A content marketing strategy is not easy to evolve. Even if you have the best SEO experts and content experts working on the task, there needs to be some method to the madness, so to speak.
Content pillars are our answer to this. Conceptually, it is quite simple. Content pillars are central pieces of content that are usually long-form in the form of exhaustive guides, e-books, whitepapers, research papers, or other marketing collateral. The pillar page will be usually based on a short tail keyword, with other pieces of content supporting this piece.
So, how do content pillars work and how do we at FVG use them to drive content marketing ROI over multi-month campaigns? Let’s take a look.
Why Do You Need Content Pillars?
Once you start planning your content calendar, you will soon realize that it is not easy to identify the topics even if you follow all the basic principles of SEO. You may have done your keyword research, you may have insights into what content works and what kind of content your target audience consumes. But at the end of the day, it is not possible to cover everything and to keep doing it consistently. You will most likely find yourself running out of ideas soon.
The content pillar approach eliminates the need for duplication of content and makes sure that the pillar content remains central to our efforts. The subtopics are generated based on this pillar page content with a focus on search engine optimization. These subtopics will be mostly centered around long-tail keywords.
Content pillars are frequently needed by clients we speak with because of the nature of the evolution of content marketing and social media marketing today. While there is a lot of demand for good in-depth content, there are also restrictions in terms of the attention span. It is unlikely that a 3000-word guide will get a high rate of engagement or eyeballs. But when this is broken down into subtopics, it is likely to lead to more views and engagement.
How Does FVG Use Content Pillars to Create Multi-Month Campaigns?
FVG’s approach to content pillars includes a broad range of ideas. Our digital marketing and content marketing efforts are always coherent, and we believe in unified messaging across all mediums be it social, paid ads, Google campaigns, or email campaigns. So, the content pillar approach gives us a good starting point. Here’s how our content pillar approach works.
Zeroing In on the Pillar Content
This is the first step in the process. We work with clients to identify the topics that make business sense and attract attention from the audience style="font-weight: 400;">. This also involves keyword research and understanding the central keywords that the client wants to rank for. This could be a specific keyword that has a high search volume and high competition.
Ensure that the keyword is a broad topic keyword that directly relates to your product or service. It should also ideally cover the major pain points that your audience faces. You should also research topic clusters that relate to this keyword to create content.
Once this has been identified, we move to decide on the kind of content that needs to be created. Content pillar examples include
- The ultimate guide that covers all steps to a complex process
- In-depth tutorial videos
- Whitepapers that could be many pages long
Creating the Landing Page or Pillar Page
The landing page or the pillar page should be the next thing to be created. This page will be the central link in the whole content marketing process with various pieces of content linking to this page and funneling visitors here. Since this page is vital to SEO, you need to make sure that the page has all the technical SEO parameters and also has enough backlinks from external sources. The pillar page should not be a blog page but it should be a content page on your website.
The pillar page should also have a specific CTA that can be used to convert the visitors to leads. You can choose to gate your content such that the visitors have to share their contact details to get access to the content or this could also be done via contextual CTAs . You should also link other relevant pages via internal links to the pillar content page. It also helps to have a table of content to make sure that the navigation on this page is easy.
Defining Subtopics and Creating Content
Once the pillar content is ready, the next important step is to create content that can lead visitors to the page. Determining topic clusters becomes an important step. You can define what content areas from the pillar content can be repurposed into other content formats. It could be numbers or statistics from the research paper or some insights that can catch the audience's attention on social media.
It is also important to determine what formats you want to use for this content. You can create various types of content ranging from infographics, images, podcasts, social media posts, email content, and more.
It helps to create a common template for cluster content to ensure that there is uniformity across mediums and provide a uniformed user experience.
Promoting the Content
Promoting the content across the right channels is as important as content creation itself. You need to make sure that the content you are creating is accessible across the various channels and speaks to the various audience personas.
Creating high-quality content that relates to the core topics but is made in formats that can work well on social media platforms and other digital marketing channels is the key to successfully promoting the content. Create a short video that can be uploaded on Instagram or Youtube, create an infographic for LinkedIn and Facebook, and create short email content that can be sent out to your email list via Hubspot or any other marketing tool you may be using.
You should create a proper content plan to go along with the pillar content to make sure that you are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the content reaches the relevant audience. Working on SEO on the other subtopic blogs will also ensure there is more organic traffic coming onto the other content pieces.
A pillar content strategy is a great approach to content marketing. Getting content ideas consistently can be difficult. Focusing on pillar content and creating other content assets around this can make sure that you have a consistent set of content ideas for you to work on.
Your inbound marketing strategy needs to have coherent messaging and hence social media strategy, email marketing, and other marketing campaigns should all align to the content pillars that you are creating to ensure maximum results.
A content pillar approach will surely boost your organic search traffic and will also give your users relevant content that is in-depth and actionable.
Want to know how FVG’s content pillar approach gets great content marketing ROI? We have a bunch of great case studies to show you. Talk to us today!
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.