As the parent of a newborn, eating out is a luxury. I’m not talking about a Happy Meal at a drive thru, or a pizza delivery – I’m talking about a real, sit-down meal (without a diaper change between courses). So when a new parent gets the opportunity for an uninterrupted meal out, you have to make the most of it. There are a lot of restaurants out there… so how do you decide which one to go to? You want to go a restaurant that’s going to offer you everything you want – there’s no time (or stomach space) for a blah appetizer or a lackluster steak. You need every course cooked to perfection.
This philosophy isn’t just true of your next dinner out – it also applies to Bing Bang’s new favorite topic (wait for it) – inbound marketing, specifically the buyer’s journey. Think of all the inbound marketing content you’re creating to help buyers along their journey as a three-course meal that needs to be prepared perfectly to turn leads into customers. Like your precious meal away from the kids, every course matters.
Your ToFu (top of the funnel, not bean curds) content is like the beer specials many restaurants use to get people in the door. The ToFu content is designed to get your buyers’ attention and help them increase their awareness of your company. ToFu content most often comes in the form of relevant blogs (hmmm, perhaps like the blog you’re reading right now? Very meta we know.), keywords and social media postings to help move potential customers down the funnel to become more valuable leads.
Much like a restaurant might pride itself on offering a wide variety of craft beers, this content makes people aware of your company, but most people looking for dinner don’t just want a beer (or they’d probably be at a bar) and most of your buyers will need more courses of content to travel down the funnel to the promised land of becoming your customer.
The next part of the meal that helps your buyer make their decision is the appetizer – in inbound lingo we call this the MoFu (middle of funnel) content. An appetizer puts a dent in your hunger and this is where you can start to really separate your company from the competition. Much like a creative appetizer satiates the taste buds and gets you ready for the main course, MoFu content resolves a craving – something with lots of flavor ‘oughta do the trick here . Maybe something like a product or service tip sheet, or even a product comparison? MoFu content should be gated and helps potential buyers answer the question of why they should purchase your product or service over a competitor’s. So, the key here? Find a way to separate your company from your competitors.
If you’ve made it through a beer (or three) as well as the appetizer and are finding it all very tasty, you might be set up to order the main course, the meat and potatoes, the whole enchilada. This is known in inbound as the BoFu content that converts your leads into customers. This is different than what you’ve given your potential leads so far because you’re ready to make a sale. Instead of a blog or tip sheet, you’re ready to give them the best dish your kitchen can serve. It’s time for the big guns.
At this point your company should know something about your potential customers. They’ve gotten to the bottom of the sales funnel and that means they know something about what they’re looking for and it should be something that your company offers. So, now it’s time to close that sale. How do you do this? The steak and potatoes, my friend. You have to give your potential buyer something so good that they’ll have to come back again.
In the case of your sale, BoFu content can come in many forms. Free consultations, product demonstrations, case studies and free trial offers are common from companies like these:
- Amazon Prime: Amazon has taken the free trial approach to convincing more people to sign up for their Prime membership service. Amazon is banking on the fact that through 30 days of using their service, potential customers will realize how much value they get out of free 2-day shipping, cloud storage, photo organization, music, audiobooks and shopping subscriptions. At the end of the 30 days, Amazon hopes that its service has impressed it’s buyers enough that they are ready to cough up the money and become Amazon Prime subscribers.
- Hubspot: When talking inbound content, Hubspot is a shining example because if you’re gonna talk the talk, you’d better walk the walk yourself. One of the many examples of Hubspot BoFu content is their case study page that gives you countless (seriously a lot!) of examples of companies that have had success using their inbound marketing tools. With success stories like these (Insert image 1) how could you not be convinced that Hubspot’s tools are the missing ingredient to your marketing plan?
- Zapier: This company uses a similar “pricing plan” tactic that you may have seen before. They offer a “free” version that gives customers a limited version of their services to help them become familiar with the product. Zapier wants this free version to be just enough of a tease to leave customers wanting more – that they can get from the paid version of their product!
You want the potential buyer to become familiar with your product or service and get comfortable with your company so that they will become a paying customer. This familiarity with your product helps them address any reservations about how your product or service meets their specific needs and makes them comfortable making the decision to purchase your product or service.
Without an excellent BoFu course, no matter how good your drinks and apps were, your buyer might find their meal lacking, well, substance.
What about dessert, you ask? Well, you’ll just have to wait for that delightful dish!
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and learned something about Bing Bang’s strategies for Inbound Marketing. If you’d like to learn more, or learn how Bing Bang can apply these tactics to your company’s marketing plan, just let us know and a Bing Bang team member will be in contact with you within one business day!