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Did you know that each visitor has to be served different content? Why?

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Let me tell you a short story about marketing content strategy and marketing funnel. A couple of months before, a colleague of mine asked me for advice about writing blog content for his natural cosmetics webshop. He knew back then his e-commerce is good but something he lacked. It was the right kind of content. He knew he has to serve up some value for the customers so that they would keep coming back, but he didn’t know-how. However, he didn’t lack the content in general; he just wrote EVERYTHING for well, let’s be honest: EVERYONE who comes to his web-page.

Which was — WRONG.

At the time he started writing content for his blog he was optimistic, taking into consideration everyone was talking about marketing content strategy and the better organic results on search engines as a result of that content. He thought he was doing excellent.

“But, I write content about my products 2 times a week; that’s a lot of content and I think I am writing lots of useful information!” his thoughts were. Until the moment his new web analytics expert didn’t give him her opinion based on the real data.

“But, I write content about my products 2 times a week; that’s a lot of content and I think I am writing lots of useful information!” his thoughts were. Until the moment his new web analytics expert didn’t give him her opinion based on the real data.

He knew nothing about bounce rates, average session duration, pages per session, and other good metrics that can show the success (or failure) of his content. He actually didn’t know that you can track customer behavior on his web which you would think in that stage of business he would definitely have to know. But, he didn’t. You can’t blame him, he is trying and learning a lot.

Anyway, that was the trigger point for him to start thinking about talking with me, and let me tell you, after incorporating some of my advice, his web analytics results became much much better and so did his sale.

What did I tell him?

I told him these precious words: “I can see you are trying really hard to create valuable content on your web for your customers. However, you have to step back for a little and listen to me. The content on your web, as well as the content in your newsletter, has to be served up differently. You have to know about marketing funnel and the stages of the customer buying process such as ToFu, BoFu, and MoFu so that you can devise an appropriate strategy to lure the customers into making a purchase. The content you create cannot be the same for every person who comes on your web. The visitors that come to your site are all in different stages of the buying process and you have to serve them the content based on the stage they are in — hence the words ToFu, BoFu, and MoFu.”

He was confused by those terms. “What do you mean they are all in different stages of the marketing funnel? And what is the ToFu, BoFu, and MoFu?”

It’s not that complicated as it sounds. The marketing funnel basically means the level of interest a prospect (potential customer) has in your company.

 <center>Image Source </center>
Image Source

This particular picture describes the ToFu, BoFu, and MoFu which is exactly the marketing funnel they go through. It is wide at the top, where users are becoming aware of your brand (ToFu), and narrow at the bottom (BoFu) where prospects turn into clients. While they are traveling through the funnel it is your task to serve them the content they need in that stage. That way they will be able to go to the next phase, you will be able to educate them and at the end, make them able to decide to buy your product over your competitor’s.

His next question was: “What is ToFu then, and what content should I create in that phase?

ToFu stands for Top of the funnel and it basically means that at the top of the funnel are generally prospects who have never heard of you before. They’ve heard your name around or somehow landed on your website or landing page through searching the web, on social media, or perhaps through advertising.

They want something. But what? Those prospects are in need of an answer to a question or they are searching for something to solve a problem.

You want customers to:

  • Stay on your page longer
  • Visit other pages on your site
  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Download a PDF
  • Something else

Content in ToFu stage you should serve them are:

  • Articles — blog posts and guest posts about cosmetics
  • Educational videos about your products and other customers’ experiences
  • Downloadable resources — eBooks, tips, worksheets
  • Guides
  • How-to articles

MoFu however, stands for Middle of the funnel which means prospects realized there are a couple of solutions for their problem and they are in the research phase. This is usually the longest phase and some of them can be in this phase much longer than others. However, in this phase prospects will show you they have interest in what you sell, and those who have shown some vague interest in what you sell, you have to show them you value their time.

You should:

  • Nurture and educate them regarding cosmetics and health benefits of your products
  • Segment and qualify those customers who might be good potential customers for your product or service

Content in MoFu stage you should serve them are:

  • Case studies
  • Whitepapers
  • Long-form videos
  • Webinars
  • Free resource downloads
He was thinking for a while. He finally said: “Hmm, that seems kind of logical. I should serve them the content they are ready to consume. Thank you. And what should I do in the final BoFu phase so that I can make them decide for me and my product?”

Since now they have researched their options and have realized your products are among the best solutions around they are very close to making the buying decision.

Now they are in the BoFu phase which stands for Bottom of the Funnel. At the end of the funnel they want to:

  • Get concrete and relevant information that shows them your cosmetics are the best solution on the market today for their skin
  • They are ready to buy but they need some relevant incentives such as a discount or trying a sample of your cosmetics
  • They also want at least to see other people’s opinions of using your products so that they can be sure your cosmetics deliver them the results they want = money equals value for them

So the same I told him, I am telling you. Content in BoFu stage you should create is:

  • Free Consultations (from you or the customers who have been already using your products)
  • Free trials
  • Discount or another incentive (such as a 20% discount on the first purchase)
“That would be kind of it” I told him. “But you should also have to know your prospects, what they like, what they want and need, how they behave online and offline and know what educational value you have to offer before you can create your content on every platform you will be communicating. I am telling you. Try to communicate differently to each group of customers depending in which phase of the marketing funnel they are in, and believe me, you will have much more results.”

I haven’t heard from him in a while after that. One afternoon, however, I got a package from an anonymous sender I hadn’t ordered. When I opened it, it was all perfectly clear to me. I got a couple of his cosmetics with a letter inside. The letter was full of satisfied customers’ comments and testimonials. He took my advice, recreated his content strategy, and said he never had such an amazing mutual relationship with his customers.

It was such an amazing feeling to realize how helpful I was. I was and still am grateful he listened to me so carefully, but this was all his hard work. Nice job my friend! 🙂

Hopefully, you got some valuable insights from his experience 🙂

Up until next time my dear readers, thank you for reading!

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