The Importance of Pillar Content in Your Business
The Importance of Pillar Content in Your Business

The Importance of Pillar Content in Your Business

Are you creating pillar content for your business? Pillar content is the main content you’re creating for your audience. This is often where people start with their content creation and planning, but I intentionally put this topic smack in the middle of the series on minimum viable content marketing because I didn’t want you to forget about the other pieces. Be sure to go back and listen to those episodes if you haven’t already (they’re linked below).

But, of course, pillar content is where you get to nurture your followers and demonstrate your expertise. And hopefully, for you podcasters, it’s where you get to talk to other professionals in your arena so you can support your listeners.

So what is pillar content, why does it matter, and how do you know what to publish on your pillar platform?

Listen in this week, especially if you’re feeling like you need some motivation to get back to consistency.

Mentioned In This Episode

Transcript:

Welcome to episode 173 of The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it ALL right, ALL of the time. You have permission to experiment with little tweaks and changes in your content to find what works for you, what increases value for your audience and what grows your business. And most importantly, what feels good for you.

I’m Abby Herman, content strategist and consultant for podcasting business owners who want to make their podcast, their primary content marketing tool, feel easier and more streamlined so they can get back to serving their clients and making those sales. Because your podcast is your primary marketing tool and you want to leverage it to grow your audience, authority, and business. I’ll show you how, while you do business in a way that works for you–I can help by supporting you through building a content and marketing strategy, taking care of the podcast management for you, or giving you the tools and resources to take this on yourself.

This is the fifth episode of the seven-episode series on minimum viable content marketing. On episode 165, I talked about the pre-work that needs to be done before you start creating content. On episode 167, I shared some opt-in ideas for podcasters and how to grow your list. Then on episode 169, I gave you the rundown of what to include on your welcome sequence, welcoming new subscribers to your email list. And on episode 171, I shared what to include in your nurturing emails and how often to email your list.

And today, we’re talking about pillar content. The main content you’re creating for your audience. This is often where people start with their content creation and planning, but I intentionally put this topic smack in the middle of this series because I didn’t want you to forget about the other pieces. Be sure to go back and listen to those episodes if you haven’t already. They’re all linked in the show notes.

But, of course, pillar content is where you get to nurture your followers and demonstrate your expertise. And hopefully, for you podcasters, it’s where you get to talk to other professionals in your arena so you can support your listeners.

So what is pillar content, why does it matter, and how do you know what to publish on your pillar platform?

I’m so glad you asked! (You DID ask, right?)

Well, you’re here so I’m going to assume that’s what you’re here for.

What is pillar content?
I define pillar content as the content you, the business owner and content creator own. It belongs to you and you hold the reigns to where it lives.

Let’s dissect that a bit. When I say that you hold the reigns to where it lives, I mean that you have control over what happens to it. Or at least some semblance of control.

That means that any social media content is NOT pillar content. You have no control over who sees your social media content. The algorithms hold that control. If someone hasn’t been engaging in your content for a while, chances are they’re not going to see it. Shoot…even if they’ve been engaging in it, chances are they’re not going to see it. So your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter posts? Not pillar content. Those Reels and TikTok videos? Instagram stories, Instagram Lives, live videos on Facebook and LinkedIn? None of that is pillar content. Neither is what you post or talk about on Clubhouse. You have no control over that content, it can disappear at any time. And we’ve discovered this when various social media platforms have gone down in the past (and they will in the future).

So what IS pillar content? Your podcast. If you have a blog, that’s also pillar content. And so is your YouTube channel, if you have one.

Let me explain: Podcasters have to have a host your audio. You own that content. Even if you’re using a free podcast host, you still own that content. You’re recording and loading it to a host. And that host is sharing the audio with all the podcast providers.

And just a quick note on using free versus paid podcast hosting: Just like I don’t recommend using free email marketing providers, I also don’t recommend using a free podcast host. You get what you pay for. And if you’re not paying for it, you’re not getting much in the form of robust features and tools or service.

Why does pillar content matter so much?
Pillar content matters a lot. It’s where you develop your own authority as a brand and as a business owner. Your audience, your potential customers, want to hear from you. They want to know that you’re an expert in your industry. And while leveraging other people’s platforms is important (and the topic of an upcoming episode), carving your own space is vital. Because, again, you own this content. You get to control the distribution of it and how long it lives out there.

When you’re creating your own pillar content, your own podcast or blog, you get to align it with what your audience members are asking you for. You get to create around topics that are important to you or that you’re passionate about. You get to align it with your own brand and personality. It’s yours.

It’s so important to NOT rely on other platforms (like social media) and other people’s audiences and to create your own stuff, on your own terms.

And the final question I’m going to answer here: How do you know what to publish? What your audience wants to know about?

Ultimately your content needs to be aligned with what you’re planning to sell in the coming 90 days to 6 months. Creating podcast episodes around topics that align with your offerings is key to generating some interest in those ideas and products or services. But it’s also important to know what your audience needs around those ideas and topics.

That’s where you’re going to want to survey your audience. You can ask what their challenges are around what you’re offering, where they typically go for support and help, and even what they’ve tried before to solve their challenges.

And spoiler alert: Surveying your audience can also help you create your offerings, in addition to developing your content strategy. If you know that your audience is struggling with something, why not find a way to add it into your services or create something to support them. If this is something you have experience in and can support them with.

I have a free training called the Ask Your Audience Challenge that will walk you through how to get the most out of your audience survey, from what questions to ask to who to ask to how to get more responses. You can grab that training at thecontentexperiment.com/ask.

If you’re listening to this episode right now and don’t have a pillar content platform, your audience survey can also help you determine how your audience wants to consume content. I hadn’t even considered starting a podcast until an audience survey informed me that my audience prefers podcasts over blogs. By a long shot! Again, sign up for the free training at thecontentexperiment.com/ask.

Pillar content is such an incredibly important part of your content and marketing strategy. Without it, you’re truly at the mercy of others, and that’s not a good place to be. You never know when someone will take down the podcast you guested on or when a social media platform will change algorithms…again…leaving you with nothing. Plus, pillar content is very searchable online and YOU get to have control over how it aligns with your brand.

If you’re struggling with how to start developing your own content and marketing strategy for your pillar content, let’s chat. Book a quick chat with me at thecontentexperiment.com/chat

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