I define BOFU content for experts this way:
Content that serves a real and imminent purchasing decision for a paid solution. The user is in pursuit of a jump in progress on a more meaningful purpose, rounding out their research by comparing the relative options they perceive.
The most clear example can again from yest be found in B2B SaaS where you often see those “compare x product with y product” or “product x alternatives” written by product y content team. But…
Is Expert BOFU content different than bigco BOFU content?
This is a very interesting question to me.
I am constantly thinking about how and when experts should do real company shit and when they should clearly differentiate themselves from bigco solutions.
And so I ask myself, what is the difference between you and a bigco? Time? Effectiveness? Quality of solution? Nay.
Businesses are entrepreneurial, non-profits are socially entrepreneurial, and you are psycho-socially entrepreneurial.
First, social entrepreneurship – I took a class on this in college. I went to a Jesuit school so it had a bit of a proselytizing vibe but I still learned a lot.
High impact non-profits have a double bottom line, mission impact of people served and, because reality, money made. Like Grameen Bank providing micro loans to millions, lifting unprecedented people out of poverty.
You though are extra special. You are either aspiring to just be a bigco in which case you should hit unsubscribe, or have a triple bottom line, 1. impact, 2. journey, 3. money.
I have to think through the journey part later. But to me, content that serves people in this context should be wildly different from what big orgs try to do.
You are in the business of impact.
That means it is incumbent upon you to understand the myriad alternatives of direct, indirect, and “do nothing” competition that exists.
To identify and share those options and alternatives as part of serving your audience.
To make a case for why yours is the best for a, b, c situations but not x, y, z. If yours is not the best for a, b, c situation, you have a product design issue, not a content marketing issue.
How a expert to bofu?
I think, a. ideate, b. research, c. validate on pervasiveness, d. pick a format.
A brain dump –
Ideating and research for BOFU content fodder
- competitive research – seeded by your past clients, the best indicator of what alternatives are actually being considered.
- buyer journey research – seeded by your past clients and competitor clients
- web-based market research – nothing fancy here, the usual forum and market hang out spots, more below
- problem space research if you believe in that kind of thing
In-market needs all kick of surface-able symptoms in the forms of online questions.
Content that solves for deep in-problem symptoms is pure gold.
Your market’s money moments whatever they may be – orgs looking at self-insuring, enterprises seeking to go public, a manufacturer in need of a global tax strategy, a construction co paying half a milly in commissions for internet leads.
If you get a series of questions, or click through relevant “people also ask” questions in a SERP, inspect and go deeper on related searches, look at Quora most read writers on a topic and browse their most all-time viewed questions, you can get a list of relevant qualified questions.
Completely incomplete list of types of bofu content formats:
- product reviews and testimonials
- forum answers specifically about experiences with products, services
- books that do a good job of funneling readers into clients, off the dome –
- Building a Story Brand by D Miller
- Unshakeable by Tony Robbins (Shush it. I know.)
- Do It Scared by Ruth Soukup
- online assessment tools
- case studies, demos, use cases, user as hero anecdotes
- list posts that solve for x where x is the problem you are seeking to solve for and the list is all of the tools (read: alternatives) at their disposal
- product comparison guides
- ego bait roundups showcasing the best consultants, products, etc., for x
- answers to in-market questions (see more below)
Anything else? Ya later