Top of Funnel Marketing: Strategies for Acquiring More B2B Leads

What is Top of Funnel Marketing?

Top of funnel marketing refers to strategies, often digital, that help brings new website traffic and leads into your funnel. Many of these prospects are just becoming aware of your company or offering for the first time. These people are often just in a learning and educational stage in their buying journey.

Top of the funnel marketing

The B2B buying journey is longer than B2C. Not everyone who engages with your company is ready to buy, especially if there are many stakeholders involved. So top of funnel marketing helps to capture people who aren’t ready to buy but might be someday. It lets you keep top of mind and create your own opportunity for a sale.

 

63% of consumers requesting info on your company today will not purchase for at least 3 months. –Marketing Donut

 

Why is Top of Funnel Marketing Important?

Sales teams need a high influx of new leads in order to achieve their goals. Therefore keeping new business leads in the pipeline is a constant need. Marketers can help fill this need and improve their organizational value by generating new leads at the top of the funnel.

When you only convert sales-ready leads—for example, when your only digital lead capture is a “contact us” form or simply a phone number to call—you lose out on the majority of people visiting your brand online who are not ready to buy.

So by opening up top of funnel conversion opportunities (like downloadable content, webinars, and blog posts) you immediately widen your lead pool. And by nurturing these top of funnel leads, you create new sales opportunities, too.

 

Companies that have mastered lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps making quota. –CSO Insights

Top of Funnel Marketing Strategies

The best top of funnel marketing strategies are targeted to help bring in relevant B2B leads who could be a good business fit, not just any website traffic.

Some common strategies to bring in new website traffic and leads include:

  • SEO – Publishing content and optimizing around keywords that buyers are searching.
  • Content marketing – Creating and “gating” content like eBooks, guides, and case studies behind a lead capture form.
  • Paid advertising – Investing in display, search, or video ads on paid platforms to reach new leads and scale quickly.
  • Blogging – Creating posts weekly that help educate website visitors and encourage them to learn more.
  • Social media – Publishing to social media and using relevant industry hashtags to widen your reach.
  • Account-based marketing – Targeting specific people, companies or accounts with various strategies.

Purchasing lists of email addresses is not advised for generating interest at the top of the funnel. Why? Because it takes much effort to try and engage these people. Instead, an inbound marketing strategy will bring in real leads who “opt-in” to be contacted. This yields a much higher return on your investments and less waste in chasing cold trails.

Further reading: What to Do With a Purchased Lead Lists in Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

Next Steps After Top of Funnel Marketing

Once you’ve begun to generate new traffic and website leads, you often need to play a role in keeping in touch and helping them self-educate.

Oftentimes, email marketing and specifically email nurturing is the best tactic to keep people engaged. By sending targeted emails over time to your contacts, you can gradually encourage more engagement. This momentum is critical.

Expertise in lead nurturing results in a 50% increase in sales-ready leads, along with a 33% decrease in its cost. – HubSpot

Read more: How to Nurture Content Leads

Building a rich database of content marketing gives more purpose to your nurtures. It also gives leads more information to help them come to a purchase decision. And content can be shared and even tailored to different stakeholders in the B2B buying journey.

Sources

HubSpot, “Marketing Statistics” blog post




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Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.