Last updated: February 25, 2022

What Is Top of the Funnel Marketing?

Growth Marketing

Did you know that 96% of your website visitors aren’t ready to buy anything on their first visit? That doesn’t mean they won’t subsequently buy something; it just means you have to engage them to secure a sale down the line.

How do you accomplish this? By using top of funnel marketing. 

The sales funnel is a pathway which guides the customer through an onboarding process and ends in them making the purchase. 

Below, we take a look at marketing funnel stages with a focus on top of the funnel marketing. 

Top of Funnel Marketing Defined

Top of the funnel marketing refers to the initial stage of your customer’s journey. It is the part where you spread awareness about your product or service to people who are interested but not yet ready to make a purchase.

During this stage, marketers build customer trust through information and educational content that allows early-stage customers to understand the pain points your product or service solves.

Breaking Down the Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel is a tool that allows companies to visualize the path their prospects take from the moment they learn about the brand for the first time to conversion and, finally, purchase. 

The top of the funnel is where customers become familiar with your brand’s offering and how it can solve their problems. Many factors influence the effectiveness of a company’s marketing and sales funnel.

Here’s a breakdown of a typical marketing funnel: 

Awareness Stage

In the awareness stage, prospects learn about your company or product for the first time. Someone may have seen your ad on Instagram or stumbled upon your website when searching for their desired product online. 

At this stage, you should focus on building a trust-based relationship with the prospect. To do this, you should showcase the value your product provides to the prospect through educational content. 

Consideration Stage

Now that your prospects have some knowledge about your product or service, they may consider buying it. At this stage, you should encourage and inspire them to become more familiar with your company. 

You can use email marketing, case studies, or success stories to develop the prospect’s interest in your offering. Product reviews and client testimonials are helpful in this stage. 

Conversion Stage

By now, your prospect has a purchase intent. They have decided that they want to buy your product or take advantage of your service because it solves their problem or meets a specific need. At this point, they will make the purchase. 

Loyalty State

When a customer makes a repeat purchase, they’ve entered the loyalty stage. On average, a repeat customer spends 67% more during months 31 – 36 of their relationship with the brand as compared to what they spend during the first six months of their relationship with your company. 

Therefore, it’s vital to bring your customers to this stage through impeccable customer services and personalized recommendations. 

Advocacy Stage

Finally, your customers enter the advocacy stage, in which they recommend your product or service to others. A Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report showed that 92% of customers in 56 countries trust word-of-mouth recommendations over other forms of advertising. 

That’s sufficient to prove that customer advocacy is among the best forms of advertising you can get for your business. 

Top of Funnel Marketing Strategies

In order to send your prospects through the marketing funnel stages, it’s important to implement effective top of the funnel marketing strategies. 

Search Engine Optimization

The search engine optimization approach to the sales funnel requires you to optimize your content for prospects in the awareness stage. 

At the top of the funnel, your customers are searching for a product on search engines. Common queries revolve around “how to” and “near me” keywords. 

You can use SEO to create content around these keywords and rank high on search engines to increase the likelihood of prospects finding your website organically.

Social Media Posts

According to Statista, 88% of marketers report social media helps increase brand exposure, while 79% say it increases website traffic. Exposure to your brand is the core of top of the funnel marketing since this is the first introduction of prospects to your brand. 

You can use social media to educate your audience about your offering at this stage when they’re visiting your website for the first time or being exposed to your company through an ad they saw on Facebook. 

Additionally, stories on apps like Instagram and Snapchat can be used to promote a product or service. You should educate potential customers about your product through social media posts since educational and informational content is essential for top of the funnel marketing. 


Creating Engaging Blog Content

At the top of the marketing funnel, your prospects are still in the awareness stage. You can tell them more about your product and how it solves their problems through blog content. 

Here are tips for creating engaging blog content: 

  • Monitor social media and search engine trends, such as high-ranking keywords, to determine what your prospects are searching for. 
  • Research your competition and the market as a whole. 
  • Give your blog an objective. In this case, it should be to inform and educate prospects about your service. 
  • Establish a voice. Depending on your offering and target audience, create a certain voice for your blog. Make it humorous, inspiring, educational, or quirky — whatever best fits your brand identity and is most likely to appeal to your prospects.

Landing Page Optimization

Most often, the first point of contact your prospects have with your company is the landing page. That’s where they become familiar with your product or service. 

Landing page optimization refers to improving the elements on your landing page to increase conversions. Here are some helpful tips: 

  • Make sure your offer is clear, and concise, and prominently featured on the landing page. 
  • Simplify your landing page. 
  • Use straightforward and engaging call-to-action buttons. 
  • Use A/B testing to determine the best copy and headlines for the landing page. 


Why Top of the Funnel Marketing is Essential

The top of your marketing funnel is extremely important since it spreads awareness about your product, educates your prospects, and cultivates buzz about your brand. It’s very rare for prospects to make impulse purchases as soon as they come to your website. 

Mostly, they have to go down the sales funnel to finally make a purchase. Therefore, if you engage your prospects right from the start, they’re more likely to reach the conversion and loyalty stage. 

A growth marketing agency like GrowthHit can help you use top of the funnel strategies, such as Facebook and Instagram ad creation and email marketing, to drive your prospects down the funnel.

Jim Huffman

Founder & CEO GrowthHit. Startup mentor at Techstars, General Assembly, and Sephora Accelerator. Author of The Growth Marketer’s Playbook #1

The #1 Newsletter for Growth Marketers & CEOs

The best kept secrets in growth. Every Thursday you’ll get:

  • 3 must-read articles
  • 1 podcast episode
  • Sneak peek at our startup studio

    Join the 5,000+ subscribers
    This is more useful than my MBA program
    It helped me get a raise!
    It just makes me feel smarter.

    Learn How 17 High Growth Brands Get Customers to Say

    ...“Shut Up And Take my Money” (INCLUDES EXAMPLES)