With the exception of impulse buys, your customers will start at the “awareness” stage in the buyer’s journey marketing funnel. If you want your customers to travel to the consideration stage and decision stage, your top funnel has to attract your buyer’s persona and keep them engaged.
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What is top of funnel marketing?
Marketing funnels attract, engage, and convert visitors into paying customers. Most industries have a three or four-stage marketing funnel, but SaaS companies often have five, six, or more. The awareness, consideration, and decision stages are the backbone of any sales funnel.
These three to six stages are then broken down further into three sections:
- Top of the funnel: The awareness and interest stages are found here. This is when your audience will interact with your business for the first time. Your goal at this stage is to attract prospects, collect data, and lead visitors down the marketing funnel.
- Middle of the funnel: The consideration and intent stages are found here. Your prospects are familiar with your product and want to explore the rest of your content. Your goal at this stage is to provide value to your prospects and solve challenges.
- Bottom of the funnel: The evaluation and decision stages are found here. Your prospects are interested in becoming customers, but they may need an extra push. To achieve this goal, you need to make content that focuses on selling and retaining.
At the top of the funnel, your prospects aren’t familiar with your business. You’ll need to make a good first impression by showing how your product or service provides value to your customers. In the PR marketing funnel, a company will raise brand awareness and establish authority.
How can I start making top of the funnel content?
Creating a content and PR sales funnel requires a similar process, but both departments have to work together to make effective pitches. Here’s what you need to create top-funnel content.
Content that speaks to your audience
Generating new leads can be challenging if you don’t understand your audience and what challenges they face. The trick of learning how to generate quality leads lies in pain points. Ask yourself what your audience is trying to solve and what info they need to get their answer.
The PR and content marketing department can use each other’s strengths to understand their audience’s interests. An effective way to do this is with search terms and keywords.
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Improved SEO and keyword research
PR professionals don’t always have SEO knowledge, so press releases and white papers fail to boost organic search interest. Content marketers can optimize this content with keywords, links, and other SEO practices, leading to increased traffic to your websites and social media pages.
Content marketers can also create content for influencers, journalists, and affiliates ahead of time. This makes it easier for PR teams to build mutually beneficial relationships quicker.
A unified brand message across channels
The most perfectly crafted content won’t be useful if it doesn’t reach your audience in time. PR professionals can help your content reach a broader, newer audience. They can also help unify brand messaging across multiple platforms, which is important for growth and other metrics.
Some content marketers may not keep track of trends, but PR professionals typically have their finger on the pulse. Both can work together to capitalize on viral content marketing tactics.
10 best types of content for top of the funnel marketing
Creating content that attracts audiences takes a strong marketing team, but you also need the right content types to get noticed. Here are 10 top-of-the-funnel content types you should use.
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Listicles are effective top-of-the-funnel marketing content because they’re easy to make and strategically categorize information. Its simple-to-follow structure can help your audience retain information. Top 10 or “best of” articles are attention-grabbing because we’re wired to love them.
2. Landing pages
Landing pages are meant to give your audience a complete overview of your product or service. You can use top-funnel landing pages to provide details for free offers before they’re claimed. Or design landing pages around search terms and use them as the target page in a campaign.
3. How-to articles
How-to articles provide in-depth solutions to a specific problem. If you design a how-to article around a specific search phrase, you’ll generate a lot of top-funnel traffic. Ensure you provide a satisfying answer to a customer’s pain point to position yourself as a leader in the subject.
4. Free guides
Free guides are similar to how-to articles, except they are longer and more thorough. This content type is perfect for complex subjects. Free guides are often used in email marketing campaigns because they offer customers something useful in exchange for their emails.
5. Explainer videos
According to Insivia Technologies, including a video on a landing page increases conversions by 80 percent. Explainer videos are specifically useful to customers as they can be used to repurpose old content into a more digestible form. Plus, videos can break up text-heavy articles.
Checklists are another easy-to-make content type that’s endlessly useful to customers. With a checklist, you can offer actionable guidance through a step-by-step process, which is helpful for customers that don’t know where to start. Offer this content as a download at the end of a post.
Webinars are seminars hosted over the internet. You can use them to educate visitors about a new product/service or subject. A top of the funnel webinar should be used to build trust, so try to schedule live seminars with a Q&A segment that clarifies customer pain points.
8. Case studies
Case studies are reports that prove your product/service has helped customers and startups. If you want to build authority in your industry, you can ask past customers for testimonials and reviews. You can post this content on your home page, social media, and landing pages.
Depending on your industry, whitepapers will fall into the top or middle funnel. However, startup owners almost always want a well-researched whitepaper that goes into detail about a specific product or service. Whitepapers can be offered as free content in targeted email campaigns.
Infographics can instantly communicate complicated information, making them one of the best top of the funnel content types. They’re shareable, often used as backlinks, and are easy to create with pre-built templates. Canva and Crello can help anyone make stunning infographics.
The beauty of the top funnel is how versatile it is. While reviews, webinars, and white papers are often positioned at the end of the funnel, they can be repurposed for the awareness stage.
To offer valuable content, you need to combine your PR and content marketing departments. By doing this, you capitalize on their strengths and distinct marketing knowledge. With the right top-funnel content and team, you can generate more leads and increase your conversion rate.