What is your end goal with your business? To help people, to provide a service, or even just to make money? Whatever your main goal is with your business, you know that it isn't as simple to meet that goal without a process - specifically a customer journey that potential customers will follow to meet that goal.
But in this ever-changing digital world, how do you move prospects through this journey? This is where funnels come in!
Imagine a funnel that leads your target audience at the top, guiding them to specific content that leads them from awareness of your product or service to considering buying or subscribing to eventually making that big decision to purchase. Most, if not all, marketing strategies are based on this - funnelling leads through a pipeline and turning them into potential customers.
We all look forward to prospects reaching the end of the journey we’ve created for them,, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. What does this funnel actually look like?
A sales funnel has three main stages that your potential customers can be in at any time:
If you handle these three funnel stages correctly and nurture each prospect through your funnel with the correct marketing content then you'll see a massive improvement in your sales processes.
How do we start them on this journey?
The top of the funnel has the widest audience and the most potential for an initial connection.As such, you shouldn't be trying to sell here; instead, you should focus on building awareness of specific things to educate your target audience with content marketing.
Begin with educating your audience on the problem they are experiencing. Remember, not all of your audience will even be aware of this specific problem! While your audience may know something isn't working, they may be blissfully ignorant that they are experiencing a problem that has an ideal solution - what you have created!Your educational content can serve two purposes: teaching them about the problem and the solution! By building brand awareness through this top of the funnel marketing content, you keep your business and your solution in the front of their mind should they ever decide that this problem is something they need to deal with, cementing you as a thought leader in this niche.
There are tons of top of the funnel content ideas out there, but the following types of content are some of our favorites for you to try:
With 77% of internet users reading blogs, it is clear that blogs are an incredible tool for marketers and their marketing campaigns. Blog posts are a fantastic way to educate those searching for a solution to a problem or wanting to learn tips and tricks to grow their business.
Blog posts and articles can be used to highlight case studies that exemplify how amazing your company or service is for those in a similar situation. To make these effective, share them in a narrative format. Explain how the case study was experiencing a problem before finding you, how they searched for a solution before eventually finding you, how easy it was for them to use your service or product, and finally how their life is better after using it!
Other blog posts can use the 'listicle' method of writing (in fact, that's what this blog post is using!), which is where you list several steps, solutions, services, or anything as a list. You've probably seen a dozen of these every day on social media - '12 Crazy Ways...', '5 of the Top Marketing Tools...', etc. These are catchy headlines and may even be the reason you clicked on this blog post - proving that it works!
Use blog posts to nurture your top of the funnel leads and prospects. As your blog post readers are likely new visitors to your website, direct selling shouldn’t be the focus of your blog content. Instead, try just educating them on the problem(s) they are likely experiencing and solutions you provide in comparison to other competitors' solutions. Highlight how much better off they will be after finding a solution to their problem, and they'll likely return at a later stage when they are considering a solution!
Not all of us have the time to read a blog post. Some of us can only consume content while doing other things like work, chores, or exercising. This is why many people listen to podcasts instead of reading a blog post or article. In fact, more Americans listen to podcasts each week than have Netflix accounts! The number of podcast listeners is growing each year, so if you have aspirations to make a podcast, then it's best to start one now so you may be at the forefront of the niche your podcast serves.
Business podcasts have a similar purpose to blogging in that they educate prospects at the first stage of the sales funnel. Here are some tips on how to make your podcast episodes:
High-quality podcasts are a great way of educating the top of your funnel and have the potential to create new leads with every episode you release. Try to invest in a good microphone, some soundproof foam, and find a quiet space to record your episodes. Good quality audio and content will ensure your listeners have the best experience when listening to each episode and will likely return for the next one.
There are billions of accounts on social media and there is great value in having your own social media pages or groups for your business. However, it is wise not to consider your social media pages as your final stage of the funnel; there are too many distractions on social media, such as other creators' content, advertisements, and notifications that will take your followers away from your content.
Despite this, social media can be a perfect home for your top of funnel content and the source of your buyer's journey for many businesses.
Many marketers commonly post infographics, share their blog posts, podcast episodes, or another piece of content directly on to social media, and leave it there to sit, hoping it brings engagement and prospects into their funnel. However, the real value in social media is the potential for interaction and engagement directly with your prospects at the earliest stage of the buyer journey.
If you haven’t already considered it, try live-streaming on your social media pages and titling your livestream using a question (for example, 'How many times do you experience this problem in your business?' or 'What solutions do you have for XYZ?'). Social media often notifies your followers when you are going live. When you use an engaging question as your livestream title, you have a way to quickly attract the attention of your target audience and prompt them to engage directly with you live.
Live Streaming a Q&A also allows your followers to interact with each other and discuss the problems they are experiencing in an open and fun way that lets you direct the conversation toward your solution that relates to the topic of the Q&A. In addition it is one of the easiest ways to gain new content ideas and identify some of your most qualified prospects at the top part of the funnel! You’ll have open access to those who are experiencing the problem you are aligned to solve.
Similarly with your blogs and podcast, you can repurpose old content into an informative video series to educate the top of your funnel.
YouTube provides a great platform for your top of the funnel content video series as it has over 2 billion logged-on monthly users - a huge potential market for any lead magnet at the top of your funnel.
By focusing on keywords relating to your niche and market, you can create an accompanying video series to your podcast or blog series that introduces your content and expertise to a potentially whole new audience. Understanding how to use keywords on YouTube is vital to appear in the search results of any prospect on this platform - so we recommend spending time learning how to make keywords work for you!
With smartphones getting smarter every year, creators can make higher-quality videos directly from their phones. By investing in a green screen, some video editing software, and a simple light setup, you’ll ensure your videos have that polished look that consumers expect from businesses these days.
Video series often take more time and energy than other top of funnel marketing strategies such as podcasts or blogs, but the results can be fantastic if done right.
If you're stuck on ideas, search using keywords relating to your market or niche on YouTube and see what kind of videos are already out there, how long they are, and what format they use. Do they film someone talking directly to the camera? Are they reading over a slideshow? What keywords are they using?
Top tip: if you want to discover what keywords YouTube videos are using, right-click anywhere on the page and select 'View Page Source'. Then hit ctrl+f and search for 'keywords'. It will show you all of the keywords used to help this video reach where it is in the search results on YouTube!
You may have noticed we've been using several statistics and facts throughout this blog post - makes everything a bit more trustworthy, right? It's all well and good to say, "writing a blog post will increase your revenue by 10,000%!" but if you don't back that statement up with facts and statistics then you're going to quickly lose trustworthiness amongst your followers.
Statistics are a great way to back up your sales funnel and top of the funnel content, legitimizing the end of the funnel for your prospects.
Try finding a statistic from a reliable and reputable source, such as on Google Scholar or funded research backed by professionals in your respective fields. After you've found some interesting and trustworthy facts and statistics, make content around this, such as creating an infographic to post on social media or base a podcast episode or blog post around it.
Don't be misleading in your selection of quotes or figures, however. Make sure you read the source of your statistics thoroughly and understand the whole picture of the findings, as cherry-picking data can lead to your business being thought of as untrustworthy and misleading, potentially tarnishing your standing in the market.
If you're a content superstar and have made all of your content to attract leads and prospects into your sales funnel, you need a place to send them to at the bottom of your funnel.
Many marketing and sales teams treat social media pages as the bottom of the funnel, choosing to have their call to action be 'like our page!', 'join our group!', or the infamous 'like and subscribe!'. The problem with this is that social media platforms are volatile. They come and go as interest grows and falls. At SupaPass, we say 'don't build your business on rented land', so don't build your following or your business on the rented land of social media.
Instead, use your social media posts, podcast, blog, and other lead magnets as the top of your funnel to send your superfans to the ultimate destination: your own branded website or mobile app that houses all of your content. SupaPass’ powerful tech has made this possible for creators. Use your podcast to inform people about your subscription-based video course series hosted on your own mobile app or website, where they’ll find all of your content.
Use your blog to tell people about all of the educational and informative content that resides behind a custom paywall, all built with SupaPass' tech.
Use your livestreams to educate your followers on the value that your premium content provides when they sign up using a unique code that you create for your livestream viewers. - Don’t stop there - upload the recording of the livestream to your app and website for them to enjoy the replay at their leisure!
Collect the contact information of your hot leads and prospects by locking content behind an email gateway, giving you control of your followers' information, unlike the limited control that social media platforms offer.
Offer limited time coupons and discounts to your products on your app or website, prompting your fans to move quickly along the buyer's journey and towards your end goal of purchasing your higher-tier content.
Upselling your premium content all starts with excellent top of the funnel content and should all lead directly to your own branded website and app that is the home and heart of your content and community.
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