Pillar content provides an in-depth look at a particular topic or concept. Think of it like the leader of the content pack for that topic area. From it, additional articles, videos, graphics, and so on can be created, supporting the leader and providing new access points to the information. The primary pillar content and sub-topic or supporting content is often organized on a single pillar web page, providing a simple gateway to the information.
Savvy businesses are including pillar pages in their content strategy for 2020. Done right, effective pillar content boosts SEO ranking while providing tremendous value and easy access to the reader. Here are some meaningful ways to maximize the reach of your pillar content to build brand authority and awareness.
Add variety to your pillar content
Think of your pillar page as housing “cluster content,” or a group of content pieces all focused on that pillar page’s topic. While the overarching topic should be the same, the supporting or cluster content can (and, in fact, should) include various types of content, including blog posts, white papers, infographics, videos, eBooks, guides, and more. These internal links lead to a higher Google ranking, while at the same time providing your audience value through a virtual directory on the topic that interests them.
For example, your pillar page might be focused on “Digital Content Marketing,” and could include links to your:
- How to Make Engaging Videos for Social Media eBook
- A Quick Guide to Writing Effective Content guide
- Why Storytelling is a Must in Marketing blog post
- 6 Ways to Create an Effective Content Strategy infographic
In the above example, all content comes under the umbrella of digital content marketing, but the pieces are broken down into sub-topics with a range of content delivery formats. This strategy also keeps people on your site, and boosts brand trust as they begin to see you as an authority on the subject.
Promote your pillar content
Don’t just wait for people to find your newly minted pillar pages — get out there and promote them! Offer little teasers, like short clips of a longer video, a snippet of a blog post, or the table of contents to an eBook across your social media platforms. And don’t just do it once — release small snippets of content every day or week to build buzz and provide even more opportunities for engagement.
Another way to promote content and capture quality leads is by including gated content in your pillar pages. For example, offer a white paper or eBook that requires users to provide contact information to download. Or send an email with a short survey that asks for customer preferences (e.g., how they consume content, what social media platforms they prefer, etc.) and offer a free downloadable guide or early access to survey results as a thank you.
Update your pillar content
As with any strategy, tracking performance of your pillar content and pages will be critical to long-term success. The data will provide valuable insight into what’s working, and what may need a refresh. Plan to update your pillar pages and content regularly. Not only does this demonstrate continued authority on the topic, but it also provides new content for Google to find and index, and gives you more opportunities to promote and drive people to your site!
Updates could include:
- Adding new content or remove outdated or under-performing content.
- Prioritizing content based on performance or best-selling products/services.
- Highlighting content pertinent to current industry news or trends.
Set time aside to conduct regular reviews of your content. The learnings you’ll gain from identifying top performing content (and under-performing content!) will inform your content marketing strategy, enabling you to make continual improvements and gain the reach and success you desire.