Updated: Nov 17
Wondering what's the difference between ToFu and BoFu content? Looking for ideas for BoFu content for your business? Need best practices to improve your bottom-of-funnel content performance? I've got you...
ToFu isn’t just for vegans. In content marketing, it stands for top-of-funnel. Informative search-optimized articles that attract readers to your site. These readers are aware they need answers. But they don’t know they need your product… yet.
Your ToFu content answers their search queries and serves up valuable answers. But it doesn’t sell them anything. It probably won’t even mention your product. It just starts building their awareness of - and trust in - your brand.
The flip side of the ToFu cube is BoFu. BoFu is bottom-of-funnel content. BoFu content is for readers who know they have a problem, who know you have a product to fix it… but need a little more convincing to buy it.
BoFu content is specific to your product. It communicates the features, advantages, and benefits of what you’re selling. As such, it is very different from ToFu content.
ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu - the basics
ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu are terms used to categorize content based on the stage of the buyer's journey it targets. There are lots of different ways to describe and categorize marketing content in this way.
Also known as Awareness stage or Problem-aware
These readers know they have a problem but don’t know what the solution is. They turn to Google to ask questions like ‘How to manage people better’. They don’t necessarily know there is a product that could solve their problem. Your ToFu content can start to ease them into that awareness.
Also known as Consideration stage or Solution-aware
These readers have discovered that there’s a solution to their problem - products like yours. They use online research to understand the different products available and consider them. For example ‘Resource management software for small businesses’. Your MoFu content introduces them to your products.
Also known as Decision stage or Product-aware
These readers are aware of your specific product. They consume online (and other) content to decide whether your product is right for their needs. At this point, they’re searching things like ‘Brand X vs Brand Y’ or ‘Brand X reviews’. Your BoFu content sells your product and converts prospects into customers.
Do I need ToFu AND BoFu content?
Yes. You need both.
All ToFu, no BoFu? You’ll attract prospects but not give them the information they need to convert into customers.
All BoFu, no ToFu? You’ll have information ready to convert prospects… but no prospects to see it.
In reality, the buyer’s journey isn’t nearly as linear as we like to imagine. But having a good balance of all types of content gives you the greatest chance of converting casual visitors into customers.
How much ToFu and BoFu content do I need?
The marketing funnel is wider at the top than the bottom. There will be more readers for your ToFu content than your BoFu. The exact proportion will be specific to your individual business circumstances.
You might have fast-moving commercial goods that virtually jump off the shelves and into baskets. Or you might have multi-million-pound software, with clients that need long-term nurturing.
3:2:1 is a good proportion for working out how much ToFu and BoFu content you need. For every three pieces of ToFu content, you create two pieces of MoFu, and one piece of BoFu.
ToFu vs BoFu: side-by-side comparison
Purpose of ToFu and BoFu content
ToFu content aims to create brand awareness in a broad audience. It is designed to introduce potential customers to a solution to their problems. It assumes no purchase intent.
BoFu content is about converting prospects into customers. It assumes the audience is familiar with the brand and actively considering buying. It provides details that help the audience make an informed and confident buying decision.
Types of ToFu and BoFu content
ToFu informs, educates, and even entertains. The most typical type of written ToFu content is blog posts and articles, optimized for high visibility in organic search. It isn’t all text-based, of course. Infographics, videos, and other media also count.
BoFu content is decision-orientated, so it includes more product-specific information. There is far more variety in BoFu content than ToFu. Types of BoFu content include case studies, hands-on product experience, webinars, and more. Keep reading to find out more.
Audiences for ToFu and BoFu content
ToFu content targets a broader audience than BoFu. If you think about the shape of a funnel, ToFu is at the widest part. It casts a wide net to attract potential leads. Only some of the people who read your ToFu content will progress further down the funnel - not everyone is in the market to buy something. That’s why the funnel gets thinner, the further down you go.
BoFu content targets a much smaller - but more motivated - audience. These people have progressed through the earlier stages of the funnel and are still around. This audience is researching which product to buy and needs information to help them decide.
Calls-to-Action in ToFu and BoFu content
ToFu content readers aren’t ready to make a purchase or commit to something like a trial. This stage is simply about introducing them to your content and encouraging deeper engagement. ToFu content uses softer calls-to-action like signposting people to further reading -either related content on your site, or subscribing to email updates.
BoFu content readers are primed to take action - whether that’s engaging directly with your sales team or even making a purchase. So BoFu content uses strong calls-to-action that encourage deeper engagement and conversion - like signing up for a trial, requesting a callback, or making a purchase.
Metrics for ToFu and BoFu content
Metrics for ToFu content focus on engagement, such as clicks, likes, shares, and page views. The goal is to gauge audience interest and interaction.
Metrics for BoFu content focus on conversion rates, sales, and other actions directly related to the completion of a purchase. This helps measure the effectiveness of the content in driving bottom-line results.
12 types of BoFu content every SaaS marketer needs
1. Product information
It may seem obvious but product information is BoFu content. Think product pages that describe the exact specifications of your product or services. And pricing pages that explain how different subscription tiers work and what they include. Don't just focus on features and benefits. Translate these into how they help your target customer achieve their definition of success and complete their jobs-to-be-done.
2. Comparison content
Provide content that details the differences between your product and competitors’. This could be an article comparing your product against a competitor head-to-head, or an in-depth white paper demonstrating why you’re a sector leader. Highlight unique features, benefits, and advantages of choosing your product.
3. Case studies
Case studies show how your product works in the wild. They help prospects understand how your product actually solves real-world business problems. They increase trust in your brand because they include positive testimonials from customers (what customers say is always more convincing than what you say).
Highlight specific challenges solved by your product, the implementation process, and the measurable results achieved. Don’t forget to include as much verbatim content from your clients as possible - either as quotes or video vox pops.
4. Proof of concept
Proof of concept is when you provide limited access to your product, to prove the benefits you’ve promised.
For example, imagine your SaaS product promises to ‘spot 10x more data input errors than your team’. Prospects could upload a sample file to your system for processing and receive a personalized report containing the errors discovered.
This can increase trust, deliver value for free, and give prospects a glimpse of the wider benefits to their business.
5. Free trial
The best way to sell your software is to let people try it for themselves. This is why free trials are so popular. Don’t put barriers in the way of your free trial or you’ll scare away more skittish buyers. Try to minimize what you ask of people - like credit card details just to register. Make sure you provide suitable instructions / how-to information to help people make the most of the trial and explore your most impressive functionality.
6. Product demos
Product demos help people understand and experience your software. Unlike trials, which are self-guided, demos let you show people your products’ greatest hits. Demos can be pre-recorded videos or live experiences curated for specific customers. Walk prospects through the user interface, highlight key features, and demonstrate how the product addresses specific pain points.
7. ROI calculators
Interactive ROI calculators help prospects understand the value of your product to their specific business. They let prospects enter their own data and calculate potential cost savings, efficiency gains, or revenue increases they could expect.
8. Implementation guides
BoFu content needs to reduce the friction people feel in the buying process. You need to make the path ahead seem as easy as possible. That’s where implementation guides come in. They provide a proven, manageable framework for implementing your software solution. This builds confidence that you’re a client-focused business and increases trust in your ability to deliver client success.
9. Decision-making resources
Decision-making resources help prospects navigate the later stages of the buying process. Things like buying guides, checklists, and FAQs. Anything that makes life easier for your buyer and aids conversion.
Live and on-demand webinars can showcase advanced strategies for using your SaaS product. Often, these are presented in partnership with one of your client-advocates - someone who uses your product and is happy to share their experience. Include best practices, tips, and insights that demonstrate how your product solves problems for specific use cases.
11. Executive briefings and business cases
Executive briefings, business cases, and white papers are aimed at B2B decision-makers. They tend to focus less on product features and more on the financial and operational benefits. Make it easy to understand the operational and cost benefits of choosing your product. Use and visualize data if you have quantitative evidence. Include data about success that your other clients have enjoyed thanks to your product.
12. Sector-specific content
One size doesn’t fit all. Don’t forget to tailor your BoFu content to different sectors or use cases. Consider different personas and segments that you want to target and create content that is most relevant to their pain points.
For big-ticket products or customers, you might create personalized content that addresses the specific needs of one buyer. This could include demos tailored to their specific business challenges.
BoFu content best practices
Creating BoFu content is a specific skill for a business writer. There is an overlap between content writing and copywriting here, as your content needs to sell, not just tell. Here are some best practices to bear in mind when creating BoFu content for clients.
Tailor CTAs to the buyers’ journey
The most important step is one you’ve just taken - understanding the different stages in the buyers’ journey and how to create different content for them. Identify the pain points, challenges, and questions that prospects have at the bottom of the funnel and create content to address them. Then write killer calls-to-action that move the prospect towards conversion.
Ask your internal experts
Your sales team is a source of incredibly important insights. They know why people buy your product, why they don’t, and what they actually think of it. Find out what’s putting prospects off buying and create BoFu content that addresses those concerns. Ask what new clients are struggling with too. You can create content that helps new customers onboard and achieve ROI faster, which means they’re more likely to thrive with your product…and recommend it.
Leverage client experiences
Your best clients are your biggest source of inspiration. Conduct client interviews to understand how your product solves their problems, delivers strategic objectives, and helps with their jobs-to-be-done. Use these to create case studies and testimonials. But don't stop there. Create articles targeting specific businesses challenges you know you solve - and incorporate client quotes that prove it.
Address objections and concerns
Buyers are sceptical and always inclined to think ‘It’ll never work for me’. Try to address these potential objections in your BoFu content. Acknowledge those concerns and offer reassurance - for example, showing how you’ve solved these exact problems for another client - so the prospect feels more confident in their decision to move forward.
No matter how much people want to solve their problem, at any given moment, it’s always easier to do nothing. Marketers are always fighting inertia. If your prospect has any reason to NOT act, they’ll take it. So you need to reduce any and all friction in the buying process. Don’t put barriers in the way of doing a demo or trial. Provide checklists and step-by-step guides to move people through the process.
Looking for help crafting better BoFu content for your SaaS brand? Get in touch to discuss my brilliant BoFu content writing services.
About the author
Libby Marks is an award-winning copywriter and content marketer. After 15+ years in marketing and communications, she escaped the 9-to-5 and started Write on Tyne.
Write on Tyne is a small content and copywriting agency dedicated to making marketing managers' lives easier.
We provide top-notch copy for campaigns, content marketing, and websites - underpinned by expertise in marketing strategy and SEO.