Pillar-based marketing (PBM) is the latest shift in digital marketing—and for good reason. It’s the only appreciating asset in marketing. As time goes on, the content that you’ve connected under a pillar strategy supports itself and continues to attract customers. As your audience grows, so will your search engine rankings, and you’ll gain even more traffic.
But what exactly is pillar-based marketing and what tools can you leverage to create your own pillar strategy? In this blog, we’ll answer these questions and cover how to use DemandJump, the first PBM platform, to create your own pillar-based marketing strategy.
What Does PBM Mean in Marketing?
Pillar-based marketing is a strategy that grows demand for your products or services by meeting customers where they’re at. In most cases, your future customers are online to search for the solutions to pain points. In fact, there were over8.5 billion searches made on Google each day in 2022. Pillar-based marketing positions your content to show up as the answer for those searchers’ questions. You’ve probably heard of account-based marketing (ABM) before. PBM takes the tailored approach of ABM and makes it applicable to a wider audience by grouping potential customers by the type of information they are searching for.
Some of the key benefits of pillar-based marketing include:
- Increase in quantity of qualified leads
- Lower cost-per-lead and cost-per-click
- Improves domain authority which increases your ranking for future content
- Easier to track your return on investment (ROI)
When you publish content that provides sought-after answers, your marketing becomes more effective, so you pay less for each new lead.
What Is the PBM Approach?
The pillar-based marketing approach puts readers at the forefront of your marketing strategy. To get a better idea of what this looks like, let’s compare PBM to legacy search engine optimization (SEO) tools and account-based marketing (ABM) strategies.
SEO vs. ABM vs. PBM
SEO:There’s nothing wrong with search engine optimization as an end goal. After all, SEO principles are designed to help your content gain a coveted spot on the first page of search engine listings. However, the issues pop up when you rely on legacy SEO tools. Outdated methods encourage algorithm-centric writing that appeals to robots but actually turns readers away. An example of this is keyword stuffing. To certain search engines, having an abundance of keywords is considered a good thing. However, readers don’t want to have to slog through content that uses the same phrases over and over again.
ABM:Account-based marketing is a strategy that already has a specific customer in mind. Marketing efforts are tailored to attract that customer. While focusing on a few, high-value customers, ABM can have a high ROI. However, it does run the risk of putting all of your eggs in one basket. If a customer doesn’t convert, you can’t simply reuse the same marketing materials for a new lead.
PBM:While the “True North,” or guiding principle, of pillar-based marketing is still to position your content on the first page of search engine rankings, it puts readers at the forefront of the process, not robots. What’s the difference? Pillar networks are structured the way humans think: from general to specific. They also prioritize quality writing that clearly answers questions. Here’s what a typical pillar network looks like:
- Pillar Page: Your pillar page covers your main idea and provides your readers with an in-depth guide of what they need to know about a certain topic. Pillars are titled with high-value short-tail keywords that are broad enough to increase traffic to your webpage but also specific enough to connect with several related sub-pillars. To cover enough information and contain plenty of keywords—usually around 18—pillars will be about 3,000 words in length.
- Sub-Pillars: Sub-pillars go into further detail about a question presented in your pillar. They are typically 1,500 to 2,000 words in length and contain 12 to 15 keyword phrases and questions. They also link back to the pillar page.
- Supporting Blogs: These shorter pieces go into detail about a very specific question within your pillar topic. They are usually 750 words with 8 keywords and questions. Supporting blogs link back to the sub-pillar they are under and the pillar page.
The result is that readers stay on your pages. They find the answers to their questions in your content. They trust you as an authority, and when it comes to finding the best product or service, they’ll trust you then, too. Rest assured, pillar-based marketing still takes algorithms into account. It just does so in a way that engages readers.
When it comes down to it, PBM offers the best in clarity and results when it comes to content marketing strategies.
Is PBM Inbound or Outbound?
Pillar-based marketing is an inbound strategy because it draws customers to you. In other words, customers make the first contact with you after engaging with your content. This means that you’ll be interacting with leads that are higher quality because they’ve already shown interest in what you have to offer, and they’ve recognized you as an authority on the topic.
What Types of Companies Are Using PBM Successfully?
Pillar-based marketing can be beneficial in any industry. We believe in PBM so much that we’ve even used it as our strategy to promote our own services. That’s right, we put our money where our mouth is! Since implementing pillar-based marketing, we’ve seen tremendous results:
- 10x growth in traffic year over year
- 6x increase in leads
- 3x decrease in cost-per-lead
And it’s not just us. Here are some of our customers that have benefited from pillar-based marketing:
Visit their blog pages and see how PBM works with these great pillar-based marketing examples!
What Is PBM Technology?
The right PBM technology makes it easy for businesses of any size to promote themselves with content marketing. Like a GPS for marketing, PBM technology shows you the paths you can take for the best results and guides you along the journey. A complete PBM tool belt includes technology for keyword research, insight reports, blog outlines, and performance analysis.
What Is a PBM Platform?
A pillar-based marketing platform is a software program that contains all of the tools to guide you through your pillar strategy. For example, DemandJump provides insights into what keywords to write about, compares your current rankings with your competitors’, and generates content outlines to help with your writing process. The best part? Everything you need is in one easy-to-use location!
What Features Should PBM Software Have?
When searching for the right PBM software to guide you through your pillar strategy, ensure that it can analyze keyword value, compare your rankings with competitors, map out a pillar plan, and generate content briefs to help you put your keyword research to work.
Insight reports tell you everything you need to know about potential pillar topics and their related keywords. Estimated search volume tells you often customers are searching specific keywords. Organic market share shows how your content is currently ranking for those keywords and compares it to your competitors’ content. It even recommends which topics to write about and which of your current blogs could use an upgrade.
It’s one thing to know which keywords and questions are searching for, but it’s another thing to know which ones are searched most often. Pillar-based marketing software can assign priority to different keywords so you know what you should be writing about to see results.
Your PBM platform should be able to generate options for you to plot out your pillar strategy. From your pillar topic, you should have plenty of options for sub-pillars, and each sub-pillar topic should give three to four ideas for supporting blogs. With potential topics in front of you, you can just choose what fits your marketing strategy the best.
Content briefs help make your content stand above the rest in terms of quality. In short, they generate an outline to organize your keywords and questions into a logical order. Of course, if you have a different flow in mind, you can always change it!
How Do You Use a PBM Platform?
A pillar-based marketing platform is used to take the guesswork out of content marketing. It will guide you through creating a pillar strategy by analyzing the competitive landscape, generating pillar topics that drive traffic, and jumpstarting your writing process with content briefs. To show you how a PBM platform works, let’s take a walkthrough of DemandJump.
- Establish Your Competition: Once you have your account set up, the first step is to go into Settings and input the websites of direct and indirect competitors. This allows DemandJump to compare your pillar options with the content your competition has published.
- Generate a List of Pillar Topics: The next step is to click the Get Insights tab to run a report on the topic you want to write about. This report will include a list of short-tail keywords that can serve as pillar topics. But how do you pinpoint the general topic you should build your pillar strategy around? Define your marketing goals. Do you want increased lead generation, more e-commerce sales, or to promote the free trial for your service? To get the most return on your investment, your content should support your marketing and sales goals.
- Compare Topics: After generating a list of potential pillar topics, head over to the My Topics tab to narrow down your choices. Select a topic, then click Topic Content Summary. This summary will tell you the estimated monthly search volume of that topic. The more people that are searching for that topic, the more traffic you can generate by writing about it. Then you can see your organic market share for keywords that fall under that topic. Here, you can see how your current content stacks up against your competition.
- Choose a Pillar Topic: Search volume and relevance to your offering will usually be your main focus during this step. However, you may also consider analyzing the competitive landscape for different topics to see if there’s anywhere that you could quickly overtake your competition.
- Build a Pillar Strategy: Under the Content tab, go to Pillar Strategy. Here, you can see many options for sub-pillar topics all with three to four choices for supporting blogs. Simply click on the topics that would support your marketing goals and watch your strategy build itself!
- Generate Outlines: For each piece of content that you write, it can help to start with an outline. Click on the Content Briefs tab to generate an outline full of keywords. Remember, you don’t need to use every keyword that shows up (that would make your writing very frustrating to read). Instead, you can go back to your Topic Content Summary to see which keywords are of the highest priority.
The following steps take place outside of Pillar-Based Marketing platforms, but they’re just as important to get right:
- Write Your Content: You have a strategically laid out pillar plan, you know which keywords to include and which questions to answer, now it’s time to write! Using questions as headings will help boost your rankings, and including keywords will do the SEO heavy-lifting. Now you just need to make sure your content makes for an engaging read!
- Publish: For your first pillar, it’s best to publish as much as you can as quickly as you can. For later pillars, you can spread out publishing dates so you have a steady flow of content.
For a guided walk through on how to get the most out of pillar-based marketing, enroll in DemandJump University for free!
How Do I Choose a PBM Platform? Try DemandJump
A PBM platform should make implementing a pillar-based marketing strategy easy with tools that are effective and intuitive. DemandJump does just that. With a user-friendly interface and features that show you exactly which type of content to write, which keywords to include, and which questions to answer that will attract customers, DemandJump makes your marketing more efficient. That means you’ll get more traffic with lower cost-per-click and more conversions with lower cost-per-lead.
Start your search with the best.