Even to those who understand its value, content can be a bit of a sticking point. And I understand why. It's time intensive, it can be difficult, and sometimes it takes a stretch of time before you see how valuable it truly is.
The Pillar Approach to Content Creation
If you're unfamiliar with the pillar approach to content creation, a content pillar is a significant piece of content—like an eBook or a guide that's written with the purpose of being broken down and expanded upon into many individual content pieces. So, instead of an eBook that is a stand-alone content piece, it's a foundation for additional, smaller content pieces like blogs and infographics.
When you put in the effort of planning and creating a content pillar, content becomes something that catapults you forward instead of holding you back. Here are the top four benefits of the pillar approach to content creation.
#1: More Content
By implementing the pillar approach to content creation, you effectively multiply your content creation efforts. One eBook becomes 20+ blogs, along with multiple infographics, SlideShares, and social posts. Effectively, the pillar becomes the source of numerous future content pieces. Check out this example where one content pillar became over 30 individual content pieces and 90 social posts.
#2: Relevant Content
Say, for instance, your goal is to begin publishing four blogs per month for your business. Each blog post has its own topic and purpose, but it also needs to tie back into the big picture—which is whatever you are trying to accomplish with those blogs.
When you start with a content pillar, you already know how each blog works as a part of the whole. The content pillar is, effectively, your big picture, and each blog is a smaller piece of that picture which you pull from the pillar and work to elaborate on. Since each content piece is tied to the larger ideas within the content pillar, they will automatically be relevant to your brand, content strategy, and other content pieces that come from the pillar.
#3: Less Work
Now, I don't want to downplay the amount of effort a content pillar requires. A content pillar is plenty of work, but it's upfront and purposeful. The more effort you put into planning, researching, and creating the content pillar, the less work you need to do in the long run. This means that the amount of time and effort you need to dedicate to your content strategy lessens over time. As you pull each individual idea and draft a blog post, infographic, or SlideShare, you already have the main idea, relevant research, main talking points, voice, and tone ready for you. All you have to do is fill in the spaces in between.
#4: Overall Consistency
Another great thing about using the pillar approach for content creation is the consistency it brings to your messaging. Similar to how the pillar approach lends itself toward relevancy, it also creates a sense of consistency throughout all content pieces. Since the content pillar works as a sort of "source document" for the blogs, social media posts, infographics, etc. that stem from it, it's much easier to remain consistent with voice and tone throughout. This way, even if additional pieces are written by other authors or outsourced, you increase your chances of all corresponding content pieces aligning with your brand and your overall concept.
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