The twenty-first century ushered in new opportunities as information became even more accessible to the public. Consumers now have more control over their buyers' journey, and this presents a challenge for modern-day marketers as old methods are no longer effective.A strong marketing strategy that leverages SEO-driving pillar content is a must to keep your business competitive. This method should allow you to send messages to targeted audiences and nurture leads into customers by building and expanding your content from the ground up.
What Is Pillar Content?
Pillar content focuses on producing a long-form piece of content with several supporting pieces of sub-content linked to it. The purpose is to educate or inform its audience about a core topic in depth, as well as to optimize content for SEO purposes. It resembles a landing page, but is more detailed and will have several internal links connected to it.
Although it's been around for quite some time, the pillar content strategy experienced a boom in popularity in recent years due to the shift in consumer behavior and Google's ranking algorithms. People have become more discerning of the information they receive, and therefore Google uses in-depth, insightful pieces with quality links to answer those people's search queries.
While the main pillar page is similar to a landing page, the supporting sub-content pieces are bite-sized content offers such as blogs, videos, infographics, and the like—all of which are linked back to the main pillar. This process of linking content back makes the pillar page stronger and allows it to gain more authority.
Building Your Pillar
Starting the pillar strategy on your own may sound complicated, but it’s not. First, you must identify what your core topic is. This core topic needs to be broad enough so it can cover various subtopics within itself while also attracting your ideal target audience. This allows you to create relevant, valuable content that actually gets you quality visits.
To help you decide on a core topic, you’ll need to understand who your audience is. The better you understand who you’re writing for, their pain points, and how you can provide value in their lives, the more effective your pillar page will be.
If you already have an existing website, you may potentially have a core topic available for your pillar strategy. To find it, look for the page with the following characteristics:
- A high authority rating
- Abundant organic traffic
- Hosted on a URL where the core topic is included
- Showcases content available to website visitors without the need to fill out a form
Once you find your potential pillar page, you can then classify existing content according to themes and categories to create content clusters to surround your core.
However, if you can’t find a core topic available, you can simply create one. Note that it has to be something that you’ll be able to write comfortably about. After all, for you to build up the pillar, you’ll need to write factual, informative content frequently.
Once you've decided on what your core topic is, you need to identify around 4 to 10 sub-topic pieces. Say that your core topic is about dogs. You can then surround this with topics like dog breeds, dog treats, common dog illnesses—the list goes on. The idea is for you to trim down the core topic into smaller, more specific, and easier to digest clusters.
Now that your pillar strategy has been established, it’s up to you to make it rank high on search engines. You’ll need to promote the page on various social media platforms so you can capture the right audience. Note that patience is required, as this method is compounding—it generates more and more traffic over time. This is also why you need to create relevant content offers around your pillar as often as possible. Having your blogs linking back to the pillar allows your readers to view more of your content and possibly even purchase your service or product.
Not so difficult, right? If you're looking for somewhere to start, consider the following to help you construct your pillar strategy.
All-in-One Marketing Hub
We at 1406 Consulting use HubSpot's Marketing Hub to provide the features companies need to launch an effective marketing campaign, including content strategies such as creating a pillar page from start to finish.
We start by identifying your targeted audience and creating a buyer persona, which gives us an idea of whom we write content for. From there, the Marketing Hub's content strategy tool allows us to create and implement this pillar strategy.
Want to learn more about implementing pillar content in your marketing campaigns? Reach out for a free consultation and plan.