Leads you generate through market that have not yet requested to talk to a salesperson (or some other bottom-of-the-funnel action) are still important prospects to have!
In fact, most companies don't spend enough time or attention on these “top-of-the-funnel prospects.” Giving information to a top-of-the-funnel lead is your opportunity to build brand awareness for your company and share potential solutions to a problem they are just starting to explore. It's your opportunity to attract as many prospects as possible!
Who are Top-of-Funnel Users?
A top-of-thefunnel (TOFU) user is someone on your website, looking at your resources, in more of an educational phase. This is someone who is possibly not yet ready to buy and is classified in what inbound marketers refer to as the “Awareness Stage.”
These users are looking for data and experts with insights. They have questions they need answered. They're researching and becoming aware of a problem they face — and your business or services could be the solution.
When Do Top-of-the-Funnel Users Move to the Next Stage?
You need to attract top-of-the-funnel users to your website, but you don’t want them to stay top of funnel.
The intent should be to move them along their buyer’s journey to become a middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) prospect. Your conversion rate of TOFU to MOFU will likely be lower than MOFU to BOFU (bottom-of-the-funnel).
While educating top-of-the-funnel leads, this discovery process may not always lead to the solution you provide. Additionally, some users will click through call-to-action buttons leading them to middle-of-the-funnel content and then return for more top-of-the-funnel education. Your conversion paths to move users along the buyer’s journey need to be there in the forms of call-to-actions and additional content, but it’s not a perfect system on how quickly and through what path TOFU prospects move.
Content for Top-of-the-Funnel Prospects
Content can and should come in many forms, pending what your target persona prefers to digest. Some examples of top-of-the-funnel content could be:
What is covered in the content is more likely to define where it falls in the buyer's journey. Top-of-the-funnel content should:
Answer Questions: First and foremost, you want to educate prospects on the questions they are experiencing when in the discovery phase. Educating and answering questions allows you to build awareness of your business being a trusted resource and expert!
NOT be Selling: This is NOT the time to push your solution or even explain why your solution is best. Top-of-the-funnel prospects are not yet interested in reading case studies and do not want to hear about you. They want to learn, and are thinking about themselves, in this stage.
Be simple: Fight the urge to go into too much detail or create too long of content for users in this stage. Remember, they're not bought in enough for a long attention span and may not understand enough for too much explanation. Short and sweet is more effective when speaking to top-of-funnel users.
Top-of-the-funnel prospects need to be nurtured to become customers. Remember when creating content for this audience to do so with the next step in mind, where you want to lead them, but not take them straight there.
Creating content with the whole strategy in mind is crucial. Now, go out there and educate those TOFU prospects so they can move through your process to become customers!