10 Top of Funnel Marketing Strategies to Increase Awareness

10 Top of Funnel Marketing Strategies to Increase Awareness

6 Min Read

To generate a high volume of new leads, you need to cast a wide net—and the best time to do so is in the information-gathering stage of the buying process. You can attract customers top of funnel marketing using ads that appeal to a wide variety of consumers. 

What Is Top Funnel Marketing?

Top funnel marketing, also known as upper funnel marketing, is the practice of appealing to a wide range of people with an ad campaign. These marketing campaigns are launched to potential customers in the “awareness” stage of the marketing funnel with the goal of increasing brand visibility and generating new leads. 

Upper Funnel vs Lower Funnel Marketing

People in the upper funnel of the buying process are just starting their journey. At this stage, they are often looking for information, comparing brands, and taking note of different products and services that meet their needs. Upper-level ad campaigns focus on prospective customers and are often centered around building brand awareness and solidifying your credibility. This differs from middle-of-funnel marketing, where potential buyers are inching closer to a conversion.

Those in the lower funnel of the buying process are almost ready to make a purchase. This level of the customer journey may consist of existing customers who are looking to buy from your business again, or potential customers who just need a little extra push to convert. Lower-level ad campaigns are more personalized and targeted to nudge people in the last stage of their decision-making process. 

Now, let’s discuss sales funnel optimization as it pertains to the top of your sales funnel. If you’re focused on awareness funnel marketing, you can employ the following strategies to spread the word about your brand and capture new audiences. 

1. Content Marketing

When funnel building, you can use content marketing to appeal to buyers at all stages. For top-level marketing strategies, content should educate potential customers about your brand. Instead of trying to sell your products or services, use content to address common pain points, detail how to use your product, or showcase your expertise in general. 

2. Social Media Advertising

To create a top-level social media campaign, focus your posts on people who are in the information gathering stage of their buyer journey. For example, creative posts with vivid imagery will help draw people in so they can absorb your message. Like content marketing, social media ads geared towards the upper level of the marketing funnel can address how your product or service will benefit users and solve common problems.

3. Search Engine Optimization

You can have the most engaging website in your field, but it won’t drive leads if nobody can find it online. Since 75% of people don’t look past the first page of search results, you need your website to rank higher if you want people to see it. 

Adding keywords and phrases to your site and publishing high-quality content (such as including videos and webinars) can help you rank higher in searches and get more customer eyes on your website. 

4. Influencer Marketing

Influencers build their brands by creating a trusting relationship with audiences, and people tend to value their recommendations. In fact, over half of customers trust a recommendation from an influencer over other marketing channels. 

By partnering with an influencer to promote your brand, you can build awareness and enhance your credibility with their audience. By creating social media campaigns or highlighting the influencer in Connected TV ads, your brand will boost its visibility and build trust with potential customers. 

5. Display Advertising

Another way to drive brand awareness is to put an ad in front of users on a website they’re already visiting through the use of programmatic display ads. These ads are more dynamic than ever before, with the option to add animation and even short videos. By gearing the messaging of those display ads to fit a wide variety of audiences, you can capture enough users to eventually entice some of them down the marketing funnel and through the conversion funnel

6. Events and Sponsorships

Hosting and sponsoring events brings you exposure to people who may not have heard of your brand. To generate leads, host informational webinars with relevant industry information to connect customers and build your brand image. Or you can sponsor events that fit with your brand, and include a link to a landing page on your website to help determine your ROI (return on investment)

7. Public Relations

There are multiple public relations tools you can use to boost your brand in the media. To capitalize on this top-funnel strategy, create sponsored social media posts to target specific users, offer to be an expert for local media stories, or write articles for trade publications to target customers within your industry. 

8. Referral Marketing

Word of mouth is a proven marketing strategy, as new customers are more likely to trust your existing customers over any paid ads. To entice your current customers to make referrals, offer an incentive like a discount on future services for every new customer that signs up. And you can always include testimonials from past customers on your website to enhance your credibility and show your dedication to customer service. 

9. Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing involves using unconventional tactics to build brand awareness. These campaigns usually happen in large, crowded spaces to attract as much attention as possible. You could create public art or another memorable spectacle at a large event. For example, in 2009, paper towel company Bounty created a giant melting popsicle in L.A. and a giant coffee spill in New York, blocking sidewalks and drawing attention to kick off an ad campaign.  

10. Connected TV Advertising

Television advertising was once solely considered an upper-level marketing strategy, and traditional TV ads are still a great way to build brand awareness with multiple potential customers. But, CTV ads and OTT ads are also great top-funnel marketing strategies to build brand awareness. But now with Connected TV, you have the ability to personalize ads and target specific audiences, making TV ads more of a performance tool. 

Connected TV offers the benefits of traditional linear TV advertising with the customization and power of digital. Create a Connected TV campaign that informs potential users about your product or service and use targeting tools to reach your core demographics. Even though you’re building awareness, you can create TV ads that appeal to people in each target group. 

How CTV Advertising Can Keep Your Funnel Full

Connected TV gives you the ability to target audiences for different upper-funnel goals. And with MNTN Performance TV prospecting, you can create upper-level ads that are highly targeted and optimized to convert new leads. 

We’ve transformed CTV from an awareness-only marketing channel into a performance marketing machine that drives new users down the full funnel—allowing you to launch self-managed campaigns that focus on conversions and revenue. Find out more by requesting a demo

Upper Funnel Marketing: Final Thoughts

Top funnel marketing is a critical part of your marketing strategy. You need it to attract new leads and build a steady stream of new customers. When marketing to those at the upper funnel of the buyer journey, create strong, memorable ads and drive them on engaging channels like Connected TV so new customers consider your brand as the best solution to their pain points.