1. Help Center
  2. Pillar-Based Marketing

What Is Pillar-Based Marketing?

A high-level look at the marketing methodology we love discussing.

Pillar-Based Marketing (PBM) is the union of observable data and high-value content. PBM builds a network of helpful content around a central topic, where each new piece added boosts SEO authority to a focal “Pillar page.” Through PBM, DemandJump helps our clients present as subject matter experts by enabling them to consistently provide valuable information to their target audience. Over time, this strategy helps build brand relationships, consumer trust and ultimately, conversions.

How Does PBM Work?

PBM combines two common marketing strategies: content Pillars and SEO. It’s worth noting, though, that the SEO tactics we use align with Google’s Helpful Content Update (rather than gimmicks like keyword stuffing).

  • A content Pillar is a long-form piece of content focused around a specific topic. Ideally, the chosen topic has multiple subtopics, derivatives, and offshoots that can create smaller—but related—pieces of content. Content pillars build a network of information that positions the content’s owner as a reliable, trustworthy source for that topic.
  • SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of web traffic to a web page or website. SEO combines technical proficiency with an understanding of how internet users browse. Through good SEO, a company can form a proactive, adaptive digital presence.

PBM takes the best of these two ideas and shapes them into one, using real-world search data as a foundation. The content for each Pillar is entirely driven by what people are searching online, including the questions they ask, specific things they’re looking for, or subjects they wish to learn about. This content is also written in a way that provides readers with real value—that is, answers to their questions, reliable information around the topic, and resources to help readers with their search journey.

How Is a PBM Strategy Developed?

Once the Pillar topic is selected, DemandJump’s Consumer Insights Platform evaluates people’s search habits for that topic; we then develop a content strategy based upon those search trends. This approach ensures that the content will directly address what customers are already looking for, and gives each piece of content heightened visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Through this process, we collect a list of keywords that are commonly searched in conjunction with the Pillar topic. PBM content then uses those keywords as prompts for what each piece of content should address. Oftentimes, the keywords will serve as the headers or sub-headers in each piece—particularly questions, which the content then answers. By using keywords in this way, the content is automatically tailored to the way people are searching, which means that if they Google that exact question, your content will be one of the answers.

Each Pillar strategy aims to lay out a “content web”: a broad-reaching network of interlinking pieces. In this content web, all written pieces aim to address the chosen Pillar topic from various angles, based upon the associated keywords.

The Pieces of a PBM Strategy

Each topic’s content web is comprised of three basic types of pieces:

  • Pillars are long-form, high-level pieces of content dedicated to discussing your Pillar Topic. They address frequently asked questions, explain basic terminology, and provide learning resources around the Pillar Topic. Pillars are usually around 3,000 words long, and use about 20 keywords related to the chosen topic of focus. A Pillar’s title should also be a short-tail keyword (a keyword of one to three words) users are already searching, to further optimize organic traffic.
  • Sub-Pillars are deeper dives into offshoot topics addressed in a Pillar piece. While more focused, Sub-Pillars are still somewhat longer pieces of content (~2,000 words and ~15 keywords), and they primarily exist to support the Pillar. A Pillar should have at least three Sub-Pillars acting as support, and though the topics for Sub-Pillars may have some overlap, they ultimately should address the Pillar Topic from different angles. Like the Pillar, Sub-Pillars are titled based upon short-tail keywords commonly used by people online.
  • Supporting Blogs serve a similar purpose as Sub-Pillars, but at a much more focused level. Blogs target the most niche of questions and search queries around a Pillar topic, while also linking back to the larger pieces of content. To further develop the content web, some blogs will link directly back to the central Pillar piece, while others link to both the Pillar and related Sub-Pillar. Blogs are somewhere between 750-1,000 words, with 7-8 keywords.

Each of these different pieces are connected to the other through interlinking. Every Sub-Pillar and Supporting Blog will link back to their respective Pillar, and some Supporting Blogs will also link back to related Sub-Pillars as well. This structure helps promote the Pillar’s SEO authority, which in turn will boost the associated Sub-Pillars and Blogs.

More Questions? Please Reach Out!

If you’ve read through this and still have questions about PBM, please contact the Manager of Content Services or your CS Representative. We’re happy to help explain what we do and why it’s the best way for you to reach your audience!