Your target clients have an insatiable appetite for content. But coming up with that content on a regular basis is usually where consultancy firms struggle.
The burden of creating this content often falls on your consultants. But they are busy people and, understandably, writing marketing material is not a top priority. When they do have a moment to spare, they are likely to struggle to come up with a topic, before piecing together a rather rushed blog.
Of course, your consultants may deliver brilliant blogs. But even then, if they have been created independently of each other without a strategy that ties them together, they’ll achieve very little. As we highlighted in our previous article, you won’t see much return on investment from disjointed blogs and sporadic LinkedIn posts.
Pillar content is a great way to solve this problem. It will give you something to build your digital marketing strategy around, reduce the content creation workload and, most importantly, achieve tangible results.
What exactly is pillar content?
As the name suggests, pillar content is the substantive content that you build your other marketing activity around. Like the stone columns holding up an ancient building.
Usually, pillar content will address a fundamental problem, challenge or need that your target client faces while showing that your consultancy has the in-depth knowledge to help them solve it.
When it comes to marketing, pillar content stands the test of time. Unlike a blog or social media post, it should be ‘evergreen’ in the sense that it remains relevant for six months and beyond, and can be repackaged and reused over and over again.
Pillar content provides you with the space to go deeper into a topic, to explore its nuances and really show your expertise. That’s why it comes in longer forms such as frameworks, eBooks and Webinars.
To a time-poor consultant like yourself, those might sound like a lot more work than a blog, but with a little planning and collaboration, you can quickly produce something worthwhile.
An eBook, for example, may run to around 4,000 words, which is a lot for one person to write. But looked at a different way, it’s five 800-word blogs. So once you have a theme you can co-ordinate five consultants to tackle different aspects of it. Giving you a fantastic piece of pillar content without any additional work.
Why you should create pillar content
There are a number of advantages to taking this approach that are worth highlighting, especially if you’re trying to gain support for a pillar content strategy in your consultancy:
- Focus – Pillar content centres your marketing around one specific focus area that really matters to your clients. From the start this will guide what your topic should be, and means you will spend less time thinking up new ideas.
- Collaboration – Once you’ve identified your topic, you can bring together a team of consultants to create the pillar content. Instead of writing the unconnected blogs we mentioned earlier, you can assign them each a section to write that makes the most of their specific knowledge and experience.
- Distinctive – The detail and depth you’re able to go in to in pillar content means you can provide advice and insights that give real value. These will boost your credibility and show your clients that you really are different to your competitors. Giving value, not just a sales pitch.
- Efficient – Your pillar content will keep on giving. You can split eBook chapters into blogs to publish and promote independently. You can build social media posts around quotes taken from reports. You can link newsletters back to the core issues discussed in your webinar. There are numerous ways to repurpose pillar content, which means you do not have to create new material from scratch. That’s more content for less work and a greater return on investment.
- ROI – Leads are a tangible way to justify your marketing activities and, most importantly, win new business. Pillar content is a great way to gather relevant ones. By asking people to give you their email address before they can access your content, you’ll be making vital connections with prospective clients genuinely interested in what you offer.
Not only does pillar content make life easier for your consultants, it gives you a marketing tool that will generate results in a way that’s much more efficient than what you’re doing now.
So the next time you’re looking for new marketing content, rather than putting a call out for blogs or LinkedIn posts, why not get started on a piece of pillar content that will really last?
If you want to find out more about how pillar content fits into your broader marketing strategy and what you need to do before you start writing to ensure it’ll have the impact you’re looking for, check out our digital marketing framework which you can see here.