Understanding the different stages of a marketing funnel, and what techniques to deploy to engage your audience at each stage is critical for a successful marketing strategy. While mid funnel engagement and bottom of funnel engagement are stages where you should be trying to ‘funnel’ customer leads toward a purchase or conversion, top of funnel is where you find those potential customers in the first place.
Top of funnel is the stage in a marketing strategy where brands aim to raise awareness for their company and its products, and generate initial interest to drive people toward their next round of content. Top of funnel is a great place to do initial education about what your brand or company is, and to find creative ways to grab people’s attention. Here are 5 top of funnel marketing strategies to help grow your brand’s marketing lead funnel:
Social media is one of the most powerful top of funnel marketing channels. Feeds on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn are full of brands connecting with people and raising awareness for their brand and products or services. Through social media marketing, companies can raise awareness for their brand and get discovered by potential customers. Posting updates about new products, sharing helpful tips and information, and posting interactive content like asking questions and posting polls are all great examples of social content to raise brand awareness.
Another key tip for top of funnel marketing via social media is to not only post content for people to discover, but to also directly engage people via comments and direct messages. Responding to conversation threads relevant to your brand with insightful comments, answering people’s questions, or even posting a simple thank you for someone’s comment or share are all social media marketing efforts that garner brand awareness.
Examples of social media marketing content types and strategies to leverage for your brand:
For more social media marketing tips, read Sprout Social’s Social Media Marketing Tips for Every Platform.
Blogs are a top and mid funnel marketing channel that can be powerful because of the opportunity they offer to share first hand perspectives with your audience, and to share useful, engaging content with them. Blogs can be a vehicle for sharing video, embedding imagery, and sharing lists of tips and helpful resources. This makes them excellent for attracting people’s interest, and bringing them to your website looking for information.
Blog posts are versatile in that they can be shared across your other channels and repurposed, making them a key component of most digital marketing funnels. Blog posts can be shared on social media, highlighted in email newsletters, and linked on your website and in online store product listings. Blog posts’ versatile nature are what make them a content type that can be leveraged at the top of funnel stage to generate early awareness for your brand (i.e. when they are shared on social media and people discover your brand through them), and can also play a critical role at the mid funnel stage as they educate your customers and bring them closer to your point of sale on your website.
Examples of blog content types to include in your marketing strategy:
Try HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator to come up with more blog concepts to leverage for your brand.
Video content is one of the more engaging content types brands can leverage to connect with their audiences and share information. Website landing pages and blog posts are another great place to leverage video, as pages with video content embedded are proven to deliver higher rates of lead conversation than pages without. Video-centric channels like YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram present an opportunity to leverage video as a vehicle for people to discover your brand, and to provide your audience with value.
Top forms of video content to share on your marketing channels:
Helping potential customers see themselves within your brand and products is a powerful marketing strategy. Sharing case studies about how customers use your brand’s products and services helps people to relate their own problems and needs to what you have to offer.
Case studies that explain how a customer used and benefited from your products and lists of customer reviews are examples of case study content you can create. Don’t have any customers willing to be featured, or don’t have customer reviews yet? Write use case articles that explain how customers can benefit from your products. An example for a marketing company would be to write one article about how social media marketing customers would benefit from their services, and another about how customers benefit from their digital advertising services.
Blogs or website landing pages are a great place to write and publish case studies. Case study blogs and web pages can be linked in prominent areas on your website for people to discover, and can be shared across your other marketing channels like social media and email newsletters.
For more information about creating case studies, check out Neil Patel’s 8 Tips for Creating a Great Case Study.
Along with video, images are another content format that engages audiences and can serve as a key communication tool. Well designed social media graphics give you the opportunity to share useful information, and visually communicate your brand and make it memorable, and draw higher engagement rates than social media posts without an image. In his article ‘6 Types of Visual Content You Need to Use in Your Marketing Campaign’, Neil Patel discusses how 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and articles with images get 94% more views than those without images. And according to Buffer, Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
With these stats in mind, finding a way to incorporate images and graphics into your content marketing efforts is a huge opportunity to generate top of funnel brand awareness. Try these visual content types for your brand:
Check out Brand Credential’s Marketing Resources guide for more design tools you can use to create compelling social media graphics.
Top of funnel marketing is a critical stage in your audience’s journey to becoming customers and brand advocates. Top of funnel channels like social media and content marketing are tools for raising brand awareness, and increasing the size of your marketing funnel. Interested in learning more about marketing funnels? Read our break down explaining each of the marketing funnel stages.
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