In his recent article Top of Funnel vs. Bottom of Funnel, Ryan Law wrote:
The difference between “writing” and “content marketing” is revenue.
I think this is so important to keep in mind when we create content that is ultimately aimed at selling a product or service. But as Ryan goes on:
...that doesn’t mean that every company should focus myopically on bottom-of-the-funnel content, ultra-high-intent keywords, and immediate conversions.
A lot of those content-types are fantastic to generate quick conversions, but don't have the long-term "unlimited upsides" that other more top-of-funnel content provides.
When to focus on Bottom-of-Funnel vs. Top-of-Funnel Content
So let's have a look at how Ryan compares the two:
Let's take this newsletter for example
With this publication we are firmly located on the right side of the comparison above.
I am not selling you anything. My goal with this newsletter is to reflect on the ideas and strategies I have either tried out myself or at least strongly believe in. By way of doing so, I hope to (a) provide you with insights and resources that make you a better marketer, and (b) indirectly show you where my expertise lies.
And if you are ever in need of that expertise, you might (or might not) think of me or our company GrowthBay and shoot me an email and we start exploring ways of working together.
This goes to show, there are lots of ways that content can influence revenue without outright converting a customer—some content will never generate a concrete ROI, but is still worth writing.
Of course we also engage in creating content like product landing pages, case studies or sales presentations. In fact I am working on rewriting those right now. But if you want to build a brand and a story arch around your business, sales-content alone is not gonna cut it!
Bottom-of-Funnel (sales) content is great for building an immediate and consistent revenue pathway through content. Top-of-Funnel (audience-building) content is great when reach is your limiting factor and when you need to focus on building customer relationships, attracting new audiences, and tapping into new markets.
Truth be told, a mix of both is probably wise in most situations. If in doubt or you are just starting out, then go with bottom-of-funnel first to support your sales activities, and then as you have that built out start working on more opinion leadership and brand/market narrative content.