Top-of-Funnel Content: The Case Study That Proves You Need It

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One of the most common questions we receive from clients is: Is writing content really worth the effort? 

Clients are focused on conversions - as they should be. To make the case for content, you need to demonstrate how the long-term value constitutes the short-term effort. 

In this article, we’ll cover 8 major business benefits of creating top-of-funnel (TOFU) content, plus one of our favorite case studies which shows real results. Curious about content yet? Read on!

What Is Meant by ‘Top-of-Funnel’ Content?

Top-of-funnel (TOFU) content is created to reach your audience at the start of their purchasing decisions, in the ‘awareness’ stage. This type of content differs from lower-funnel content like white papers or ebooks in that it doesn’t try to sell a product or service. Instead, the purpose of TOFU content is purely educational, aiming to solve your audience’s common problems or questions.

For example, say you’re an outdoor clothing brand looking to increase ski gear sales. You ultimately want people on your ski clothing category page, but first you want to reach them while they’re still in the research, or awareness, phase. Here’s an example of what content at each stage in the funnel might look like:

sales funnel example

To find out what topics your audience cares about, you’ll need to do keyword research. This helps you understand exactly what your audience is searching for online, and competitive analysis helps you understand how to show up in search results for those queries. 

This process may sound time-consuming, but the front loaded effort can prove incredibly rewarding. For instance, our ecommerce client increased organic traffic to the site by 700+%, driving 30,000+ more visitors per month, using only TOFU content marketing. (Psst - read more in our case study section below.)

Why Should Business Owners Care?

Creating the high-quality content that Google likes certainly takes effort. But trust us, the endeavor can be well worth it. Here are 8 awesome benefits we’ve seen from creating TOFU content for ecommerce and tech companies:

  1. TOFU topics present a larger traffic opportunity. Broad topics like “how to ski” have more people searching for them, typically because they’re common questions. This is an opportunity to drive great volumes of traffic to your content, and from there, to your “money” pages.
  2. More qualified traffic. TOFU content’s purpose is not to drive traffic for traffic’s sake. You can target topics specific to your audience, so the users coming to your site are the users most likely to buy.
  3. Assisted conversions. Within the TOFU content, you can and should include links to the “next step” for your audience. Whether this is the next article that moves them down the funnel, or a well-placed link to a product page, you can use this content to encourage users to take a desired action.
  4. Brand awareness. The more people see your company’s name in search results for a topic, the more likely they are to associate your brand with it. Think about it: If every time you looked up a ski-related question, you saw the same brand on the first page, you’d at least subconsciously recognize it as an authority on the matter. Now that’s good advertising (without paying for any ad space).
  5. Newsletter sign-ups. When people like your content, there’s a good chance they’ll want to see more of it. Your educational content is a great place to drive email newsletter sign-ups, which helps you stay in front of your target audience. It doesn’t hurt that email has an incredible ROI - earning about $38 for every $1 spent. You don’t want to miss out on that.
  6. Paid search/retargeting opportunities. Retargeting is a paid search strategy used to reach specific audiences who've shown interest in your business. You can tailor paid campaigns to retarget people who showed interest in your content, but failed to take the desired action.
  7. Can be used across platforms. If a piece of content works for your audience on search, it may be a good fit to promote across other platforms. For example, the same client who grew organic traffic 700+% also saw a 170+% increase in Facebook traffic from those same posts. 
  8. Repurpose into other formats. Recycling - good for the planet, and for your content. Your TOFU content can be repurposed into other formats like ebooks, webinars, podcasts, and more.

Proof of Concept: Ecommerce Case Study

Educational, top-of-funnel content is clearly helpful for your users. But what can it really do from a business standpoint? We cover one of our favorite examples from our own client to show you exactly how powerful content marketing can be:

Raw Bistro

Challenge: Raw Bistro is an ecommerce dog food retailer. Their brand is highly authoritative for high-volume “raw” terms, but they lacked the content strategy needed to identify and create this content. This resulted in poor organic performance across the site.

Strategy: We wanted to build authority and increase organic visibility across the span of raw dog food topics. We developed a content strategy to target people from the highest level “raw” questions all the way to the bottom of the funnel.


raw bistro organic traffic

Since May 2019, content efforts impacted:

  • +731% YOY increase in organic users
  • +122% YOY increase in revenue
  • +172% YOY increase in Facebook traffic to the blog
  • 800+ newsletter sign-ups

See the full case study here.

We hope by now, you’ve started thinking of content marketing as a business ally, rather than a nuisance. We’ve seen TOFU content drive amazing results for our clients, and we hope you’ll consider adding it to your marketing strategy as well. 

Need Help Powering Up Your Content?

Maybe you’ve been writing content that just isn’t performing, or maybe you don’t know where to start. We have a solution:

Uproer’s dedicated search experts can help you power up your content, as you can see from our work with Raw Bistro. We drive your strategy with keyword research and competitive analysis, so you know exactly what your audience is searching for online. Then, we create content that helps you show up.

Intrigued? Learn more about our SEO copywriting services. We’d love to have a conversation with you and see how we can help.

Griffin Roer

Griffin Roer

Griffin has spent more than a decade in the search engine marketing industry. After years of working as an SEO consultant to some of the country’s largest retail and tech brands, Griffin pursued his entrepreneurial calling and founded Uproer in May of 2017. He's also served as a board member for the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association.

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Dave Sewich

dave sewich

Dave made an accidental foray into digital marketing after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth and hasn’t looked back. Having spent the first part of his marketing journey brand-side, he now works with the Uproer team to help clients realize their goals through the lens of search.

When not at work, you’ll find Dave staying active and living a healthy lifestyle, listening to podcasts, and enjoying live music. A Minnesotan born and raised, his favorite sport is hockey and he still finds time to skate once in a while.

Dave’s DiSC style is C. He enjoys getting things done deliberately and systematically without sacrificing speed and efficiency. When it comes to evaluating new ideas and plans, he prefers to take a logical approach, always sprinkling on a bit of healthy skepticism for good measure. At work, Dave’s happiest when he has a chance to dive deep into a single project for hours at a time. He loves contributing to Uproer and being a part of a supportive team but is most productive when working solo.

Founder & CEO

Griffin Roer

Griffin discovered SEO in 2012 during a self-taught web development course and hasn’t looked back. After years of working as an SEO consultant to some of the country’s largest retail and tech brands, Griffin pursued his entrepreneurial calling of starting an agency in May of 2017.

Outside of work, Griffin enjoys going to concerts and spending time with his wife, two kids, and four pets.

Griffin’s DiSC style is D. He’s driven to set and achieve goals quickly, which helps explain why he’s built his career in the fast-paced agency business. Griffin’s most valuable contributions to the workplace include his motivation to make progress, his tendency towards bold action, and his willingness to challenge assumptions.