Top-of-the-Funnel Content and Why does it Matter so Much for Your Business?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Content marketing is about creating brand awareness, creating authority in the mind of the customer, building trust, and finally getting him to make a purchase. It is organic marketing. There is no push here. Only pull.

If that pull has to happen, you need to be offering something that will attract your customers to your brand. You need helpful content, content that will help solve a problem or answer a query that a customer had in mind when he began the search.

And that is where the top of the funnel in your marketing game becomes important. The content that you create at this stage is what helps you achieve all the above goals.

At the top of the funnel, you are casting the net very wide, and trying to attract more and more people to your brand. And the content that is used here has very specific properties.

Let us understand more of that below. But let’s begin with the basics first by understanding what is the marketing funnel.

 

What is a marketing funnel, and what is top-of-the-funnel marketing?

Picture a funnel in your mind, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. In the world of marketing, the funnel represents the journey that a potential customer takes from first hearing about your business to becoming a loyal customer. By understanding where your buyer is in the marketing funnel can help you a lot, since you can serve them what they are looking for.

Top of the Funnel - Justwords

The marketing funnel consists of different stages, each representing a specific step in the customer’s journey. Here are the various stages of a customer’s journey through the funnel.

    1. Awareness: At the top of the funnel, we have the awareness stage. This is where potential customers become aware of your brand, product, or service. They may come across your business through various channels such as social media, search engines, advertising, or word-of-mouth. At the top of the funnel, your audience is coming in with various search intent in mind. And your job is to satisfy that intent. Your job as a marketer is to offer the best top of the funnel content that satisfies the user’s search intent.
    2. Interest: As potential customers move down the funnel, they enter the interest stage. Here, they develop a genuine interest in what your business has to offer. They may start researching and exploring more about your products, reading reviews, or comparing your offerings with your competitors.
    3. Consideration: The consideration stage is where potential customers evaluate your business in more detail. They might compare prices, features, or customer reviews. At this point, they are narrowing down their options and determining whether your product or service is the right fit for their needs.
    4. Decision: Finally, we reach the decision stage, also known as the bottom of the funnel. Here, potential customers make the decision to purchase from your business. They have weighed the options, considered the value, and are ready to take the next step to become paying customers.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][hcode_blockquote blockquote_icon=”1″ hcode_blockquote_bg_color=”#E6EDFB” hcode_blockquote_color=”#000000″]Top of the funnel marketing pertains to all those strategies used to attract the audience (possible leads) into the widest part of the marketing funnel. Top of the funnel marketing is important because you are encouraging your audience to engage with your business.[/hcode_blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Top of the funnel marketing attracts the maximum number of leads and its goal is just that – get the maximum number of prospective clients to check out your brand through some kind of touchpoint.

Understanding the marketing funnel is crucial because it helps us identify the different stages a potential customer goes through before making a purchase.

 

A few things to remember for Top of the Funnel marketing

  • Know who is your customer and what he or she might be looking for at this stage. In that way, you will know what type of content to create.
  • Research the type of queries that they might have at this stage and create a list of all types of keywords that they can search with. Back it up with a good SEO campaign.
  • Create awesome content. Don’t bother with spammy, poorly-written content at this stage. This is the first impression you are trying to make with your prospect, so make sure it is a good impression.
  • Avoid being salesy at this stage. Your customer is just getting interested in you, so do not make a dash to get his phone number right away.
  • Reduce friction at this stage. Make it easy for the customer to find the content. Do not push too many form-fills at this stage.
  • Track all the top-of-the-funnel marketing strategies and understand the data to know which strategy is working better and why.

 

What is top of the funnel marketing content and what does it do?

Now, let’s zoom in on the top of the funnel and explore the significance of top of the funnel content in capturing and nurturing leads.

Content at the top of the funnel always works to create awareness, create more engagement, increase brand reach and authority, and attract more leads.

TOFU content holds significant value for marketers, serving multiple purposes and yielding several benefits.

 

Here are the main things that Top of the funnel content does –

    1. Builds awareness: At the top of the funnel, the main objective is to generate awareness about your brand and offerings. TOFU content plays a critical role in achieving this by providing valuable and informative content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. By offering relevant and engaging content, you can capture the attention of potential customers and introduce them to your brand.
    2. Establishes authority and credibility: TOFU content allows you to showcase your expertise and establish authority in your industry. By providing high-quality and reliable information, you position yourself as a trusted source of valuable insights. This helps build credibility and trust with potential customers, making them more likely to consider your business when they’re ready to make a purchase.
    3. Generates leads: TOFU content acts as a magnet for attracting leads. When you create content that resonates with your target audience, you have the opportunity to capture their contact information through lead generation tactics like newsletter sign-ups, gated content, or free downloads. This enables you to continue nurturing these leads and guide them through the rest of the marketing funnel.
    4. Nurtures leads for conversion: TOFU content plays a vital role in lead generation and nurturing. Effective TOFU content engages potential customers by addressing their pain points, answering their questions, and providing them with valuable insights.By offering valuable content, you have managed to create visibility and a very thin layer of trust with the customer. Your prospective customer has liked what he has read, and shows the potential to be nurtured further through subsequent stages of the marketing funnel. TOFU content sets the stage for further engagement and ensures a steady flow of potential customers through the marketing funnel.By focusing on providing useful information rather than promoting your products or services directly, you establish a relationship based on trust and genuine interest. This approach fosters long-term customer loyalty and encourages them to further explore what your business has to offer.

In conclusion, TOFU content works because it helps build awareness, establish authority, generate leads, and engage and educate potential customers. By crafting valuable content that addresses the needs of your target audience, you can effectively attract and nurture leads, setting the stage for long-term business growth.

 

Why does TOFU content matter?

As per a recent survey by HubSpot, TOFU constitutes some 35% of content produced by content marketing teams and businesses focus. The only other part of funnel content that gets more attention is the Middle of Funnel (MOFU).

The survey further underscores the varying significance in various industries. In some cases, TOFU can be far more important, requiring businesses to dedicate far much more resources to it. For instance, a newly launched startup might need to create a whole lot more TOFU content to quickly gain traction in their space. On the other hand, a well-established ecommerce brand with a massive customer base might need focus more on conversions-driven MOFU and BOFU content.

In other words, TOFU content is more important than nearly every other form of content in a content marketing strategy.

 

Here is why TOFU content matters and why you should pay a lot more attention while creating it.

a. Best way to attract new audience.

Think how you search on the internet. You are always searching for more information and knowledge. Even though your paid ads come at the top, no one really clicks there. At the top of the funnel, your target audience wants to know more, and that is why they prefer organic search results or rather non-salesy stuff. Hence ranking there on organic search is your best bet to get the attention of new prospective clients.

b. Best way to develop a familiarity

Top of the funnel content drives in maximum traffic because it is not salesy. Your target audience is not trapped with a sales pitch. They glide in comfortably into your website, without the pressure to buy something. They will tend to save your page and then return to it again, or even share it. Also, there is a thin layer of trust that gets built.

c. Successful top of the funnel helps better conversions

Once you create good content assets in the top of the funnel, they will start performing and you will have better conversions with content at the middle and lower end of the funnel. In fact, you can also create related and complementary content in the other two funnel stages. This will help in getting better conversions.

d. Your SEO campaign benefits from Top of the funnel content

That is because when you create TOFU content, you are also increasing the chances of ranking for more number of keywords, driving more traffic to the website, creating a lot of opportunities for internal linking to your transactional pages, creating more opportunities for developing cluster pages related to the main TOFU page and increasing Topical Authority. Not to mention that you are also keeping your target audience more engaged, hence signaling to Google that people are liking your content. This also increases your chance of ranking on SERPs. In short, TOFU content benefits your site’s SEO.

e. By creating TOFU content, you are also creating evergreen content

Since you are creating content that is full of value, answers queries of your target audience, satisfy search intent, TOFU content also satisfies Google’s E.E.A.T. factors. This is not shallow content and hence this type of content usually never gets affected by Google’s algorithm changes. So, this type of content keeps generating traffic across months, and even years (with the right upgrades).

 

Top of the Funnel content examples

Now that we understand the purpose and importance of top of the funnel (TOFU) content, let’s explore some of the best type to effectively capture potential customers and create a lasting impression.

 

SEMRush found in a recent survey that the most effective types of TOFU content are: ‘How-to’ guides (with 72% of respondents vouching for it); Landing pages (according to 35% of respondents), Infographics (28%), Ebooks and White Papers (26%), and video tutorials (23%).

 

Top of the funnel

 

Here is a closer look at each one of these content types:

  1. Informative Blog Posts:  Informative blog posts addressing common pain points and providing valuable insights can be an excellent way to attract potential customers. But you must focus on educating readers rather than promoting specific products or services. By offering practical tips, industry trends, or how-to guides, you can position your brand as a go-to resource for valuable information.
  2. Engaging Videos: Videos have become increasingly popular in content marketing, and for good reason. They engage inform using visual appeal.. Creating short and captivating videos that showcase your expertise, explain complex concepts, or share success stories can help generate interest and build brand awareness. Video platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and or social media channels provide an excellent avenue for sharing your TOFU content.
  3. Comprehensive Guides or E-books: Developing comprehensive guides or e-books that delve deeper into a specific topic can be highly effective. These resources can provide in-depth knowledge, step-by-step instructions, or comprehensive industry reports. By offering valuable insights and actionable advice, you can position your brand as a trusted authority, capturing the attention of potential customers who are seeking in-depth information.
  4. Infographics: Infographics combine visual elements with concise and informative content, making complex information easily digestible. Creating visually appealing infographics that present industry statistics, comparisons, or guides can attract attention and encourage social sharing. Infographics are highly shareable, making them an effective way to reach a wider audience and create brand awareness.
  5. Pillar Pages: Pillar pages are really elaborate content pages that are mostly centred around one single topic or concept. Typically, this type of content assets are developed to answer all types of queries that a customer might have related to a main topic or a main question. For eg, since we are a content marketing agency, it made sense to develop an exhaustive guide or a pillar page on “what is content marketing”. In this page, we have talked about everything that a user might want to know about what is content marketing – all the whys, hows, whats, and related queries that emerge from that central question. Once you have covered almost all queries related to the central page, you will ideally develop a separate cluster or child pages to explain each section in more detail. The Pillar Page generally acts as an anchor for all cluster topics and keywords.
  6. Social Media Posts: The best part of social media is its ability to get a lot of attention to the content that is being published and a good amount of word-of-mouth from that.
    However, due to the changing dynamic of social media algorithms and the falling organic reach, you need to have a good strategy for your social media posts. Social media posts can act as great Top of the Funnel when they are the following –
  • Informative
  • Educative
  • Offers value
  • Humanizes the brand

Remember, the key to successful TOFU content is to provide valuable information and engage potential customers without being overly promotional. By offering informative blog posts, engaging videos, comprehensive guides or e-books, and eye-catching infographics, you can create compelling TOFU content that captivates your target audience and drives them further down the marketing funnel.

 

Some great TOFU content examples

Since TOFU content is all about attracting prospects and creating the first touchpoint with the brand, the content needs to be more generic. You would ideally be covering topics that will be around a dominant seed keyword with lots of search volume. These will generally be informative and educative. This is because at this stage, your prospect is at the researching phase, and is just gathering information. Your content needs to have a “foot-in-the-door” effect.

 

TOFU Blog post example

#Example 1 – Blogs

For one of our clients, Paytabs, UAE’s leading payment gateway, we created loads of top of the funnel content around the main keywords so that their prospects, in this case small business owners, could understand what is a payment gateway and register the brand Paytabs in their mind.

The idea was to solve all the common queries that people had around payment gateways.

So we worked on topics like –

 

 

Why these blogs work –

These blogs are all trying to establish a touchpoint with the customer. The prospect here is a small business owner looking to set up an online business or expand his business to outside countries. In such a case, his first searches will be related to how to get money online and hence payment gateways. All these blogs are written with the intent to establish brand awareness for Paytabs. They are designed to appear when the target audience searches for payment gateways and offer them knowledge. That is the first touchpoint created with the prospect and the first layer of trust built. The blog format is the easiest to use in the top of the funnel since you can choose to write on a wide variety of topics that pertains to your target audience, and help them discover your service.

The aim here should be to satisfy their search intent – at this stage it is always about knowing more about how to solve their pain point. In this case, the pain point is how to get payments online, which leads them to payment gateways.

The job of the TOFU content is to establish that first touchpoint, and build that first layer of trust with the prospect. The prospect has now consumed your content, and is ready to research and know more about you.

 

#Example 2 – Podcast

At the TOFU level, podcasts work brilliantly. This is because they have the ability to reach out to the masses and generate brand awareness. Let us look at a few podcasts that do a great job as TOFU content.

Let us take the example of Wix, the website builder. The company does a great job of running a brand podcast and raising brand awareness. In the podcast, titled “Now What?”, business owners and thought leaders share their knowledge and success stories which makes for very good content for it’s the brand’s target audience – all of whom own a business.

There is also the Shopify Masters podcast, which caters to an audience interested in ecommerce as well as Shopify store owners. The podcast features great content in the form of interviews with successful business owners, who share tips and advice on how to grow your business online. This podcast does a great job of establishing Shopify as a trusted industry expert.

 

 

#Example 2 – Video format

Check out this video from Ahrefs. It is the perfect example of a great TOFU content in the form of a video.

The video is about Content Marketing for Beginners.

Why it works –

Ahrefs uses this video to target the broad audience who want to understand content marketing.

Anyone, checking the video will go away with 2 thoughts:

  • Ahrefs is a brand that knows what content marketing and sells SEO tools (brand visibility and first touchpoint created)
  • Ahrefs can be trusted when it comes to content marketing (first layer of trust built)

With this video, a prospect has entered Aherfs’ marketing funnel and is ready to move into the Middle of the Funnel.

 

#Example 3 – Pillar Pages

Pillar pages make for great TOFU content since they pack in a lot of content into them and they also act as a guide. Here are some great examples.

The first example is one from Diet Doctor. Their visually rich pillar page on keto diet has so much going for it. It has loads of information on every type of query on Keto diet, loads of visual elements, rich segmentation of categories, and excellent UX design. As a TOFU content, it answers solves user query, creates engagement and generates leads.

 

Another example of TOFU pillar page content is this one from the Yoga Journal. It focuses on different types of Yoga Poses.

 

 

What works for this content piece is it acts as a rich directory of every yoga pose under the sun and is a great piece of guide for anyone looking to do yoga. The pillar page covers a very generic and broad topic – yoga poses – and drives in a huge amount of traffic and leads for the magazine. It is also

Wrapping it up

Top of the funnel content is important since the more you attract at the top of the funnel, the more you get at the bottom. This is the simple logic. Hence getting the TOFU content to work is very critical.

A lot of times clients will insist on only creating content that focuses on their services and USP (transactional type of content that comes at the bottom of the funnel). That is not the right approach. Focussing on the TOFU is taking the long approach that is definitely going to yield results. TOFU content does not get you conversions immediately, because it is too broad and too generic. However, it is important since this type of content familiarises your audience with your brand, and helps you get more prospective leads into your funnel.

By understanding the marketing funnel and implementing effective TOFU content strategies, you can create brand awareness, establish authority, and nurture leads for future conversions. And that’s about it. Happy content creation.

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