Upper Funnel Campaigns For Long Term Growth

Sam Pilgrim | 20th October 2023 | Paid Media

Most businesses understand the need for awareness campaigns, but unfortunately many go in unprepared for the reality of what this type of strategy yields in the short term. It can be very difficult to track the direct impact of millions of potential customers seeing (but not necessarily clicking) on your adverts, at least not without a more holistic approach over many months. The main blocker is that everyone’s got targets to hit. Spending a large amount of money on something that will benefit your business in 6 months time can be a tough sell, and often the conversation isn’t broached at all for this reason. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a necessary one to be having.

Upper funnel strategies can play a crucial role in boosting your revenue by attracting new customers that would never have seen your ad otherwise, and ultimately setting them on a path to conversion later down the line.

Here are some examples of upper funnel digital strategies that can positively impact your bottom line in the long term:

Paid Media Display: Google’s Display Network reaches over 2 million websites, all accessible within a single campaign. This means you can get in front of a lot of potential customers who may otherwise not have come across your brand. Another benefit of display advertising is that you can target specific placements without a minimum commitment; if it’s not providing the return you expect, you simply change to another site. Google does a lot of the hard work for you – you select your customer’s interests/typical behaviours and the network tries to put you in front of as many of them as possible within your budget.

Social Media Marketing: Social media platforms are used by billions of people every day, which makes them a great tool to promote your business. The vast reach available, coupled with specific targeting options such as interests, job titles, location and more make it a core component of most upper funnel marketing strategies.

Generally, users of social media are not actively looking to purchase products, meaning it can often be difficult to justify spending money here, especially when creating an upper funnel strategy, however if a campaign is deployed in a smart way, it can be very profitable in the long run.

Facebook ads for example allow users to react and comment on your ads if they are shown them. If you include retargeting audiences to start with, and get a few people commenting on the product/service, this can be a huge incentive for others to follow suit. Facebook also gives users the ability to share ads on the platform, or to other apps such as WhatsApp or Instagram. This extends the reach of your ads even further, generating greater awareness of your business and giving users a platform on which they can communicate with you as a pre-qualification process.

Video Ads: Video content is a great way to reach people in an easier to digest way, and it also gives you more time to get your message across to the user if your product or service is complex. However, it’s also one of the hardest to track impact wise because most people view/listen rather than click on video ads. So it very much falls into the upper funnel category. TikTok estimates that 76% of its users go on to visit shopping sites though, which makes it ideal for this type of targeting.

It’s important to consider the different versions of a video you may need. On YouTube, a one minute ad may be acceptable, but for TikTok that’s way too long. With a bit of planning, you can create engaging videos that drive awareness of your products or services in an entertaining way. Quickly capturing the attention of the user so that they don’t skip your ad is key here.

Building Your Brand Reputation: When your upper funnel strategies incorporate customer testimonials, reviews, and social proof, it helps build trust in your brand. Potential customers are more likely to convert when they see positive experiences from others, particularly if what they are purchasing isn’t something you typically impulse buy. We’ve already discussed how this can be integrated into your social media campaign, but it’s also important to consider how this can complement your existing site content and email marketing. A holistic approach to building your brand reputation and thinking about what impression the user gets the first time they actively engage with you, can really make a difference in the long term.

Remember, while upper funnel strategies can be effective in increasing brand awareness and attracting potential customers, a comprehensive marketing approach that continues to target them throughout their user journey is essential for converting those prospects into paying customers.

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