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Inbound Marketing Blog

    9 Steps for Tasty TOFU Content Creation

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Is the Top of Your Funnel Delicious?

    "No thanks, I don't need any help. I'm just looking." Most of us don't want too much guidance in the early stages of our product research. It's one reason why as many as 90% of consumers conduct research through a search engine. The internet is filled with quality content that can sway purchase decisions, which is why it's essential that you develop quality top-of-the-funnel offers (TOFu) for your prospects. 

    Your company will be miles more effective at building lasting and profitable relationships with contacts if you're able to give people what they're looking for: information tailored to their questions. This doesn't mean your website should have a pop-up chat box staffed with a "real, live agent" or the words "buy now!" in bright, blinking text. It means your content marketing strategy needs to focus on serving up some delicious TOFu centered around real, relevant information. We've compiled some ideas that can help you start connecting with future clients and fast

    • Remember, they're not ready to buy! Keep your landing page forms pretty brief so you're not driving people away before they even download. Can you just ask for a first name and email? If you don't need their age, social security number, zip code and weight --don't ask for it! Your conversion rate will thank you. 

    • Don't Be Too General. Your content needs to appeal broadly to a certain persona. Easier said than done, right? What does your average 20-something female client want to know? Your TOFu will be better if you're not trying to tailor it to everyone's tastes. 

    • Don't Be Pushy. The world's best TOFu is all about providing general information, just like on your company blog. You don't want to overtly sell to people, because they're not ready for that kind of messaging. Strive for education content that's persuasive but not pushy.

    • It's NOT All About You. In the words of Marketer Kevin Jorgensen, skip the "chest beating and marketing hyperbole." You're out to sell your product or service solutions, not your particular brand.

    1. Write an In-Depth Product Tutorial

    Can you deliver an informational guide book that's focused on teaching your future clients how to use your product? Use photos and information-driven text to detail how to efficiently cook dinner for a group of 30 or whip up the world's most delicious barbecue sauce from scratch. 

    2. Create a Tip Sheet

    Your TOFu should be valuable, but it doesn't need to have a word count that rivals a Tolstoy novel. Write a check-list that details the "Top 10 Ways to Make a Perfect Pie Crust" or "25 Steps to Changing Your Own Oil.

    3. Create Case Studies

    Are your buyer personas analytical types? Pull together a case study of a current client's success using your services--with their permission, of course. Include plenty of numbers, stats and graphs if quantitative measures resonate with your prospects. 

    4. Write a Dictionary

    Again, it doesn't need to be an exhaustive reference for industry insiders, but take the time to define some of the jargon common to your industry to  inform researchers as they prepare to make a purchase. 

    5. Address Objections

    What are some of the most common, negative reactions people have to your product or service solution? While it's important to avoid being too brand-specific, you can grab these objections by the horn.  A title like "11 Reasons Why Quality Content Marketing Counts" could address issues of cost.

    6. Fun Facts

    Your TOFu doesn't need to be too serious. Compile a list of fun factoids about your industry or business, centered around concepts like "Did You Know 2 Million Blog Posts are Published Each Day?"

    7. Create an On-Demand Webinar

    Video and visual content can resonate well, so offer access behind a landing page form to a video tutorial or webinar that reviews the latest trends and developments in your industry. 

    8. Checklists

    What do your prospects need to know before they make the big purchase? Create a checklist that can inform and guide their research process. "The 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Apply for Your First Mortgage" doesn't have to be a lengthy document, but it can provide a high degree of value to prospects. 

    9. How-to Guide

    If your prospects are making a major investment, they want to ensure they're going to get the best quality and price possible. Can you offer a buyer's guide on how to make the right decision or choose the right level of service solution for their needs?

    How do You Serve Up Delicious TOFu Content Offers?

    image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/renjith krishnan

    Topics: Inbound Marketing