What Are Content Pillars: The Key to Engaging Your Audience!

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What are Content Pillars? The key to engaging your audience and getting E-A-T on Google!

Content pillars refer to what we might call the “building blocks” of a content marketing strategy. These building blocks include what type of content, what tone, and what format you’re going to use for your blog posts and other types of content pieces (e.g., videos).

Every pillar is important because each one can affect how well your audiences engage with you and whether they’ll take the desired action that you want them to take as a result of reading or watching your content.

What are content pillars?

Content pillars are an essential part of your overall content marketing strategy. They provide the foundation for all of your company’s efforts, reflecting what you stand for and bringing to market with every piece created by professionals who know how important it is that these themes ring true in order to resonate throughout their audience’s lives!

A content pillar is a large piece of written or video material that you can transform into smaller pieces for use in different channels or in further content pieces (for internal linking for instance).

Content pillar pages are a great way to organize your content around specific topics. A content pillar page will have room for more in-depth reporting and long-tail keywords that hyperlink back to the main article about this particular subject, making it easier than ever before! 

Pillars may also be called cornerstone or flagship posts depending on who you ask but they’re practically interchangeable when talking SEO/content marketing practice.

In practice, you will notice that there 2 different content pillars in use by online-/content marketers. The ones for social media and the ones for blogging and SEO.

Content pillars for social media

In social media marketing, a content pillar is like a building block of your online presence. It helps you stand out and be memorable by giving life to 3-5 topics that will help lay the foundation for other pieces on social media, amplify what’s happening in our world today (and sometimes tomorrow!), as well as keep us centered with brand purpose! The more relevant these pillars are towards our customers’ needs – whether they’re emotional or intellectual; big picture visionaries looking at trends up close versus those just getting started–the better chance we have engaging people long enough until trust has been built between ourselves a dour target audience so when one message resonates deeply within them it could lead someone else to either share what we’ve said or go the extra mile to sign up for our newsletter, purchase a product or service, etc.

social media Content Pillars
Source: Contently

Content pillars for SEO

In content marketing and SEO practice, Hubspot coined the phrases: “topic cluster” and also “pillar page” but they can be seen as the same thing as a content pillar. Hubspot mentions: “a topic cluster is a method that uses a single “pillar page” as the main hub of content for a given topic. All of your content assets related to that topic link back to the pillar page — and the pillar links out to each asset.”

Pillars may also be called cornerstone or flagship posts depending on who you ask but they’re practically interchangeable when talking SEO/content marketing practice.

That means a content pillar page allows to rank for more competitive keywords in the search engines which will lead to a higher ranking and higher amount of visitors and better results. The linked content asset pages normally use less competitive and more long-tail keywords as a basis to produce content.

As a result of the interlinking between pillar pages and content asset pages, all of the pages get higher rankings. It is agreed that this “SEO construct” is favored by Google.

SEO content pillars
Source: Hubspot

What kind of content should I use for content pillars?

You could also ask “how to create content pillars”? For social media like Instagram, we recommend using visual content like photos, videos, and graphics.

For the blog-based pillar page, we recommend using text-based content. That way it can be easily indexed by Google and achieve the best rankings.

Content for SEO content pillar pages

Content pillars for SEO can be what you’d call “evergreen” pieces that never go out-of-date because they cover important topics or trends in your industry with timeless value. Hence you need to choose the topic wisely and not waste your efforts on topics nobody will search anymore for in one year’s time.

Be strategic about creating content pillars since it is a long-term investment of your energy! We recommend using for a pillar page 3000-9000 words and for the cluster content (see graphic) 1000-3000 words.

Another great side effect is that you can build up E-A-T with Google. The idea of E-A-T is a lot more complicated than simply saying that it means Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. The concept comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines which were created to help improve the quality of search engine results by using the E-A-T factors. When you’re intending to enter a new topical area with your blog, it is recommended to do it through content pillars. Some call it also “topical authority” – what is it? “A perceived authority over a niche or broad idea set, as opposed to authority over a singular idea or term.” – Search Engine Journal.

So, if you follow that content marketing strategy, the content on your website/blog might be structured like the images shown below.

SEO content pillar structure
Source: Hubspot

Content for social media content pillars

There are many different types of content that you can produce for social media channels for your brand, but all this information should be funneled through the pillars. The five major categories in which to categorize it are:

  • personality/tone (what best represents who I am)
  • voice alignment with our values & mission statement(how does my perspective align?)
  • look and feel or aesthetic – what is appealing aesthetically about me?
  • content topics relevant to followers’ interests); how often do these things come up on social media feeds?).

This will help ensure consistency across multiple channels while maintaining relevance within them as well.

Content pillars are a great way to structure your social media content because they make it easier for you to create meaningful posts. Having specific themes or buckets that each post should fall into, makes planning simple and organized! Planning an entire social media calendar becomes much simpler when there’s already something in place like this beforehand – all the ideas will come together seamlessly as well due to credit being given where it’s due (i.e., research).

social media pillars of content
Source: onlinedrea.com


Both ways of content pillars need to be considered. When it comes to B2B for small businesses, the SEO part of it might be more important and impactful. For B-C companies, the social media content pillars might be more important. For all of them, both types are necessary and they ideally go hand in hand!

I would classify the social media content pillars a bit more in the demand gen side of things, whereas the SEO content pillars work more lead gen driven. This is due to the fact that the users are a bit more “in-market” the moment they are proactively looking for solutions to their problems and will find your content on Google.

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Author: Richard Buettner
B2B SaaS marketing a challenge? Not for me! With my proven track record, I'll execute inbound and content strategies that deliver. Let's grow your business - and enjoy the ride!

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