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How to Attract Leads Using Top of the Funnel Marketing

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Written by:Jyothiikaa Moorthy

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As a business owner, you want to get more sales. And to do that, you need to increase the number of leads you have because only then you'll be able to nurture more people and get them to buy from you.

This is where the top of the funnel marketing comes in. It helps you reach a large audience and uses content as bait to fish for leads.

goofy fishing

If you don't know how to fish for leads, you're at the right place. Let us look at what top of the funnel marketing is, how it works, its benefits, and how to implement it for your business.

Table of contents

What is top of the funnel marketing?

Top of the Funnel (TOFU) marketing, as the name suggests, is the topmost tier of the marketing funnel where marketers create content to reach a large audience, create brand awareness, and generate leads or potential MQLs.

marketing funnel

How does top of the funnel marketing work?

In this stage, your aim with top of the funnel marketing will be to produce educational and useful content for your target audience and get their attention.

However, make sure that most of your content addresses your audience's pain points and what they need rather than actively promoting your product or service.

Most marketers use the following channels for top of the funnel marketing:

  • Social media

  • Landing pages with lead magnets like white paper, ebook, etc

  • Influencer outreach programs

  • Blog

  • Website

  • SEO

  • Online ads

  • Video marketing - youtube

You will try to educate your audience through all these platforms, get them interested, and direct them to your website or get their email ids. So, with top of funnel content, you should be able to drive traffic to your website or get leads.

For example, we created an ebook on the State of Email 2022 addressing the progress of email in 2021 and how it will be in 2022. We discussed mistakes email marketers make and how they can fix them.

This ebook is a part of our top of the funnel content. And we direct people to a landing page where they can enter their name, email id, etc., to download the ebook. With this ebook, we aim to help people in the email marketing journey, and by doing so, we become a thought leader in the industry who provides a reliable source of information. This earns people's trust and motivates them to try our email marketing services.

But that's not all. Do you remember that people entered their email ids to get the ebook? When they provided their contact information, they became a lead. So, now with top of funnel content, they have built awareness trust while also getting leads.

Now they've gotten leads, what do they do next? After acquiring the leads, they move down the funnel to the next tier, the middle of the funnel (shown in the image above).

In MOFU, you nurture them and determine if they are ready to become marketing qualified leads or sales qualified leads. And if they respond well to all your nurturing efforts, they'll move down to the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) and convert into paying customers.

Why is top of the funnel marketing important?

By now, it's clear that top of the funnel marketing has many benefits. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Helps you create brand awareness

When you constantly post content and appear in people's social media feeds or search results, people notice your brand and are aware of your product, service, or what problem you solve for them.

And, when you keep creating content that addresses people's pain points and solves them, they are likely to think of you as a thought leader who provides high-quality, credible content.

  • Helps you get leads and build your email list

People usually have to provide their email to get your content, like a newsletter or report. When they do that, they automatically become leads because they have provided their contact information.

These leads are lukewarm because they are interested in your content and could even become MQLs. And, you also grow your email list because they provide their email id to get the content.

7 top of the funnel marketing channels

Let's get down to business and discuss different top of the funnel marketing channels you can try.

1. Blogs and SEO

People usually search on Google to find solutions to their problems. So, if you create educational content that solves their problems, they are more likely to be interested in you.

When you write the blog posts, ensure that your main intent is to solve a problem, not plug your product. Only plug when it's relevant.

This is great but completely useless if no one sees it, where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. If a customer searches for a particular topic, your article on it should appear in their search results, preferably on the first page.

Actionable tip: If you want to get leads directly from these sources, add inline or pop-up signup forms on the article webpage.

2. Social media

Social media is another platform that people use to reach their audience organically. You can use any social media platform that suits your business and its needs. And create content suitable for that platform.

For example, the content shown through graphics for Instagram, short bite-size text content for Twitter, business stuff for LinkedIn, etc. Here's how we have promoted our TOFU content on Twitter.

Through social media, your aim can be to increase organic reach and awareness, build community, promote your lead magnet, and direct traffic to your website, where you can convert them into leads.

Actionable tip: Create a cohesive brand image and messaging across the platforms to ensure that people don't get confused about who you are and what you do.

3. Influencer outreach

Using influencers in your top of the funnel marketing can be highly effective because of the trust the audience has in the influencer. So, you choose an influencer in your niche and get them to talk about your product by providing them free access to your product or paying them for the sponsorship. This will create awareness and easily earn people's trust in you because a fellow influencer they follow has talked about you.

Actionable tip: If you want to make the most out of this type of marketing, start working with micro-influencers since they can better connect with their audience and result in better conversion.

Also read: Affiliate Marketing for Beginners: Guide to Becoming an Earning Affiliate

4. Cold emailing

This is a controversial top of the funnel marketing strategy where you send emails to potential clients you've had no prior connection. And, because you have no connections with these people, they are called cold leads.

People do this in hopes that they might find your product interesting and become a lead. And, if they become a lead, brands will try to warm up the cold leads and improve their relationships from strangers to business alliances.

But, it is easy to mess up with this strategy, so we recommend that you either completely avoid it or proceed with caution. Check out our guide on cold emailing to learn how to do it properly.

5. Public relations (PR)

You can create public relations campaigns to get more people talking about your brand in top-tier media outlets. It will boost your brand's credibility and generates leads. You can do this with an in-house PR team or use an external firm to do it for you.

6. Lead magnet

As the name suggests, it's just a simple piece of content created to attract leads. First, you would have to look at what problems your clients face. Now, decide what lead magnet you will create to provide solutions to these questions.

Here are some of the lead magnets you can create:

  • Ebook

  • Webinar

  • Reports

  • Checklists

  • Calculators

  • White papers

  • Newsletters

  • Courses

  • Cheatsheet

After creating your lead magnets, you need to create a landing page for them. A landing page is necessary as you can send them straight to the lead magnet and not your home page.

Actionable tip: On the landing page, make sure you place a form to collect email ids from people who want to download your lead magnet.

Related guide: A Guide to Landing Page Optimization for Maximum Conversions

As soon as they submit their email id, you need to send them the lead magnet to their inbox. This is a foolproof way to gather leads because you know they are interested in you.

7. Online ads

So far, the strategies we have discussed are mostly organic and non-paid options. Last but not least, you can use paid advertising to create awareness and generate leads.

Here are the different ads you can create:

  • Google ads

  • Retargeting ads

  • Facebook ads

  • LinkedIn ads

  • Email ads

And many more.

Actionable tip: Create ads that target people who resemble your ideal customer profile (ICPs) to get better results from your paid marketing efforts.

Related guide: How to Create Successful Display Ads

How to measure the success of your TOFU marketing strategy?

So you have done a few of the strategies mentioned above. Now how do you see if they were successful or not?

You can look at the following metrics to measure your reach, engagement, and leads generated for SEO and content marketing.

  • Impressions on your blog pages

  • Traffic

  • Clicks

  • Sessions

  • Bounce rate

  • Page rank

  • Signups

  • Email id capture.

You can measure these metrics using Google Analytics, Hubspot, and Trueranker. To find out how many people submitted their email IDs, you can open your ESP and check how many email IDs you gathered from your blog pages.

In Mailmodo, you can import your contacts via API. So, you can see how many leads you have generated from a particular API, which could be the signup form on your blog or landing page.

If you want to know how you can run this for your business, book a demo with us to learn how it works.

For social media and influencer outreach, you can track the following metrics:

  • Reach

  • Likes

  • Shares

  • Followers

  • Website link clicks

  • Signups

  • Leads generated

You can use the in-built analytics in the social media app to track most of the metrics mentioned above. You can use both Google Analytics and your CRM to see the number of leads generated or signups.

You can track how many responses you got from the people you sent the campaign to for cold emails.

For lead magnets, you can track

  • Landing page rank on google

  • Lead magnet downloads

  • Sessions

  • Visitors

  • Where traffic comes from, etc

And finally, for paid advertising, you can track:

  • Signups

  • Leads generated

  • Reach

  • Cost per lead (CPL)

  • Clicks, etc

You can change these metrics according to your business needs and track ones suited for it. You know your strategy is going well with a steady increase in reach and leads generated.

Make your TOFU today

TOFU is essential for you to create brand awareness and acquire new customers. So start creating your TOFU content today. Actual tofu may taste disgusting and dry, but make sure your TOFU is flavorful and nourishing for your audience.

Before creating your TOFU content, check out our article on integrated marketing to make your content cohesive across all platforms.

What you should do next

Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

  1. Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.

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  3. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.

✍️ Author -Jyothiikaa Moorthy

Jyothiikaa has one year of experience creating content strategies for growing startups and B2B companies. Her expertise lies in email marketing and email design.

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