How to Create B2B ToFu Content with the Help of Customer Support
For many B2B businesses, content is their lifeblood. Content helps them bring organic traffic, establishes expertise, and gets them leads. For many others, publishing hundreds of articles isn’t getting them the return they’d hoped to.
This begs the question: Is the content you’re creating disconnected from what your customers want from you?
This post aims at solving the problem. After reading the article, you’ll know exactly what kind of ToFu (Top of the funnel) content to create and how to use customer support agents to fuel this content creation.
Why support agents? They engage with your customers all day long. As such, they can offer plenty of insight into what you can do to make your content better, suggest new ideas for content, and more. Also, when I say support team, it doesn’t always mean you need an army of customer support agents. Even if it’s a one-man operation, you can keep track of questions that your potential customers are repeatedly asking and then create content from that.
But first, let’s try and understand the goal with ToFu content.
What is ToFu Content?
Think of ToFu as the first step in building a relationship with a prospect.
Imagine someone’s starting an eCommerce business. He knows he needs a website but doesn’t know about the functionalities to add to his site, how well it should be designed, where it will be hosted, and so on.
Think of the kind of queries this person will search for.
This person has a faint idea of what he wants. These are the kind of people who will benefit most from ToFu content.
Top of the funnel content is content users see on their first brush with your business: be it on social media, your site, or any other place. This content creates the first impression in the minds of users. That’s why it’s so important to create the right kind of ToFu content. With ToFu content, you’re generally targeting a broad audience and may not get them to convert immediately. That’s fine.
Because your goal with this content is to attract as many visitors as you can. The next step is to get them to sign up as leads and then nurture and educate these leads with more content and offers until they convert.
How to Involve Customer Support Agents to Create ToFu Content?
Your customer support team is the receptacle of doubts, complaints, questions, and/or rants that your customers have about your brand. And since they deal with it every day, they know which features your product is missing, what your customers want, and have a handle on what your competitors are doing better than you.
It makes no sense to have your content team disconnected from the support team. But unfortunately, that’s what happens. Why do you create content in the first place? It’s to answer the questions people have – first about your area of business, then your business itself. It’s to anticipate what they might need and then serve them beforehand. Big companies pour big money into customer research, trying to get a handle on what their customer community wants. You are readily getting what customers want with the help of support questions. What more could you ask for?
They are looking for content that helps them understand their problem and know more about the solutions that exist. Look at the questions your support team is getting underscoring topics that seem to belong to ToFu. It is easy to recognize these topics.
How Should You Do This?
Decide which topic to approach first by looking at how many times the same questions come up.
This can be a weekly or monthly exercise where you go through support questions and then choose topics to create ToFu content on. If you don’t have the time for this, you can assign the sorting out aspect to a freelancer or VA. As you add more and more articles, the list keeps getting bigger.
It’s important to use tools that make content creation seamless. The support team can supplement current content development by adding more questions, more visualization ideas, and other things.
Get feedback from customer support agents on articles published and see if they can improve them. Look at what’s missing. For instance, it’s pretty easy to get the customer support team to think of FAQ questions that they can add to existing content. This also improves the SEO of the content you’re creating. You could also turn existing content pages into full-fledged landing pages with good landing page tools.
You may also want to read: How To Increase Landing Page Conversions (13 Pro Tips)
Which Type of Content to Create and Distribute?
Once you zero down on ideas from the customer support team, the next step is content creation and distribution. You can use several ways to distribute content.
It could be through email newsletters, social media, and/or other channels.
Videos, webinars, podcasts, and infographics all endure and popular types of content. Here are some hints as to the kind of content you can create:
You may also want to read: Do You Think That All Digital Support Channels Are The Same?
Create and Post Video Content
Creating content involves taking ideas and themes and developing these ideas into blog posts, videos, webinars, or tutorials.
Video is one of the most interesting ways through which you can share information. Videos are easier to digest. Video content routinely gets 1200% more shares than text or images.
The advantage of video content is that you capture the attention of viewers and retain it for longer. (Just don’t create long videos!)
Retention is the ultimate goal with ToFu content. People watching videos retain up to 95% of the information they view. It’s better than sending them articles of which they retain just 10% of what they read.
- It’s content that builds up user experience. And Google rewards you for that!
- Video enhances site metrics around page sessions and lowers bounce rates.
- Video content is shareable and gets you links as a result of that.
Webinars are another way to distribute information. Webinars are both cheap to create and distribute. You can build a thriving community around your product(s).
You may also want to read: A Few Interesting Ideas On How To Repurpose Your Old Content
The Value Of Webinars
For Darell of ConvertKit, webinars were the one tool that got him new signups. This was a time when ConvertKit had only begun. They didn’t have plenty of customers, an established brand presence, or hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on marketing.
They were new and wanted to test the one thing that would help them grow.
So they contacted as many affiliates as they could and created webinars partnering with them. Affiliates with all sizes of audience were invited to be part of the webinar. These webinars covered the basics of list-building and ways to attract more traffic to a site.
Here’s an example of a webinar they did:
You can do the same for your business. It’s simple. Reach out to influencers in your niche and get them to be part of your webinars.
Instead of focusing on the bigger influencers, focus on smaller influencers, as ConvertKit did.
Yume Food (a B2B startup) share their webinar details on their Instagram page.
Here’s an example of a webinar titled “From Trash to Treasure”, powered by @suez_group Australia & New Zealand.
Here’s another video from them.
In addition to sharing these webinars and videos on YouTube and other channels, you can also lead users to this content during support situations.
In a support situation, the opportunity isn’t limited to simply sharing content that’s immediately relevant to users. It’s also a launchpad for promoting content that visitors might find useful.
This helps users to learn more about the subject and see your business as an authority.
- A webinar that talks about their questions, among other things
- A podcast where your marketing team is answering the said question.
- An email-gated eBook, answering everything on the subject.
Bonus reading: Ken Fung’s guide: 91+ Video Marketing Statistics You Need To Use To Your Advantage
Post the Content as Answers to Queries
People approach your support team with hundreds of questions. A lot of these questions are asked again and again.
Instead of having customer support repeat the exact steps that a customer requires to solve a problem from a to z, use blog content to tell them what to do. Or write and compile these answers as part of a knowledge base. This saves some legwork for the customer support agent.
Here’s a step-by-step of how to introduce blog content into your support strategy:
- List the top 10 questions that the customer service agents get in a day.
- Write down a list of the blog articles that answer these questions.
- If there are no blog posts, create them. Compile these articles. Be sure the support team has read these.
- Anticipate follow-up questions and create ready-to-answer responses.
Here’s a real-world example when I asked for support from my web hosting service Vapourhost.com. Instead of directly answering the questions, the support person directed me to an article on the subject.
Chirag (he’s the owner and the support guy of the host) developed the entire knowledge base for his business based on questions he got from customers.
His Knowledge Base has a number of beginner-friendly questions like: “How to buy hosting from Vapourhost?” and “Does Vapourhost support PayPal?”
You can also cover these questions on your blog. Blog posts are the best way to reach a wide audience, gain their trust and establish your expertise. By showing your expertise in this manner, the next time information-seekers are in a spot, they are going to remember you.
Blog posts can either be long-form content or short content, depending on the complexity you want to cover. The key is to ensure these are fully SEO optimized.
That requires keyword research and optimization.
You may also want to read: How To Use Digital Customer Service To Make Business Alliances
Create a Table of Answers to Promote During Support Situations
Now that you have a handle on the questions people are asking, you should also have answers ready.
You might want to create a table of answers and questions to flip through and help agents provide answers to support questions.
Some questions are more complicated and might need guides or how-to content.
A table of queries with their potential answers needs constant updates. It should contain the most popular questions visitors are asking, the list of newly added tools, and new content that works for each question.
Here’s an example.
Once a question has been repeated a few times, you should ask the content team to prioritize its answering.
The personality and helpful nature of your customer support team can be the differentiating factors that separate you from a sea of similar brands.
Personalize intros with words like you and I.
Use Customer Feedback to Create Lead Magnets
You may also want to read: How to Encourage Your Customers to Provide Real Feedback
I told you at the start that the goal with ToFu content is to retain visitors. One way to help this goal is by creating lead magnets that your readers are most interested in.
The page below from Better Proposals lists 79 templates and is used as a lead magnet to convert traffic looking for templates. Customer feedback gives you invaluable data. How you use it is up to you. A good lead magnet will help you collect more leads passively.
I reached out to Petra Odak from Better Proposals, and this is what she had to say:
“The free proposal templates (this is the link) which we created took a lot of work and research. Based on the data we had from our customers, we knew which users had great success with our software and used it to get plenty of conversions and make a lot of money as a result. We reached out to them to analyze why their proposals performed so well and with their consent, took the best elements from each of those proposals to create templates.
So, the templates we have on the site are a mix of the top-performing proposals for each category – with some information changed, of course, to protect the identity of our customers. This way, we ensure that whoever uses these templates is getting the very best sales materials out there, which are guaranteed to convert and make a profit.”
Social Media Posting
Social media is your opportunity to make a great impression.
You need to keep to a regular posting schedule.
For B2B marketers, Instagram may seem off-putting. It appears to be a place where people talk about their lifestyles. It has too many cat photos and vacation pictures.
So what do you do?
A B2B brand can create themed videos that tie to their branding to promote on Instagram.
It’s an example of a brand adapting its voice to fit the platform.
Instagram and Facebook are also platforms where you can give users a sneak peek behind product launches, new hires, and sales.
Yume, who we mentioned before, takes to social media like Instagram to share infographics and images highlighting the problem of food waste.
In addition, you can also use offline channels like QR codes to promote your content via posters with a free QR code generator.
You may also want to read: 5 Great Social Media Management Tools for Businesses
Finally, for all this to work, customer support agents should have empathy. When hiring, make sure you hire people who are a great fit, who understand what customers are saying, and relate to them.
In addition, a great company culture helps develop empathy among customer service agents.
What do you think of the tips? Do let us know in the comments below.
George is a writer and blogger at Thinkingne.com and at Kamayobloggers.com, two sites he started to share cutting-edge information around Conversion Rate Optimization and Marketing. He has over 9 years of experience writing online. You can connect with George on LinkedIn here, or follow/Tweet him @george_defo
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