Justin Champion is a content professor for HubSpot Academy and nomadic marketer, who recently finished an epic road trip across the U.S. in an Airstream while teaching workshops on pillar content creation. Champion documented his journey on social media using the hashtag #UnboundInbounder because he says, "content and I share the same passion – being unbound and without limit." He recently visited the Chicago HubSpot User Group (CHIHUG) on Tuesday evening to give a hands-on workshop on pillar content creation.
Since Diagram is a HubSpot platinum-partner agency, I'd heard of content strategy since this tool is currently in beta. However, I was most looking forward to Justin’s explanation and step-by-step guidance on creating a content pillar during the 2-hour workshop. Here are my three big takeaways from the workshop.
1. Define a content mission statement.
It’s easy for different platforms (and even departments) to become siloed within an agency environment. Champion challenged each of us to write down a content mission statement—something that would guide our entire content strategy and align it more closely to our business goals and content creation efforts.
2. An age of binge watching = more opportunity for valuable content
Whether you call it marathoning or binge watching, the idea of watching an entire season of House of Cards or Bloodline (Champion’s favorite show) on Netflix or Hulu in a few days is nothing new. Businesses should seize this “binge” methodology when it comes to creating valuable content. Champion suggests that by creating a broad core topic and creating multiple subtopic content pieces that point back to the core topic, readers can “binge” their way through your content pillar. And while they’re learning from your expertise, they’ll also be traveling through the buyer’s journey.
3. Repurpose existing content using ACE.
Since we spend so much time creating content across a variety of platforms, creating a content pillar is the perfect time to repurpose existing content that needs a little TLC. Maybe it’s updating the statistic from 2014 or combining two blogs into one more comprehensive overview. Here’s the way that Champion recommends.
A-Adjust (What needs to be added or removed?)
C-Combine (How can you combine related or unrelated things to provide new value?)
E-Expand (What have you done that needs (and deserves) a deeper discussion?)
Chicago HubSpot User Group Leaders, Stephanie Casstevens and Debra Monkman (pictured on the right), reached out to Champion during his road trip and invited him to make an extra stop in Chicago. “[In our HUG], we want to host more workshop or work-group style events where members would walk away having accomplished something. And we wanted to get people talking to each other, sharing ideas, and actually engaging versus just listening! Justin's content workshop was a great way to do that.”
Honestly, it was one of those workshops that will stick with me because of the immediate value that it provided. Champion was on hand to clarify or help answer any questions if we were stuck. As always, HubSpot Academy is fantastic at providing certifications and educational content that keep marketing and sales professionals at the top of their industry and this workshop was great example of that.
Each HUG member worked independently in their workbooks and talked through their ideas with each other at the workshop, hosted in The WIP Theater. At the end of the workshop, everyone walked away with a deeper understanding of why content pillars help solve content creation problems and an actual custom content pillar framework that they could implement. It's safe to say that Justin Champion-ed each of us towards content pillar creation success (see what I did there).
Mark your calendars for the next CHIHUG event on August 16 featuring special guest, Jeffrey Russo, director of product marketing at HubSpot.