A B2B First Date: Intro to ToFu Marketing
Securing a B2B client is a bit like trying to get closer to someone you like. You go about the wooing in stages: a night out with a group, a few weeks spent texting, and then, if you have the nerve, a proper date.
This entire process – group-based flirtation, as it were – translates over to the world of B2B businesses as the sales funnel. Picture a funnel: broad at the top, thinning out on the way down. It’s the same model that you, as a business owner, use to transform your clients from mildly-interested parties to committed buyers.
That first interaction between two interested parties starts at the Top of the Funnel (ToFu).
ToFu: It’s Not Just for Vegetarians Anymore
When you start reaching out to potential B2B clients, you don’t want to limit yourself. That’s why the first part of the marketing process requires you to interact with a broad audience. Make sure that all leads – even the ones you think might not pan out – have access to information about your company.
At the top of the funnel, you’ll guide your potential partners through casual introductions. If you play your hand too quickly or come on too strong, you risk compromising a successful future partnership.
A Successful Top-Funnel Marketing Approach
In short, operating at the top of the funnel is all about informative delicacy. There are different ways you can enact these probing introductions.
- Cold calling: It’s a tried-and-true outreach method. Compile a list of potentials that could be mutually rewarding to work with, and reach out. Cold calling is inherently risky—you might come on too strong. Still, there’s no better way to get your foot in the door with a potential client.
- Social media outreach: You can take advantage of different clients’ presences online. Interacting with potential clients through comment sections, Twitter, Facebook, or other platforms is a great way to draw attention to your work. Mutual “follows” tend to generate this exploratory interest, as long as you follow up with active outreach.
- Face-to-face networking events: Take advantage of industry-wide events. Meeting potential clients in-person during a social event gives your clients the chance to feel more comfortable with you. Networking is a valuable opportunity to sell yourself as a person without the heavy sell for your business.
ToFu Content Creation
All this outreach does all eventually become essential for generating interest at the top of the funnel. However, content creation is one of the easiest ways to attract client attention without putting pressure on your peers.
Different forms of effective ToFu content include:
- How-to blog posts
- Research reports
- White papers
In short, when you first start trying to win over a B2B client, take a broad approach. As your client begins to express interest in your work, you’ll be able to hone in and seal the deal. Until then, though, keep your marketing materials and tactics at the top of the funnel.
Image attribution: Olivier Le Moal – stock.adobe.com