Running a blog on your business website is an excellent way to draw attention to your brand’s products and services. Unfortunately, if you don’t produce relevant “pillar content” that captures your audience, you won’t go very far.
Pillar content refers to informative, instructive, high-quality content on a specific topic that can be broken down into different parts. Apart from solidifying your place as an authority in your niche, pillar content creation gives you a better chance of ranking high on Google’s SERPs.
You may have outstanding pillar content, but if you don’t distribute and promote it, how do you reach your audience? The internet is full of content, and if yours isn’t strategically placed where your target audience can find it, it will sit on your blog posts, collecting dust. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you need to have a good content strategy in place.
1. Strategizing your content
As much fun as writing whatever comes into your head at any time sounds, it’s not the right approach to developing pillar content that stays fresh. Coming up with quality content takes a good amount of planning. There are certain things you should cover when developing this type of content.
Focus on your audience
When creating content, it’s easy to get carried away with writing what appeals to you. While it’s important to write in your unique voice, your content marketing has to put your audience first. Your pillar content should resonate deeply with whoever reads it. Finding out what appeals to your audience should be the first step when drawing up your content strategy.
By carrying out research, you can find out how relevant content is to people. Analytics tools like Google Analytics show you how well certain content performs. Analyzing your highest performing content as well as that of your competitors gives you an idea of what your target audience is interested in reading. Analytics also shows how users find your content so that you can adjust your promotional efforts accordingly.
Finding out about your target audience helps to set the overall tone for your blog posts and the easiest way to find out about your audience is by asking them about themselves. Some important things you can ask for are age, gender, ethnicity, location, educational level and socioeconomic status.
Now that you know who your audience is, it’s time to figure out what their needs are. One way to do this is by checking social media like Twitter to see what your audience is buzzing about. You can also check other high-authority blog posts and Youtube channels in your niche to view their latest posts. It’s a good idea to study the comment sections because users tend to leave their thoughts on each topic.
It’s also important to find out which social media channels your audience uses so that you can promote your content across those platforms. Creating profiles on social media provides a way to engage with your audience and build a robust social reputation over time. Email marketing can also prove to be incredibly valuable because it’s a great way to promote content to your audience directly.
Create quality content
There’s a lot of content available on the internet, and if you’re in a large industry, it may feel like every single topic has been covered. So how do you create content that stands out? In content creation, it’s not just what you do that matters; it’s how you do it. Ideally, before you hit ‘publish”, your content should meet the following conditions:
- It must be useful and create value for your audience
- Verifiable data should back all your sources
- Your content should be transparent and easy to read by including subheadings and bullets
- It should offer a new and exciting perspective on the subject
- Your content should answer any question that a reader may have concerning the specific topic
2. Building an audience
To create an excellent reputation for your blog, and in turn your brand, you have to grow your audience. The more people read your content, the more shares and conversions you’re likely to have. Some great ways to build an audience are:
Every industry has experts who have nurtured a considerable audience or follower base full of people who trust their opinions and information. Finding influencers in your niche and building a strong relationship with them can be valuable in the long run.
On their part, influencers are also creating content. This means that they are continually looking for relevant information to share with their audience. You can use this to your advantage by telling them to share your pillar content with their audience. Some benefits of working with influencers are:
- They can amplify your reach because their audience often stretches across geographical locations and other demographics.
- Getting your content endorsed and shared by an industry expert gives your brand more credibility in the eyes of your target audience.
If you’ve read through the comments section of some blog posts, then you’ve probably seen instances where people engage with the writer and share links to their content. When done properly, this type of marketing can have outstanding, long-term results. Engaging intelligently with writers in the comments section of reputable blogs in your niche builds familiarity and credibility over time.
Sharing links to your pillar articles to support your point inspires curiosity, not just from the writers but their audience, too. In some cases, the writers also promote their content in the comments section of your blog. The great thing about comment marketing is that you have the chance to post links where a lot of people will see them, including influencers.
Social media marketing
No matter how great your content is, people won’t see it if you don’t put it right in front of them. In 2017, there were almost 2.5 billion users on social networks, with Facebook being the most used, followed by Twitter and Instagram. Promoting your content on social media helps you reach more people who otherwise may never have seen it.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Google aims to match its users with the most relevant, high-quality content according to their search queries. With over 3.5 billion searches a day, Google’s first SERP is arguably the most coveted space on the internet.
Merely writing pillar content won’t do much for you if users can’t find it when they search for related keywords. As a marketer, your aim should be to get your content in front of as many eyeballs as possible. This is why an SEO strategy is essential.
SEO involves taking necessary steps to ensure that your content ranks high in Google’s search queries. Some measures include using keywords that people are searching for, writing high-quality content and using relevant meta-tags. On the other hand, going against Google’s rules will most likely get your site penalized.
3. Utilize paid promotion
While organic marketing is excellent, paid promotion can be an asset, if used properly. You may already be familiar with Google Ads which show up on Google’s SERPs when you search for a particular keyword. However, that isn’t the only type of paid promotion there is. Some other forms are:
- Traditional ads, posted on blogs and other websites that lead users directly to your page.
- Sponsored posts on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn.
- Email promotion by collecting the emails of your site visitors and sending them content.
- Syndicating your content with other blogs.
4. Workflow automation
The process of creating new content while promoting old ones can be overwhelming. This is where workflow automation comes into play. Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Hootsuite allow you to plan your content schedule, social media promotions and email campaigns. Automation ensures that you have a definite content management structure in place and makes it easier to add, delete and repurpose content.
A well laid out strategy is necessary to utilize pillar content properly. High-quality content marketing requires planning, research and dedication. Consider every detail from conception to content development and long-term promotion. Your competition is working just as hard as you are so it’s important to always stay on your toes. Have you recently encountered issues with creating and distributing pillar articles? Please leave a comment, we’d like to hear from you.