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Top-of-Funnel Marketing: The Ultimate Awareness Stage Idea List

by Article by Hannah Beatty Hannah Beatty | February 14, 2023 at 8:15 AM

Top of Funnel Marketing Needs Awareness Stage Content

At the top of the funnel, your audience is the widest. This is where you attract new visitors trying to diagnose their symptoms and pain points. They ask questions like “why is my organic traffic down?” or “what is a social engineering attack?"

Inbound-FunnelThat’s where your awareness stage content comes in. When your audience is feeling some problem or needs your content can help them to figure out what the cause is. 

Because of this, your audience is at the very beginning of their buying journey. They aren’t always looking to jump right into a solution. Actually, in this stage, they are the least ready to buy. 

So, your content focus should be their pain points. This is where you can educate them and build trust. That trust brings them back for MoFu content down the road.

 Need a refresher on the buyer's journey?  ←


Awareness Stage Reminder

People in this stage are least likely to convert so try to ungate (aka don’t put it behind a paywall or request for information) as much of this content as you can to attract visitors through SEO. 

Great formats for this content include: 

  1. Blogs
  2. Explainer/how-to videos
  3. Educational webinars
  4. Infographics
  5. Forum topics/discussions

Top of Funnel Content Ideas

  1. “What is XYZ” content: Ever Googled, “what is ___”? The results that followed were awareness stage content. Explaining key concepts and defining key terms is a great way to kick off a buyer's learning path with you. 
  2. “Is it possible to XYZ” content: At the very beginning of their journey, your audience may not even know their dream is possible and/or may be looking for a community or influencers to shepherd them along the way.
  3. “Common challenges with XYZ” content: In the beginning of someone’s buying journey, they need help diagnosing the problems they’re facing. Demonstrate your understanding to build trust.
  4. “Reasons to XYZ” content: Lead them to why they should do/buy/change something – show the benefits. They may be trying to convince themselves or others. Think “reasons to change your oil every 7,000 miles”
  5. “Reasons why XYZ” content: Help them diagnose why something could be happening. Think about what problems you solve and what buyers could be searching for: “why is my website traffic declining” or “why is my skin dry.”
  6. “How to XYZ” content: At the top of the marketing funnel, buyers may not be buyers yet… but rather looking to be DIYers. And this doesn’t just apply to home renovation! Think “how to learn another language.”
  7. “Top ideas for XYZ” content: Speaking of DIYers, this type of content can show the many paths to get to an end goal. Some examples include “ideas for red bell pepper recipes” or “ideas for a home remodeling project.”
  8. “XYZ hacks” content: In the Awareness Stage, you can offer your audience quick wins to help them test different options to save time, money, and energy that could lead them to your product or service down the road.
  9. “Ways to improve/boost/increase XYZ” content: Maybe your audience has started down the path but wants to see more positive results. Think “ways to improve my running speed.”
  10. “Ways to prevent/remove/decrease XYZ” content: On the other hand, they may want to reverse course, so they need your insight to get out of a sticky situation (e.g. “ways to remove mold” or “ways to prevent tire damage”).
  11. “Examples of XYZ” content: Show your encyclopedic knowledge off with examples. Lots and lots of examples. Remember you are showing the many paths to one goal. 
  12. “XYZ resource roundup” content: Give them a list of trustworthy sources/articles/content to continue learning, so they don’t have to search for the individual resources themselves. 
  13. “History of XYZ” content: Context is critical, but it can also take more time and effort than people have. Save time and energy by doing the work for your audience. You’re the expert, right?
  14. “New methods of XYZ” content: Not all content has to be evergreen. Accumulate the latest, hottest, and groundbreaking phases or options. 
  15. “XYZ stats you should know” content: Some people need numbers to scoot them toward the solution. Make sure these sources are reputable, otherwise you will lose the trust and respect of your buyers. 
  16. “Interview on XYZ” content: Host thought leadership one-on-one conversations/interviews with industry leaders. They’re enticing and help browsing customers understand your company’s vision and expertise. Plus, you can repurpose it as video, audio, and transcriptions. 
  17. “Common mistakes of XYZ” content: Mistakes and missteps are a part of human nature, and your audience will appreciate forewarning them about how to achieve their goal safely, cheaply, and sustainably.. 
  18. “Signs of XYZ” content: Your audience may know their symptoms but not yet have a name for what they’re experiencing. Accumulate the signs and give them a name to the problem that they’ve long been searching for.

Download Now: Content Marketing Ideas Cheatsheet (75+ ideas for topics, types, and more)

Other resources and tips to help you with ToFu Content Ideas

  • Boring titles got you down? Check out this resource. 
  • Or maybe you’re unsure about putting your energy into topical content vs. evergreen content. Our friends at HubSpot break it down really well here. 

When you replace “XYZ” with high volume, low difficult keywords, you can maximize your audience reach. You just need to choose the right keyword for the buyer’s journey.

It’s not enough to educate them and say “goodbye.” You need to shepherd them to the consideration stage. Start nudging your readers by offering up your brand as a solution. For example, start with “top reasons your skin is dry as a brillo pad” and then “ 10 ways to hydrate your skin."