The 4 key areas to the top of your inbound marketing funnel (TOFU) are:
- Social Media
- SEO - Keywords/phrases
- Your website pages
This part of the inbound marketing funnel is all about attracting the right visitors through your content, social media and seo strategies. We've said over and over again that a smaller amount of the right visitors is way better than a ton of garbage visitors. This is true for obvious reasons. You want to attract your ideal buyer personas, not the random passer by with no interest in what you have to offer.
How can each of these components work to attract the right visitors?
If you have the slightest understanding of the 4 areas above, it may be obvious to you how each can attract the right visitors to your site. Here's a brief rundown of each for clarity sake.
If you're reading this, you see the value in blogging. How did you find this post? Social media? A Google search? An email? One way or another, you found it, much like your ideal buyers will find your content. The key though is continually producing it, adding value to your ideal buyers' lives and hopefully helping to solve problems for them.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to write about topics that would be useful to your target market. Blogs aren't meant to be a press release platform, though you can post them from time to time. Rather, blogs are a great way to be less formal, more helpful and open for communication. If you are hitting the right people with your content, you may start getting comments on your posts where you can engage directly with a prospect.
Blogging also feeds your other top of funnel activities. Every post you write can be shared in social media, where you may again get some discussion started. Blogging greatly increases your SEO footprint as well by producing a ton of keyword-rich content for your ideal buyer to find in search engines.
Your website can also feature blog posts you've written, either through a dynamic integration of your blog with your website pages or through manually adding links to posts that are relevant to the content on your website pages.
If you haven't started at least listening in social media, you are behind the 8 ball. I should also mention that those not currently using social media need to understand that social media is much more than Facebook. Social media value and activity can often be much more prevalent on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIN, especially for B2B companies.
As I already indicated, social media should be used at the top of your funnel as a way to attract your ideal buyers into seeing what you have to offer. Through sharing on Twitter and the other platforms, you can gain followers, favorites, retweets, etc... that help to expose your brand as a valuable content resource for prospects.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization
We have numerous posts on SEO here, here, here and here... so I won't go too far into the weeds. Suffice it to say, if your ideal buyer is looking for the solution you provide and you aren't at or near the top of search engine results, you are not reaching the vast majority of your ideal buyers. Google is the way people find things online. If you don't rank for the keywords and phrases that your ideal buyers use, you may as well not be online.
All of the major search engines have now said that they are using social media signals to impact search rankings, which is all the more reason to stop avoiding it. Your +1s on Google+ play a part in your search engine rankings. Your retweets, favorties, etc... on Twitter play a part in where you're content is ranked in search engines. You need to be there too.
If you aren't ranking well for your content now, an SEO strategy is vital. In the short term, you can rank higher using Pay-Per-Click advertising. It can be a very high ROI method of getting immediate, quality traffic to your site.
Your Website Pages
Obviously, these other tactics at the top of the inbound marketing funnel are aimed at hopefully getting your ideal buyers to your website at some point in the process. Your website pages need to speak to those ideal buyer personas and nip in the bud and common objectives that they have. Your content needs to be on point and organized well so prospects stick around.
The Importance Of The TOFU Activities
These tactics are often looked at selectively as options when we speak with new prospects. While budget and time can sometimes dictate what you can invest in, deciding NOT to do them all is like driving a car with 3 tires. You might get to where you want to go, eventually... but your competitors will be looking at you in the rear view mirror the whole way, and you will continue to have more and more track to drive to catch up to them.