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What is Upper Funnel Marketing & How Can it Help Your Amazon Sales?

Amazon is one of the largest product marketplaces in the world, and with a revenue of $143 billion in 2023, it’s still growing. For retailers, that 37.6% market share of the eCommerce industry makes it imperative to be on the platform. However, selling on Amazon is a double-edged sword: Although you’ll be where the customers are, so will competitors.  

To give your business a leg-up, embrace upper funnel marketing. This strategy excels at capturing traffic and potential leads while helping your brand compete with and outperform the competition. Many product marketers don’t pay attention to the upper funnel, or the “awareness” and “consideration” stages, since it doesn’t directly result in sales. However, this element can actually drive significant value and long-term sales.

Focusing your marketing in the upper funnel and investing in the full funnel will pay off in the long term, and we’ll explain how in this article. 

What is upper funnel marketing?

At the top of the marketing funnel, the prospective customer isn’t yet ready to buy. They have a problem or need (awareness) and are looking to see what solutions are available (consideration). They research options using multiple channels, including video platforms (TikTok), social media, Google, and others. But Amazon comes out on top, with 53% of product searches beginning on the platform. So, optimizing your marketing funnel to capture that early traffic can help guide shoppers directly toward sales. 

Most importantly, for products, the full marketing funnel can be fast. People might move from the first stage of awareness to the final stage of purchase in as little as a few minutes. That means upper funnel marketing strategies can pay off more quickly on sites like Amazon than on a less product-centric platform. 

1. Awareness

At this stage, the customer knows they have a problem or a want. For example, a person may notice they have a scaling issue with their coffee machine, so they begin to look for a solution but don’t yet know what they want to buy. Maybe they’re still considering just running vinegar and lemon juice through the machine and calling it a day. But, they search anyway to learn their options. 

This is your opportunity to grab their attention with your solution. So, you invest in keyword optimization, product ads, and a multi-channel approach to make sure your product shows up in that initial search query. These actions require you to understand the problem, the customer, and see how your product fits into their lives. You must answer the question: What does it do for the buyer? 

2. Interest and consideration

At the interest and consideration stage, a shopper has found a product they like and are deciding if it’s for them. Here, your product pages, web content, brand presence, and web presence will take a leading role in your funnel. The goal is to answer customer questions, alleviate their fears, and pique their interest. 

Strategies that can accomplish those aims include investing in unboxing and product reviews on video channels like TikTok and YouTube, refining your customer service and employing chatbots to aid conversion, featuring high-quality product pages that show off product specifications and use cases, and building a brand presence through reviews across the web. 

Reasons to invest in upper funnel marketing

Upper funnel marketing is increasingly valuable for brands, especially if you aim to own search results, interact with the customer earlier, or simply increase brand awareness. 

1. Build brand awareness on and off Amazon

Top-of-funnel marketing strategies rely on building a brand presence. That leads to a powerful presence both on and off the Amazon platform. The immediate goal may be to increase clicks to buy on the marketplace. Then, down the road, you might find you have an active social media presence, dozens of reviews and videos, and a lot of influencer-generated traffic that easily allows you to expand to your own store. Strategies that build awareness and positive perception of your brand inevitably benefit other areas besides the top of your funnel.  

2. Reach goals for product awareness

Promoting product awareness increases the number of people who know your offering exists, which can reduce buying friction. Even if those people never make a purchase though, that knowledge is still advantageous for your brand. For example, if someone they know has a similar problem, that person can recommend your product. Product awareness also means people are more likely to buy your offering the next time they see it because your brand is now familiar.

3. Reach social media influencers

Social media influencers are integral to upper funnel strategies because they make people aware of your products in the first place. That same strategy will play into other parts of your marketing funnel as well. 

For instance, customer A may learn about your product because an influencer they follow published a sponsored post about it. Meanwhile, customer B might be swayed by the same content because they saw the product in an Amazon search, switched to TikTok to see what the product looks like in third-party content, and were impressed by the video. Finally, customer C might buy the product because they had a competitor’s item, searched the keyword, randomly stumbled upon your offering, and realized it was better. Leveraging third-party content about your products will increase sales, whether or not it’s as a direct result of your funnel. 

4. Drive middle-of-funnel traffic

Middle-of-funnel traffic includes people who actively show an intent to buy and are evaluating their potential purchase as well as alternatives. A top-of-funnel strategy aims to expand your middle-of-funnel buyers. It directly pushes people into the stage where they actively consider your product, which leads to more people making a purchase. For example, you drive awareness, then engage the customer, and then seal the deal with an Amazon Deal or other discount to drive conversion. Of course, you’ll have to ensure all of the support and resources customers need to make those initial comparisons are there. If you know your direct competitors, for instance, you can display detailed product specs, unboxing videos, and other resources that add detail and trust in the quality to encourage buying decisions.

5. It’s multi-channel

The beauty of upper funnel marketing is that it captures the interest and engagement of your customers across whatever channel they’re on by building a multi-channel strategy across Amazon, social media, and Google. This kind of “wide net” approach often focuses on generating interest in one place and then retargeting across other channels. For example, if you sell rain boots and use Google ads for your keyword, you can then make sure customers immediately see your shoes when they search on Amazon, partner with several influencers to post videos of your product on TikTok, publish photos on Instagram, etc. So, no matter where your target segment looks, they’ll see your product, allowing you to recapture interest even at a high level.

Where does upper funnel marketing fit in your brand strategy?

The more complicated your buying process, the less valuable upper funnel marketing strategies are for your brand. For example, if your product is complex and can take months for shoppers to decide to purchase, you probably shouldn’t invest in it too heavily. On the other hand, some products can have full buying cycles of as little as a few minutes. For instance, a consumer realizes they’re out of hand soap, goes on Amazon, and is immediately overwhelmed with options. Yours stands out thanks to a subscription offering and the Prime badge, as well as an eco-friendly label. The customer purchases your product and is ready to go within minutes. 

On the other hand, if you sell a $4,000 coffee machine, you’d take a different approach. It’s still wise to have some upper funnel content, but most of your actual sales will come from people researching your specific model on Amazon, not casual browsers looking for broader keywords like “coffee machine.” 

Top-of-funnel marketing has to play a notable role in your brand strategy. It affects how you reach out to influencers, how you build your product pages, and how you prioritize reviews, customer stories, and focus on customer engagement. That being said, you should base its prioritization on how much it impacts your buying cycle

Tips for upper funnel marketing

Now that you know the advantages of investing in upper funnel marketing, here are a few tips to get you started: 

  • Start from the bottom: Your products have to be ready for purchase before you implement any upper funnel marketing tactics. That means starting from the bottom of the funnel and working your way up. Make sure every step provides a satisfactory customer experience before moving to the next level. So, the purchase experience, delivery, and unboxing all need to be stellar before you move to setting up and optimizing for the other stages of your funnel. 
  • Focus on intent to purchase: With upper funnel marketing, you have to shift some attention away from intent to purchase toward solving problems. However, you still need to pay attention to intent to focus. Using strategies like retargeting enable you to land sponsored products in front of people who’ve looked at your offerings on other pages, which increases product awareness and strengthens the potential for a sale. 
  • Own your aisle: Own your aisle strategies require you to look into how you can both improve your product’s ranking for the keywords you choose and be the best-looking product on the search results page. That could mean investing in better product photography, adding videos, fine-tuning item pages, and improving SEO or using sponsored products to achieve the results you want. 
  • Brand comes first: Top-of-funnel strategies force you to flesh out your brand: Who are you? What is your mission? What do you have to offer customers? What problem(s) are you solving? What are you promising? You want customers to remember you, and that necessitates branding your business, making promises, and delivering on them. 
  • Go multi-channel: Figure out which platforms and devices your audience uses most and make sure you establish a presence there. That entails creating platform-appropriate content, partnering brand ambassadors and influencers when appropriate, and offering full customer service and support on those channels. These actions may require investing in tools to integrate and manage all of your marketing channels from a single point, or simply paying attention to what your customers are using and doing and building an active presence there. 

Wrapping up — Reach new heights with upper funnel marketing

Upper funnel marketing strategies can help you capture sales and traffic from broad keywords and early interest in solutions. For some brands, that’ll cover almost all of their sales, while it’ll play a less significant role for others.

So, research your audience; look into how people search for and buy your product, and how your brand should interact with them at every stage. Although you’re playing the long game, nurturing leads with weaker purchase intent can greatly contribute to more sales down the line and maintain a full marketing funnel.