Growth Marketing SEO Strategy

With Top of the Funnel Content, Focus on Value to Improve Lead Quality

When building a marketing strategy designed to attract new customers, remember they will, first and foremost, be attracted to your brand because of the first impression it will leave. And that impression will be based on the value the brand offers. That is why the top of the sales funnel strategy is vital as there truly is no substitute for a first impression. And that is why it is so important to create top-of-the-funnel content that turns a site’s visitors into qualified leads. 

Stop trying to get in front of as many eyes as possible, regardless of who those eyes belong to and how realistically they are likely to engage. A better strategy is to focus on problem-solving messaging to build an initial holistic relationship that will drive the user deeper. The same holds true for the platforms that resonate with appropriate prospects. Articulating value where those prospects are comfortable is vital.

Key Characteristics of Top-of-the-Funnel Content

At the top of the funnel, content should focus on a target audience’s pain points and goals. Buyers may not know that a solution exists for their problem – or even that the problem even exists. Creating content centered on pain points and introducing solutions will draw in leads that fit the buyer profile and are at the initial stage of research.

Appropriate Formats for Top-of-the-Funnel Content

Top-of-the-funnel content should be attention-grabbing, intriguing, and easily digestible. Educational blog posts are an ideal format, with 55% of B2B marketers listing articles as the most effective content types for moving prospects through the sales funnel.

Top of the funnel content can also be:

  • Web Pages
  • Landing Pages
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • White Papers
  • Case Studies
  • Calculators
Growth Marketing Graph

These formats can all be great for building trust, demonstrating an understanding of a prospect’s challenges, and can provide solutions that resonate. Most importantly, this content must focus on the human objectives of your prospects and not overwhelm them with technical specs or process solutions. 

Finally, content at the top of the funnel should always include a strong call to action encouraging leads of the value of taking the next step. Once a prospect has shown an interest to engage, building a relationship and incentivizing them to move down the funnel through value prospective content will drive the process. For instance, a gated content offer or a webinar service sign-up are examples of appropriate CTAs. 

Preferred Channels for Top-of-the-Funnel Content

While it is easy to assume brands should look to engage with leads through every channel available, doing less, and doing it better, as opposed to spreading marketing efforts too thin, is vital to maximizing nurturing a new relationship. But this is not necessarily the best strategy. Focusing on the channels that customers are using is a better use of time and resources than trying to create and optimize content for the channels buyers aren’t using.

Search engine marketing and social media are useful channels for this stage of the funnel. With the goal of building awareness, leads may not know the brand choices available. At the top of the funnel, leads are most likely to be attracted to awareness-building content through search or social media. 

The ideal combination of channels will most likely be different for B2B and B2C businesses as well as brick & mortar versus online companies. A current customer’s path to purchase shows where they’re interacting with content and which platforms lead to conversion. These are the channels to focus on.

Top-of-the-funnel marketing should bring qualified and interested leads into a brand’s sales funnel, not inquiries that are a bad fit, competitive, or the like. Create a strong top-of-the-funnel content strategy to attract and qualify valuable leads and improve conversion rates down the line.

Learn how Blue Noda can help you build a scalable demand generation program today.

Sources:

  • Statistia, the most valuable content marketing type for moving prospects through the sales funnel according to B2B marketers in the United States in 2019
  • HubSpot, How to Create Content for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Author

B. Randall Willis

I am a Growth Marketing Strategist & Entrepreneur who loves to help companies integrate the internet into their overall business objectives.