Sales teams need a high influx of new leads in order to achieve their goals. Therefore keeping new business leads in the pipeline is a constant need. Marketers can help fill this need and improve their organizational value by generating new leads at the top of the funnel.
When you only convert sales-ready leads—for example, when your only digital lead capture is a “contact us” form or simply a phone number to call—you lose out on the majority of people visiting your brand online who are not ready to buy.
So by opening up top of funnel conversion opportunities you immediately widen your lead pool. And by nurturing these top of funnel leads, you create new sales opportunities, too.
The best top of funnel marketing strategies is targeted to help bring in relevant B2B leads who could be a good business fit, not just any website traffic.
Here are the most common and most effective strategies.
Video is the web’s hottest medium. It’s not looking like this will change anytime soon. A lot of people prefer to watch than read or interact. Fair enough.
I’ll spare you all the “growth of video content” statistics you see on so many sales and marketing blogs and simply suggest you make video an element of the ToFU content you promote via advertising and social channels.
Your options are immense. Consider one or more of the following approaches:
- How-to’s, tutorials, or “explainer” videos
- Short video courses
- Live streams you’ve archived
- Customer stories
- User-generated content (UGC)
- Product demos (Some may be more aligned to the middle or bottom of the funnel)
Promote worthy content
Think about your goals. Obviously, when we’re talking about investing ad dollars in driving people from a website “in the wild” to yours, we’re talking about brand awareness.
- But think also about subsequent goals…
- Can you capture an email address?
- Can you start a meaningful conversion?
- Can you get a newbie to share your content?
- How might you inspire a ToFU prospect to make his or her way quickly into a try-or-buy scenario?
Of course, you can promote product pages, special offers, and blog posts, but don’t limit your options. Get creative and experiment.
Tools and templates
The utility is the name of the game in content marketing and magnetic as all get-out. An immensely powerful way to attract new prospects is to provide practical tools or templates. The Website Grader from HubSpot is an epic example. It’s been kicking butt and taking names (and email addresses) for years. Use your imagination and perhaps some budget for development and you can conceive all kinds of digital tools, such as:
- Widgets and plugins for websites and blogs
- Predesigned and/or prewritten templates
If we are about to climb a steep and scary mountain, we prefer to have a guide who’s scaled the terrain before.
This little slice of psychology makes for a simple, practical as well as a powerful approach to creating and promoting content via advertising.
Write, design, or record a how-to.
The how-to form of content is the master, and main man of top-of-the-funnel content. It’s what people seek. Your prospects have a question. They want to know how to accomplish something meaningful. You have an answer.
Compose, publish, and promote it.
Want help getting started? Fill in the blank with a lesson you can deliver.
How to ___________________ .
Want a variation? Review the title you created and 86 the “how to.” It’s still a how-to with potentially immense pulling power. Here’s an example (which you’ll notice is inspired by the topic of this post:
- How to create effective top of the funnel content to build awareness for your brand.
- Create an effective top of the funnel content to build awareness for your brand.
Netizens love visual content. Infographics have proven to have enormous staying power as click magnets, making them an ideal top-of-the-funnel content play.
The behavior of social media enthusiasts has proven time and again, infographics do very well for inspiring social shares, earning backlinks, and republication. My experience with creating infographics has proven this to be true and then some.
Account-based marketing (ABM) strategies vary dramatically from company to company depending on your business and target audiences. The execution strategy outlined below focuses on top of funnel ABM content execution best practices for B2B acquisition and expansion marketing.
As a reminder, in account-based marketing, it’s easy to go too deep on the content so that you’re putting forth a lot of effort for a slight bump in conversions. In your ABM content strategy, it’s imperative to consider which pieces of content you’ll use when they need personalized content and how often that content will need to be refreshed. Be sure to track the ROI on your content to determine the apex of an optimal balance between effort and conversion rates before hitting the rate of diminishing returns.
Keep it Flowing
Once you have tactics like these in place, you’ll be well-positioned to keep your funnel full of new leads. And, once you can do that, you can keep your funnel flowing with acceleration activities like nurture campaigns that are designed to strengthen relationships and turn those leads into customers.