Tofu is a curd made from soybeans and used in a variety of vegetarian recipes.

Alternate definitions

Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) is a sales and marketing term that refers to customers who are in the early stages of the lead generation process and receiving initial business marketing content. The top of the funnel holds a much broader audience, as it includes all of the people with whom the business is communicating. Because so many more people are interacting at the top of a sales and marketing funnel, many types of content are necessary to introduce new people to the brand.

Content syndication and visibility

Successful TOFU marketing requires that business content be engaging and visible. One way of presenting content to a more diverse audience is content syndication: republishing your content, with permission, on another website. This introduces a business to new readers, though it may take time and nurturing for them to become leads—that’s normal and shouldn’t be discouraging. Content syndication platforms include backlinks, which are hyperlinks that take a reader back to your website, brand, and content.

Having a regular stream of published content in different formats also makes your brand more visible. This can include, but is by no means limited to:

  • educational and interesting videos
  • relevant blog articles
  • long-form research content
  • Podcasts
  • social media
  • Email marketing
  • Display advertising
  • Phone conversations with relevant information

It’s incredibly important to know which audience members access which content and to develop a specific strategy for each. Lead tracking features in software can provide specific data about customer behavior and content perusal.

Though it’s important not to push sales too early, TOFU content can still include CTAs (calls to action) that direct potential leads to opportunities for getting further involved. That could include an initial conversation with company employees or giving contact information and will take the potential customer to the middle of the funnel, where they become a lead. Teaching TOFU readers about the brand and how it can benefit them is an important part of building brand trust. Moving leads to the bottom of the funnel can take time, but it’s worthwhile to expend that effort and create BOFU leads that will provide better value to a company in the long run.


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Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a writer for, Enterprise Storage Forum, and CIO Insight. She covers data storage systems and data management, information technology security, and enterprise software solutions.
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