Top of the funnel

Top of the Funnel: Plan, Develop & Initiate Content Marketing Strategy [2024]

Building an online presence is tougher while your competitors are applying new strategies to their websites to grab the attention of customers.

So, it’s important that you have a whole marketing funnel in place to ensure you are generating enough traffic and setting up the right activities to convert potential clients.

The first stage of the marketing funnel is to build brand awareness and drive new traffic – Top of the Funnel (TOFU).

In this stage, you have to set up a number of activities that are created to attract new prospects to your website and introduce your brand.

Today, I will introduce you to the Top Of The Funnel so that you can start preparing your own marketing funnel easily.

After reading this article, you will

  • get a better understanding of how the top of the funnel marketing works,
  • learn how you can start using TOFU content to get more potential traffic
  • , and start using the right strategies & tools to set up the first stage of your marketing funnel.

And eventually, you will be able to start deciding on what content to work on to start getting more new traffic.

So let’s begin.

The Role of Top Of The Funnel (TOFU) In Your Marketing Funnel

The marketing funnel is a process where you plan your customer journey from the first contact with your business to the final purchase. It is divided into three main stages –

  1. Top of the funnel (TOFU)
    Get new traffic and introduce your brand to new audiences.
  2. Middle of the funnel (MOFU)
    Educate your prospects to consider making a decision.
  3. Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
    Convince your prospects to take action.

If you have these three stages in place, then you can expect to start seeing constant growth in your business.

As you can see, TOFU ensures you are getting more people to visit your website, which gives you a chance to take the next step and try and convince them to convert.

Why Top of The Funnel Marketing is Important For Your Business?

Since it’s the starting point for new traffic, it adds a lot of value to your business, as this is the first hurdle you need to overcome when it comes to growing your online presence. And if you can do it right, then you will enjoy the following:

  1. Attract More And More Potential Clients
    Have the chance to reach a wider range of people for higher potential leads.
  1. Greater Brand Awareness
    Become well-known to several people who, if not now, may in the future remember your brand when thinking of getting a similar solution that you provide.
  1. Get A Chance To Build A Database Of Leads
    The more new traffic you bring, the higher the chances of collecting leads. Capture valuable information from potential customers to follow up with and convert into future sales.

According to Adobe, 96% of website visitors may not be ready to make a purchase. But you can get their information in exchange for valuable resources. So this is a good opportunity to prepare for long-term business growth.

  1. Establish Trust And Credibility
    Your content quality and usefulness will help you gain people’s trust over time.
  1. Understand The Metrics & Interest Of Your Target Audience
    The type of people who visit your content will help you understand the areas you may improve on and how you may optimize your future marketing campaigns.

The main idea here is to create reasons for people to visit your website and consider taking action on your request. And you can do that with the right TOFU content & marketing activities.

According to a study by Edelman, 64% of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason for their relationship with a brand.

Types Of Top Of The Funnel Content To Plan Your Marketing Activities Effectively

The first thing you need to consider when it comes to top of the funnel content is ways to get organic traffic.

According to Search Engine Journal – 70% of respondents consider organic search as the most effective channel for attracting traffic at this funnel stage.

So, initially, you need to work on content that adds value to prospects in some way. It could be an article that teaches strategies, an infographic, a video about tactics or action plans, etc.

Let’s say you have a website with the title “HealthFit,” which specializes in fitness and wellness products. This means you want to connect with people that are concerned about a healthy lifestyle.

Following are some of the types of content you can produce to attract new potential traffic.

  1. Evergreen posts/articles
    You may create informative articles such as “How to Start an Effective Workout Routine” or “Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle” that people will be able to use for days to come, i.e., a long-lasting value to your audience. You don’t need to give any indication of what you sell or make any direct call to action. These contents will simply help you to get into their minds for the future.
  2. Educational/Informational Videos:
    Videos such as “5 Nutrients You Must Consume For Better Health” or “Benefits of Yoga for Mind and Body” could be used simply to provide education to people who want to learn. Here, the value you are offering is knowledge. Again, you don’t have to sell anything here. People will start trusting you more on the field just because you are able to offer valuable knowledge.
  3. Free Educational Live Sessions on Youtube & Facebook
    You may host live sessions on social media simply to deliver knowledge and ideas on certain topics, as per your expertise. This will help you gain authority and trust in the same field.
  4. Infographics
    Infographics on statistics, ideas, quotations, and processes are a good way to reach more people.
  5. Podcast
    Host a podcast and discuss common fitness challenges, interview experts to get their ideas, and provide practical solutions to attract listeners who are seeking fitness solutions. This will help reach a whole new set of audience and are more potential for conversion.
  6. Free eBooks On Valuable Topics
    People love to get some sort of handbook or guide they can keep for future reference. A free eBook, maybe on certain food habits or diet plans, could be perfect for the fitness industry. You can create a landing page for it to get organic traffic and even get people to provide their email addresses to claim the ebook, i.e., lead generation and organic growth at the same time.
  7. Forum & Social Media Participation
    Often people will ask questions or share concerns on social media/forums that relate to your expertise. If you are able to answer their queries there, many will check out your profile and, eventually, your business.

There could be several other ways, such as building landing pages for different products, sharing your content on other social media groups/pages, etc.

However, you have to ensure you are focusing strongly on SEO because your content has rank on SERPs for people to find them.

FYI, if you really are a fitness trainer, you may read this guide on selling fitness products online.

How To Plan TOFU Content For Your Marketing Funnel Effectively

Now, you know what content to produce and why they are effective. But how do you start planning what topics to choose and what type of content to focus on more?

Let us look at how.

Step 1 – Identify your target audience

You have to invest time in understanding who your target audience should be. Conduct thorough market research to gain insights into the specific demographics, preferences, and challenges of your target prospects.

If we go by the fitness business example, then your target audience would be people who are,

  • health-conscious individuals,
  • aged 25-40,
  • primarily females,
  • seeking weight loss or wants to maintain good body fitness.

The challenges they usually face are,

  • limited time for exercise,
  • lack of motivation,
  • limited nutrition knowledge,
  • picky about food.

You may find out these details in several ways.

  1. Do competitor research to see what other similar businesses are focusing on.
  2. Monitor social media with keywords that relate to your business to find ideas.
  3. Check people’s testimonials on their experience with other similar businesses to find out what end result made them happy.
  4. Read case studies on people’s experience with other competitor businesses.
  5. Join Facebook Groups and forums where similar topics are discussed.
  6. Check Google trends and use keyword research tools to find out what people search for.

Based on this information, you may create customer persona’s that you want to entertain with your TOFU content.

So, going back to the example, we can think of the following two personas:

Persona 1: Active Professional

  • Name: Annie
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 30yrs
  • Career: Corporate job
  • Fitness Goals: Weight loss, Increase Stamina
  • Pain Points: Limited time for exercise, lackings of motivation

Persona 2: Fitness Enthusiast

  • Name: Emily
  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 35yrs
  • Career: Dance Teacher
  • Fitness Goals: Shredding, Strength Training
  • Pain Points: Plateau in progress, maintaining a healthy diet

Once you have the personas ready, you can then move to the next step.

Step 2 – Identify Key Phrases And The Right Channels For Your Content

Now, research on the pain points and desired outcomes of each of the personas and try to find out the terms people use when describing similar cases.

You may try to conduct a before-after grid to help you out with it.

If we consider the two personas above, we know what their fitness goals are. So, what you have to find out is what they search for online to get the solution. They may either search for the terms directly or search with the issues they are facing that can be solved with the same fitness goals. For example, people who need to grow stamina may search for “Why can’t I run longer” or “stamina training,” etc.

Find out similar phrases and related terms that your personas can relate to. You may either search for these manually using Google and SEO tools, or you may ask for suggestions from ChatGPT.

  • Once you have the set of phrases or terms, you may use an SEO tool such as Ahrefs or SEMRush to find out more matching terms and determine the search volumes of all the keyphrases you listed down.
  • You may also use TubeBuddy or VidIQ to research the keyphrases for YouTube.
  • For Facebook or Twitter, you may simply search by the terms one by one and see what type of content received the highest engagement for these phrases.

Next, you may do keyword clustering to ensure you are not producing redundant content. You would rather rank for multiple keywords with a single content than create content for every other keyphrase.

By the end of this step, you will have a whole set of keyphrases clustered in groups, that you know are relatable to your target personas and you will have found out the type of content you want to produce and for which channels.

Step 3 – Prepare The Right Content Plan To Fulfill Top Of The Funnel Marketing

Now, you have 3 options when planning your content, depending on the channel you are preparing it for.

  1. Manually check the first 20 pieces of content that appear on SERP when searching by a key phrase. Then decide on a similar content topic that most are writing about.
  1. You may ask for topic suggestions from your SEO tools (Ahrefs or SEMRush).
  1. Use ChatGPT to help you generate suitable topics.

For example, if the keyphrase is “Stamina Training,” (or phrases in the same cluster) the following could be possible TOFU blog topics:

  • How To Increase Your Stamina – 10 Workout Hacks
  • Proven Stamina Training For Women
  • 15 Tactics To Grow Your Running Stamina

These will easily grab the attention of the target audience and will act as perfect TOFU marketing content.

Similarly, you may plan topics for different channels.

**Remember you are preparing content for TOFU. So the topics should be aimed at generating traffic.

Step 4 – Create content with high quality

Now, it’s time to execute. Get your team (or yourself if a solopreneur) to start preparing content.

Remember, it is important to ensure high quality with no plagiarism. People will only visit and trust your business if the content is really helpful.

You may use a premium AI Writer such as ScaleNut, GetGenie AI, Closers Copy, etc., to prepare written content quickly. Or you may write on your own. (You may even hire professional content creators if you want.)

Step 5 – Prepare A Landing Page For Your Business

While the TOFU content will do a great job, you should still create a dedicated landing page for your business that people may search for and find in SERPS.

As per the example, you may design a visually appealing and user-friendly landing page that showcases the key benefits and features of your fitness and wellness products.

Let’s consider an example of optimizing the landing page for promoting a weight loss program. Here are key elements to include:

  1. Compelling headline: “Transform Your Body and Achieve Sustainable Weight Loss with HealthFit’s 12-Week Program.”
  2. Persuasive copy: Highlight the unique benefits, such as personalized meal plans, expert guidance, and a supportive community.
  3. Visuals: Display before-and-after photos of successful participants or images showcasing the program’s effectiveness.
  4. Clear call-to-action (CTA): Encourage visitors to sign up for a free consultation or enroll in the weight loss program.
  5. Testimonials: Feature testimonials from satisfied customers who have achieved their weight loss goals with HealthFit’s program.
  6. Responsive design: Ensure the landing page is optimized for seamless viewing and interaction.

And of course, do not forget to optimize for SEO. This page will in itself rank and perform.

Plus, you may use internal linking to drive traffic from your other content to this page.

Note: Once you have the content ready if they are hosted on your website, then you have to invest some time into link building, i.e., getting backlinks and social shares from other relevant sites/individuals.

Tools and Resources to Help with Top Of The Funnel Marketing

Here are some tools and resources, that can help you with the overall top of the funnel plan.

  1. Landing Page Builder:
    Consider using a sales funnel builder to create visually appealing and conversion-optimized landing pages. This will allow you to plan your Middle Of The Funnel Step for visitors. In WordPress, WPFunnels, along with Elementor, would be a great option.
  2. Email Automation Tool:
    Once your content is ready, you may send an email newsletter to your leads to get some instant traction. This will help the content rank faster on SERPS. You may use reliable email marketing automation tools such as Mail Mint, FluentCRM, Brevo, etc., as it will save you time and money.
  3. Content Management System (CMS):
    Utilize a CMS like WordPress or HubSpot to easily create, manage, and publish your content across various channels. These platforms offer user-friendly interfaces and features for organizing and optimizing your content.
  4. Social Media Management Tools:
    Tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social can help you schedule and automate social media posts, track engagement, and monitor brand mentions.
  5. AI Writers For Content Creation
    As mentioned above, you may use tools such as Scalenut, Closers Copy, or ChatGPT to make your content creation process faster.

Conclusion

If you can run your marketing funnel with a strong TOFU content plan, then you will start getting traffic in no time. This is why, you need to invest some time in understanding the top of the funnel marketing requirements for your business. The research part is the most crucial area to focus on because that is what will help you define your top of the funnel activities and expectations.

Once you have laid down the groundwork, the next step would be the middle of the funnel where you will attempt these traffics into potential leads or trusting prospects.

Throughout the process, using a funnel builder along with an email marketing tool would be wise as that will make it easy for you to integrate all the stages of your marketing funnel.

So go ahead and start planning the TOFU content that you want to create for your target audience.

And if you are looking for a reliable sales funnel builder + email marketing automation, then consider taking a look at WPFunnels & Mail Mint.

  • See how WPFunnels & Mail Mint work together to create the best funnel journey on a single visual platform.

Cheers!

Sakiba Prima

Sakiba Prima, the Content Editor at WPFunnels is passionate about making WordPress work wonders for your business. With a flair for simple yet effective sales & marketing tactics and handy tooltips, she turns complex ideas into easy reads.

Sakiba Prima

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