Content Pillars: 3 Pillars That Every Business Owner Should Know

by | Content Marketing

What are content pillars? Content pillars are pillars that support the weight of a building, except that building is your brand. After all, consumers are chronically online in the digital age. The traditional manners of marketing have shifted importance onto online identities.

Marketing isn’t just offline now that businesses and SMEs have started to reduce physical materials costs and opt for online substitutes. The presence of social media, blogs, videos and online advertisements are the new trend, and they’re here to stay. 

However, not every business owner knows the ups and downs of content planning and content marketing. Many businesses and brands suffer a lack of brainstorming for engaging and relevant content.

But here is where the introduction of content pillars comes into play.  

Whether your brand supplies products or offers premium services, anyone can use the framework of content pillars as a guide. 

This 5-minute read is everything you need to be acquainted with content pillars.

How Do Content Pillars Work?

Content pillars act as a foundation for online content planning. These pillars help marketers determine a list of subtopics that can be utilized for the long run. 

Content pillars break down the essence of the brand or business into smaller subtopics still relevant to the brand.  

It is a brilliant digital marketing strategy to divide content into subtopics covering all the brand bases.  

Content planning has never been made easier until the use of content pillars.  You can either focus on a subtopic for a period before alternating or post bits of everything for the month. 

Your planning strategies are almost endless.  

And the best part is that fretting over month-long plans is a problem no more, especially when there are content pillars to consult for ideas. 

Your brand will transform by being well-rounded and uniform instead of haphazard and random.  

However, content pillars can still challenge inexperienced business owners without the proper examples.  

Although there are numerous ways to determine content pillars, we’ve prepared simple explanations of the main 3 content pillars:

1. “How to?” Content

“How to” content is effective for product marketing because you will guide consumers from top to bottom. Whether introducing step-by-step instructions on operating a device or signing up for a service, it is easy to tweak and share across multiple social media platforms.

It is also compelling to introduce a product or service by showcasing the processes.

An effective “How to” post will guide readers step-by-step while being easy to comprehend.

Moreover, it’s an excellent strategy for positioning yourself as a specialist in a particular subject. After all, consumers only seek the best of the best, whether it’s a product or a service.

READ MORE: Types of Branding: Top 8 Branding Types in Malaysia

2. Guide Content 

The guide content pillar touches upon all aspects of the subject through detailed explanations.  Like a guide, readers are educated with an overview of a topic.

Guide content pillars often comprise resources and relevant FAQs that sufficiently educate readers regarding the nook and crannies of the subject.

Let’s say your blog discusses environmentally friendly alternatives. A guide content pillar topic would be “Understanding Climate Change”, which typically includes an overview of the issue, key points, real case studies and relevant resources.

High-quality guide content pillar content is entirely devoted to the subject by delivering information in the most optimized, efficient and effective manner.

READ MORE: Content Marketing Benefits: 10 Reasons To Try Content Marketing

3. “What is” Content

The “What is” content pillar is the best content pillar for topics on brand specialization.  This pillar is most suitable for an in-depth explanation of complex subjects.

Although there are numerous articles on the subject, every business has its own style of explanation.

Good “What is” content pillar topics are written in an easy-to-understand manner, where complex jargon is reworded into easier terminology and vocabulary.

Content Pillars vs Brand Pillars: Are They The Same?

Brand pillars are another familiar face to those who have delved into the rabbit hole of digital marketing. Although both concepts are framed as metaphoric pillars, they are different. 

However, both pillars come hand-in-hand in the big picture of online marketing. Simplistically speaking, brand pillars guide the formation of a brand’s identity through deciding values, mission, brand voice and many more. 

Despite the differences, content pillars are hinged upon brand pillars because content should be relevant to brand identity.  

If a brand has decided on a brand identity that markets budget designing services, then the content pillars should revolve around that concept.

Deciding Suitable Content Pillars

Choosing the right content pillars can be difficult, especially for the starting business owner.  However, identifying the suitable content pillars is easier than it seems with the right guidance!

1. Defining Business Goals 

All marketing strategies ultimately serve the business’s eventual goals. Therefore, content pillars should produce content that adheres to the business’s interests. 

As a business owner, you should ask yourself: 

  • What do I want my brand to be known for? 
  • What do I want to offer my audience? 
  • How engaging do I want the business to be?

…And many more are great guidelines! 

2. Target Audience Research

Any business and brand is nothing without the consumers. Thus, the interests of the target audience must be taken into consideration. 

The most effective way to understand customers is through researching potential pain points.  When customers search for a solution, there is always a pain point that is the root cause. 

There are many methods for research ranging from simple surveys to full-scale data analysis.  Although research takes effort and time, the results can fine-tune the genre of topics to cover.

READ MORE: Top 5 Branding Objectives That Malaysia SMEs Need To Know

3. Outlining Content Pillars

The next step after sufficient research is outlining content pillars. Business owners should decide on multiple subtopics that can be expanded for future content. 

Moreover, keyword research is also important to assess how feasible your subtopics are.  

All keywords should ideally be: 

  • Relevant to audience interests
  • Have a high search volume 
  • Low competitiveness 

Even if you hadn’t decided on a draft set of subtopics, you might find keywords that are compatible with your brand and re-define existing ideas.

4. Kickstarting Content Planning 

Once the content pillars and subtopic keywords are established, you can proceed to content planning. After all, composing high-quality content requires sufficient time.

Moreover, you wouldn’t want to exhaust all topics in a short amount of time due to poor scheduling. New content should be posted with a healthy schedule that allows copywriters to do the appropriate research before the next batch of content releases.  

Business owners should also allocate time and effort to comb through existing content and re-organise under the newly established content pillars. 

Walk Production

Walk Production is a Malaysia branding agency that offers various branding services with the purpose of helping entrepreneurs in their business endeavours.  

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