What’s a marketing strategy without compelling content? And not just any content. You need to deliver the right content at the right time to guide your prospects through the buyer’s journey.
The marketing funnel starts with top-of-funnel (TOF) content. Unlike mid-funnel and bottom-funnel content, its sole purpose is to attract target customers, build trust and generate interest in your brand.
At the beginning of their journey, your prospects know they have a problem or a need, and they’re actively looking for solutions. They may turn to Google before stumbling upon your brand by chance.
So how can you draw them in and earn their trust before overtly trying to win the sale? You need what Google calls E.A.T. content (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness). Here are a few ways to generate the kind of mEATy top-of-the-funnel content that ranks high in web searches:
- Ask your sales team. Your prospects aren’t looking to make an immediate purchase at this stage; they want answers and options. That’s why your sales team can be a great source of inspiration for TOF content. Find out what questions they get asked so you can create content pieces rooted in real-life challenges and issues.
- Focus on telling, not selling. Remember, people want to learn how your product or service can benefit them. Think about how your solutions work to best meet their needs. Whether it’s a blog series, an infographic or a how-to video, build brand awareness by offering the practical information target customers are seeking at this early stage.
- Choose the right content formats. Aside from the previously mentioned formats, long-form content like webinars, and short-form content like checklists and social media posts can be powerful forms of TOF content. Whatever you’re using, establish your brand as the go-to resource in your industry.
- Use SEO. Buyers are out there searching for solutions that your products and services deliver on. Match your content to your prospects’ search queries. What phrases and keywords are they using? While ranking on the first page of Google might be a long-term goal, SEO tools like Moz and Yoast can get you started.
- Guide them to the next step. TOF is (obviously) just a starting point. You want to push prospects through to conversion. By providing truly useful information and a seamless experience accessing it, you’ll keep them moving down the funnel.
- Don’t forget about branding. Your content should be immediately identifiable as coming from your brand. So be consistent in style, color palette and brand voice across all channels. The whole point of this stage is to gain visibility.
Now that you have the basics of TOF content down, learn how to master mid-funnel content as you map out your content plan through the buyer’s journey.