Peak Ace on Air #40: Top-of-the-Funnel Content Marketing
Welcome to another episode of Peak Ace on Air! On today’s menu: ToFu. In the marketing world, ToFu means “Top of the Funnel” or the first contact a brand or company has with a potential customer. Peak Ace’s own content marketing manager, Carina, will guide you in how to use content marketing to make a perfect first impression on your next new customer.
What is ToFu content marketing?
ToFu content marketing focuses on creating brand awareness and/or user engagement among your target audience. What this means is, you’re not trying to sell anything yet – you first need to let your audience get to know your brand. It’s like a first date: the goal isn’t to ask them to marry you at this stage. You just want to get someone interested, start laying the groundwork, and to lead them down that path to commitment.
At this stage, it’s important that you know what your brand is about and what your audience’s needs and interests are. There are also many different content formats you can use for this, from informational and educational content to audiovisual and interactive content types.
Which content types are right at the ToFu stage?
Overly sales-oriented or promotional content won’t work so early in the process. First, you need to offer the customer more information about a topic related to your offering. Or, you need to educate them about something important related to your field, without mentioning your product at all.
You can write a blog post, create an interactive quiz, set up a podcast or produce a series of video tutorials. All of these formats work well when you want to educate a potential customer.
Which kind of content works best for the B2B audience?
B2B content marketing is all about building trust. This is especially important in the first stage of the sales funnel, when you are introducing your brand to the potential client. The B2B customer is a professional who expects high-quality, trustworthy content. This type of content is best created with data. Offer potential customers unique data that provides them with interesting insights into the topic at hand. But don’t just present it as a list: tell a story with it in order to make the content really memorable.
The content should also establish your company as a thought leader in your industry. Podcasts or live shows like ours are one great good way you to start building your expert status. They also help to give your company a face, or at least a voice, which in turn make building that trust easier.
Which kind of content works best for a B2C audience?
B2C audience expects relevant, unique and catchy content that grasps their attention. It also needs to help you to stand out from the sea of other companies offering the same products and services as you do. B2C content can also be based on data, but it shouldn’t be too long. Create content that is easily consumable.
Short infographics are a good way of explaining topics in a more visual way. Videos, preferably under a minute long, are also great and can easily be shared on social media.
Carina also pointed out that for the B2C sector, you should also focus on the intent. So don’t just create a list of keywords your audience is using – go beyond them. What does the customer really want to find out when they are searching with these keywords?
ToFu content for both B2B and B2C audiences
Same type of content at the top of the sales funnel can work for both audience types. Maybe your offering works for both or you are still in the early stages of your business and want to try out which audience segment actually works the best. So one campaign can work for both audiences, as Carina also demonstrated in her presentation with a campaign we created for website payment solution provider, Mollie.
How to measure ToFu content marketing?
It’s always important to measure your marketing efforts but never more than so if you are just starting to attract an audience with your content. Trying to get your content covered by media and other fitting websites is a good way to determine whether or not there’s interest in your offering. The amount of organic and referral traffic you get is also a good indicator of a increasing awareness for your brand or company. Remember: as you are mostly looking for visibility at this stage, this is a long game. Leads and sales are not KPIs for ToFu.
How to get from the top to the middle of the sales funnel?
All right, so now you’ve created a lot of buzz and interest around your brand. Great! Now what? You need to be able to get the people to engage with your brand more in order to make them take the next step closer to purchasing. Create downloadable content, such as e-books or a newsletter, in order to grow your (potential) customer base. In this way, you can get to know the audience’s interests better and thus offer them more relevant content.
This step should already be on your mind when you are creating content for the awareness stage: what would you like the consumers to do next?
Luckily you don’t have to think about it alone, as in the next part of the content marketing in the sales funnel series, Carina will guide you to create content especially for the middle part of the sales funnel. So when the customer is ALMOST ready to buy. Go check it out!
However, if you feel you still need a bit more in-depth information and examples on how exactly get started with the ToFu level content marketing, then do go read our blog post about top-of-the-funnel content marketing. In it, we’ve elaborated on Carina’s presentation to give you the tools to kick-start your content marketing efforts the right way!