A top-of-funnel marketing strategy increases brand recognition, highlights a target audience, and promotes lead generation. Reasons for having a solid top-of-funnel marketing campaign are detailed below.
What Is Top-Of-Funnel Marketing?
Creating an effective marketing funnel requires understanding the buyer's journey. Before purchasing from a business, a potential customer must know that the product exists. Product awareness is increased through quality content and marketing campaigns.
The beginning stages of a buyer's journey are the awareness and research phases. Top-of-funnel marketing, or “tofu” marketing, aims at raising awareness among potential customers through marketing campaigns. Tofu marketing is designed to educate users, nurture prospects, and generate leads for a business.
All businesses should continually focus on top-of-funnel marketing to stay relevant and increase their potential customers. However, top-of-funnel marketing is specifically necessary for new businesses that need more visits to their web page.
How The Marketing Funnel Works From Top To Bottom
A customer journey leads new prospects through a sales funnel. The sales funnel consists of 3 major steps: awareness, consideration, and purchase. Each step or touchpoint of a sales funnel directly leads to the next one. Therefore, an effective marketing funnel will encourage target audiences to engage at each customer journey phase.
Top-Of-Funnel (ToFu): Awareness
The top-of-funnel is the awareness phase of a customer journey. As stated earlier, potential customers must know that a brand exists before considering and purchasing a product/service. Increasing brand awareness and enticing customers into a marketing funnel is achieved through various types of advertisements and social media content.
Moreover, the awareness stage can funnel prospects toward the consideration or interest stage.
Middle-Of-The-Funnel (MoFu): Interest (or Consideration)
The middle of the funnel is when a customer considers purchasing from a business. Many sites and competitors exist, and 85% of consumers research products before buying a product. Creating a great site that is easy to read and offers educational materials is crucial to increasing visit-to-purchase conversion rates and marketing qualified leads.
On average, 3% of customers visiting a landing page will purchase a product or service. However, some businesses convert prospects at higher rates of 10-15%. Businesses can increase lead-to-customer conversion rates by having an up-to-date website that displays paying customers' testimonials or other indicators of a site's validity.
Bottom-Of-The-Funnel (BoFu): Purchase
The bottom of the funnel consists of paying customers. Beyond the initial purchase, successful businesses encourage brand loyalty through various sales tactics.
A tactic to increase revenue from a paid customer is to encourage brand loyalty. Customer loyalty is developed by creating a relationship beyond the initial purchase. For instance, frequently touching base with past customers through email marketing, offering discounts, or encouraging a reward system are great ways to increase customer loyalty.
After a customer has become loyal to a brand, customers can be used to spread brand awareness. Positive opinions and recommendations from past customers are the most potent form of advertising.
Why Is Top-Of-Funnel Marketing Important?
The top-of-the-funnel marketing focuses on building awareness about your brand. Many customers in this stage of the sales journey are aware of problems and searching for potential solutions. This is also referred to as the information-gathering phase.
The ultimate goal for any business is to prove to prospective customers that their product/service is the answer to the customer's problems. Customers must first be made aware of the product and what it does for the business to gain purchases and revenues.
Therefore, top-of-funnel marketing is a crucial stepping stone in the customer journey before any sales can be made.
Upper Funnel Vs. Lower Funnel Marketing
Not to be confused with Top-of-Funnel and Bottom-of-Funnel, you have Front End and Back End sales (sometimes abbreviated as FE & BE).
Upper funnel marketing (FE) aims to widen a customer base and help new prospects enter the awareness stage of a sales journey. This type of marketing serves new businesses with low brand awareness or businesses who want to diversify their target audience. Front End products and promotions are typically focused on increasing customer acquisition (more new clients) and improving average order value (boosts cash flow and reduces net cost per acquisition of new customers).
On the other hand, lower funnel marketing (BE) aims at driving sales revenue by upselling, offering discounts/free trials and implementing a rewards system. Generally, lower funnel marketing is more beneficial to larger companies with high levels of product recognition. Back End products, and the marketing campaigns that sell them, are typically focused on increasing customer lifetime value (LTV) and the frequency a customer purchases products & services from your business.
If Front End is focused on getting more buyers, Back End is focused on getting those buyers to buy more stuff more often. Successful entrepreneurs and marketers are crystal clear about the purpose with every single campaign they create and where it fits in the funnel.
Benefits Of Top-Of-Funnel Marketing
Top-of-funnel marketing has many benefits because it helps users who are still in the awareness stage of their customer journey. Here are a few reasons why tofu marketing is so effective.
Not As Competitive
Top-of-funnel marketing is less competitive than lower-funnel marketing because a brand does not have to compete with other businesses directly in order to increase awareness.
Builds Brand Awareness
Successful top-of-funnel marketing strategies cultivate brand and product awareness among consumers. Moreover, top-of-funnel marketing tactics allow a company to keep loyal customers: a process called "lead nurturing."
Builds Trust From Potential Customers
Once a business has new leads, it is important to build trust, called lead nurturing. A brand can establish trust through continual top-of-funnel content marketing to attract potential customers.
Creates Assets Your Sales Team Can Use
Top-of-funnel marketing focuses on increasing brand awareness and creating educational content. When a customer is educated on a product or service, a sales team can use marketing materials to educate users so that they can focus on selling the product/service.
Powers Retargeting Efforts
After analyzing sales data, a business creates branded content to appeal to a target market. For instance, a product that appeals to men in the United States in their 20s will have vastly different advertisements than brands focusing on enticing 50-year-old women.
Moreover, a business can use top-of-funnel marketing to appeal to a new customer base.
Discovers What Topics Your Customers Are Most Interested In
Top-of-funnel marketing tactics allow a business to cast a wide net and increase the number of qualified leads. Additionally, a business can analyze the appeal of content on various subjects through user engagement and website traffic.
Essentials Of Full-Funnel Marketing
Full-funnel marketing strategy depends on the type of business. For instance, a SaaS will operate differently than a business promoting a physical product. Regardless of the business model, implementing a full-funnel marketing strategy is essential to identifying pain points and gathering key metrics to measure success.
A business can better identify target markets by gathering data from website visitors and social media platforms. This data allows businesses to create content that lures potential clients.
A Unified Set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs create opportunities for a business to recognize pain points in a sales funnel quickly. This allows businesses the flexibility to tweak a marketing funnel to have better conversion rates between each funnel stage.
An Updated Media Mix Model For Integrated Spending
By analyzing data, a business can diagnose which portions of a marketing funnel are good investments in order to optimize revenue
A Full-Funnel Operating Model
A full-funnel operating model takes a holistic approach to view an entire marketing strategy. At each stage, marketing specialists calculate conversion rates to optimize the number of people traveling through the sales funnel from top to bottom.