There’s no better feeling than true marketing ROI—knowing that your work has eventually paid off and actual results show. Living and dying by conversions can be hard, and we all know it’s a game of nuances and numbers. You may find yourself wondering where this magic even starts. How can you push leads through the whole marketing funnel the most efficient way possible? These four methods can help you get started with the most successful place to start: the top of the funnel.

Product Education and Timing

There can be what feels like a ton of randomization to your marketing results. By placing your focus at the top of the marketing funnel, you can control some of that randomization with sheer timing. Educating your prospective clients is an important piece that is most of the time pushed aside. Your contacts won’t always know they need to solve a problem. By educating them on the space you work in, relevant trends in the solutions you offer, and the benefits of solving their solution, you can get them started on the buying journey. This typically comes in the form of educational content, and here are some great starter ideas: infographics, white papers, podcasts, short videos, and interactive surveys.

Becoming a Knowledge Base

Thought Leadership is a buzzword that gets thrown around often. What is thought leadership? Why does it matter if you’re a thought leader or not? Taking a step back for a moment, it’s helpful to look at the whole marketing funnel and see what truly happens at the top. We know that the contact hasn’t engaged with really anything yet, and they’re not sure what their business problems are that you can solve. Putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes, what are they thinking? You know your solution better than anyone else, and all it takes is that realistic communication to make the first connection. Now, thought leadership makes more sense in realistic terms. It’s connecting the thoughts of a potential buyer to the challenge they’re likely facing. You’re connecting the dots for them. If this is done correctly, you can become a major source of knowledge and information for that buyer. True thought leadership is placing your solution on the back burner, and being a source of research and help first.

Brand Development

What do your products do better than any of your competitors? Most branding stops right there. However, we all know that it’s deeper than that. Brand awareness and development is spread out across your full marketing funnel, but the bulk of if should be done at the top. Again, to reiterate, this is the research part of the funnel. Your prospects are looking into a million different solutions for their problems. At this point in the marketing funnel, you’re competing anywhere from 40-50 other companies for mental bandwidth. With successful top-of-funnel marketing, your brand can stand out amongst the rest. What does that mean specifically? When marketing your content or resources, everything should be pointing back to what your brand stands for and how it separates itself. By doing this, the prospect now associates those items with your company name and/or solution. From here, the conversions to the middle and bottom-of-funnel become smoother, as you can be more poignant about your products.

Optimization

How many hours in the day do you feel like you spend trying to figure out what went wrong with a marketing campaign? By marketing at the top of the funnel, you can have those answers without the numerous meetings and frustrating analytics. Good top-of-funnel marketing utilizes volume plus multiple channels, resulting in wide coverage across all networks. It’s then a lot easier to look at these channels as pieces. By doing so, those pieces become easily malleable and even replaceable. Is social media not converting the way you want it to? You can quickly allocate budget and resources to your email marketing, and so on. If this is done correctly, you will find out where weaknesses in your marketing lie, how you can make changes, and what your audience responds to the most. If you choose to ignore the top of the funnel, this type of optimization becomes a lot more challenging as you’re working with reduced assets and resources.

A perfect way to encapsulate top-of-funnel marketing would be the phrase “Why just show up, when you can be the one throwing the party?” There are dozens of benefits to this approach, but all in all, it helps manipulate the ever-pressing frustration known as time. Utilizing the full marketing funnel is often ignored and rarely mastered, so being one of the few to do this efficiently will help you get ahead of your competitors.

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