How To Create Buyer-Centric Content For Top, Middle & Bottom Of The Funnel

By Owen Baker October 9, 2020

When you create marketing content, do you ever stop and consider how and when your target audience consumes it?

Part of building a buyer-centric content strategy is knowing the type of content your prospects will appreciate.

In other words, the effectiveness of a piece of content will depend on the prospect’s location within the buyer journey.

However, not all content marketers understand this concept.

If you can implement a content strategy that meets buyers’ needs at each stage, you will keep your audience engaged.

Before we go into the nitty-gritty of buyer-centric content, we need to look at the buyer journey and why it should matter to your content marketing plans.

Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

Many buying decisions, especially for expensive products, can take a long time. You rarely wake up in the morning and buy something on a whim.

Generally, we look at different options, compare their value, and weigh up the pros and cons.

This process is called the buyer’s journey.

You can provide a great customer experience by creating content that aligns with the buyer’s journey.

Source: Pace

The customer journey is generally split into the following stages:

  • Awareness: The customer is aware that they have a pain point or problem, and they want to solve it.
  • Interest: The customer is interested in your solution.
  • Consideration: The customer compares and reviews different options.
  • Purchase: The customer purchases the item.
  • Retention: They come back to buy more of your products.
  • Advocacy: They tell their family and friends about your business.

As you start mapping out your buyer journey, you could ask yourself these questions:

What are your customers’ problems?

How could your brand solve those problems? How would they know that your business can help them?

You can use surveys, focus groups, and even SEO analysis to provide insights.

The insights you gain from your research will help you create a content strategy that resonates with your audience and helps draw prospects through your marketing funnel.

3 Types Of Buyer-Centric Content

Using a buyer-centric content marketing model means creating the right kind of content and sending it to your audience at the right time.

You need to consider the type of content your buyers would find useful at any given point in the funnel.

You want to send them content that would push them further down the funnel.

Top of the Funnel Content (TOFU)

Top of the funnel content helps raise awareness about your service and the niche you operate in.

According to NetLine, around 92% of content created by marketers is TOFU.

Good top of the funnel content should be relevant and eye-catching.

The content should provide actionable insights and information to your readers around your niche. It should position you as a credible source of interesting information.

TOFU content could take any of the following forms:

  • Blog posts: Whether they’re long-form or short-form, blog posts are an excellent way to engage site visitors. Blogs are easily shareable through email and social media and can either be standalone or part of a series.
  • How-to guides: Many of your potential customers are looking for solutions to a problem. How-to guides can help address that need.
  • Videos: Videostend to be more engaging than written content. You could do tutorials, short documentaries, or even humorous cartoons. The cost and complexity associated with creating video content has dropped significantly in the last two decades.
  • Free Tools: This category is rather broad. The type of tool you provide will depend on your niche. You might provide templates, software, an app, or something else entirely.

The secret to good buyer-centric content at the TOFU stage is value.

You want to create content that engages your audience.

Engaging your audience so they want to come back to engage with your company a second time is enough.

Ideally, you’ll get them to connect with you in some way.

That might involve getting them to sign up to your email list and then using an email verification service to confirm their details.

Alternatively, you might get them to follow you on social media.

If you can engage with the person and connect with them somehow, you will have a small amount of control over the content they consume so you can push them down the funnel.

Middle of the Funnel Content (MOFU)

The end goal of your content marketing strategy is to turn strangers into customers. While TOFU content is created to engage strangers, MOFU is designed to turn those strangers into prospects.

It can be hard to draw a clear distinction between TOFU content and MOFU content. However, there are some.

For example, you have channels. Most of the content you release to your email list would be considered MOFU content.

You might send people on your email list to TOFU content, but the fact that you’re sending content to their inbox means that you’ve broken through the barrier of being a stranger.

You’re developing a relationship with them, which is what your MOFU content should do.

In addition to creating a bond with your audience, MOFU content should also discuss the products or services that you are selling.

You’re not making a hard sell, but helping to inform your audience about future purchasing decisions.

  • White papers: The term “white paper” has sadly become synonymous with product brochures. However, a good white paper offers more than just product specifications; it also presents a problem and a solution for that problem based on real-life applications of the product or service it promotes.
  • Case Studies: Similar to white papers, case studies provide a glimpse of your product or service in action. They discuss a real-life problem that was addressed using your solution and gives your readers an idea of what they could expect if they sign up for your service. However, the focus should always be on demonstrating value, not making a sale.
  • Comparison Content: This could be a blog post or a video where you inform the reader about their options. For example, you might share a list of the best email finders and the relevant strengths and weaknesses of various products.

The examples above are just examples of the type of MOFU content you can create.

Hopefully, those examples should give you a sense of what type of content makes good MOFU content.

Indeed, it should also inform what channels you use to engage your audience.

Bottom of the Funnel Content (BOFU)

BOFU content should help push your audience into either making a purchase or inform their choice on why they should choose your product or service over a competitor.

Good BOFU should convince the person that your solution is the one they need.

Your BOFU content sells your solution. Below are a couple of examples of BOFU content to create:

  • Sales Pages: These will often include product specifications and pricing, which allows a lead to compare your product with whatever the competition is offering. A well-designed product page will combine clear, direct copy and appealing product images to present the solution in the best light possible.
  • Customer testimonials: The effectiveness of customer testimonials is well-documented. When they appear on sales pages, they increase conversions by at least 30% and help generate up to 62% more revenue. Buyers want to be assured that they’re making the right choice, and testimonials help boost their confidence in your product.
  • Promotions: Special offers and other methods of direct marketing are valuable BOFU content. They can help turn people who are considering a purchase into customers.

Aside from the content types listed above, you could also use TOFU and MOFU content to drive sales at the BOFU stage as long as they address customer concerns.

Including a compelling call-to-action and bonus in your BOFU marketing material will also help increase your sales.

How To Create Content For TOFU

Building content for TOFU should focus on building your brand’s reputation and giving readers a reason to trust you.

The content you create at this stage of the funnel should, at the minimum, start a conversation — what your readers’ problems are, and what they need to do to solve it.

For example, publishing a blog post about buyer-centric content, like what we’re doing now, will help attract readers searching for articles about content marketing.

It addresses a specific pain point and provides information that readers can use.

Because TOFU content addresses specific pain points, customers looking for a solution will recognize your brand and services right away when they run a Google search about their concerns.

If you don’t know what kind of content you should produce for TOFU I suggest you do a brainstorming session.

Personally, I like to use things like a keyword tool to verify the volume of interest in the idea.

For example, a tool like Keywords Everywhere can show search volume, which provides you with data you can use for making decisions about the type of content to produce.

How To Create Content For MOFU

As your prospects move to the middle of the funnel, you can already assume they’re ready for more technical information.

In other words, they’re willing to read more about how your solution can help them.

Source: SLB.com

Technical content, such as white papers and case studies, will help your readers see themselves in the shoes of your previous customers and give them an idea of how they achieved their goals using your solution.

On the other hand, regular email newsletters keep them aware of your services and give them a glimpse at your day-to-day activities.

You could also send your prospects invitations to online events, such as webinars, where they could engage directly with you and network with other people interested in the same solutions.

In this case, engagement also means building a community around your brand, and that means strengthening your brand identity in the process.

How To Create Content For BOFU

Finally, buyer-centric content for BOFU aims to convert interest into sales despite your competition’s best efforts.

You need to answer why your solution is the best one for your clients’ needs, whether it’s in terms of features, cost, after-sales service, or a combination of all three.

Customer testimonials and product pages accomplish these objectives well.

For instance, product pages should be written in clear, concise language that will give your prospects a better idea about your offers and help them make educated comparisons between your product and others on the market.

In contrast, customer testimonials should make your prospect feel that they might miss out on something if they don’t choose your brand.

To create BOFU content that converts, you need to research the things that matter to your readers, such as entry cost and ease of use, and emphasize these positives as being responsive to customer needs.

You also need to welcome customer feedback and use it to improve your service further.

Conclusion

Content marketing has evolved to the point that we can identify certain types of content best suited for specific stages of the sales funnel.

Blog posts and videos are well suited to TOFU, white papers with MOFU, and customer testimonials at the BOFU.

Regardless of the funnel stage, do your homework on customer needs.

Putting the customer at the center of your content strategy will help you create content that addresses their needs, establishes you as a credible source of information, and helps you become a preferred service provider when they finally make a purchase decision.

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Owen Baker

Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online email verification tool. He has spent most of the last decade working online for a range of marketing companies. When he’s not busy writing, you can find him in the kitchen mastering new dishes.

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