Content Marketing: What Happened to Top-of-the-Funnel Offers?

Content Marketing: What Happened to Top-of-the-Funnel Offers?

By Brianne Carlon RushJul 16 /2012

top of the funnel contentBusinesses all have the same ultimate goal: get people to buy their product or service. While this is indeed the desired result, it doesn't mean that everyone who visits their website—or store, for that matter—is ready to buy. So why are companies focusing all of their efforts on one bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) offer? Did we forget about the rest of the sales funnel? Did we forget how a funnel actually functions? In order for a funnel to do its job, many potential leads are put into the top, they are nurtured and then a concentrated stream of buyer-ready customers is channeled through the bottom. Without the top of the funnel (TOFU) the whole process—including the desired result—is in jeopardy.

If your website currently lacks TOFU offers, here are a few tips to quickly and easily create quality content: 

  • For those visitors at the top of the funnel, they are not ready to commit, let alone buy, so make this content easy to obtain. Require only the appropriate amount of information in the form, such as first name and email. 
  • If you would like to get your audience thinking in a specific way, TOFU content is the best way to plant the idea in their minds and watch it start to develop. If your product or service requires a change in thinking, write a (non-pushy) piece of content that introduces this frame of thought and why it can be valuable to prospective clients. 
  • This isn't the time to talk about your product or service or business. Educate readers; produce content they can actually use outside of whatever you are selling. The idea of the content should of course relate to your business, as social media is an important part of inbound marketing—thus, the Twitter Cheat Sheet. But the information should not be limited to customer use only. 
  • This is, however, the place to talk about your product or service's benefits. Determine what makes your business stand out from the others, then write about those benefits. But here's the kicker—do it without talking about your product! How? Consider this: Your product is a modernized, technological advancement on a familiar B2B process, similar to the way digital cameras compare to film. Why not create a piece of TOFU content like "7 Ways Digital Technology Helps Your Company Reach Millennials"? It is helpful, relevant information that doesn't exactly mention your product, but the inkling is there. 
  • Does your sales team get a lot of questions? Ask them to start writing them down. Then create a piece of TOFU content that answers each of those questions. Your sales team will be extremely thankful and your potential customers will feel more informed from the get-go, which will ease them down the sales funnel toward that BOFU offer you've been so proud of. 

While it is easy to get anxious and push website visitors directly toward your BOFU offer, remember that most will need a little coaxing before they are ready to commit. So do not forget about the top of the funnel, or the middle, for that matter. Both areas are imperative for the bottom of your funnel to reach its full potential. If you happen to be one of those with an amazing BOFU offer but tend to neglect the TOFU content, try to step back and create a few offers regarding general, useful, relevant information that ever-so-slightly hints at your business's benefits. 

What's your favorite piece of TOFU content that you have created or downloaded? Let us know in the comments below. 

Photo: Frank Kehren

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The Author

Brianne Carlon Rush

Brianne works with Fortune 500 clients to strategize digital marketing efforts that help sales teams close deals faster. Additionally, she focuses on Kuno’s sales and marketing alignment and employee empowerment. Prior to Kuno, Brianne helped market OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, and was the youngest person to be promoted to managing editor position at MacFadden Performing Arts Media in NYC.