As a demand generation marketer, I’m excited about the ROI that bottom-of-funnel tactics provide.
Focusing on keywords and audiences that are most likely to convert should produce positive results if your pre- and post-click experience is well-optimized.
What happens when you can’t increase your demand orshare of voice anymore?
There are many companies that are satisfied with the success of their traditional marketing methods. Some people believe that it is unnecessary to look for new customers outside of those who have already expressed interest in your product or service.
It’s hard to break away from the appeal of cheap leads that come from well-run bottom-of-the- funnel campaigns.
In other words, companies that are looking to gain more market share need to invest more in the beginning stages of their development.
The data is clear. By digitally surrounding a prospect early on, you can indirectly influence their decision making, even if you can’t attribute it to paid media.
It is important to understand what a marketing funnel (or sales funnel) actually is before we dive into how top-of-the-funnel tactics can help generate leads.
The marketing funnel is the path that a potential customer takes from hearing about your company for the first time to becoming a paying customer. This process involves multiple different points of contact and methods designed to guide the prospect through each stage of the funnel.
The marketing funnel has three different phases which address different levels of awareness. Each phases uses different channels and content types to lead a prospect to the next stage.
Why Top of Funnel Works
According to a study by McKinsey, brands that are considered first are more than twice as likely to win business compared to brands considered later.
If you are a new brand, it is even more important to focus on the top of the funnel. In LinkedIn’s Age of Agility survey, only one-third of B2B technology buyers are willing to try a new vendor.
In order to take market share away from already established companies, new brands need to focus on creating a strong culture, being experts in their field, being relevant to consumers, and offering value early on in the purchasing process.
If your potential customer is ready to buy, you will be the first company they think of and have a big advantage.
One reason? The availability heuristic is a cognitive bias that dictates that people are more likely to choose the option that is most readily available to them.
Brands that use marketing to create a digital presence around their prospects early on are able to capitalize on this. Brand advertising that is effective produces both visible and quantifiable results that can be seen over a long period of time when looked at as a whole.
Even if your attribution is very precise, there will always be some gaps. We can’t control every touchpoint a customer has with our product, even though we try our best.
For example, one of my clients produced some great video content for the top of the funnel that was edgy and funny, which was perfect for the often stuffy finance industry.
It does well in terms of brand awareness and recall. What makes me the most excited are the comments and anecdotes.
Defining Top-of-Funnel Success
Paving the road to future business starts by defining the right KPIs related to down funnel activity and optimizing toward them.
What are the right KPIs? Client’s needs may vary, but can be broadly classified into three categories.
- Lead Generation
At the awareness level, your key performance indicators (KPIs) should focus on the share of voice (SOV). For example, if you are paying for search results, you will want to track metrics like how often your ad is shown, how often it is shown at the top of the page, and how often people click on it.
The Long and Short of It, an ebook by the IPA (an advocacy dedicated to promoting evidence-based decision-making in marketing), walks us through the SOV rule, which states that the amount of money spent on marketing should be proportional to the sales volume.
This rule has held true for B2C for 50+ years.
There is evidence that brands grow when their share of voice (SOV) is higher than their share of market (SOM). Similarly, brands that have a lower share of voice than the average for their market will see a decline.
Strategies for Top-of-The-Funnel Marketing
There are several ways to create a successful marketing campaign that will draw people in. Below are some.
SEO is necessary for any marketing campaign that wants to be successful, but it is most effective when used at the beginning of the marketing process. The goal of search engine optimization is to generate more leads from people who are searching for what you have to offer.
What searches are they performing? What needs does your target market have that your products and services can address? A strong SEO strategy helps you get high-quality leads.
A strong SEO strategy will include:
- Publishing a blog that has regular content updates;
- Linking to other authoritative sites;
- Building internal links from one page to another on your website;
- Analyzing search queries to create more content customers want.
Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing valuable content to attract and retain customers. A top-of-the-funnel campaign should focus on this in order to build trust with potential customers and educate them about who you are and what you have to offer.
You can share content from your website by creating pages that are always relevant, and by publishing blog articles on various topics. You can start a podcast or a video blog by creating a channel on sites like YouTube or Vimeo.
If you want to improve your website’s ranking, consider running social media campaigns and sharing infographics, e-books, white papers, and case studies. guest blogging on established, authoritative websites and participating in Q&A platforms like Quora can also help you gain links.
Content marketing is a beneficial way to build trust with potential customers. In order to make your potential client feel assured that you can help them, you must show that you understand what they want and what their struggles are.
By doing this, you will come across as an expert in the field who knows what they’re doing.
Paid advertising is a great way to get your brand in front of thousands of potential customers. You can advertise on all major search engines and target potential clients using paid social media ad platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
You can also use these platforms to create targeted ad campaigns that focus on specific groups or demographics that are most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Some platforms will produce better results based on your audience’s demographic characteristics than others.
Organic Social Media
Organic social media marketing is a great way to build a stronger following. The more followers you gain, the more people you have the potential to reach. Linkedin is most effective for business to business.
You shouldn’t ignore or write off Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms. Look at what content is most successful on these platforms and produce more of that type of content.
Engagement: The Glue that Binds TOF with BOF
KPIs that are focused on engagement are most closely aligned to the goals and budgets of advertisers.
Engagement KPIs are metrics that show how engaged users are with a company’s product or service. Engagement can be measured in many ways, such as number of pageviews, time spent on site, or number of completed tasks. A user’s interactions with your social and web properties.
When you align your advertising goals to customer engagement, you can be sure that you are reaching the people who are most likely to be interested in your product. Your goal should be to engage with the right audience (past, present, and future customers).
To improve your digital marketing, you should validate your audience alignment and continuously improve your targeting and optimization using AI. So, how do you quantify success, test, and iterate?
Examples of Engagement-Based Top of Funnel KPIs
Here are a few KPIs to consider to gauge success and build audiences:
- Page scroll > 25%
- Benefit: Can be used as a minimum baseline for non-bot/irrelevant traffic.
- Use case: Use instead of Sitewide retargeting initiatives for improved quality; When primary conversion data is sparse, use within a Conversion Set to train automated bid strategies.
- Time on site > 2 minutes
- Benefit: Indicates a highly engaged user.
- Use case: Retargeting threshold if said budget is constrained; put in separate retargeting track further in buying journey.
- Site engagement (chatbot engagements, site searches, blog views to completion, content shares, bookmarks, comments)
- Benefit: Indicates audience alignment (blog content is often the entry point for organic traffic).
- Use case: Defines segmented retargeting tracks based on content consumption.
- Social engagement (reactions, comments, shares, profile views, follows)
- Benefit: According to LinkedIn’s Age of Agility survey of B2B Tech Buyers, 1 in 2 decision-makers say peer validation is a primary vehicle to increase product trust. Every reaction, comment, share, and follow is a signal to a peer’s connections that improve brand equity.
- Use case: For B2B, use Social Follower RT initiative to increase LinkedIn following, which enables future organic and paid impressions.
Each organization’s engagement KPIs will be slightly different.
However, all companies can improve their performance by taking note of actions that show interest from users, making sure their conversion tracking is accurate, and making sure their reporting reflects the user engagement story.
1. It is most important that you connect engagement activities with what happens later on and can be linked back to an estimated value.
If you’re just starting out, you may want to set estimated values for each action and use features like Google Ads Conversion Sets. This will help you use value-based bidding more effectively.
2. Bucket your goals into groupings by funnel stage. For example, you could have a “1,” “2” or “3” in the URL for your thank-you pages to indicate what stage of the event’s funnel the user is in. This makes it easier to create audiences for future marketing efforts.
Benefits of The Top of the Funnel Marketing
1. Brand Awareness
The main goal is getting your brand in front of potential clients. All customers start with questions. Be there to provide answers.
If you want your company to be at the top of your future customer’s minds, you should deliver content on topics that your prospects are interested in. This will create value and cement a rightful place for your company.
usually takes about three months. There are many stakeholders involved in decision making. Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to speak to different groups of stakeholders about what they hope to achieve, what their pain points are, and what hesitations they may have.
2. Build Trust and Authority
One advantage of marketing at the top of the sales funnel is that it creates trust and credibility with potential customers.
In order to be seen as an expert in your field, you must change the perception of potential clients. This can be done by making them more likely to work with you or referring you to their friends and colleagues.
3. Efficient and Effective
The vast majority of the content you create for the top of the funnel will be useful for years to come. As more people enter the market looking for products and services your company offers, your content will become more relevant.
This means that your content can be used over and over again, saving you time and money. It also creates a snowball effect.
The more potential customers that visit your evergreen content, the higher those pages will start ranking in search engines. The higher a website ranks, the more new visitors and potential clients it attracts.
4. Low Competition
Many marketers do not focus on the “top of the funnel” (TOFU) because it can be difficult to measure effectiveness and ROI during reporting periods. Since there is less competition among content at the top of the funnel, it is easier to promote and rank new content.
5. Assets for Your Sales Team
It is crucial to have consistency in the message being delivered to potential customers, whether it is through the website, social media posts, email newsletter, or a sales call, in order to grow revenue steadily.
If you create more content that is educational and has value, your potential customers will be better informed before they even talk to your sales team. This will increase the chances of closing sales, which will result in more ROI.
It’s important to work with your sales team when you’re developing content. Your customers are the first people to ask questions.
It is beneficial to create quick reference guides for your sales team that answer common questions and provide links to high-quality content. This will allow them to work more efficiently and effectively.
The top of the funnel is the most important part of any marketing and sales strategy. In order for your company’s message to be well-received by potential customers, you need a good plan that starts from the beginning of their purchasing journey. Top of the funnel marketing does this effectively.
Our team of digital marketing experts would love to discuss your goals with you today