The marketing funnel breaks down a customer’s journey. It begins with awareness, which is when a customer first learns about a brand or product and moves swiftly through to the retention stage in which customers develop a level of brand loyalty. When marketers discuss this concept, they refer to these stages as the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel or ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu. As these people move down the funnel and potential customers chose to continue to engage (or leave if they find that your service doesn’t meet their needs), the pool becomes smaller naturally. Throughout this funnel, there are specific types of content that work best to attract. In order to garner the most attention and convert the most people, it’s crucial that you optimize your strategies according to the goals of each phase.
ToFu: Top of the Funnel
Goals at the top of the funnel (ToFu) are to create brand awareness and generate leads. You want to gain new traffic and gather data to help you determine your demographic or audience based on their interests. At the top of the funnel, content shouldn’t be product or service specific. You want to address your buyer’s interests and needs, thus convincing your potential customers that your brand provides value. Customers are more likely to continue to engage with your brand if they find you provide interesting, useful, information.
During the awareness stage, which sits at the top of the funnel is prime time for educational content like blogs, guides, tip sheets articles, and podcasts. If you’re using ads, keep them more general rather than uber specific. You don’t want to do a hard sell at this point. Content at this stage should be engaging, buyer-centric, and visual. To find that you’re reaching your goals and to adequately gauge the success of your top of funnel marketing techniques, pay close attention to the size of your retargeting list and the total number and percentage of new visitors to your site.
As the interest stage begins, marketers should really begin to optimize your SEO and paid advertising strategies — extensive research begins here, and it’s important that your potential customers are able to find your website and more information about your company. Content during the top of the funnel has the most room for creativity as it isn’t directly focused on converting visitors.
MoFu: Middle of the Funnel
In the middle of the funnel, or MoFu, your goals are to capture and nurture leads. The metrics of success at this point are the total number of returning visitors and the total number of leads generated. At this point, you’ve built enough trust that people start showing a legitimate interest in your offerings and what you can do. Provide your value in order to convince potential customers to give you their contact information. Once you have that, you’ve created a more concrete lead that you can nurture and develop a relationship with.
Middle of the funnel advertising should focus on the call to action and feature an offer of some sort. Creating lead magnets with a mix of gated and ungated content (aka content that requires free signup and content that does not) you certainly optimize your lead generation in this phase. Because consideration begins here, offer your customers solution-based content like informative webinars, templates, and calculators. Checklists and cheatsheet, infographic, giveaways, and white paper contests, and ebooks and guides that clearly highlight an audience’s pain points will success greatly within this stage. Comparisons and case studies will also give customers in this stage an inside look at your companies previous results. Cater these informative pieces to specific pain points and you’ll be able to relate to these leads more easily.
BoFu: Bottom of the Funnel
By this point, you’ve created a collection of leads with your ToFu content and developed a relationship with these customers with your MoFu content. In the BoFu stage, you are going to begin pushing for the sale. Your goals here are to maximize conversions and increase conversion value. Track the average order value and the quantity and number of SKUs sold in order to determine whether your techniques here are successful. In this stage, try using sales enablement assets like product demos, free trials, and consultations, audits. Start a dialogue to gather the attention of your most interested leads. with a discount code, you can establish a level of urgency, which is particularly important in getting people to convert. This content should be completely data-driven and product specific.
While the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel is technically over once the sale is completed, the conversion and sales funnel itself doesn’t end until you create a loyal customer. During the retention stage, it’s so important to grow lifetime value for your customers and reduce refunds. You can measure this by tracking your percentage of retained users.Brand loyalty is very important as that’s what makes can ultimately help sell your brand to others. Word of mouth is extremely powerful – it’s crucial that you continue to engage with your customers even once they’ve made a purchase. Consider monthly subscription packages, ongoing consulting products, or FAQ content. Some products might even warrant a community built around it, which can encourage customers to continue to participate in the conversation around your brand. To really capture your audience and make them repeat customers, make it easy to contact customer support.
If you learn to optimize your funnel, you can drive the most amount of customers to conversion and increase your ROI. All of the time and effort spent developing perfect content for each stage will make the difference in how many sales you make and how many customers you retain. In order to develop a successful marketing campaign, one must consider all of the pieces of the conversion funnel and develop a cohesive, comprehensive strategy.