6 top-of-funnel marketing examples that generate buzz and business
Last updated: August 7, 2023
Need to attract top-of-funnel leads and grow your audience? Expand into a new market? Keep your sales pipeline refreshed and ready to drive your business?
Prospects at the top of the funnel need to understand three things before you can start converting them into customers:
What problem your product or service solves: Sometimes this is self-evident. But some of today’s tech darlings basically created their own categories by finding an untapped problem in the market, then presenting themselves as the solution. For example, Drift saw a need for more personable automated service experience. Instead of just creating a new chatbot, they galvanized their audience by creating a new category called “conversational marketing” — and then released their tech.
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How your product in particular can solve that problem: How is your company uniquely positioned to help them solve their problem? Maybe your product’s features are truly differentiated from your competitors and/or positioned specifically for one industry. Maybe your founders/executives are leaders in your industry. Or you’ve just got a better, leaner and more convenient way to help people meet their goals with your product.
As one of the first automation tools on the market, Zapier had a very clear value prop: We save you time by connecting web apps for you. But they needed to explain how their product worked to the non-technical marketers and execs shopping their product.
Zapier worked around this in two important ways: First, they used streamlined, informative graphics to explain how their product connects different web apps. Besides just clarifying their value prop, this also gives concrete examples and encourages buyers to envision how they’d use Zapier themselves.
This example shows how someone can refer a new Omeda lead to their team, reach out to them visa Salesforce, then create a sales campaign for them — it all on autopilot. (PS: You can use Zapier to send your Omeda data to and from thousands of different apps that don’t integrate directly with Omeda. See what you can do with Zapier here!).
Second, they supplemented their product with a robust content marketing strategy. Their blog covers product news and use cases as well as related topics to marketing, productivity, leadership and remote work. And more importantly, it does it well. While that’s a big undertaking, it’s a really smart strategy for Zapier, which has broad applications for marketers in general.
What resources or tools can they use to learn more about your product/service: Buying a product/service isn’t as easy as your typical Target run. The average B2B buying decision involves 6-10 stakeholders — and they each need 4-5 resources or before committing to a purchase. We all know this in theory, but it’s easy to get impatient when it’s your sales numbers in the balance.
That’s where content comes in handy. Going back to Zapier, they have dozens of blog posts covering common use cases like 6 ways to integrate Zapier with Shopify. SEO benefits aside, this allows someone who’s already on their site to see even more potential automations and encourages further use of their product. Assets like white papers, testimonials and webinars (and even G2 and Capterra reviews) show potential customers what your business is all about and what you can do for them specifically.
But anyone with Open AI can write a blog post these days. Today’s winners need to do more than spray content at their crowd and hope for the best. Below we’ve outlined 7 steps to help accelerate your top-of-funnel audience growth strategy.
How to Accelerate Top-of-Funnel Audience Growth
1. Pair target personas with website analytics
Sure, you could just pursue the same three target personas that you have for the last 5 years. While creating audience personas is a valuable exercise, it’s worthless unless you can see how each of those groups are interacting with your company.
Omeda’s CDP and website analytics software makes it easy to do this in real time. Besides just seeing how many people visit each page, you can convert your anonymous website visitors into known leads.
Also see what forms and landing pages get the most views and the most conversions (And if these aren’t the same? You know it’s time to refresh the CTA and design of your most viewed landing pages).
This gives you a major advantage when planning your content and targeting it to different audiences.
Once you have that information, see if your most active users have any key demographic, behavioral or psychographic characteristics in common. (If you’re an Omeda user, you can run a query on specific groups within your database to identify and create these segments.) Maybe they’re all in one industry or one location. Or they’re all checking out content related to a specific application of your product, indicating that they all have the same question and same demand for one specific feature.
With a clearer idea of your customer needs, you can start to create content that answers their questions — and moves them closer to a purchase.
2. Choose and prioritize your best content marketing tactics
Top-of-funnel content generates conversions. But with so many different channels to choose from, how can you identify what will resonate with your audience?
Start by doubling down on what works. This will give you an invaluable layer of security as you experiment with new content and lead generation strategies.
But what if your data is scattered across many different marketing channels? Omeda allows you to track website performance, email and marketing automation and subscription reports all from one easily accessible database (use Omeda’s Web Behavior & Email Reports to see what works best for your audience). This way, everyone on your team can enter a new campaign with the most up-to-date view of your audience — and adapt their strategy accordingly.
So you’ve defined your best content levers. But it can’t hurt to try out some new tactics, right? Where should you start to experiment?
While this is somewhat industry-dependent, newsletters and proprietary content and research – from videos to reports to infographics – tend to be most successful top-of-funnel tactics among B2B publishers. Especially if you’re just getting started, these tools can help establish your industry credibility and earn your audience’s trust.
Your specific content mix will depend on your industry, company and audience dynamics. But whatever you choose, ensure you’re generating as many leads as possible with each piece. Here’s how to do it:
3. Focus on generating first-party data
Getting eyeballs might give you the warm and fuzzies. But exposure alone doesn’t pay the bills — audience data does. So whenever you’re piloting a new content tactic, think about how you’ll generate user data from your work. (The more data you have, the more you can personalize your content to your audience’s needs. So everybody wins!)
This doesn’t have to be complicated: For instance, if you’ve spent weeks gathering proprietary research and doing interviews for your research report, it only makes sense to put it behind a paywall (learn when and how to gate your content here).
Also look to host webinars and virtual events. Done well, these are an incredibly low-cost, high-reward unexpected source of first party data. Because any time someone asks a question? Answers a poll question? Or states their company size and industry on your registration form?
That’s recorded in their customer profile, which you can enhance over time as you host more webinars and virtual events. Over time, you get a clearer picture of each attendee’s needs – so when your sales team finally does reach out? Their pitch is personalized to their needs rather than being spammy and generic. And every top-of-funnel lead you get is that much more likely to become a customer.
4. Team up with industry partners
Whether you host a webinar with a partner or co-create a whitepaper with a complementary company, partnerships can literally double or triple the reach of your content with minimal additional effort. So as you ideate new content, look for opportunities to involve and co-market your content with industry partners. From a cost-benefit perspective, it’s a no-brainer.
For best results, look for partners that have a similar, but not overlapping audience, to yours.
Also ask prospective partners what kind of marketing opportunities they can provide (placement in their email newsletter, promotion on social media, exposure in a blog post or sponsorship of an event, etc.) and offer your own opportunities in kind.
5. Complement your top-of-funnel content with on-site targeting
Once you know the content you want visitors to convert on, you can start targeting them while they’re on your site. The best way to do this is through onsite pop-up and/or metering modals that allow you to collect information from website visitors.
You’ll have to decide what information is necessary to collect from your top-of-funnel leads. Collecting minimal information, such as a name and email address, will help keep subscribers on your website, vs. asking them to fill out all of their contact details.
Try some of these tactics to maximize your website conversions (or check out the full list!):
- Adjust the audience (hyper target or broad target)
- Change the content/lead magnet
- Test using a button vs. an iframe
- Adjust the display frequency
- Change the visual presentation
- Adjust the wait time
- Test different personalization/meter types (inline/scroll trigger/standard)
- See if using an Article Limit drives performance
- Test out using hard vs. soft gates
- Change up your copy & CTA
6. Evaluate and optimize
Once you’ve run your top-of-funnel marketing strategy for a few weeks, start assessing the results.. Use a mix of qualitative and quantitative feedback to evaluate your progress. Some important metrics to consider include:
- Time on site
- Brand lift
- Bounce rate
- Average time on page
If you’re an Omeda user, you can also use several of our reports as a status check. This includes:
- Promo Code by Product Attribution: Provides the number of conversions for a product such as newsletter or magazine.
- Behavior Analysis Report: Provides both a summary and in-depth view into customers that have behaviors associated to their record.
- Form Submit Report: Provides the number of submissions on a specified Omeda form.
- Personalization/Metering Summary Report: Provides metrics for individual personalization and metering jobs.
(Check out our team’s guidance on tracking metrics and conversions here.)
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