Marketing, sales, lead generation funnels
A lot is said about funnels in B2B marketing, including who owns each stage of it, what each stage is, and (maybe most importantly) what you're supposed to do in each stage of the funnel. What's important to understand is that the marketing funnel is not set in stone. Different companies use marketing funnels in different ways, for example- tracking website conversions or determining how new content affects sales.
Which can make it really confusing when we're talking about top-of-the-funnel content. However, top-of-the-funnel content is one of the most powerful tools to grow your business. Let's talk about why top-of-the-funnel content is crucial to business growth — and how to create it.
What, exactly, is a marketing funnel?
You've already probably heard about the marketing funnel by now. First, let's define what a marketing funnel actually is in order to get the most out of top-of-the-funnel content. A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the steps in the buyer's journeyfrombecoming aware of your product or service to closing the deal. The number of steps in a marketing funnel can be ranged from five to nine depending on who you talk to.Here's what it might look like in real life:
- Step 1 - Awareness: 100 leads visit your website. They might not all be in your target audience and they might not be interested in your offer. But they are pulled in by content that addresses challenges they face. But they're attracted by content that touches the topics they're interested in.
- Step 2 - Consideration: Among those 100 visitors, maybe 25 are really in your target audience and know they need a solution. They match your perfect customer profile and they know they need a solution. What you have to do is just to show that your offer is the most suitable for them.
- Step 3 - Intent: So, They are interested in your offer and what now? Maybe they visited your pricing page after a demo, or suggested they are ready to buy.
- Step 4 - Evaluation: This is where leads make their final decision: Buying or not. Most of the time, sales and marketing will work together to confirm this stage goes fluently.
- Step 5 - Decision: Closing the deal and making sure to provide qualitative after sales service in order to keep your lead satisfaction and consideration for the future.
Top of the funnel content vs bottom of the funnel
What is the difference between content at the top of the funnel and content at the bottom? Content at the top of the funnel is broader and can address topics that interest your ideal customers, even if the content doesn't related directly to your product or service.The main goal of top-of-the-funnel content is to educate or inform. In contrast, the bottom-of-the-funnel content is more related to the sales aspect.
What are the benefits of top-of-the-funnel content?
Top of the funnel content tends to be broader and targets a wider audience. Why should you bother with it, especially since it often attracts businesses outside of your target market?
Let's look at the few reasons why TOFU content rules
- Competition first: Think about the main keywords of your business targets. There's a good chance those are highly competitive terms. With TOFU content, you can find key terms with a smaller search volume and less competition, making it easier to stand out.
- Brand awareness development: Businesses can't buy from you if they don't know you exist. By creating top-of-the-funnel content, you get your name out there, so leads already recognize you when it's time to make a purchase.
- Built trust: Trust can be a deciding factor in the marketing funnel. Using top-of-the-funnel content, you can show your expertise and build trust. When leads need the solution you offer, the trust is already there.
- Create assets your sales team can use: TOFU content can educate users so sales teams spend less time educating and more time selling.
- Power of retargeting: If your content gets organic traffic, you can track those users and retarget them on other platforms or create targeted sales lists.
- Discover what topics your customers are most interested in: Need content ideas for the middle or bottom of the funnel? See what topics your top customers like most by looking at the most popular top of the funnel content. Then, create content targeting more niche keywords.
How to find top-of-the-funnel content ideas
Now you know what the top of the funnel content is and why it matters — let's put all that knowledge to work. The following strategies will help you come up with top-of-the-funnel content ideas that will drive traffic, inform your audience, and boost your sales.
- Research your main keywords and look for related, long-tail terms. These will be topics related to your main keywords but won't be as competitive.
- Use Google suggest and people also ask. Like related keywords, they are more likely to be long-tail and less competitive.
- Use related sites to find out what questions your audience asks. Remember, these topics don't have to be closely related to your solution, just topics your customers care about.
- Solve common problems your users have, even if they aren't related to your business.
- Ask sales and customer service what questions they get asked the most. See if any questions make sense as TOFU content.
Top of the funnel content is key to filling your marketing and sales pipeline
If you want to close deals, you need qualified ones. The only way to get qualified leads is to fill the top of your funnel. That's why top-of-the-funnel marketing (and specifically content) is so important to long-term business growth. If the top of your funnel is empty, so is the bottom of your funnel.