Behind every successful marketing campaign lies irresistible content that resonates with the right people. This is why a killer content marketing strategy is crucial if you want to rake in revenues. How do you make content marketing work? Two words. Content pillars.
Content pillars use a strategy that provides meaningful pieces of content that your target audience—and Google— will love, focusing on a specific topic or theme instead of keywords. This can include eBooks, reports, and guides.
Why content pillars?
Using content pillars can help you narrow down content ideas and focus on the creation instead. Here is a rundown of why you should consider the strategy:
- Content pillars make navigating your content easier – This goes for both humans and search engines. The internet is flooded with content and information which makes it difficult for users to find what they need. By using content pillars, you can talk about your topic in a streamlined and easy to navigate way, helping users find the one they are looking for. Links in your pillar page can point them to other relevant content otherwise known as clusters.Making things this easy for people can help you build a loyal following and most possibly convert them to customers. You also help search engines find what they need to index and rank your site. Google favors fresh and relevant content so if you keep adding and updating your pillar posts with more cluster content, you’ll surely rank higher.
- Content pillars can raise rankings for linked pages – Pillar pages help Google quickly determine what your content is about. If you don’t confuse Google’s algorithm, then it’ll rank you higher in search results.So focus on a key topic, write cluster posts, link to relevant pages, and update regularly. Then wait for the magic to work.
- Content pillars help you focus your content on your customer’s needs – Knowing what your customers are looking for can help you create killer content that produces results. Make sure every piece is focused on your target audience and pique their interest to help them stay on your site longer.Let’s say a buyer is looking for information on how to keep her skin moisturized. So, after reading your article about this, she moves on to another related topic about day and night skincare routines, then to sun damage prevention, and so on. When she’s finally ready to buy skin-care related products, she will surely remember your brand!
Creating your content pillars
The first step in using the content pillar strategy is to understand your target audience and identify your buyer personas. You need to create different content pillars for each buyer persona that you have and give them what they want. The important things to remember in doing so are:
Growth-Driven Design has its benefits:
- Identify the type of content your buyers are looking for.
- Address their pain points through content.
- Identify the keywords they are searching for.
- Research on which content performed well historically.
The second step is to set up social listening. Go through what your target audience is talking about on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. You can set up search streams to help you monitor conversations that mention your products, brand, services, and even competitors. Take note of the topics that are mentioned, the articles that are shared, and the posts get the most attention. Use this information and back it up with keyword research for your content creation. You can use Google Adwords to search for your keywords.
The last step is to watch your competitors. See what types of pillar content they are using and what type of pieces are getting hits. You can use Buzzsumo to know what’s working for them and then use the popular topics as references for your content.
Planning your content pillars
Plan your content pillars by collecting the ideas and topics and separating them into distinct groups that will become your pillars. They don’t have to be too specific. The main category with subcategories that sprout from questions, ideas, and conversations will do the trick.
Writing your pillar page
Create your pillar page using your content ideas which will also act as the foundation where you will build your topic cluster. Four things to keep in mind:
- Your pillar page should only give an overview of the broad topic, letting the cluster pages expound on the smaller details. You can answer questions but make sure to give the related blogs work to do.
- Your content should be long-form, made up of at least 3,000 words.
- Don’t forget to use hyperlinks to link to cluster posts as well as to other sections within the page.
- Start with a killer introduction. Tell your audience something that will make them stay and read on.
Create an easily navigable content structure that will allow your readers to quickly head down to the section that interests them. You should also engage them by scattering related resources that answer questions throughout the page, provide a strong call to action, and consider having a comments section. These will help drive revenue from your digital channel.