Content creation is likely to form a large part of your overall marketing campaign, whether that’s in the form of social media, blogging, video, eBooks, or articles. No matter what type of content you choose to focus on for your business unless you have a solid plan of who you want to attract, and what you want to say to them, you could end up with volumes of mediocre content that turns people off your brand.
This is why it’s helpful to base your content around content pillars – and once you know what you’re doing, it makes content creation a lot simpler!
What is a content pillar
Usually, when we say content pillars, we’re talking about four distinct themes which form the basis of all of the content we create. Think of it a bit like this: each of your pillars is like the leg of a table. If any of those legs is missing, the table falls over, and all of your content that sat on top will crash down with it. Or, if one of the legs is bigger than the rest, it will be unbalanced and fall.
In having four themes on which to support your content, not only does it make it easier to create, but it gives your audience a variety of content which they will be able to action in different ways – and that not only keeps them engaged, but also wins points with Google and social algorithms.
In simple terms, the four main pillars of content are a variation of:
The aim is for each of your pillars to deal with a different type of content, and as such each requires a different CTA. It also prevents you from falling into the trap of feeling that all of your content needs to focus on selling something. Instead, the majority of your content should be nurturing so that over time they trust your brand enough to buy from you.
Where content pillars fit with your content strategy
Let’s try and focus on just a couple of examples here because there are so many different types of content, to talk about them all would take me forever! I’m guessing that things like social media posts and blog writing are going to be the most prominent ones for many of us.
Both of these types of content require a well-designed content pillar strategy because both of these require you to post/publish on a regular basis. If you’re uber-organised, you might even have a schedule for them – well done if you do!
Even if you don’t, and prefer to write your content ‘on the fly’, it’s worth using the pillars I outlined above to keep your content interesting and engaging for your audience.
Once you start to become recognised in your online communities, your audience will start to follow your content – even seek it out. Having a rotation of different types of content means you can maintain that sense of intrigue (what’s coming next?), and encourage your readers to take action, – ‘likes’ (attraction posts), ‘shares’ (educational posts), comments and conversation (engagement posts), or buying from you (sales posts).
Why content pillars bring results
Content pillars work by moving your audience through the buying process, from getting to know you, liking what you do, trusting your brand, and finally choosing to buy your products.
By pulling people in through attraction, you’re setting them on a well-structured path where you can build a relationship with them, without being all ‘buy my stuff’ 24/7. Since you’re only promoting using 25% of your content, you’re offering them free value content with the rest, and so they get to know more about you.
This method will also work in your favour from an SEO standpoint – Google favours brands that can demonstrate a variety of different content types.
Content pillar examples
Quotes or links that are not necessarily related to your business, but would resonate with your ideal audience.
News snippets or information about causes that your audience believes in.
Something funny, entertaining or useful.
Tips and advice, for free.
Links to other people’s content within your industry.
Links to your blog posts.
Questions that might get your audience involved in a conversation.
Personal insight that lets people know you’re human.
Behind the scenes stuff from your business.
Asking your audiences’ opinion about something.
High-quality pieces with a clear CTA.
Selling or promoting your products, services, or special offers.
Asking for support, i.e. follow me, subscribe. vote etc.
Lead magnets/freebies encouraging newsletter subscriptions.
I hope you found this article useful. Don’t forget, you can download my free guide to copywriting by going to https://www.subscribepage.com/copywritingguide
About me: I’m Emma a copywriter and content manager based in Harrow, London. I have a passion for writing and for creating amazing content for brands that have a strong sustainable, social and ethical mindset.