Every buyer who interacts with your company will have their own way of finding you and becoming a customer. Like in life, most customers will go through a similar set of decisions on their way to completing the buyer’s journey. From visitors to leads, they’ll move deeper into the marketing funnel. We call it a funnel because it starts off wide and gets narrower as you move closer to the bottom.
That’s why it’s so important to attract a lot of leads to begin with. How can you attract and keep more leads? Develop a strategy that fits each key phase in the buyer’s journey— awareness, engagement, conversion— or top, middle and bottom of the funnel.
The first stage of the marketing funnel is the awareness phase. Not every person who reads a blog post or comes across your website will want to buy. They may not even realize they have a problem. Maybe they’re thinking about going on vacation but not sure if they should or don’t know where to go. They don’t want to hear about your all-inclusive pricing model. At least not yet.
You’re better off explaining why taking a vacation is healthy or why they should choose one destination over another. You could write a blog post: “Five Reasons Why Taking a Vacation is Good for Productivity” or film and post a video about the natural wonders of Costa Rica. If your content is good, they’ll dig deeper to learn why your offering is right for them.
Supporting the Sales Team
Lead generation is all about supporting the sales team. If your business is expanding into a new area or going after a different audience, the PR and marketing teams can grease the wheels. At the start of a program, it’s important for all players—content strategists, media relations experts and key sales and marketing leads—to work together to create a cohesive strategy that maximizes every opportunity.
Once a campaign is underway, teams should regroup regularly to share upcoming opportunities and wins.
Earned and Owned “Top-Of-The-Funnel” Content Strategies
Earned media is an essential part of the top-of-the-funnel marketing strategy. As a third-party endorsement, earned media is powerful because it not only creates broad awareness that most businesses can’t achieve through owned channels alone, but it also provides credibility, helping move leads deeper into the funnel.
Here’s how to make the most of your media wins:
Start a Conversation
Don’t just post a link to a media hit with a bland and generic message. Think about how you use that coverage to start a conversation in your owned channels. Pose a question that is relevant to the article. Encourage your audiences to engage.
High-profile media wins have staying power. If it’s an article, consider repurposing it into an attractive leave-behind that you can give to your sales teams. For broadcast, you can compile several clips into a sizzle reel that you can post on your website and in social channels.
Looking for some strategies to enhance your media pitch? Loop in the marketing teams with these tactics:
Make News with Surveys
Surveys are a great way to break through and establish your brand—and executives—as a thought leader. While surveys can be costly, the results can be mined in a multitude of ways, from pitching, to infographics, blog content and more.
In this online age, people are hungry for tangible experiences. Something as simple as a bus tour gives your audience an opportunity to engage in a much deeper way. Above and beyond generating media coverage, experiential events are tailor made for video, social media and other top-of-the-funnel content.
Building a Lasting Relationship
How can you build a lasting relationship? Honesty, trust and shared values. This is true both in business and life. If you start the conversation by adding value, you’ll create a solid foundation that is essential to moving your leads deeper into the funnel and eventually converting them into customers.
Take the time to get to know your customers, speak to them in a language that they can understand and, above all else, be a resource.