Top of Funnel Marketing: Best Practices for 2022

Last Updated on 2022-06-16 Jessie
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What can you do to get your customers to subscribe or buy your product?

It is possible to develop innovative solutions for your sector and offer value propositions that no customer will refuse. It is clear that investing in content marketing and social media promotion, as well as website SEO optimization, are excellent ways to convert leads.

If your target audience isn't able to find you, then none of the above actions are going to matter. Employing the best marketing strategies at the top of your funnel is the only way to get potential customers.

This article will discuss awareness stage marketing objectives and the best strategies to target the top of your sales funnel.

Take a quick tour of the stages in the sales funnel

Consumers go through what is commonly known as the customer journey when deciding which products they want to purchase. This process is made up of several stages. These stages allow buyers to identify their problems, find solutions and then choose the products that best suit their needs. They then consider several factors that will impact their decision making process to decide which product to purchase.

The term "sales funnel" is used in marketing to describe a set of marketing activities that brands use to guide consumers along the customer journey, and eventually convert them into customers.

A sales funnel will generally focus on helping customers through these four steps of purchasing decision-making.

  • Awareness. This is also known as the awareness phase at the top. It is when consumers are able to identify solutions to their problems. Top-of-funnel advertising is about getting your content in front of new customers and helping them to see the value in what you have to offer.
  • Interest. After consumers become familiar with your brand they will enter the interest phase. Your job during this stage of the sales funnel is to assist consumers assess whether your solutions meet their requirements in the best way.
  • Decision. This is the stage where people make their decision about whether or not they are ready to invest in your product . To ensure they get the most value, customers will consider delivery and packaging costs, as well as reviews. Make sure you make this section of your sales funnel attractive to customers.
  • Action. Once they've collected the necessary information, the buyers move on to the next stage in the sales funnel. This is the bottom stage of your sales funnel. It's where you turn leads into customers, or let them go to your competitors.

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Awareness stage Marketing Objectives

There are many top-of-the-funnel strategies that you can use to reach your audience, as you'll see. Each strategy aims to achieve similar results.

Two common goals of awareness stage marketing are brand awareness, and emotional buy-in

Awareness of the brand

Building brand awareness is the primary goal of marketing strategies for the top end your sales funnel. This is introducing potential customers to your company.

These strategies are designed to inform the consumer about:

  • How your product works
  • What your product can do to address their needs
  • Your product's uniqueness from the offers of your competition

Empathy buy-in

Different factors influence the brands that buyers choose to support. Research shows that many factors, other than being rational and emotional, are used by buyers to choose which brands they support. The second goal of top-of funnel marketing is to build your brand's image in a way that inspires consumers to buy your products.

This can be done by using awareness stage marketing.

  • Brand trust and credibility are built
  • These values are important to your audience.
  • Highlight the advantages of having your audience become a customer for your company.
  • Talk about the risk of your customers choosing not to use your solution for their problems

Related Reading: 10 Steps for Creating a Product Landing Page That Converts

8 Marketing Strategies for Awareness Stage

Now it is time to start working.

These are great ways to increase brand awareness and introduce your products or services to prospective clients.

1. Without sales pressure, educate the public about your products

Consumers in awareness don't generally respond to sales techniques that are too aggressive.

A time-limited offer or personalized deal presented in the best moment can be great tools to convince bottom-of-the funnel consumers to purchase. But, if you try to pressure someone just starting to look at their options to make a purchase, it can damage your relationship with them.

Advertising is often distrusted by consumers. Nielsen's 2021 Total Audience Report shows that less than one fifth of consumers consider ads to be trustworthy.

This is why hard-sell tactics on segments of your customer base that are still at the top of their journey to purchase your product or service will likely hurt your reputation and bottom line.

This problem can be solved by top-of-funnel advertising. Create educational content to introduce products and services, but not pressure consumers to buy. Edelman's Trust Barometer 2022 notes that the best way to build brand trust is by providing quality information.

Transparent Labs is an excellent example of how this tactic can be applied in real life. Transparent Labs is a supplement company that heavily invests in marketing awareness to reach new customers. The company has a blog that covers a variety of topics related to fitness, making it easy for customers to "stumble across" the content.

Transparent Labs is known for its emphasis on value and not product promotion.

The brand offers helpful tips and tricks to help you lose weight, build muscle, and more in the 8 Week Guide to Body Recomposition. The most striking thing about the article is its 4,000+ word limit. Only three sentences are dedicated to Transparent Labs products.

This is enough information to inform readers of relevant solutions. It doesn't force web users to buy.

It focuses instead on increasing product awareness. Transparent Labs is also viewed positively by consumers, who trust Transparent Labs as an honest source of useful information.

2. Your content should offer real, practical solutions

Content marketing is all about creating value. This is about providing value to potential customers by educating them and sharing your knowledge.

Your brand will gain immense credibility and goodwill if you help people overcome real problems.

Many companies go so far as to offer insight that might be considered a threat for their core product. Companies understand that talking about your product is not enough to get the attention of customers at the top of their sales funnel. Instead, they should be viewed as helping friends and guiding them toward a solution.

Scott's Cheap Flights's Guide to Finding Cheap Flights will show you how much the brand's Marketing Team has bought into this concept.

This post contains 3,600 words of masterclasses in simplifying complex issues for an audience who loves to travel but is not familiar with technology.

Two consequences can result:

First, it fulfills the primary function of providing readers with a solution for a complicated problem. It also shows how much time the subscriber would be able to save by using the service.

The post does not actually address the second point. This post cleverly allows the reader to come up with this conclusion on their own.

3. Segment users based on the content they have read

Marketing at the top of your funnel allows you reach potential customers who are part of your target audience. It also allows you to optimize lower sales stages to achieve the highest possible results.

This allows you to create segments based on what content your users have interacted with.

You can target web users with related product ads or design landing pages that are optimized for their specific pain points and interests.

This is why it's so crucial for your sales funnel.

Research shows that most website visitors do not convert after their first visit. No matter how great your awareness marketing efforts are, it is important to make sure you create additional opportunities.

This is possible with retargeting. It allows you to reach your target audience with interest-specific advertisements that remind them about your products.

It also gives you an opportunity to invest in your brand's awareness even after your visitors leave your website without purchasing or signing up for your newsletter.

4. Your brand should be compelling for people to interact with and follow you.

When building a sales funnel—especially in the awareness stage of your funnel—ensure that your marketing strategies encourage consumers to connect with your company.

Social media is a great place to accomplish this.

Statista reports that many people use social media for brands and brand content engagement. According to Statista, many people use social media to connect with brands and branded content.

Statista's analysis

These stats show how effective social media is for maximizing your marketing awareness efforts.

Social media can be used to share content your audience finds interesting and engaging. Even if they don't already know a lot about your brand, they will soon become familiar with your company if your content strategy builds relationships and provides value.

Farrow & Ball is an excellent example of a company that puts effort into creating top-of-funnel content. Farrow & Ball realized that many people don't love wallpaper or paint so they decided to make their Instagram account a hub for inspiration and design ideas that will help people maximize the space in their homes.

The brand's posts, such as the one shown above, offer more than aesthetic appeal. The brand also offers valuable tips and advice that will keep consumers returning for more.

Nevertheless, this awareness-stage strategy has helped a lot of Farrow & Ball followers to visit the Instagram account of the brand the next time that they want to paint their walls. They have a better chance of moving up the sales funnel to become customers for the brand in the near future.

Mindbodygreen also does the same thing on Instagram. Although Mindbodygreen is a company that provides health coaching and education services, it understands how social media can help to build a sales funnel.

This brand posts beautiful social media content that provides valuable and new information to Instagram users. Once it's gained trustworthiness and user attention, it redirects users to the website. From there, it guides them down the sales funnel to help them capture leads and turn them into paying customers.

5. Your brand voice should be human

It is important that brands are approachable to customers.

Sprout Social surveyed 1000 consumers in 2019 to find out what their opinions were about social media, and how brands use it. According to the results, 78% of respondents looked at branded posts on social media to feel a connection. Even more fascinating is the discovery that authenticity through humanizing brands was key to building brand-consumer relationships.

Sprout Social surveyed 1,000 consumers

Knowing that people want to know more about your brand than just the products it offers, it is a good idea to try to make your voice human.

This can be done by being more open about your values and business.

GILI Sports does it on its website, where they express their intention to donate a percentage of every board to marine and ocean life charities.

This brand is unique in that its values are not empty promises. The founder updates the public about the company's progress to meet its promises. One of these updates can be seen in the video that was posted on GILI's Facebook Page at the start of 2021.

Transparency can be a way to make your brand more human and increase the effectiveness of your marketing. Your organization should be viewed as a personable, human entity that works hard to achieve its full potential.

On its website, The Body Shop offers information to buyers about the packaging it uses and its future plans. The Body Shop doesn't hide any facts. It states, for example, that 68% of its packaging is technically recyclable. The organization works towards creating fully recyclable products. It also stated that the current refill program only works for eight products.

The Body Shop's packaging info

This transparency approach is ideal for awareness stage marketing because it allows brands to reach eco-conscious customers without promising anything they can't deliver.

The Body Shop is not satisfied with the branding results. This transparent approach to marketing at the top of the funnel helps the company attract consumers who are interested in long-term investments. It also ensures that every new customer is a brand ambassador and a loyal purchaser.

6. Multi-channel promotion of your blog posts

Awareness stage marketing has one main objective: to reach as many customers as possible. Your sales funnel should employ strategies to get your content in front of these customers as efficiently as possible.

You can do this by promoting your products on many channels. A blog can be a powerful way to draw consumers. It's not the best way to convert customers.

Cross-posting is a better option. You can also invest in paid marketing to increase the likelihood that your content is seen by your audience. Hubspot has done this for its new content marketing templates.

7. With sales copy, highlight your USPs and company values

It's not enough to get people to visit your site or your social media pages. It's important to make sure they are blown away once they get there.

This is why Cocoon Tea Artisans uses a well-written copy to represent their unique selling proposition.

These are the best copywriting practices to follow when creating landing pages that will be at the top of your sales funnel.

  • Your value propositions should be clear and concise.
  • Your benefits to customers should be highlighted.
  • Inspire web users to take action with conversion-optimized CTAs
  • You can explore multiple formats. Survey data suggests that 73% prefer explainer videos to text when learning about products.
  • Website copy can help you express your brand's mission and values.

8. Create a community that is focused on solving problems rather than selling

People have to look through many options in order to find the right solution for them. This can be time-consuming and costly. Many buyers prefer to consult peers, industry professionals, and influencers when they make purchasing decisions.

There are many ways to use your knowledge in order to increase the effectiveness of awareness stage marketing. Marketers often overlook the possibility of creating communities where your brand's knowledge can be used to solve consumers' problems. This is a way to increase awareness and not create pressure to members to buy your products.

Aura, for example, does all this free of cost with its Facebook group, where it shows Amazon sellers how they can increase conversion.

The best thing about this approach is the fact that Aura's targeted audience greatly benefits from the advice and tips shared within the group. They also show that Aura can solve many consumer problems (even those that are not yet known to the group members).

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Marketing that works

Consumers are spending more time online. Reaching the highest segment of your funnel's customers can be costly or difficult. particularly if your awareness stage marketing strategies aren't optimized to maximize results and minimize costs, it will be a problem.

This guide outlines top-of-funnel strategies that can be used to build brand awareness.

You'll see great results if you take the time to find the best tips for you.

These results will not happen overnight. It's okay. These steps will help you get quick results.

It may not be cheap, but it will get your message out. It will guarantee that your customers leave a positive impression and encourage you to grow your company.

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