By Nik Sharma
I hope you’re feeling relaxed, you have your feet propped up, you have a Lemon Perfect in your hand, and you’re ready to jump into top of funnel.
Before we get into that, I wanted to highlight the new Tydo Dashboard! If you remember last time I talked about Tydo, we launched Report Cards which is what ended up becoming a huge part of that business (shoutout to everyone who installed it). Now, Tydo has finally re-launched their dashboard! This is the same product I used when launching JUDY to understand how to increase AOV based on past customer cohort data, and it changed the business for us. I highly recommend using it — get it for free!
Now, let’s get into top of funnel!
The million-dollar question I hear too often is: How do I build my top of the funnel?
This past week I spoke with the executive team at one of the world’s most well-known and iconic fashion brands as well as the founder of a cash-strapped brand. Both of their goals were to generate more top of funnels and surprisingly, I think the cash-strapped brands do it much better.
So, how can you build it?
Well, in order to answer that properly, let’s first define what top of funnel really is. And, for the purpose of this email, I’m going to refer to top of funnel as just TOF.
Most people who operate in eCommerce, digitally-native brands, or growth marketing look at everything in a funnel. The closer someone is to the bottom of the funnel, the more likely they are to be converted. The bottom of the funnel is where you run things like email remarketing, Facebook retargeting ads, etc. The middle of the funnel is also known as the consideration stage, and that’s where you want to educate consumers to push them down the funnel.
The TOF is where people find out about who you are, what you stand for, why you exist, what you sell, and, simply put, it’s your awareness. Having TOF just means you have something working for you that’s driving awareness. There are tons of ways that TOF manifests itself for different brands. Here are some examples of that:
- Furbo Dog Camera: They are always on Ellen.
- AWAY / Haus / Glossier: They have endless earned media (press, influencers, creators, and customers posting.
- Hex Clad: They are Gordon Ramsay’s favorite pan and are used everywhere there’s a camera near him.
- Warby Parker: They run TV commercials.
- Snif: They are in every major celebrity’s Instagram stories every month.
- Jolie: They distribute a water report that gets you thinking about a solution to dirty water.
- Feastables: The founder has 96 million YouTube subscribers.
- Jambys: Everyone wears it and talks about it.
- SKIMS: An influential founder and always launching new products.
As you can see, there are basically two ingredients to generating TOF:
Something to talk about. Just getting in front of people is great, but you still need something that people talk about after seeing the ad itself. Just having access to eyeballs won’t get you that far.
Distribution. Whether that’s through earned (press, influencers, UGC), owned (a founder has millions of eyeballs on them), or paid (TV commercials, running YouTube ads), these brands are getting in front of a mass market.
Every one of these examples are also much newer brands than something like Kia (the car company) and do one thing well with their TOF campaigns: every TOF ad leaves you with a punchline.
Furbo? My dog will be safe and I can watch him when I want.
Skims? The most comfortable shapewear that’s also celebrity-approved.
Feastables? Less than a handful of ingredients, none of the bad stuff.
Hex Clad? It’s nonstick and it’s good enough for Gordon Ramsay.
Having the punchline really helps people understand more of why you’re relevant in the category. If I’m going to buy loungewear, I at least know what makes Jambys so amazing versus just buying a set of normal sweats.
Good TOF awareness for your brand sets up a clear problem and solution. It’s not just about running a TV commercial, doing a retail pop up, or running video view campaigns on Facebook, it’s about answering the question, “Why should I care about this brand?” in a way that’s easily understandable by someone who’s never heard of you.
If you’re a brand like Hint, your TOF messaging might say something like, “Our water tastes like the real fruit, but we don’t add any of the bad stuff.” That is the TOF play. Now you have the distribution part, which can be plugged through TV commercials, video view ads on Facebook, or press. Most brands tend to forget the first part of this equation which leaves them with a ton of eyeballs, and no downstream effects in the funnel.
If nothing else, the best way to think about HOW to generate TOF for your brand should be asking yourself, “What makes you so interested in this company to work there or start it?” Push that.
Sure, TOF is supposed to be very broad, but in a world where there are endless other brands also looking to carve their own TOF, storytelling sets you apart. Naval Ravikant said it best: the closer you are to your authentic self, the harder it becomes to be associated with your competition.
Tactically, I would test a lot of the messaging on channels where you already have an audience, or somewhere you can get in front of an audience before you really start spending a lot of money behind it.
For a brand we just bought, we sent out an extensive survey to learn WHO is the customer, WHY do they buy, what is their FREQUENCY, WHAT they want to see in the future, and HOW we set ourselves apart from the competition.
From this, we’ll put together 18 ideas of how we think our TOF can look and test everything on TikTok. The organic reach on TT is incredible, and if we can understand what the market wants, then we’ll just pump what we see working. TOF doesn’t need to be a 4-word sentence campaign (think of “Sign of good taste” by Coke) anymore.
So the punchline of this email on how to build TOF?
Drive the punchline in a way that educates people.
On to some fun stuff…
Vendor of the Week:
#paid — The easiest way to spin up creator-driven customer acquisition.
Formally put, #paid is a platform that allows brands to turn influencer marketing into a scalable channel. Their software makes it easy to source, pitch, manage and analyze postings put out by creators on social media.
Now the fun part of #paid is they make it easy to take content and run whitelisted ads from the creators. So, let’s say you’re a DTC brand and you’re looking to show how a product works. Influencers work really well to demonstrate how something works. So you put out a campaign with 25 creators. Out of those 25, 16 of them do really well, way over baseline. With #paid you can instantly take the posts that do well and start running them as ads, coming from the influencers’ page.
You can use #paid’s technology on Facebook/Instagram (this is where I mainly use it), but now you can also do it on TikTok!
If you fill out the form on this page, someone from #paid will reach out with a platform demo and next steps to see if you’re a good fit.
#paid is also one of the few creator platforms that is truly integrated natively with TikTok, which also gives them access to more advanced analytics and measurement.
Learn more about the #paid platform and set up a demo for your brand!
Jobs of the Week:
Want to get your job featured here? Submit it on my jobs board!
Question of the Week:
What’s the most memorable top-of-funnel marketing campaign you can remember?
The one I listed above was Coca-Cola. I feel like most of the ones I see nowadays are easily forgettable.
The winner gets a $50 Haus gift card!
Brand of the Week:
Feastables — The tastiest bar of healthy chocolate
Mr. Beast’s snacks brand, Feastables, just dropped another 2 flavors of chocolatey goodness: Milk Chocolate and Chocolate Sea Salt. My favorite part of the new flavors is the website innovation and photography innovation that came with the new release on Feastables.com
Don’t also forget to check out the announcement video, which is already at 27M views!
That’s all for this week!
I hope you had a great weekend and you have an awesome upcoming week. I finally hit 10 hours of sleep last night, and I feel like today I can do literally anything.
Stay hydrated, get a sweat in, stay safe, stay healthy, and take care of yourself. I’ll see you next Sunday!