Contentmarketing is an effective form of marketing and can help you gain more readers and more credibility in your industry. Content marketing is useful for generating many prospects, but this blog aims to explain how to use content marketing to generate top of the funnel prospects.
What’s Meant by Top of the Funnel?
The sales funnel, or marketing funnel is a visual concept in marketing that represents pulling in a wide group of visitors and narrowing them down a visual funnel until a purchase is made or a customer is acquired (Animas Marketing, 2020). Top of funnel content, often recognised by the acronym TOFU, is content that reaches a wide range of potential customers. This type of content should build your brand identity and create awareness of your brand through the publication of educational and helpful resources. As people read through your content, they will begin to see solutions to their problems. This process can take time, but it can be worth it when you see the results. As the process develops, it is followed by middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel strategies. The next step should focus on inbound marketing with refined messages; followed by sales enablement initiatives that aim to convert prospects; and finally, methods that aim to keep customers (Guido Bartolacci). This results in higher conversion rates and loyal customers.
Research suggests that a customer engages with 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep (Sui, Eric). This highlights the importance of ensuring your content is helpful enough to guide them through to the next phase of the buying journey and to stand out against your competitors. In today’s competitive landscape, it’s difficult to get your content noticed. But on top of this, your content will not be the only content available. With this in mind, it’s important for brands to know which questions to answer and which content types are best suited for TOFU marketing.
Top of the Funnel Content
The most common content types for top of the funnel prospects include blog posts, social media posts, infographics, videos and podcasts. TOFU content is all about reaching a wide audience and generating brand awareness. Therefore, you need to consider how to get your content noticed by a large audience. Google ads are often used to direct audiences to these resources; when a user’s Google search is closely related to your content, your Google ads will appear and can be used and direct them to the answers your content provides. Another important tactic that must be considered is search engine optimisation (SEO). If you optimise your content for search terms related to your niche, then it will have very high search engine rankings and you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your website/content.
TOFU content should always be free, and rarely be gated. The aim of TOFU content isn’t to capture user information or charge them for your resources, it’s to provide answers, get your brand noticed, and leave a good impression. Remember, at this stage, some of your audience may not even be aware of their ‘problem’, so they are unlikely to provide information or payment to review your content.
The content at the top of the funnel is all about addressing the customer’s interests and needs. You need to grab their attention and persuade them that you provide value. Writing about a topic that your target audience are concerned about is a good way to generate engagement. TOFU content should not be promotional or sales focused, so finding other ways to engage your audience is essential for success.
Get creative and produce the best content out there. Mix up your content formats and run A/B test. ‘How to’ videos often perform well, as they provide an engaging way to easily digest helpful information. Infographics are a visual way to present a lot of information, without boring or overwhelming your readers. The best advice we can give is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes- What content would you be likely to read and remember when making an initial query on Google? If you struggle to map this out, use your Google Analytics account to see which content is being viewed the most, use your social media channels to determine which post types generate the best engagement and then build your TOFU content strategy around these insightful statistics. TOFU marketing takes some creativity and knowledge on how to get your content seen, but is, arguably, the most important step in generating leads.
TOFU marketing takes some creativity and knowledge on how to get your content seen, but is, arguably, the most important step in generating leads. Content marketing for TOFU prospects is one of the easiest ways to get more website traffic and to help your business grow. The most successful companies in the world spend at least 90% of their advertising budget on content. It is essential for your success. So don’t pass up an opportunity to put fresh content out there. If you can do this consistently, your bottom line should take off dramatically.