Create Content Pillars To Strengthen Your Marketing
A constant challenge for any business trying to stand out from the crowd, is content marketing, and generating enough content every week, month, or year. This includes having enough content for the business’s website, their social media channels, paid advertising, blogs, eBooks, etc.
But it also includes onsite content, which means creating your site structure in a hierarchical format, setting out the webpages so that topics flow into each other. For example, having “Products” at the first level, “Bathroom” at the second level, with a core keyword, and then bathroom product semantic keywords for each page under that.
Figuring out these topics, engaging headings and titles, as well as the content of the piece, can, therefore, be a time-consuming process, and hard work to keep up with. And for what gain?
IS BIGGER ALWAYS BETTER?
The internet is absolutely full of information and data, and it can be really hard to get noticed and stand out against competitors. The optimum word count for content is actually 400-500 words, with the maximum being around 800 words. However, if it’s an in-depth piece with multiple discussion points and good writing, it can go beyond 1000.
CONTENT MARKETING IS KING
One of the best ways to keep the word count down, is to take larger topics, the ones that could be described across four or five pages, and break it down into smaller, digestible pieces of information.
This is a tactic known as a content pillar, which can include things like eBooks, guides and reports. Over-arching, larger topics, that can be broken down and shared piece by piece, bite by bite if you will, so that people get a taste of what you’re trying to communicate, without making them sick by giving it all away in one go.
The other great benefit is that this topic doesn’t need to be focused around the one channel. It can be spread across many different platforms, such as emails, infographics, social media posts, videos, etc. This means that you can reach people through a variety of different avenues, while leading them all to the same destination. Five of the strongest pillars to build, because they’re the most engaging include:
- The sharing of knowledge
- Influential people and their expertise
- Numbers and data
- Enriching and insightful history
- Community and sustainability
Creating strong pillars for content marketing requires some thought and planning, much like building anything, you need a strong foundation. It does take longer to do than just writing one blog piece, however by following the below steps, you can create a great structure and build out an engaging content marketing strategy.
1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
You need to make sure that you know who is already engaging with your content, and who your target audience is. You should also research what your audience is interested in. What’s the hot topic at the moment? What’s trending on Twitter? Using tools such as Buzzsumo will help you identify the current trends.
2. KEYWORD RESEARCH
The next step is to decide on the keyword that you want to focus on and promote through your content marketing. Ideally, you would use one that is key to your product or service offering, but that also has a high search density (number of searches per month).
Once you have decided on the ‘parent’ keyword, you will need to decide on ‘child’ keywords that will be used for each individual pillar of content afterwards. A great tool for coming up with content ideas about topics that people are curious about is Answer the Public. You can use this tool to find what people are interested in and questioning online.
3. CREATE ENGAGING AND CAPTIVATING CONTENT
Your content marketing strategy needs to be competitive. It needs to be far superior than anything else out there on the internet. Readers should be engaged the whole way though and not just scan the headings. They should be compelled to bookmark it for later re-reading, and even be proud to share it on their own social media. Writing content this great is damn hard, but so worth it. It shows that you’re the authority in your industry and that you know what you’re talking about. The more people that engage with your content the more they will trust you.
4. PROMOTE YOUR OWN CONTENT
One big mistake that a lot of bloggers make is thinking that their job is done once they’ve written their content. As mentioned, there are millions and millions of websites out there, so it’s not just a case of “build it and they will come”. You need to get your content out to your audience through posting relevant articles and infographics related to the piece.
These content pillars can also each form their own social media post, rather than one overarching advertisement, and it’s up to you to share each piece in blogging communities and through your social media platforms. You can even post the content multiple times, by changing the headlines and blurbs to keep people intrigued. Make sure that you link out to each of your pillars from your home page as well, as that increases visibility and search engine rankings.
5. UPDATE AND REPEAT
Once this pillar has gained some momentum, and is standing on its own, it’s time to start building again! The last thing you want to do is let the content get stale. You need to conduct more research on what people want to learn about, how they want to receive it, and then start writing it again. In addition, your old posts may become out of date. Updating small aspects of your content marketing is all you need to stay relevant.
TIME SAVING TECHNIQUE
The content pillar strategy is time consuming initially, however once you have that base structure, you’ll be writing blogs, shooting videos, and creating infographics with ease.