Digital Marketing

What is Top-of-Funnel Marketing ?

From creating animated videos to showcase your brand to delivering long-form educational blog posts, there are a lot of different types of content you can create as part of your top-of-funnel marketing. 

Before you can decide how to most effectively market at the top of the funnel, though, you need to understand what your goals and priorities should be here, broadly. 

A marketing funnel describes your customer journey. The top of your funnel is where someone is learning about your business and your brand. Then, customers will move through your funnel, which becomes narrower, ultimately making a purchase and then becoming loyal customers—or at least that’s the objective.  

A marketing funnel helps you understand what you need to do to influence your customers at every stage of their journey. 

Each part of the marketing funnel needs to work together for a successful journey and reduced friction. 

At the awareness stage or the top of the funnel, you want to let people know you exist, and you want to broadly appeal to audiences in a way that’ll make them open to future interactions with you. From there, you move to consideration, then conversion and loyalty. 

What is Top-of-Funnel Marketing?

Top-of-funnel marketing is when you’ll focus on attracting possible customers. When a customer is at the top of your funnel, they haven’t engaged with you yet and are likely to be completely unfamiliar with your brand. You want to make potential customers aware of your products and services at this stage of the funnel and also begin to gather potential leads. 

Specifically, your top-of-funnel marketing can help:

  • Increase sales: You can let customers know about your mission or brand, but depending on your sales cycle, you might also provide your potential customers with an easy way to buy. You might give different options after someone engages with your top-of-funnel content, like including a call-to-action with your blog posts, or you might encourage people to subscribe to see more of your content. 
  • Improve SEO: Your marketing at the top of your funnel can help your site rank higher so that more people see your website, blog posts, and videos
  • Brand exposure: The more people who recognize your brand, the more people are likely to make a purchase. 
  • Lead generation: Top-of-funnel marketing can include lead-gen campaigns so that you can get contact information for new prospects. 

Features of Effective Content at the Top-of-the-Funnel

When you’re at the awareness stage, one thing to focus on as you create content of all types is that it should be visually appealing. You want compelling, engaging visual elements that are going to help get your message across quickly to improve your reach. You might use videos throughout your top-of-funnel efforts, as well as infographics. 

Be consistent in things like your colors and visual branding so that you’re developing a link in the mind of your audience with your overall brand. You might want to follow a style guide for consistency here. 

Storytelling can be a feature of effective content at the top of your marketing funnel. Show how you solve a problem or meet a need through storytelling. 

You want to really consider your targeted audience and what their needs are as you’re developing content. When you focus on customer needs, you’re beginning to highlight value while simultaneously raising awareness.   

You can also include a call-to-action where you ask your audience to take a certain action. Top-of-funnel actions might include watching a more in-depth video, signing up for an eBook, or subscribing to your email list. 

Types of Content for the Top of Your Funnel

Ultimately every brand’s funnel and how it progresses is going to be unique, but some of the types of content that work well here include:

  • Landing pages: These are custom pages that encourage interaction with your brand. Landing pages can be used throughout your funnel, but for the top, you want to make sure that you’re giving a fast first impression with your header. Avoid jargon, add relevant keywords and use social proof. This can be where you begin an ongoing relationship with customers. 
  • Videos: As mentioned above, videos are excellent for the top of your funnel because they’re so visual, they get attention quickly, and they can convey a lot in a way that’s easy to understand and fast. You can provide informational content at the top of your funnel, or you might tell a story. You can also show the capabilities of your product or service. You can use videos to show how people use your products or services in the real world too. 
  • Social media: If you’re engaging with other businesses or with audiences that appear interested in your industry, this is top-of-the-funnel social media marketing. Paid ads are also part of the awareness stage for a lot of brands because these are a cost-effective and relatively straightforward way to get your brand in front of as many people as possible.
  • Infographics: This powerful type of visually driven content can break down otherwise more complicated concepts into digestive bits of information. If you’re making infographics, make sure you brand them. 
  • Blog posts: When you use blog posts at the top of your funnel, you can provide information or answers to potential customers, framing your business as a resource and trusted authority. Blog posts aren’t necessarily used to sell—when you inform, you’re setting up a relationship where a sale may come later. Blog posts are also optimal for the top of the funnel because of SEO. If you optimize your blog posts for search engines, it’s going to help push you up in the rankings so that more potential customers will find you quickly and begin to connect with your brand. 

Finally, podcasts are good for your top-of-funnel. You might create podcasts that people can access for free, and they’re not a direct sell. Instead, you might discuss problems people frequently have that are related to your business, or you could have experts provide information.