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"Pillar Content Roundup" (Content Lab) Blog Feature

Liz Moorehead

Editorial Director, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast

November 28th, 2018 min read

As IMPACT's Director of Web and Interactive Content, one of my obsessions has been the development and implementation of our pillar content strategy. 

At three distinct points along this journey, I've made it a point to share with you what I've learned, in the hopes that I am able to help others do the same:

By the time I had created these three pieces, we had already published two very successful pillars -- one on developing a brand messaging strategy and another on what businesses need to do to prep for a website redesign.

Now, having published two brand new pillars -- and being on the verge of producing more than 15 by the end of the year -- I wanted to pause this week to share two very important episodes of Content Lab to assist you in your journey, in addition to the new pieces we've created.

Listen to These Episodes

"Demystifying Pillar Content" with Justin Champion of HubSpot (Ep. 1)

Pillar content is a complex topic that has prompted a lot of discussion in the digital marketing community, and no one should be surprised by that. Pillar content is massive, scary, intimidating, and exciting. It's also the future of content.

To help me unpack and demystify pillar content in this episode, I invited one of my absolute favorite fellow content nerds and industry friends -- Justin Champion, content professor at the HubSpot Academy.

"What It Takes to Write Pillar Content with Carina Duffy of IMPACT (Ep. 14)

During this conversation, IMPACT HubSpot Specialist Carina walks us through a candid pillar content creation retrospective, as she recently finished writing a draft of a pillar on HubSpot Marketing Hub. She talks about what surprised her, what she’s learned, and what advice she would give to others who have a similar pillar content mountain to climb. 

This episode is a must-listen for anyone who is tackling a pillar content strategy or is being asked to write a piece of pillar content. Actually, it's a great episode for anyone being asked to tackle a super long-form piece of content, period.

Our 2 New Pillars

Christine already shared why our website has been evolving the way it has -- to continue to be as helpful as humanly possible to other digital marketers through education. I adopted that mindset as I developed our pillar strategy. While pillars are meant to be written on large, broad topics, I wanted them to still have purpose.

To that end, every pillar we now create must do one of the following explicitly -- provide foundational 101-level knowledge, teach someone a specific process completely on their own, or share a comprehensive analysis with actionable takeaways. 

Is SEO Dead in 2019?

This piece was published in partnership with Franco Valentino of Narrative SEOThis was a fascinating pillar to work on. Not only because I was able to learn about a topic where I've often struggled in the past, but it was a chance to construct a pillar -- and supporting topic cluster -- around a narrowly focused, deep dive analysis with a clear goal of answering that question. 

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How to Create a Content Style Guide

I wrote this particular pillar from scratch, based on a process I build initially three or four years ago, and have refined and tested with clients since then. So, this was a bit of a passion project for me -- and, unlike the pillar I developed with Franco on SEO, this is a tactical how-to pillar.

I made the choice early on that I wanted to someone to be able to run my workshop and develop their style guide completely on their own, without my help, after having read this guide. (I believe that's something every how-to should aim to to do.) Of course, that made this one of the most challenging pieces of content I've ever created, but also the most rewarding.

Content Style Guide How to

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