Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

What Is Top of the Funnel (TOFU)?

In marketing, a funnel means that only a few will remain by the end (as the rest will be filtered out) from a large group of potential customers. So, the end flow of final conversions will be narrow and smaller than what we started with.

When marketers talk about the top, middle, or bottom of a marketing or sales funnel, they mean the stage of the buying journey a potential customer might be in.

Top of the Funnel marketing refers to activities and campaigns that focus on lead generation and targeting consumers in the uppermost portion of the marketing funnel.

Marketers create and publish content at this stage to pull in new customers, raise brand awareness, and generate buzz around their brand. The purpose is to reach as many people as possible and retain them until the end of the funnel.

Such activities can include content marketing efforts, such as email, social media, blog posts, SEO, traffic, paid advertising, white papers, free trials, and more.

Top-of-the-funnel marketing produces leads that feed into a brand’s lead nurture program, with the ultimate goal of converting these leads into sales or customers.

Why Is TOFU Important

The top of the funnel serves to spread awareness, educate potential clients, and raise awareness about products or services. By keeping track of the various channels that may help bring in more visitors to your site or social media platforms, marketers can better understand how to strategize the campaigns they’ll design later

So, the primary objective for marketers at the top of the funnel includes:

  • Brand awareness
  • Generate Leads
  • Providing Information
  • Education

This TOFU content is the first opportunity for brands to capture the attention of prospects by providing them with informational content and showing them what they stand for. It’s the perfect time to advertise your mission statement, social responsibility campaigns, and the story behind why you began. This information is what people will be looking to find.

Remember that content at this stage of the funnel should never be overly promotional. Instead, it’s a more intelligent approach to focus on value addition and avoid branded content.

For instance, creating industry-leading blog posts related to your niche that provides people the answers to all their potential related search queries should be one of your top priorities.

Examples of Top of Funnel Content

TOFU content can come in many different forms, including:

  • Blogs and articles
  • Social media posts
  • Video
  • Infographics

Marketers also use many different strategies to get their content in front of their target audience, which may include:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Paid Advertising
  • Social Media Advertising

Search engine optimization (SEO) and paid advertisements on search engines work great at this stage. They enable you to make your TOFU content more visible to people who might actively use search engines to seek out information related to your industry.

Benefits of TOFU

Among many, here are some of the primary benefits of TOFU marketing:

1. Establishing Your Place in the Market

You may wonder why you should bother writing about topics seemingly so basic and mundane.

Well, here’s the thing.

Even if your audience doesn’t consist of ideal customers yet, they will get closer to your brand when you start providing them with educational content on terminology and procedures. So, TOFU is the perfect stage for your brand to establish its place in the market.

2. Generating Brand Awareness

A brand that educates and adds value consistently will become the default place potential customers will go to when they have questions.

A quality content strategy can cement your brand at the top of potential future customers’ minds, so when they are ready to hire somebody, you will be the first person they contact. 

3. Building Trust

At this point, it’s also crucial that you gain the trust of your audience. Just because they’re viewing your content doesn’t mean they trust your brand enough to make a future purchase or stay engaged. 

So, to build trust, ensure to put out highly unique and valuable material that solves any problems people may have while just starting on their buyer journey.

Consistently adding value to people builds trust in your brand and establishes your company as a market leader, which will benefit you later.

Key Takeaway

The top of the marketing funnel may not seem as important as the middle or bottom, but it’s the starting point of your customers’ buyer journey, which means that it’s your only shot at capturing new leads. Creating brand awareness around this time and widely promoting online is one of the best things you can do for future conversions.