When starting the customer journey, it’s crucial to catch the attention of potential customers who may need to learn about your business. About 27% of B2B buyers research independently online before making their purchase. So, it’s important to create valuable top-of-funnel content that increases brand recognition.

6 channels to consider

Content marketing

The advantage of top-of-funnel content is that it is often timeless. This means the content can have a long lifespan in the digital space. Although it may require minor annual updates, the main content stays mostly the same so that it can live for a long time.

Top-of-funnel content aims to attract potential customers by addressing their pain points and interests and staying up to date with current trends. This can help convert them into paying customers, but the first step is getting them to visit your site.

According to a recent survey from Semrush, 95% of content marketers create content tailored for the top of the funnel. A smaller percentage, some 86%, create content aimed at the middle of the funnel. And  76% produce content which covers the bottom of the funnel, the conversion into a paying customer.

Lead magnet funnels

Lead magnet funnels are steps that guide potential customers from downloading a lead magnet to making a purchase and becoming repeat customers.

eBooks – An eBook is a great lead magnet for businesses. It consolidates related blog post content for easy access, establishes credibility, and helps attract and retain leads.

Webinars – Hold and record a webinar around the content of your most important blog posts or about industry news. You can do it solo or with a coworker. Take it from our example here at SpotlerCRM, where we use webinars to educate on CRM usage.

Checklists – To create a list from a blog post, simplify it into bullet points, remove non-actionable advice, and divide it into numbered steps. Make it printable for easy checking.

Case Studies – Case studies should include specific content and customer success metrics. Package a real customer spotlight into a written case study and gate it behind a form for visitors to fill out before accessing.

Templates: – Templates are popular lead magnets because they save time by streamlining processes. Creating a certain document from scratch is time-consuming, and your audience will appreciate that you have saved them some time. You can make templates for sales emails, social media, spreadsheets, graphic designs, and anything the audience needs. They’re low-maintenance magnets.

Influencer marketing

During the ToFu (Top of Funnel) phase, the primary goal is to build brand awareness rather than directly generate sales. We track progress using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as Impressions, Reach, Engagement, Follower Growth, and active influencers. By focusing on these metrics, marketers can gain insights into the effectiveness of their content and how potential customers are receiving it. A great example of a brand that has successfully leveraged this approach is Tentree, which has been able to drive lasting impact by rallying creators to spread its message.

Email marketing

Email marketing is an effective way to transform potential leads into loyal, repeat customers. By using automation in marketing, businesses can quickly build comprehensive email lists and provide leads with valuable, personalised content that resonates with their interests. This helps boost return on investment (ROI), improves experience and reduces the time required to manage and nurture leads.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

When finding information, search engines are the go-to for most people. Optimising for SEO is a must to effectively market to potential customers at the top of the funnel. Thorough research of your target audience’s needs, questions, and available content is vital to addressing their initial online inquiries. It is good to remember that you should optimise your content not just for Google but also for platforms that work as search engines, such as TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube.

PPC and paid media

Managing PPC (Pay-per-click) campaigns is rewarding, as it allows for attaining tangible and measurable results. This directly contrasts old-school marketing methods such as giant billboards or TV ads. Calculating click and dollar ROI is relatively straightforward, making it a more efficient approach. By leveraging the tremendous power of PPC, businesses can see the direct impact of their campaigns, which can help them to make informed decisions and optimise their marketing strategies accordingly. Overall, PPC is a highly effective way to drive traffic and generate leads, and it’s certainly worth considering for businesses looking to boost their online presence.

How can the sales teams use top-of-the-funnel leads?

In marketing, it is crucial to have a clear and accurate definition of the “top of the funnel.” This stage of the process involves gaining a comprehensive understanding of the ideal client profile and engaging with them meaningfully instead of simply focusing on making sales.

Neglecting the top of the funnel can lead to a significant loss of revenue, as it is the foundation upon which all successful sales efforts are built. Fortunately, we can employ various proven strategies to enhance the value of this stage and make closing sales much more manageable.

Regarding prospects at the top of the funnel, they are generally in the awareness stage. Sales teams can use outbound tactics such as discovery calls, cold outreach, FAQs, and demos to keep their interest. These methods have proven effective in maintaining prospects’ engagement with the product or service offered.

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How to measure the success of your top-of-the-funnel leads?

To improve top-of-funnel marketing, consider metrics such as social platform evaluations, website traffic, bounce rates, PR reach, shares and comments on earned media. Paid media tools like Adwords and Meta can also enhance top-of-funnel marketing. Brand mentions, and word-of-mouth top-of-funnel effectiveness can measure efforts aimed at influencers and user-generated content. Following up on your leads with software that simplifies the process is also essential.

Positive sentiment can prime a prospect for purchase, but a “for me” appeal seals the deal. Understanding why consumers change their minds is crucial, necessitating mapping digital actions. Factors that can thwart purchase intentions, such as registration hassles, options overload, and financing issues, demand attention. Simplify registration, clicks, and options. Offer convenient payment methods, and reduce risk through trials or free shipping.

What is the most important when creating top-of-the-funnel leads?

It is of utmost importance to carefully map out your customers’ journey to gain valuable insights into their needs and pain points. One common mistake that businesses make is to immediately start pushing sales without first providing solutions to the problems that their customers are facing. It is crucial to take the time to get to know your audience and provide them with the solutions that they need.

In conclusion

When it comes to marketing, the ability to grab the attention of the right customer is essential. In the world of B2B marketing, buyers are becoming increasingly empowered thanks to the availability of informative content that can guide them to make a purchase.

As such, many marketers are now focusing on top-of-funnel (ToFu) marketing, which is all about creating captivating content that can effectively lure prospects into exploring your offerings in greater detail. This approach involves crafting meaningful connections with potential customers and establishing a solid foundation for future engagement.

In the grand tapestry of marketing, the apex lies in unravelling customer trajectories. Solutions first, sales second.

Dive deep, and craft your voyage.