnel

Effective ToFu content will win a steady stream of promising leads, and MoFu content will help cement your brand as a purveyor of fine industry solutions. BoFu content needs to targeted if you're going to cash-in on the hard work you've done to get to this point.

BoFu content is where you can start engaging one-on-one with a real customer with a unique persona. Some might be captured by a free trial or consultation, others by introductory incentives and add-ons. There are many creative avenues to take your customers through the spout of the funnel!

Putting ToFu, MoFu and BoFu into practice

Producing a steady stream of high quality content takes careful forethought and creative energy, but some of this process can be automated. Evaluate the evolution of your leads and identify key points where you can deploy pre-written campaigns by email or fast-track visitors to points of sale. If you become intricately aware of your customers' buying cycle, you'll be able to write even better content and positively reinforce the whole scheme. Good luck!

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