We all know content marketing is an integral component of a successful marketing strategy. No matter what industry or type of business you’re in, content should be a central component of your overall marketing strategy. However, with so many different marketing channels — your own website, email, social media platforms (all 1,234 of them!), and the exponential growth of content creation on the whole, it’s increasingly challenging to capture and retain the attention of your audience and stand out from the crowd. This is where content pillars come in.
What are content pillars?
Content pillars are the foundational themes or topics that we will write about and build authority around. Content and messaging pillars provide a framework for creating consistent, engaging content that aligns with the core elements we wish to promote.
They are designed to provide consistency, focus, and direction to a brand’s content strategy and help you stay focused, organized, and consistent in your content marketing efforts, and they allow you to establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
For example, if you’re an IT company, content pillars could be based on your industry expertise and services like:
- Cybersecurity: With the increasing threat of cyber attacks, cybersecurity is a crucial topic for any IT company. Content pillars could include topics such as data protection, network security, and cloud security.
- Emerging technologies: The IT industry is constantly evolving, and companies that stay on top of the latest trends can gain a competitive advantage. Content pillars could include topics such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things.
- Digital transformation: Many companies are undergoing digital transformation, and IT companies can play a vital role in helping them achieve their goals. Content pillars could include topics such as digital strategy, digital marketing, and digital innovation.
- IT services: IT companies offer a range of services, from software development to infrastructure management. Content pillars could include topics such as IT consulting, software development, and managed IT services.
By creating content around these pillars, an IT company can establish itself as a thought leader in its industry, attract new customers, and build a loyal following. It’s important to choose pillars that align with your company’s expertise and goals and that are relevant to your target audience.
Why are content pillars important?
Content pillars are the backbone of your content marketing strategy. They provide a clear direction for your content creation and distribution efforts, ensuring that you stay focused, organized, and consistent. By identifying the main themes or topics that align with your business goals and target audience’s interests, you can establish your brand as a go-to resource.
Another important reason to create content pillars is they help you write better content! Here’s why:
- Consistency: Content pillars help to create a consistent brand message by focusing on specific topics or themes that are relevant to your business and your target audience. This consistency makes it easier for marketers to create content that resonates with their audience and builds a loyal following.
- Relevance: By aligning content with specific pillars, marketers can ensure that their content is relevant to their target audience. This helps to increase engagement and build a relationship with customers, leading to increased brand loyalty and more conversions.
- Efficiency: Content pillars help to streamline content creation by providing a clear framework for marketers to work within. This saves time and resources by avoiding the need to brainstorm ideas for every piece of content, allowing marketers to create content more efficiently.
- Thought leadership: By creating content around specific pillars, marketers can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. This helps to build credibility and authority, making it easier to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
- SEO: Content pillars help to improve SEO by focusing on specific topics and keywords. This helps to improve search engine rankings and visibility, making it easier for customers to find your content online.
How to create your content pillars
Creating marketing content pillars involves a strategic and intentional approach. Here are the key steps that a company can take to create their marketing content pillars:
- Define your business objectives and goals: Start by identifying the main objectives of your marketing strategy. What do you hope to achieve through your content marketing efforts? Is it to drive more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, generate leads, or establish your brand as a thought leader? Your content pillars should align with these goals.
- Understand your target audience: To create effective content pillars, you need to have a deep understanding of your target audience. Who are they? What are their interests, needs, and pain points? What questions do they have about your product or service? By understanding your audience, you can create content that resonates with them and helps to build a loyal following.
- Conduct keyword research: Conducting keyword research can help you identify the topics that your target audience is interested in. By using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs, you can find the keywords that people are using to search for information related to your industry. Use these keywords to develop your content pillars.
- Brainstorm pillar topics: Based on your business goals, target audience, and keyword research, brainstorm a list of potential content pillars. These should be the main themes or topics that your content will revolve around. Try to come up with 3-5 content pillars that align with your brand and will be of interest to your audience.
- Refine and prioritize your pillars: Once you have a list of potential content pillars, refine them down to the most relevant and impactful topics. Consider factors like search volume, social media engagement, and audience interest when prioritizing your pillars.
- Create a content calendar: Once you have your content pillars, use them to create a content calendar. This should include the types of content you’ll create (e.g., blog posts, videos, social media posts), the topics you’ll cover, and the dates you’ll publish. Make sure to schedule content around seasonal events or promotions that are relevant to your industry or brand.
Take control of your content marketing efforts and use content pillars to guide your strategy. With consistent, high-quality content that resonates with your audience, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and achieve success in your industry. Need some help with this? That’s what we’re here for. Contact us today to help.