Association Revenue Resilience: Build a Foundation with Content Pillars

Content Pillars are a multi-purpose, multi-benefit tactic to bring in and engage visitors.

Guest Post from Refactored   

2020 has delivered a significant financial impact across industries, and associations and nonprofits have been hit by the disruptions in every possible way. We’ve seen reductions in revenue from all sources, including giving, grants, services, and events. To ensure financial resilience, associations are taking quick, decisive and creative actions to expand outside their traditional revenue streams.

The issue, of course, is getting the attention of the people you want to visit and participate in those revenue-building activities. And getting attention online and driving quality traffic to your website is one of the biggest challenges for sales and marketing professionals.

Content Pillars are a tactic that offers promise for overcoming this challenge. As we learned in a recent Protech webinar with Refactored Partner and Senior Marketing Strategist Rob Bean, Content Pillar development is a website-focused technique that can help you adapt to a changing market quickly—and make your website presence more effective over the long term.

Here are three reasons Content Pillars are an effective and efficient foundation for revenue generation.

1. A Center of Gravity to Pull Searchers to Your Site

Your website is the hub of all activity for your organization, including training and certifications, webinars and other online events, paid content, donations, and other creative revenue opportunities. A Content Pillar is simply a set of topical website pages that are designed to tell a powerful and connected story, focused on a targeted group of conceptual keywords called a “cluster.”

Content Pillars create a natural, organic draw for users who are searching for your defined keywords and brand terms. What makes a content pillar work is the quality of the content it offers. These keyword-dense pages amplify the SEO gravity of your site and increase organic traffic. But they are not just “keyword stuffing” exercises. They offer rich, high-quality information that:

  • Isn’t available elsewhere
  • Is relevant to the questions that potential members and visitors most want answered
  • Combine a variety of content formats (from lists to tagged images to videos)

In addition, they are strategically planned and highly structured to provide both visitors and search algorithms exactly what they’re looking for at every step.

2. A Quick-Turn, Cost-Effective Initiative

Content Pillars require a focused effort but can be completed in a relatively short time—and for less cost than many marketing initiatives. Done right, they provide an immediate SEO boost as well as a rich content resource to promote in your ongoing campaigns.

Because they are written to be relevant, deep resource centers, they help you develop and deepen connections to members and non-members, demonstrate value to your communities and grow your influence.

They also enable increased opportunities to encourage conversions and conversations—because now, you have the attention you need.

3. Great Results and Long-Term Value

Content Pillars offer potential for tremendous returns. Properly structured Content Pillars can lead readers to conversions for a variety of revenue. You can use pillars for:

  • Co-marketing content and virtual events with partners
  • Building empathy and leading to donations links
  • Promoting membership benefits or subscription opportunities
  • Offering educational webinars (live and on demand)
  • Offering paid books, publications and reports
  • Providing contextual information for professional certifications

Plus, while the best Content Pillars will produce long-term value for your website visitors, they’ll also pay long-term dividends to your business:

  • Traffic growth (from both organic and paid sources)
  • Better click-through and conversion rates
  • Savings on paid search
  • Keyword ranking growth
  • Improved engagement metrics
  • Increased domain authority
  • Improved SERP ranking

A Practical Technique

To create effective content pillars, it’s important to strike the right balance of customer input, SEO keyword research and strong brand copywriting. The combination will produce meaningful content that not only deepens your brand story but also provides ROI by helping you lower the cost of acquisition.

Best of all, you’ll provide current and prospective members with answers to the questions that only you can uniquely address. To learn more, watch our webinar with Refactored. It’s available on demand now.

Interested in how Content Pillars can work for you? Contact Refactored to review your opportunities and get a free SEO audit.