Creating enough content is hard.
In fact, it is the #1 challenge cited by content marketers in 2013.
That’s right. If you have trouble filling up your editorial calendar, coming up with ideas, and just plain ol’ finding time to create enough content, you are not alone. More than half of the B2B marketers surveyed for this year’s CMI research are in the same boat.
And, while it’s a bigger problem than one blog post can tackle, we do have a few ideas for how you can fill up your editorial calendar, take the pressure off, and generate the content you need.
Our tactic to accomplish all this? We call it content pillars.
What is a content pillar?
As we say in our most recent eBook: “A content pillar is a substantive and informative work on a specific topic or theme that can be broken into many derivative pieces of content to cover multiple channels. A content pillar can be an eBook, report, guide, long video, or any significant (meaning large and thorough) content asset.”
In other words, a content pillar is a single, important content piece that speaks to a specific user need. It’s a high-quality eBook, article, video, or podcast that you can build a campaign around.
And that’s the genius of the content pillar model:
It’s about planning for one big content piece and then using that piece to create a series of related content pieces that drive traffic back into that single, important pillar.
Okay, so how does this help with creating enough content?
Instead of thinking of each piece of content as a separate project, a separate topic, another item on the to-do list, the content pillar approach means thinking about 10 or 20 or 50 pieces of content that all turn on the same theme and support the same project. And when there are 10 or 50 pieces of content that turn on a single theme and share research and information, the process of creating that content gets easier (not to mention that you’ve just eliminated 9/10ths of the brainstorming process).
If that doesn’t look like a full editorial calendar, I don’t know what does.
Okay. So you get it. By creating content pillars and using them to generate dozens of other content pieces, you can create more high-quality content with less effort and anxiety.
So, how do you get started? What else do you need to know about the pillar approach?
You can find some more of our insights in our latest free eBook. And, of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and questions in the comments below.