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Different Types of Top of Funnel Content

29 Different Types of Top of Funnel Content To Offer

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for content marketing. 

The type of content your website should provide to your customers should depend on what they want to buy and how much time they want to spend reading your site before they buy or move on. 

In today’s digital age, the opportunities to sell are endless. There are so many different types of content that you can create and offer to your audience. In this blog, we’ll focus on the content that targets individuals or businesses that…

  • May not be aware of their need for your product or service 
  • Need to engage more with your brand before they click “buy”

But first, let’s talk about how this audience is different from others you market to and why they require different kinds of content.

Why Offer Different Types of Content For Each Stage of the Sales Funnel

Each customer that will eventually buy your service or product has their own journey that starts at awareness of your brand and moves to being an active promoter of your brand.  

In marketing, this customer journey is called the sales funnel. It has three stages:

  • Top of funnel
  • Middle of funnel
  • Bottom of funnel

Top of Funnel (TOFU)

Top of funnel (or TOFU for short) is the stage where prospects become aware of their problem and your solution.

They must become aware that you exist. 

You want them to engage with your content. 

And to get them to do that at this stage, your content should be freely available. 

In other words, it should be ungated – while still having the option to provide their email for more information. 

Middle of Funnel (MOFU)

Middle of the funnel (or MOFU for short) is the stage where prospects become customers. It’s all about conversion here! At this stage, content might look like providing a free resource in exchange for your customer’s email or selling your customer a product or service.

Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)

Bottom of funnel (or BOFU for short) is the stage where customers become excited about working with you. By this time, they will:

  • Ascend through your different offerings
  • Be ready to buy higher-value content
  • Advocate/promote your brand to their network

The Purpose of Top of Funnel Content

The value and purpose of content needs to change at each stage. And the first stage, TOFU has the widest audience. The goal of top of funnel content is to build, connect, and interact with your audience.

In dating terms, this is making eye contact and asking that person out for coffee. It’s safe and non-committal. It’s just expressing interest and seeing where it takes you! 

Different Types of Top of Funnel Content To Offer

Here are some different types of top funnel content that will help you make a great first impression with your audience.

Blog Content

Highly competitive companies in nearly every industry incorporate blogging into their overall marketing strategy. Although it’s not an exact science, you can follow these simple guidelines to make very effective blogs. Plus, blogs are one of the most versatile examples of TOFU content. Here are some blog content ideas. 

1. Company News

Your company is accomplishing amazing things that set you apart from your competitors. Blogs are the place to show that off! Celebrate your hard work, explain difficult decisions, and discuss your growth and major milestones.

If your audience is captivated by your story, they’ll want to learn more, engage, and cheer your company on.

2. Product Announcements

Speaking of company news, blogs are a great way to announce the launch of new products. This might include: 

  • Software announcements
  • New updates
  • Added service offerings

A blog post lets you go beyond a general product description. It gives space for you to tell a story with more detail. How did you identify the need? What inspired its design? How will/have customers’ lives changed because of the new product? 

3. Cornerstone Blogs

Cornerstone blogs are articles your audience will want to refer back to time and time again. Just like we pin important posts to the top of our Facebook pages, cornerstone blogs are substantial and noteworthy.

A great cornerstone blog will be:

  • All-inclusive of your entire process
  • Approximately 3 times the length of a normal blog (2,500 or more words)
  • Filled with crosslinks that lead customers to your other content

For an example, check out Digital Marketer’s cornerstone blog on the customer value journey.

4. Comparisons

Everyone wants to use the best products and services possible. But the average person will not have time to do all the research themselves to find the right solution for them. Save your audience time (which they’ll appreciate) by doing a comparison blog. 

For example, to write about “what’s the best project management software?”, you could: 

  • Pick 2 of the most popular contenders
  • Compare and contrast product features
  • Note their reviews
  • Talk about ease of use and customer support

This is extremely common for software. 

5. How-Tos

Comparison blogs aren’t the only way to save people time. How-tos are also really valuable for this! Give a quick and easy tutorial on how to do something. To make your post even more valuable, include screenshots or photos of the process and mention anything your company offers that can make it even easier.

6. Quiz or Survey

Nothing says engagement like an interactive blog post. Include a quiz or survey in your next blog. Here are some ideas for making it fun and useful:

  • Keep it short and sweet with 10 questions or less and 3-6 options per question
  • Include a text box on surveys where your audience can ask questions
  • Make it easy to read by pairing text responses with images
  • Provide a next step by including a call to action at the end

With a quiz, you’ll increase engagement and learn more about your target audience. It’s a win-win!

7. Q&As

Another type of blog that has lots of value is a Question and Answer (Q&A) post. This is where you go over questions your customer asks (or what you think they’ll ask). Here are a few ideas: 

  • After you’ve collected survey results, duplicate that content by turning the responses into a Q&A blog
  • Create a Q&A blog from frequently asked questions about products or services – “6 Questions We Get About [Your Product]”
  • Conduct an interview-style Q&A with an expert from your team

Q&As help resolve common questions and draw awareness to your products and services. 

8. Wikis

Wikis are a straightforward repository of useful information that your audience can turn to for facts and definitions in your company’s industry. While every type of blog content we’ve discussed so far should be written with your brand voice, Wikis should be written with a more logical tone. WikiCFO is an example of a wiki from The Strategic CFO.

Audio Content

Some people prefer listening over reading – they may learn auditorily. That’s where audio content comes in. 

9. Podcasts

Podcasts are quickly gaining popularity and are a great way to fit lots of information into an easily digestible format. 

Check out one of our client’s newly launched podcasts here!

Email Content

Every email on your email list is not created equal. Some people who are in the top of your sales funnel might not make it to the middle. Email content helps you rebuild your targeting list by pulling in possible leads. 

10. Email Newsletters

Keep your company visible by showing up regularly in your audience’s inbox with a roundup of content. Here are some best practices for making an email newsletter your audience will look forward to:

  • Don’t spam their inbox
  • Have an eye-catching subject line
  • Highlight your other recent content
  • Give email-exclusive offers

Well-crafted email newsletters have the power to bring people from TOFU through MOFU to BOFU.

Images

You know what they say… “An image is worth a thousand words”. Image content can communicate so much about your company with just one glance. Plus, get double the visibility by reposting images from your blog onto Pinterest. Here are a few kinds of image content. 

11. Photos

It’s time for a brand photoshoot! Photo content can give your audience greater insight into the personality of your company. Take photos to:

  • Display a product
  • Demonstrate a process
  • Introduce members of your team

(If you’re searching for some talented corporate photographers, reach out to us here to connect with our photography partners.)

12. Quotes

Try overlaying an image with an inspiring quote – especially ones from your own brand! Your audience will start to picture you as an authority figure and leader. If you’ve been quoted, you’re legit and on a fast path to becoming an authority leader.

13. Infographics 

Reading through a long detailed process description or trying to visualize complex stats is confusing and boring. Don’t be boring. Keep your audience’s attention with clear infographics instead. They’ll be engaged and ready to learn more. Here is an example of an infographic we created. 

Learning Content

Does your company have expert knowledge that your audience will benefit from? Turn it into learning content through webinars or a video series.  

14. Video Series 

Create a company YouTube channel! There, you can post a series of videos where you teach your audience. To get the most out of a YouTube video series, include links to your other content in the video’s description and embed those videos into blog posts.

15. Webinars

Webinars are a more interactive type of learning content. Your audience will be able to tune in live, ask questions, and get specific feedback. Increased engagement means more opportunities for you to show the value of your products or services.

Video Content

Aside from learning content, video can also do so much more for your marketing strategy. Here are some different types of top of funnel content to create from videos.

(We have a number of incredibly talented videographers that we’ve partnered with. If you’re looking to up your video game, reach out to us here to get connected to our partners.)

16. Short Video (< 10 minutes)

In 10 minutes or less, you can: 

  • Demonstrate a problem that your company solves
  • Flaunt a product or service
  • Show a compilation of testimonials

17. Long Video (> 10 minutes)

Use videos that run longer than 10 minutes for more detailed story-telling like:

  • Vlogs (video blogs)
  • A case study or success story
  • Behind the scenes footage

To keep your audience’s attention, your video should get more interesting as it gets longer. Introduce at the start that something exciting will be revealed at the end. And then deliver on that promise.

18. Interviews

Channel your collaborative side by recording an interview with a team member or someone from your business network. Also look out for opportunities to be interviewed by other companies to get even more visibility.  

Outside Content

Diversify your reach with outside content like magazine articles, press releases, and Q&A forums.

19. Magazine Articles

Being featured in a magazine article will build trust and recognition for your brand. Identify some popular magazines that get a lot of traffic, and then pitch your story! 

PLUS since most magazines also publish their articles online, you’ll have the added benefit of growing your back-link network to increase your website’s SEO.  

20. Press Releases

Need some help pitching your story to magazines? Press releases can help grab the attention of journalists and media outlets so you’ll be more likely to get on their radar. Press releases spark curiosity in a broad audience and give them a reason to visit your website, find your other content, or try out your products. 

(We’ve recently partnered with an incredible boutique PR agency that customizes solutions for each of their clients. If you’d like a warm introduction, reach out to us here.)

21. Q&A Forums

Establish your credibility as an expert and grow your community by answering questions in Q&A forums. Try out these 2 forums: Quora and Alignable

Social Media 

Now more than ever, people are spending an unprecedented amount of time on their social media. Take advantage of their undivided attention by showing up regularly with awesome content in their feeds.

22. Social Media Posts

Each social network has their own content style. With all that variety, you can post about the same topics on different platforms while still making it look like different content.

23. Facebook Group

Leverage Facebook groups to engage with your audience on a whole new level. Being part of a Facebook group helps people feel more connected to your brand and each other – making them one step closer to reaching the BOFU.

24. Facebook or Instagram Live

Interaction gets even better when the experience is happening live. Your audience doesn’t even need to leave their home to have face-to-face access to you. Show a live demo, interview, or Q&A! Host the live content with collaborators in your network to reach an even broader audience.

24. IGTV (< 5 minutes)

Instagram introduced IGTV last year, making it a hot new avenue to post your content. The best part is, you don’t need expensive professional equipment to shoot your content. The platform is meant to be made right from your phone.

26. Social Media Advertising 

What most people don’t know is that when you do social media advertising, your ads can appear outside of social media networks. When you take out a Facebook ad, it can appear in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. Take advantage of this extra visibility! 

Website Content

Finally, there are different types of top of funnel content that can exist right on your website and require little to no updating. These are things like online calculators, product or services pages, and microsites. 

27. Calculators

One kind of TOFU website content is a calculator – like the calculators found here. Many mortgage lenders have calculators on their websites. If done well, it can act as a lead generator to get a mortgage quote. 

(HAR.com)

28. Product / Service Pages 

Does your website have seperate pages for each of its products or services? This is a great way to expand your content and make it easier for your customers to find you online. Check out FocusCopy’s tips for updating your website copy to make your products and services pages work well at the top of your marketing funnel.

29. Microsites

Microsites are great ways to capture more attention and direct them to your website. It’s usually a single page or cluster of pages meant to complement a specific activity.

One of our favorite recent use of microsites is Tulsa advocating to Tesla to build a plant in their city. So they created TulsaSaysYes.com. 

(TuslaSaysYes.com)

While that’s enough to at least put a case together for Tesla to consider Tulsa, they took it one step further. They created AustinSaysNo.com. 

(AustinSaysNo.com)

The results… Elon Musk himself said this:

While this campaign only had a target audience of one, it was extremely effective and targeted. 

What Types of Content Are You Working On?

These 29 different types of top of funnel content are just the start. There are so many varieties of content for different stages of the sales funnel. What kinds of content is your company working on now? Creating content consistently can be a lot to keep up with. If your team is looking to grow your visibility by outsourcing your content writing, FocusCopy can help.

8 Major Oversights Content Writers Should Avoid When Blogging

Blogging isn’t just for beauty influencers and foodies. It’s 2020, and the most competitive companies in all industries have blogs associated with their businesses. 

Never considered blogging before? Well, you might be missing out on some major growth opportunities! 

If you feel behind in the blogging scene, don’t worry. I’ll go over the 8 major oversights content writers should avoid when blogging, so you can start blogging like a pro. 

PLUS right now is an optimal time to invest in a blog for your business.

Why now?

Because many of us are at home, tuned into our preferred devices. Your audience is at attention. Strategically, if you’re looking for growth in the next 6 months, you need to start working now by investing in and increasing your organic traffic. 

What is Blogging?

Before we get into the 8 major oversights content writers should avoid when blogging, let’s break down what blogging entails. 

A blog is a collection of content available on a website or social media profile (like LinkedIn). It’s a log of a company’s insights, knowledge, experience, and tips for readers. 

Blogging as a practice: 

  • Helps your customers find you more quickly and easily on the Internet – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Encourages your customers to realize that you have something valuable to offer – Value-Added Information
  • Drives new customers to your company without paid advertising – Organic Traffic

Why is Blogging Important for Your Overall Marketing Strategy?

Whether it’s a written, video, or visual log, a blog is important for your overall marketing strategy. At its core, marketing is a way to warm up your prospects in order to convert them into sales. In the digital world, marketing is also what  converts leads into customers. 

A strong marketing strategy cultivates a relationship between your customers and your company. And this is essentially what blogs are built to do! They create trust and familiarity through consistent and valuable communication. 

And it’s not just a one-way street. Blogging doesn’t just create an opportunity for your company to share insights and stories with prospects; it also allows your customers to share their stories and experiences too – through comments. In other words, you have the ability to advertise and conduct market research, all in one place. 

8 Major Oversights Content Writers Should Avoid When Blogging

Now that you understand the value blogging will have for your business, let’s talk about how you can approach it like a professional. Here are 8 major oversights content writers should avoid when blogging.

1. Not Breaking Through Your Writer’s Block

Most clients come to us for 1 of 2 reasons:

  1. They hate writing. Writing well can take time, and not everyone has the patience for it.  
  2. They take forever to write. Some people get stuck staring at a blank page or writing and rewriting things to no end.

To start a blog, you’ll have to write regularly. Many content writers don’t expect to run into writer’s block. If and when it hits, they’re stuck! Don’t give up. Breaking through writer’s block is a key skill for successful content writing.

Need some tips on overcoming your writer’s block? Click here to read our blog about it.

2. Not Editing And Proofreading Work

Although it might seem obvious to some, many content writers take editing and proofreading their work for granted. This is a major oversight that can reflect negatively on your brand.

Having content that is free of grammatical and spelling errors helps show that you care behind your content and ensures you’re communicating effectively.

Check out our blog post filled with proofreading tips, so you can edit your work like a professional copywriter. 

3. Not Outlining BEFORE You Start Writing

Some writers just write in a flow. That’s alright, but if you want to write strategically, always start with an outline. 

Creating an outline before you start writing will help you…

  • Write faster. Once the structure of your blog is there, it’s easier to fill in the blanks.
  • Organize your thoughts. You’ll avoid veering off course from your intended topic and ensure you’re not covering too much in one post.
  • Increase your SEO. When you have structured headings and subheadings for your blog posts that use similar keywords or SEO synonyms, it’s easier for search engines to detect the topic of your blog and direct people to it based on their search. 

Here’s an example of what an organized outline can do for your final product.

The outline:

 Major Oversights Content Writers Should Avoid When Blogging

The final product:

 Major Oversights Content Writers Should Avoid When Blogging

4. Not Showing Some Personality

A blog post isn’t a formal document. People don’t want to read something dry– even if the topic is “boring”. They want to read something entertaining! 

In the past, I’ve written blogs for CFOs about financial forecasting using an example of Hooters girls. Show some personality in your writing. It breaks the ice. 

5. Not Narrowing Down Your Focus

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Likewise, a single blog post cannot be all-encompassing. Don’t try to solve every problem or address every topic in your individual blog posts. Pick one small topic and cover it extremely well. This will have more value for your audience and encourage them to come back and read more…

If you envision your company’s blog covering several topics, you can create a tagging system. This lets you cover a range of topics across several blog posts in an organized way.

First, identify one major-topic. Narrow down that topic even more. Then get even more specific. You cannot provide real value on a given major-topic with just one blog – there’s simply too much information for a reader to digest at once; therefore, you need to get specific. Remember, blogs are not novels or dissertations, they are intended to be relatively small, quick to read, and easily absorbed by their audience.

 Here are a couple of topic progressions to get you started. 

Overarching TopicKey Areas in Major TopicSub-Topic of Key AreaSpecific Detail Related to Sub-Topic
CoffeeWays to make delicious coffeeFrench PressFrench Press Best Practices
Content MarketingBloggingLaunching a BlogOversights Content Writers Make When Blogging

6. Not Using Research To Defend Your Claims

An entertaining blog on its own might give your company some visibility. But when it comes to converting to sales, you’ll want to leverage some research in your writing. 

As the saying goes, people tend to buy on emotion and justify the buy with logic. Compelling evidence to support your claims will underscore both the emotional and logical aspects of your pitch.

These can include…

  • Published studies
  • Striking statistics
  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Easy-to-read charts and graphs

7. Flat Out Plagiarizing

This goes without saying – don’t plagiarize. Cite all quotes and sources. No one wants to come off as unoriginal or deceiving. Your company will lower its credibility when your plagiarism is discovered (and it will be!).

Giving others credit where credit is due is the right thing to do and can be really helpful for your SEO! Include outbound links to sources in your blog posts. 

8. Perfecting It So Much It Never Gets Published

A “perfect” blog post is never published because it’s never done. At some point, you just need to press “publish”. If you ever want to change anything, all you have to do is edit that content and update it. 

Put yourself out there and see how your audience responds. Remember, your audience is looking for consistent and regular communication. Don’t trade perfectionism for building a relationship with your customers. They’ll be happier to hear from you regularly. If you don’t include something in your current blog, you can always write about it in the next blog. Just keep the content and communications flowing to your followers and customers.


Looking for help launching your blog or increasing your number of subscribers? FocusCopy can do your content writing for you and even craft newsletters that go directly to your customer’s inbox.