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Why Top of the Funnel Marketing is Crucial for Your ROI

Let’s talk shop for a moment, shall we? At the heart of any thriving business is a robust top of the funnel marketing strategy – it’s like the open secret of winning the lottery in the business world. Why, you ask? Simple. It’s all about creating that unforgettable first impression, laying the groundwork for the customer journey, and ensuring your brand becomes as familiar as a morning cup of coffee. From social media marketing to content marketing, every piece of your strategy works tirelessly to turn the curious onlooker into a loyal customer. But it’s not just about throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks; it’s about understanding those early stage interactions, crafting tailored messages that speak directly to potential customers’ pain points, and leading them gently down the marketing funnel.

Now, you’ll find that it’s more than just about creating brand awareness. We’re going to dissect why merely having a sleek website or a catchy brand name isn’t the golden ticket. We’re going to talke about the effectiveness of strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and even the power of lead magnets. Plus, we can’t forget about measuring success. From analyzing the click-through rate to tracking lead generation, we’re covering alllllllllll the bases. Let’s make sure your efforts are not just seen but are converting eyeballs into actions, shall we?

But first, what the hell is a marketing funnel anyway?

The look I usually get when “marketing funnel leaves my mouth πŸ‘†πŸ».

Definition of the Marketing Funnel

The marketing funnel is the buyer’s journey from initial awareness to the final purchase decision. It’s shaped like a funnel because while many get attracted at the top, only a few make it through to the bottom. At the top of the funnel (ToFu), the focus is on generating broad awareness and attracting as many leads as possible. This stage is critical for capturing the interest of potential customers who are just beginning their buyer’s journey, and your website is the prime stage for supporting your ToFu strategy. More on that later…

Importance of the Top of the Funnel

Top-of-funnel marketing is essential because it’s your brand’s first opportunity to make an impression on potential customers. It involves creating and sharing content that is designed to attract and engage a wide audience. Effective ToFu marketing not only increases brand awareness but also sets the stage for further engagement in the middle and bottom of the funnel. The top of the funnel is where you get the opportunity to convince potential buyers to stay, usually by providing valuable information or entertainment.

Stages of the Marketing Funnel

  1. Awareness Stage (Top of Funnel – ToFu): This initial stage is all about attracting attention and generating interest. The content here is broad and educational, aimed at informing the audience about relevant topics without hard selling. This stage is crucial for establishing a connection and providing value (and generating leads). Some of the best ways to track effectiveness at this stage include impressions, website traffic, and social media engagement.
  2. Consideration Stage (Middle of Funnel – MoFu): Once leads are captured at the top, they move to the MoFu, where they start considering your offerings more seriously. You may also remember this as the nurturing stage. Leads here are consuming your content, whether that be through continued blogging, on social media or reading your newsletters. They need you to continue to show them why they should ultimately buy from you when they’re ready.
  3. Decision Stage (Bottom of Funnel – BoFu): The narrowest part, this is where the real magic happens and leads are converted into customers. The focus here is on conversion with content that persuades the audience to make a purchase, such as special offers, product demos, or customer testimonials.

By understanding these stages and focusing on effective top-of-funnel strategies, you set a robust foundation for moving potential customers down the funnel, ultimately leading to increased conversions and ROI.

Attracting Your Audience: Setting the Stage for an Effective Marketing Funnel

This one may seem obvious, but I can guarantee you’d be a tad bit surprised at how many brands (yes, even MAJOR ones) I come across that have little to no SEO strategy. If you’re here, you probably already know that SEO is the MVP when it comes to driving traffic to your website. If you didn’t, just trust me when I say “build it and they will come” mindset has no place in the small business owner’s vocabulary.

But a solid SEO strategy doesn’t stop at researching keywords and using them for page titles and meta descriptions. Here’s a few other things to consider when it comes to maximizing your SEO strategy:

On-Page SEO

Your primary target keyword for each page should be used throughout the copy on each page of your website. (Don’t forget that each page should have it’s own primary target keyword!) Ensure you weave it throughout your copy but in a natural way, lest Google recognize you as one of it’s own and deem you a robot. And don’t overdo it either, that’s called keyword stuffing and let’s just say Google prefers to reserve stuffing for Thanksgiving festivities.

Image renaming is also a forgotten on-page SEO strategy that is commonly forgotten, but is a goldmine opportunity for maximizing SEO effectiveness. Same thing with your alt descriptions! There’s nothing that says you can’t incorporate SEO into your alt descriptions as long as you’re still using them appropriately.

Content organization is key when it comes to Google being able to read your website and understand what it’s about. So don’t just pay attention to what the viewer actually sees, make sure you’re keeping the back end organized and structured in a way that makes sense for how you would want someone to consume the content on your pages.

Content Marketing

If you thought blogging was so 5 years ago, think again!

Blogging remains one of the best ways to add more keyword rich content to your website and provide free value for your potential clients/customers. Do your research, choose a primary target keyword for each piece of content and make sure to use it and related terms throughout the copy to reinforce what the blog post is about. This helps Google understand what the post is about and ensures it thinks of you when people search for that topic.

Same with social media! In recent years it’s become more and more apparent that SEO is just as important when it comes to the content across your social media platforms.

The primary goal of SEO isn’t to ruin your life (contrary to popular belief).

It’s actually to connect content to people based on the topics they’re searching for. Sounds so simple, right? I know, I know. Nothing about trying to decipher walls of words and number data isn’t exactly simple at all. But, if you keep this simplified concept in mind, it should make it a little easier to tackle.

To be honest, I find what most clients struggle with the most when it comes to building an SEO strategy is the research. Knowing what your target audience is searching for is hands down the best way to solve this conundrum. And if you don’t know, ask them! Once you start learning how to research the topics your target audience is researching, SEO keywords become much easier to come by.

Getting Them to Jump in the Marketing Funnel

Here’s where things really start to get sticky. While a great SEO strategy can bring all the visitors to the yard, it can’t sell the milkshake for you. Visitors need a reason to buy from you or at least be interested in getting invested in your world. And one of the best ways to do that? Free content!

Lead Magnets

Freebies, lead magnets…a rose by any other name and all that.

Bottom line is, can you entice visitors to sign up for your email list for free? Absolutely. Is it easier with a little bit of carrot dangling? Yep.

Lead magnets are a quick, low-hanging fruit you can use to encourage visitors to give you their email address and stick around for a while. It also gives you an opportunity to prove your worth. If your lead magnet helps them in some way and they find it valuable, they’re more likely to whip out that credit card when they’re ready to make a purchase.

It’s honestly surprising to me how many small business owners skip this step. It’s low-risk/high-reward and can generally be put together without too much effort. And guess what else you can use to help you decide what type of lead magnets to create for your industry?

If you said SEO, congrats! You get a gold star. ⭐️ (You thought we were done talking about that dirty acronym didn’t ya?)

The same keywords you come up with in your SEO strategy research are a goldmine of lead magnet ideas! And, if you want a few more specific ideas, you can check out this Instagram post!

Just make sure your lead magnet is something your potential client/customer will find valuable AND that the delivery process is smooth. You want to make sure that if they take the time to trade their email address for your freebie, they encounter as little friction as possible to receive and use it.

I always recommend linking your lead magnet delivery up to an email marketing platform (like Flodesk). This way the delivery is automated and you get them on your email list for your regularly scheduled programming. Hellooooooooo killing two birds with one stone!

A Smooth Inquiry Process is Crucial to an Effective Marketing Funnel

So you’ve implemented a killer SEO strategy and brought leads to your website, they’ve (hopefully) signed up for your email list and now they want to inquire about working with you.

Ok but wait, you may be wondering how the inquiry process ties into the top of the marketing funnel…I mean we did say that the top is where we’re building awareness, not necessarily where people are ready to sign a contract and pay a deposit.

True.

BUT, I think this is why the inquiry process so often gets forgotten about. Because if the ToFu is all about making great first impressions…then I would argue that the impression you leave them with after they hit send on that contact form is crucial. This, my friends, is the final step before they dip their toes into the middle of your marketing funnel. They’re still just gathering information. But they were willing to make contact.

So let’s talk about how to make sure this step wows in all the right ways.

Lead Capture Forms

You should always use some sort of lead capture form on your website. Even a simple contact form will do. Keep it short and simple. You don’t need their whole life story just to inquire with you. Ask for the basics right away, and save the more detailed questions for later.

My first recommendation is always going to be to use a good CRM to accomplish this. You can create professional, on brand forms that automatically enter them into a lead tracker, set up automations, etc. But, if a CRM isn’t in the budget, a simple Showit contact form will work just fine. Just make sure people have a way to get in touch with you.

And on that topic, another quick and easy contact method that is often forgotten about is your email! Some folks just aren’t going to want to take the time to fill out a form, no matter how short it may be. So hit’em with the good ‘ole email address and let them know they can send you a message directly.

What happens after they inquire?

Once someone has sent you a message, the ball’s officially in your court. And it can really be a make or break moment for you and your brand.

Target no more than a 24-48hr turnaround time for a response. This is crucial. Leads at this point in the buying stage are not messin’ around. They took the time to inquire with you, so let them know how much that means to you. If you aren’t always available to send responses in that timeframe, I highly recommend some sort of automated process.

For me, that looks like setting up an automated message that goes out to everyone who fills out my contact form with a generic hello and link to my calendar so they can go ahead and schedule a call if they would like. Then, when I have a moment I send a more personalized message. And I do this whether they have already booked a call or not! This lets them know that a real human read their message and took the time to respond.

Putting it All Together

As your web designer, it’s my responsibility to link your website up to all of your marketing efforts, because that’s really what makes it a powerhouse marketing tool for your business.

I’ve watched too many clients walk away from working with us with an amazing and beautiful new brand + website without these crucial pieces of the top of the marketing funnel. I recognized this as a gap in the brand + web design industry, so I decided to do something about it.

That’s why we now offer top and middle of the funnel building services as a la carte add-ons and as part of our Signature Experience packages. Because it’s important to me that you walk away with not just a website, but a website that WORKS FOR YOU. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Curious about how we can help you improve your ROI for your website? Slide into my DMs or send me an email. I’m here to help!

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Brand Design by: Half Pint Design | Photography by: Britt Elizabeth Photography

Web design by: Wolf & Willow Design Studio

Est. 2019
Based in Bossier City, LA

Wolf & Willow Design is a web design studio specializing in strategic websites for ambitious creative entrepreneurs. 

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