Guiding your leads through the buyer’s journey necessitates high-quality content that’s driven to take them to the next step. It’s why having a marketing automation tool (and using it correctly) is so crucial. The more you understand about your leads and where they’re at in their journey, the better you’re able to create personalized content that’s tailored to their needs. But even before that, you need to have a full understanding of the buyer’s journey itself and the type of content that applies to each stage.

So much rides on producing the right content for the right leads at the right time. So, we’re creating a series of posts driven toward examining the role of content in various stages of the funnel. Today, let’s start from the top.

Marketing From the Top Down

Top-of-the-funnel marketing refers to efforts taken to build brand awareness and engage with prospects who might not yet know much about your brand or what you have to offer.

Leads at this stage have established a problem that needs to be solved. Most likely, they’ve already begun searching for solutions. They may have come across your company as one that is somewhat related to their needs, though they’re not quite sure yet that you’ve got the answer they’re looking for. Converting leads isn’t something that just happens on its own, though. Ninety-six percent of visitors that come to your site aren’t ready to buy. But what they find when they get there could be the defining factor in whether they ever do.

What’s crucial about content at this stage is that, above all else, it’s formative. Sure, a sale is always the end goal of any marketing content piece, but at the top-of-the-funnel, content needs to educate more than it needs to inspire direct action. Top-of-the-funnel content is all about answering questions, addressing pain points, and establishing the groundwork for your brand to solve a particular problem.

Equally important to what you’re creating content about is who you’re creating content for. The pool of leads at this stage is incredibly broad, and your content has to be uniquely targeted to draw in leads who fit your consumer base. Top-of-the-funnel content casts a wide net intending to catch a few valuable fish. Doing so requires you to make it less about you and more about your readers.

Top-of-the-Funnel Content Ideas

You’ve got lots of variety available to you when you’re creating top-of-the-funnel content. Since your audience pool is expansive, content at this stage should be published on both your content streams (your website, social media pages, emails, etc.) as well as on other reputable platforms. The more eyes you can reach with your top-of-the-funnel content, the better chance you will have of reaching the people who have the highest chance of becoming customers.

Types of content that are particularly useful at this stage include:

Guest posts 

Contribute posts to other sites that your audience reads to establish legitimacy and form those crucial first connections. By becoming a guest-contributor, you’ll be able to tap into that online publication’s readership and put your brand and expertise front-and-center. 

Press mentions

Press, news features, and industry backlinks all build brand awareness and help your company make a great first impression. Press mentions, which are when other industry influencers mention your company or brand in their content, are especially helpful. They help you gain third-party credibility from a source that is already reliable and trusted. 

Webinars

Host webinars on your own or with other brands to reach a bigger audience and answer common questions your top-of-the-funnel leads might be having. Webinars are also a great way to generate leads because they allow you to collect contact information from interested parties so you can provide additional content distribution.

Blog posts

Work on building a robust and informative company blog. This will give your website visitors and leads a valuable resource, as well as provide fuel for your email marketing

How-to videos

Create share-worthy marketing videos around popular how-to topics related to your product or service. Put them on a resource page on your site so your site visitors and leads can learn more about what your company does and offers.

Remember, when it comes to placing top-of-the-funnel content on outside sites, make sure they’re sites your key audience members visit. Focus on publications aimed towards the industry and professionals that align with your buyer personas.

The top-of-the-funnel content that you create could be the link that turns a stranger into a customer. The more great content you have geared toward brand awareness and educating leads, the more likely you are to come out as a clear solution to the problem they need solving.