Top of Funnel Digital Marketing Strategies

Top of funnel digital marketing strategies should focus on one thing: awareness. After all, the top of the funnel is a place where users don’t even know you exist. They’re new to your brand, plentiful, and unqualified (at this stage).

Your main objective will be to grab their attention and make a good first impression.

Sound simple?

In theory, it is. But few businesses excel at top of funnel digital marketing, so we’re going to break it down and share some of the common strategies that are used for brand awareness.

Why Is Brand Awareness Important?

First, let’s talk about the importance of brand awareness. This stage of any customer cycle is essential for obvious reasons: If your customers don’t know you exist, they’re not going to do business with you (duh).

But on the same side of the coin is brand sentiment which tells you whether your top of funnel users like you or not. Your awareness strategy should include a sentiment strategy (how do you want customers to feel after they interact with you?).

We’re going walk through three common brand awareness strategies and when they are most useful.

ToFu Strategy: Use Longtail Organic Searches to Get Found

longtail search query

The first top of funnel digital strategy we’re looking into is for businesses that have a solution to a problem, but their users don’t know they exist.

Example: Your business developed a web application for HR recruiters that reduces administrative tasks and programmatically follows up with candidates. But since you’re new, HR directors haven’t heard of your SaaS. How do you get their attention?

By providing them solutions to their search queries. 

If an HR director searches for something like, “how to automate HR emails,” then they clearly have a problem. Offer them a solution by providing a valuable article on HR-specific email automation, using SEO best practices to successfully rank for that term. If they click on your article in the SERPs, congratulations. You just introduced them to your brand.

This strategy typically works well for B2B services, software, and other technology solutions.

ToFu strategy: Loud & Proud on Social Media

social media smartphone

The second top of funnel digital marketing strategy we’re inspecting lives mainly on social media. This strategy is less above being helpful and solving a problem and more about entertainment.

Example: You have a great new product for dog and cat-lovers, but since you’re a startup, your audience hasn’t heard of you. How do you reach these people and make a great first impression?

Highly-targeted ads and promotions on social media. 

Using Facebook’s creepy targeting tool, you can find dog and cat-lovers, filter by affinity for online shopping, and test different messaging. Depending on your brand values, this might be quirky, cute, or heartwarming. But the most important thing is to show up on their feed and showcase what your brand stands for.

This strategy typically works well for B2C products, experiences, and publishers.

ToFu Strategy: Cast a Wide Net


The final top of funnel digital marketing strategy we’re going to include includes traditional media and news outlets to broadcast your brand to the masses. While it’s harder to control who sees your message, it’s often the largest net you cast.

Example: Your business just invented ice cream that contains zero calories. This is big! But we need buy-in before stores want to stock us. How do we make an announcement that reaches the masses?

Be leveraging a publisher’s wide reader base. 

Getting published in an online or print publication will get people’s eyes on your brand as they skim the news or their favorite magazine. Depending on your product, it’s likely that finding an industry-specific publication will ensure that the right people are interacting with your brand (and it costs way less).

This strategy typically works well for any product or service that interrupts an industry i.e., anything newsworthy.


You may want to start one with one of these and then add another for maximum exposure, or create a hybrid mix of all three. Either way, having strong top of funnel digital marketing strategies impacts your leads down the line because the more top of funnel activity you have, the more likely your bottom of funnel activity is strong.

KPIs to Track

To measure the success of your strategy, look at the following KPIs:

  • New vs. returning users
  • New user time on site
  • Traffic growth (segmented by source)
  • Social media engagement
  • Keyword rankings
  • MQLs

For help crafting a custom top of funnel digital strategy, contact Zenman.

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