Content Marketing, Pillar Clusters & Nietzsche Oh My!

Jen Saunders

Content with a marketing purposes is only as successful as its ability to determine its best destination and achieve significant reach. But before one can engineer an ideal content marketing strategy he must first shake off the negative connotations associated with “content marketing” and view the service as something that can be organized and measurable. Many content marketers are stirring up some buzz in our industry by shunning the title “content marketer”; they spin this service by renaming it but all they are doing is treating this vital service like a pig in need of lipstick.  This needs to stop. Content marketing is not a degenerate name; it is the gap between brand production and consumer needs.  If you offer digital marketing services and part of your scope includes content production and placement, then you are offering content marketing as a component to your strategy. Except it. Embrace it.

Once you are comfortable with your offerings, its time to delve into your strategy to determine its chaos factor. Most content marketers are in fact operating from a weathered ship in a raging storm; there is no real direction, no structure, and no defined target audience. But content marketing has always been associated with the chaotic, and until we change our maps and find a better route, it will continue as such.

So why is content marketing associated with chaos? What is the stigma all about? First, content has, for years, been the mode of entry for black hat tactics. In addition, it has been very difficult to scale and track within a revenue-generating framework, which makes it chaotic because there is a lot of guess work involved. In most cases a content marketer will know if their text is working, yet they won’t know what all the intimate details are that make certain pages rank. That said, one might be organized on a surface level, but when it comes to the fine mechanics of “how” and “why”, they are running into walls through blinded impotence.

What would Nietzsche do? If Friedrich Nietzsche were to crawl from his grave in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, catch a Lufthansa flight to Los Angeles, and take a CMA role for a digital marketing agency that isn’t afraid to embrace the term “content marketing”, what would happen?

web content for businesses.

Existentialism Should Thrive in Content Marketing

Content marketing is, for the most part, chaotic if agencies fail to give it meaningful order. Existentialism takes humanity beyond the peak of being; one’s existence and the basis of this fundamental knowledge can be directed into a space meant for comprehension, and when allowing it to relate to the world within a distinct or broad place, it becomes the semblance of order.  We have all heard the philosopher’s famous words “from chaos comes order”. In ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, Nietzsche wrote that “one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” Here, he speaks of art as an expression of human freedom. Freedom; the acquisition of self-knowledge that results in the dancing star that garners worldly contribution and ethereal bliss. And this is exactly what meaningful content needs in order to be that bridge between brand and buyers.

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Chaotic Content Turned Dancing Star

I didn’t read any surveys or claims. Instead, I spoke to several content marketers at Inbound 2017 asking what their protocol and methodology encompassed for a content marketing engagement. Not a single one was using the content cluster topic model. But they were at the conference to learn how it works. Today, most content marketers rely on the same strategy they have been using for years: write optimized content focusing on exact match keywords with longtail forms as secondaries, and blog using high-ranking keywords in popular industry related topics.

The problem with this model is this: it’s chaotic and has no order. However, it’s a necessary place to come from in order to extract data necessary for mapping the road to an orderly content cluster model. Start by going into Google Analytics to see which blogs got the most clicks and them segment the ones with the highest session duration. Analyze your content to discover similarities in blogs that got the high CTR, then look at the ones with higher engagement. Find the KPIs and roll out a blueprint for content production that utilizes these indications. Then build them in a content cluster linking to a pillar page so Google can see the authoritative order of your domain, and its topics you are trying to rank for using a non-chaotic structure.

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Why Pillar-Based Topic Content Cluster Models Bring Order Google Loves

From chaotic unorganized blogs, the pillar content cluster method not only offers order, Google bots also love it. Here’s how it works: your pillar page is the hub of your content. The idea is to create a number of blog posts that focus on topics relevant to the pillar page, and that also take on a particular context. Then a link will go to the pillar page thus creating structured content based around topical and contextual sustenance that raises the pillar page’s authority. Take tips from content marketing agencies using the pillar methodology in their offerings; be sure to use longtail keyword variations, make sure the anchor text has a relevant keyword that binds the topical onsite content to the pillar page’s core subject points, and think about your human readers. Framing this into a humanized approach that directs specific content to distinct buyer personas will channel the dancing stars–the winning formula that releases artistic freedom, the buyer’s ability to enlighten with knowledge, and a customer experience where existence hinges on their awakened concrete needs for a product via the egress of orderly, intimate content marketing.

Nietzsche writes that self-knowledge results in a dancing star that originates from the chaotic framework of one’s individual creativity. Keep writing creative blogs; just change up your game by using topics and context to not only better humanize your content with emotional triggers that influence buyer decisions, but to also add structure and order thus allowing Google bots to better crawl and make sense of your articles and how they empower your pillar page.

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Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.