Content Pillars

Creating content can help businesses grab people's attention. But with so many topics, themes, and options, it's easy to get spread thin in your marketing content generation efforts.

Content pillars provide structure to overall content strategy, while ensuring alignment with overarching brand goals and messaging. 

By defining specific themes or topics that speak to their target audience, businesses can streamline their content creation efforts. And be more consistent across channels.

What are content pillars?

Content pillars organize and structure content around several core themes.

They are based on the brand’s overarching goals, values, and messaging, and they help inform the creation of cohesive content across various marketing channels. You can use content pillars for social media, email marketing, lead magnets, blogs, ads, and more. 

Content pillars should focus teams on creating content that reinforces their brand narrative and fosters deeper connections with their audience. 

Types of content pillars

Content pillars can vary depending on the business's goals, audience, and industry. Some common types of content pillars are: 

  • Educational content: This pillar provides valuable information, insights, and tutorials related to the industry or niche. The content is often evergreen and aims to address the audience's questions, concerns, and challenges, positioning the brand as a knowledgeable authority. 
  • Entertaining content: Entertaining content captivates and engages the audience through humor, storytelling, and engaging visuals. It's often shareable and fosters a sense of connection and entertainment. 
  • Promotional content: Promotional content highlights the brand's products, services, or promotions. This pillar drives sales conversions and other desired actions by showcasing the brand's value proposition and benefits. 
  • User-generated content: User-generated content (UGC) is created by customers or fans of the brand. This pillar showcases real-life experiences, testimonials, and user-generated content to build social proof, credibility, and authenticity. 
  • Behind-the-scenes content: Behind-the-scenes content gives the audience a glimpse into the inner workings of the business, including company culture, team members, and processes. This pillar humanizes the brand, building rapport with the audience. 
  • Seasonal/holiday content: Seasonal and holiday content capitalizes on timely opportunities to connect with the audience and align content with the current cultural or seasonal context. 

Importance of content pillars in marketing strategies

Content pillars structure your content marketing strategy.

By defining specific focus areas, you can avoid the scattergun approach to content creation and ensure that all content has a strategic purpose. Content pillars reinforce a brand's identity and messaging across all marketing channels. And they help you more efficiently generate ideas, plan content calendars, and produce high-quality content. 

This consistency fosters brand recognition, trust, and loyalty

Creating effective content pillars

Creating effective content pillars requires careful planning and strategy to align with your business goals. 

Research and analysis

Research and analyze your target audience, industry trends, competitor strategies, and keyword opportunities. 

This involves gathering insights from market research, audience surveys, social media analytics, SEO, and competitor analysis. 

Developing pillar content

A pillar page may include in-depth guides, expert articles, whitepapers, case studies, or videos that provide valuable insights, solutions, or information related to the chosen topics. Pillar page content should be evergreen, authoritative, and designed to address the target audience's needs and interests. 

Imagine you are a sustainable fashion retailer. You could create a pillar page titled "The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Fashion," featuring guides, articles, and case studies on eco-friendly fashion practices. This content, designed to be evergreen and authoritative, would effectively address the needs and interests of your target audience, establishing your brand as a trusted authority in the industry.

Implementing pillar clustering strategies

Pillar clustering involves creating supporting content, such as blog posts, infographics, podcasts, or social media posts, that dive deeper into subtopics or aspects of the main pillar content. 

For instance, in line with the sustainable fashion retailer example, you could create a blog post that explores sustainable materials used in fashion or a social media post showcasing eco-friendly fashion brands highlighted in your case studies.

These supporting pieces reinforce the pillar content's authority, and improve the ability for the information to appear in search engine listing.

Benefits of using content pillars

Using content pillars in your content strategy offers several advantages that benefit businesses across various aspects of their marketing efforts. 

Enhanced SEO performance

Content pillars can enhance SEO efforts by ensuring content is targeted for specific keywords, and more likely to show up in Google search results.

Pillar clustering strategies, which interlink related content pieces, enhance website authority and improve search engine rankings for key topics.

Improved content organization

By categorizing content into distinct pillars based on overarching themes or topics, businesses can:

  • streamline content creation workflows
  • ensure consistency across marketing channels
  • and facilitate content discovery for their audience

Increased brand authority 

By consistently producing high-quality content around key themes and topics, companies position themselves as trusted sources of information and thought leaders within their target market. 

Over time, this consistent effort strengthens the brand's reputation as a go-to resource for valuable insights and solutions. 

Measuring the success of content pillars

Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:

  •  website traffic, page views, time on page
  • Social shares, comments
  • leads
  • conversions

Can provide valuable feedback on how a content pillar is enabling business objectives. KPI review will also help identify areas for improvement.

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