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What is TOFU, MOFU and BOFU and What Content Works for Them? - Market2Marketers

The sales funnel is a handy way to visualise the process buyers are lead through when purchasing a product. There are basically four stages: awareness, interest, decision and action. Even more basically these stage are broken into levels identified by these snazzy acronyms:  TOFU, MOFU and BOFU. If you are interested in content marketing (and you should be) it can be beneficial to plan your content around TOFU, MOFU and BOFU. So what do these acronyms stand for? And what content is best for each level. Give us a few minutes and we’ll answer these questions for you.

TOFU (Top-of-the-Funnel)

What is it?

I will resist the urge to say something about the food form of tofu. While I’m a huge fan of this soy-based fabulous food, it’s not what we are talking about today. TOFU in the world of marketing mean ‘top-of-the-funnel.’ This is the awareness stage of the funnel. The place within the buyer’s journey where the buyer may have a general interest in a product or service type. Therefore, this is where you, as a marketer, want to generate awareness and interest in your brand. However, this is not really the time to start jumping up and down and yelling ‘buy from me, buy from me!’ A more subtle, educational approach will do the trick.

What content works?

Part of this subtle and educational approach may actually include bringing a problem to light and then suggesting how your product can solve it. Maybe think of a question your potential customers may have and answer it. Or find a particular pain and show how that pain can be eased. Buyers may not even know that they have this pain so it will be your job to educate them on it.

Publishing content such as blogs or on a topic concerning your product but don’t mention the product specifically can accomplish this. Instead, provide an informative explanation of the topic/problem. You might even consider starting with a survey and build content off of that. Being able to present real-life stats on how others feel about a topic can really show buyers that there is a need for a particular solution.

MOFU (Middle-of-the-Funnel)

What is it?

So, now your buyer has realised that there is a problem and they are ready to start exploring further. This is the middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU). This is where the buyer starts to consider options and starts making their way towards a buying decision. Keeping in mind that buyers spending a lot more time researching on their own before they contact a sales person, this is where you want to make your brand known. This is where you have to stand apart from your competitors. While buyers may still not be ready to start looking at vendors you still want to educate them and begin to position your brand as a solution.

What content works?

There are several opportunities to continue to educate your buyers, build credibility and get your brand into their minds. Concurrently, you want to help your buyers to establish buying criteria. White papers, webinars, case studies, how-to’s or solution comparisons. Keep in mind that you are guiding your customer towards your solution. So don’t be too in-your-face sales wise. Instead, guide them into making the best decision (purchasing your product or service) by providing them with helpful and informative content.

BOFU (Bottom-of-the-Funnel)

What is it?

BOFU is the bottom of the funnel. The stage the buyer is ready to take action and make a purchase. They have undoubtedly done their research and are, hopefully, ready to purchase your product. While focusing on getting the sale is always a priority, this is also the part of the funnel when you want to concentrate on retention as well. You may have gotten the buyer to make a purchase but now you want to make sure they keep coming back to you or, even better, making them an advocate for your brand.

What content works?

Supply your sales team with plenty of materials to help with the conversion. Case studies, testimonials and product information and comparisons are all valuable forms of content. The content should be centred around your brand and how it is the answer to the buyer’s needs. Focusing on retention can mean finding other ways you can help meet your customer’s needs. Look at other products or services you provide and show them how these could benefit them. Also, keep them informed of new offerings you have helps with retention. Some of the types of content you’ve used throughout the funnel still work here. Webinars, white papers, blog posts and survey reports all work to keep your customers informed of new products and services.

Lastly, let our customers become your advocate by encouraging them to spread the word. Creating a case study around their experience not only works as a wonderful piece of content but also shows your customer that you value them.


What is your experience with marketing throughout the funnel? Do you have any questions? We’d love to hear from you. Please comment below.