7 Ways to Target the Top of the Sales Funnel
7 Ways to Target the Top of the Sales Funnel

7 Ways to Target the Top of the Sales Funnel

Digital Marketing

Jennifer Flanagan

Oct 30 2023

Whenever the goal of a campaign is to increase brand awareness or overall site traffic, it’s likely you’re going to be strategizing toward the top of the marketing funnel.

Targeting users who are not yet in tune with your brand means sparking interest within an all-new audience (usually by presenting a problem your brand is uniquely positioned to solve), and then driving these potential customers to engage with your brand.

The top of the sales funnel also marks the initial stage of a customer’s experience with your business — a critical introduction to users not yet prepared to make a purchase but primed to evaluate your brand based on the quality, tone, and relevance of your ad placements.

What Does a Winning Brand Awareness Campaign Look Like?

A successful top-of-funnel marketing campaign generates high-volume interest in your brand or product, which mid- and lower-funnel campaigns can then use to drive more pointed campaigns toward online conversions. Audiences are accustomed to discovering new brands through social media, targeted search engine optimization, content marketing, and various other marketing channels, but will generally prefer to engage with businesses they feel align with their specific needs and values.

By delivering brand awareness campaigns to new demographics, online advertisers simultaneously develop a steady pipeline of potential customers and gather valuable data on their audience’s interests and behaviors. This information forms the basis of your future marketing strategies, creating more efficient data-driven campaigns. Marketing at the top of the sales funnel is therefore a crucial component of any marketing strategy.

7 Top-of-Funnel Marketing Strategies for Today’s Digital Marketers

Let’s examine some of the most common tactics advertisers use to reach new customers and seize market share within their respective industries.

1. Interactive content

Naturally engaging content like quizzes, polls, and surveys draws in potential customers without immediately jumping to a sales pitch. This type of content drives traffic to your website and quickly gathers data for your more focused campaigns.

2. Video marketing

Video continues to be the most enticing format for just about every type of internet user. An eye-catching video can showcase what your brand, products, and services are all about in a matter of seconds. Educational or entertaining video content that provides value to a target audience is one of the most reliable tools at every marketer’s disposal and can be deployed across social, CTV, programmatic, and mobile platforms.

3. Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing continues to prove effective at reaching new audiences, particularly for brand partners who have an established following within your company’s niche. Look for influencers who align with your brand values and can authentically promote your products or services.

4. Podcast advertising

Sponsoring a segment or running a pre- or mid-roll podcast ad can reach large, highly qualified audiences within your company’s specific vertical. The right podcast ad spot can turn users who are actively expressing interest in a subject into eager customers discovering your brand for the first time, giving you all the perks of a pre-built audience and contextual targeting rolled into a 1-2 minute ad placement.

5. Social media advertising

No surprises here — if you want to communicate with the masses online, social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and LinkedIn each offer virtually endless pools of users from which to draw. If your company is relatively new to digital marketing, each of these specific platforms may be worth a closer look.

6. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a core component of any digital marketing strategy. Make sure your website is optimized for search engine algorithms to easily find and consider valuable to potential customers — this includes everything from optimized keyword lists, quick page loading times, low bounce rates, backlinks from other trusted industry sources, and authoritative content throughout your site (ie., no spam).

7. Content marketing

High-quality content is a powerful tool for engaging potential customers. Developing fresh blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, free online tools, and other types of content that add value to your target audience will generate a strong reputation as not just an online vendor but a necessary resource within your space.

Achieving Top-of-Funnel Success

The key to success with any brand awareness strategy is providing noticeable value to potential customers. Genuine value is best delivered to a well-segmented audience with needs your brand is fully aware of, and prepared to address through relevant advertising. By creating engaging and informative content specific to your target audience segment or demographic, your brand will introduce itself to more highly motivated customers ready to progress through each of the sales funnel’s key phases.

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