If you’ve had a business website for any length of time, you’re most likely aware that publishing content is essential. Not only does it connect you with your audience, but it also boosts your website’s SEO strategy and allows you to show up in search engine results more often.
However, it’s one thing to know you need content and quite another to know what to write about in that content. Some business owners are ready to outsource their content marketing needs to experts like Uyo Digital Marketing. Others might prefer to write it themselves but face the dreaded Writer’s Block.
If the latter sounds like your situation, or if you’d just like to improve your content marketing skills, familiarizing yourself with the importance of content pillars is the way to go. Let’s discuss what content pillars are, how they can benefit your small business, and how to develop your own.
What Are Content Pillars?
Let’s start with the basics. Content pillars are key themes that run through all of your content, whether in the form of a video, blog post, e-book, or infographic. As the name suggests, this type of content is a heavy-lifter for any small business. Content pillars should support your goals, like gaining more website traffic or sales revenue.
Also known as “cornerstone content” or “bedrock content,” your pillar content typically includes the most robust and in-depth pieces on your website. These pieces are easily shared through email and social media marketing campaigns and rank well in search engine results.
Your content pillars largely depend upon your audience’s interests and needs as well as your company’s brand and services. In a nutshell, ask yourself, “What do I want my business to be known for?” The answer gives you your content pillars.
As an example, here is a look at a few industries and what some of their potential content pillars might be:
- Real Estate Agency: market trends, a showcase of unique homes, home buying tips, or home selling tips
- Med Spa: beauty and spa trends, health benefits of specific spa treatments, or wellness advice
- General Contractor: home improvement advice, DIY guides for small home projects, home decor trends, or a showcase of completed projects.
What Are the Benefits of Content Pillars?
Well-developed content pillars help everyone involved. Your website visitors receive complete answers to their questions all in one place while you, as the business owner, establish yourself as a trusted source in your industry and niche.
The SEO Benefits of Content Pillars
Content pillars allow you to take charge of your SEO marketing strategy like a pro. By incorporating these cornerstones into your company’s website, you’ll enjoy more traffic and more engaged visitors.
When someone is interested in a specific topic, they tend to consume a lot of information to understand it fully. If your content digs deeply into your pillars, you allow people to “binge” your content. This step keeps them on your website longer, decreases bounce rates, and strengthens brand loyalty.
Secondly, pillar content is evergreen, so its value won’t diminish over time. You get greater longevity and can rank for more and more keywords as time passes. Lastly, pillar content is highly shareable, so you attract more backlinks and social media shares. Both of these can help you rank higher in search engine results.
How Pillar Content Affects Business Processes
The benefits of content pillars are by no means limited to the SEO world. These foundational pieces help you streamline your business processes, saving you time and money in the long run. By implementing this approach, you effectively multiply your content creation efforts overnight. One long-form, well-crafted piece of content can become multiple blog posts, landing pages, email blasts, videos, infographics, or social media posts.
You also improve the quality of your content and reinforce your branding. With pillars established, your messaging remains consistent in voice and tone, even if various people on your team are working on content.
How To Develop Your Company’s Content Pillars
Developing the content pillars for your small business takes more work than writing a standard blog post or web page. But it’s well worth the effort in the long run. Learn how to do it with the following steps.
Find Your Focus
In Oregon, where our team is based, there are more coffee shops than you can shake a stick at, but not all coffee shops focus on the same things. Some strive for convenience. Their customers are busy and want to grab a quick pick-me-up on the go. Others focus on quality. Their customers are willing to wait because that amazing first sip is so worth it to them. Same industry, different focus, different customers.
What do you want your company to be known for in your industry? The answer should be the focus around which you set your pillars. They need to align with your brand and your services, but they shouldn’t be hyper-specific, either. Content pillars are like a tree trunk, and the limbs coming off the trunk can be more nuanced and detail-oriented.
Know Your Audience
Your pillar content should reflect your brand and business goals, but it should also address your target audience’s needs, values, and interests. In our coffee shop example, the “quality-focused” consumers might appreciate reading about how coffee blends are sourced, the roasting process, or how different brewing processes affect the taste. The “convenience-focused” group may rather read about seasonal drinks, drink recipes, or featured merchandise.
Ask yourself the following questions to make sure that your content pillars will engage your audience:
- What challenges do your customers face?
- What solutions would interest them?
- Why do your customers come to you? What topics do they currently ask you about?
Promote, Promote, Promote
After you’ve written some amazing content that appeals to your target audience and aligns with your brand, it’s time to promote the crap out of it. Share the content to online communities and groups that coincide with your targeted audience. Post it to your social channels, incorporate it in your digital advertising, or reach out to influencers in your industry. Don’t forget to send it out to your email lists in the form of a newsletter.
Don’t feel uncomfortable sharing the same content over and over. You’ll likely have to do so to get the exposure you want. You put in the time to make it evergreen, so remember that the information will continue to benefit your audience for a long time.
Keep It Relevant
Writing evergreen content doesn’t mean that you won’t have to tweak it here and there. As your industry changes and grows, it’s highly likely that you might have to update your pillar content to keep it relevant. Doing so will help you continue to rank well in search engine results, drawing more visitors to your website and making you more money.
Developing and establishing your content pillars can take a lot of effort, but the benefits are well worth it. You’ll see better SEO rankings, more website visitors, and more sales.
Need advice on which content pillars your business needs? Or do you want to outsource your content marketing to a team of experts? Then, contact Uyo Digital Marketing today.