Top-of-funnel Marketing Best Practices for SaaS Startupsby@evansuchechi1

Top-of-funnel Marketing Best Practices for SaaS Startups

by Evans UchechiOctober 19th, 2023
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Looking to market your SaaS product/service with ToFu content? This article covers the best practices to follow.
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Once you’ve built your SaaS product, marketing is the next step. And how well word of your product spreads depends on your Top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) marketing efforts.

Marketing funnel animation by Animoox Studio

A good strategy, well executed, could lead to incredible signup rates in the long run. So, in this article, we’ll cover the best practices for creating ToFu content that sparks interest. Let’s dive right in.

What is ToFu Marketing

ToFu marketing is shorthand for top-of-the-funnel marketing. It’s a stage in the marketing funnel that involves creating awareness about consumers' needs and subtly hinting that your product can solve them. ToFu exists alongside MoFu (middle-of-the-funnel) and BoFu (bottom-of-the-funnel) on the customer journey and is critical in raising awareness about solutions.

Photo by Autopilot

The main thing to note about ToFu marketing is that it focuses on raising awareness about a need and the existence of a helpful solution. In this stage, selling isn’t the main objective, at least not in the short term.

It’s essential to bear this in mind before planning your ToFu strategy, or else your efforts may come off as desperate, leading to potential distrust.

ToFu vs. MoFu vs. BoFu

The primary difference between top-of-the-funnel content and content created in the other marketing stages is that they cater to different needs in the customer journey.

ToFu content is designed to help customers who are just becoming aware of a problem that’s not well-defined, that is, those in the awareness stage. They tend to have longer word counts because they try to answer many questions.

MoFu content, on the other hand, is targeted towards potential customers in the consideration stage. They have become acutely aware of their problems and are actively narrowing their options to the one that seems best for them.

Their search entries are more specific this time, so MoFu content, like comparison charts, webinars, and podcasts, usually have long tail keywords.

When your prospects are ready to purchase, BoFu content helps them choose your product). Unlike ToFu content that avoids directly selling, BoFu tells your audience exactly why they should pick your product by highlighting its unique advantages over other products. Examples include case studies, trials, demos, and customer stories.

Before you map out your strategy, create user personas.

You must understand what kind of people you aim to sell to before making a great ToFu strategy. This is where user/buyer personas come in.

User personas are fictional, detailed representations of your ideal customer or target audience. Using them lets you make your content and marketing campaigns more personalized.


The most successful SaaS businesses have multiple buyer personas refined over the years until they accurately or nearly perfectly fit the audience they market to. In-app surveys and questionnaires can benefit companies with a reasonable user base.

But it can be a little more difficult for startups that don’t have as many users yet. Still, start with what you have. Research your existing customer base and consider factors such as their occupation, age, and home life, among others. You could even survey your current clients to learn more about them.

Even if you haven’t entered the market yet, you can create well-defined user personas by looking at your competition. Research what market segment they’re earning the most from and use that info to draft your user personas.

Make sure to categorize your personas into different segments to be more specific as you reach out to them.

ToFu Content Creation Best Practices

The quality of your ToFu content can largely determine how many people notice your product. And the more attention you can garner, the more leads you are likely to attract as well. That said, here are some best practices for making excellent ToFu content.

Craft attention-grabbing headlines and hooks

It takes 15 seconds for readers to decide whether to continue reading an article. For video content, it’s five times less time.

So, when you make content, aim to grab your audience’s attention within the first few seconds.

This means using interesting headlines and attention-grabbing intros in your articles and intriguing hooks in your videos.

Source: GIPHY

For instance, “10 insanely gatekept methods to saving thousands of dollars on streaming platforms” is a much better title than “10 Ways To Save Money on Streaming.”

Video content is even trickier. But here’s one of many hooks that can keep your audience glued: “Stop wasting money on streaming platforms. Instead, try these ten methods to save you tons of cash while enjoying your favorite subscription service.”

Utilize various content formats

Consider using as many content formats as possible when making ToFu content. This approach enables you to reach audiences that you otherwise may have yet to be able to touch with your content if you stuck to just one.

For example, posting short-form videos is a great way to reach many people, but so is a great blog post or a brilliant infographic with your brand’s logo and theme.

Incorporate storytelling and emotional appeal

Emotions and stories appeal to humans. It’s why human-created content has an edge over AI-generated ones. So, leverage this advantage as much as possible, as many startups lean towards AI content these days.

Source: Inside Jamari Fox

However, maintain brevity. As much as people like stories, they get bored easily when the takeaway isn’t in sight.

Optimize content for search engines (SEO)

Aside from just using semantic keywords in your content, incorporate other SEO practices. Optimize meta titles, descriptions, and even captions, and obtain backlinks from reputable sources to ensure your content stays on the first page of SERPs.

It can be incredible the difference being on top of a Google search can have for your content.

Regardless, avoid prioritizing SEO over quality and intent.

Leverage multiple social media platforms.

It’s best to utilize several social media platforms to make the most out of your content. When doing this, remember that each platform has a different algorithm. So, tailor your content to each one.

Also, post the content type that works on each platform. For instance, while long-form posts may do well on LinkedIn, Twitter (or X) may not favor lengthy threads.

Trends change occasionally, so try to stay on top of industry patterns.

Tread carefully with Email marketing strategies for ToFu

Using emails during the ToFu stage is very tricky. You can either nail it or have your domain flagged and all your email campaigns permanently directed to spam folders. There is a delicate midpoint that can lean toward either possibility, but it solely depends on the quality of your email copy and your strategy.

GIF by Tenor

As a rule, only email people who subscribe to your newsletter, and avoid using clickbait.

Setting clear KPIs

It’s easy to lose sight of the metrics you plan to measure when they’re unclear. For instance, suddenly switching from measuring impressions to tracking the number of likes and followers on your pages can quickly make you lose motivation. Because building an organic following takes time.

Furthermore, content on TikTok, for example, tends to garner more individual views than the same content posted on Instagram. Hence, it takes more time to grow an Instagram following than on TikTok. So, don’t be discouraged if you primarily use Instagram for marketing.

The main point is clearly defining your KPIs for each stage in your marketing process. It will help you streamline your efforts to achieve your goals and keep you motivated in the long run.


Creating ToFu content that piques attention in an increasingly competitive market takes time and effort. While you’re trying not to be too forward and aggressive with your marketing, you also don’t want to create content that doesn’t drive leads in the long run.

So, this article has explored the best practices for creating ToFu content that sticks. Properly implemented, you’ll have a solid foundation for future marketing campaigns.