Most content marketing teams are comfortable publishing top of the funnel (TOFU) content for their audience, but still struggle to create engaging bottom of the funnel content (BOFU) that leads to conversions. The Content Marketing Institute, however, found that 85% of B2B marketers believe that lead generation is the most important goal of content marketing.
That means optimizing BOFU content should be a top priority for many brands. With this in mind, we've asked content marketing leaders why BOFU content is important, the best methods for optimizing it, and how to measure the success of this content.
Why Is BOFU Content Important?
“Having a nice balance of content is important, and having strong top and bottom of the funnel content is essential,” stated Casey Crane, SEO Content Manager at St. Petersburg, FL-based The SSL Store. But the right balance of content across the sales funnel and customer journey varies for every brand. TOFU content is crucial for getting leads in the door and middle of the funnel (MOFU) content is necessary to guide them along the sales funnel towards BOFU content. “But BOFU is where it’s at,” Crane explained, “it’s about taking all of those sales qualified leads (people who know what they want or need) and guiding them to purchase your products.”
Sean Collins, Director of Marketing Strategy & Business Intelligence at New York, N.Y.-based Barrel believes it’s critical to take a bottom-up approach when planning and reviewing content marketing strategies. “This way you are driving bottom line results,” he explained, “and there is no question that your marketing efforts (or content in this case) are worth the investment.” BOFU content is the real lead generation and sales channel for any content marketing efforts, and Collins says many brands focus too much on TOFU content. “That is why we see such high competition for low-purchase intent keywords,” he continued, and probably “why some executives are skeptical about the efficacy of content marketing.”
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Ways to Optimize BOFU Content
“The best BOFU content is that which provides a specific solution to the reader’s problem and leaves them with a positive feeling about your brand,” suggested Crane. That means creating content like customer stories, demo webinars, product data sheets, and other types of content that’s highly targeted for prospects in the decision stage. “The BOFU stage isn’t the time or place for vague information,” she added, “this content needs to answer their questions and point them to specific products, solutions, or processes that will enable them to address their issue.”
“In my experience,” revealed Collins, “the best BOFU content is that which shows privileged information and real world examples.” Prospects will be intrigued by statistics or information that only a few others have access to, and this could encourage them to reach out to learn more. “Showing situations that your prospects have been in, and then give real examples of what you did to improve that situation,” Collins continued, “it doesn't take a mental leap for a prospect to consider that you may be the right partner for them.”
How to Measure Success
“There are a few different ways that you can measure the success of BOFU content,” suggested Crane. Some metrics that indicate a sales qualified lead could convert to a customer include, lead metrics, demo or consultation request metrics, sales metrics, or surveys of those that disengage with BOFU content. These metrics can help brands understand whether prospects are interested in the product offering but are pushed away by a lead magnet or BOFU content, and gives marketers the opportunity to adjust their strategy.
Collins suggested tracking conversions and leads that come from gated content or the correlation between downloads and lead volume. “A third way, and probably the lowest effort method,” he recommended, “is to use Google Analytics for a quick two part analysis.” First, he suggested analyzing page views for BOFU content, then building a conversion segment of people that visited those pages before a conversion. Google Analytics and other tools have a wealth of data, but brands need to determine which metrics are the most relevant indicators for their specific sales funnel and marketing goals.
“While having a variety of top of the funnel content is a must to help get people in the door,” concluded Crane, “it’s vital that you not put all of your eggs in one basket by focusing on only one stage of the buyer’s journey.” After all, BOFU content is likely where the conversions will happen and where the results of content marketing efforts pay off.