Top of Funnel
ToFu is great for generic mass appeal, but hella bland if you don't add your own flavor to it.
WHAT IS TOP OF FUNNEL?
Top-of-funnel marketing is designed to make prospects aware of your business, grab their attention, and arouse interest in your solution. Think of it as a friendly, no-pressure introduction to your brand.
If you want your car to run (and not blow up on the spot), then you need to make sure it has oil. That means every now and again you have to pour oil through a filter and into the engine compartment. Turns out, a business runs basically the same way, and mechanics and marketers have (kinda, sorta) the same job: If you want your business to be successful, you need prospects to enter your "sales funnel" and come out the other side as paying customers.
For most businesses, the sales funnel has 3 basic stages: top-of-funnel (ToFu), middle-of-funnel (MoFu), and bottom-of-funnel (BoFu). The "top-of-funnel" stage is also known as the "awareness" stage. It's where consumers learn about your business for the first time.
What are top-of-funnel assets?
ToFu assets aren't only for vegans. They include virtually everything that you use to make consumers aware of your business in the first place. You may have a variety of these assets:
- Blog posts: High-level blogs and articles are a great way to introduce readers to your business (as long as they steer clear of really technical language).
- Videos: People love watching videos. (Books? What are those?) Short, engaging video ads can increase your business' exposure across several marketing channels.
- Display ads: You can reach your target consumers on the websites and/or social media networks of their choice with eye-catching display ads.
Of course, these are just a few common examples of top-of-funnel assets. This category boils down to any piece of marketing content that makes consumers aware of your brand, product, or service.
How is top-of-funnel different from the other funnel stages?
Top-of-funnel is the "awareness" stage of the sales funnel. It's very different from the middle stage of the funnel ("evaluation") or the bottom of the funnel ("decision"). For example:
- Your objective in the "awareness" stage should be to generate brand awareness and arouse interest. In the "evaluation" stage, your goal should be to provide evidence that your solution is best, and in the "decision" stage, your primary aim is to close the sale.
- Top-of-funnel content is different from content in other stages of the sales funnel. For instance, you wouldn't use comparison charts, white papers, or 20 percent off discounts as top-of-funnel content. Save those for prospects who are farther down the funnel and more interested in the nuances of your solution versus a competitor's.
- "ToFu" marketing typically has a wider reach compared to "MoFu" and "BoFu."
How can you increase top-of-funnel traffic?
Every business is different, so there's no one right answer to this question. However, there are certain things you can do to spread the word about your brand:
- Pay attention to SEO. Search engine optimization is one of the number one ways to grow your brand presence online. As you post SEO-driven content on a regular basis, you'll gradually increase your business' chances to show up in the top search results for specific keywords.
- Diversify your marketing mix. In other words, don't put all of your marketing eggs in one basket. Use a variety of marketing channels to distribute your top-of-funnel content, including organic SEO, paid search, social media, Google My Business, Yelp, and so on.
- Make sure your content is good. You can reach as many consumers as you want, but if your top-of-funnel content is sub-par, they'll have no reason to stick around. (We know, good content is hard. Why do you think so many businesses outsource their content creation?)
Long story short: If your funnel is empty, your business won't go anywhere. Top-of-funnel content will help make your audience aware of your brand, filling up your funnel so you can nurture them all the way to the bottom (and the sale).
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