Repurposing Pillar Content

Credit: Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia

If Document, Don’t Create is the method by which Gary Vaynerchuk is constructing his “honey empire”, then pillar content is the cornerstone of that strategy.

Pillar content is any piece of content (usually a long-form video or audio show) from which all other pieces in your content marketing strategy are derived.

The idea is to create a sizeable piece of content and then carve it into microcontent that can be shared across your channels in order to promote the larger piece.

Here is the 6-step model Gary uses for creating and leveraging pillar content:

Step 1: Establish pillar content

Start by establishing what Gary calls a “pillar show”.

For Gary, his pillar shows include:

  1. A daily vlog (Dailyvee)
  2. Dedicated content shows (#AskGaryVee, #podSessions, influencer meetings)
  3. Keynotes & fireside chats

Gary is an insanely busy guy, so pillar shows allow his team to get consistent time with him and generate as much content as possible.

If you don’t have time to do a vlog and a podcast and a blog and an interview series with influencers, pick one and try it out. I cannot stress enough, however, that you need at least one long-form show that hits it out of the park.

Without a great piece of pillar content, the rest of this strategy falls apart.

Step 2: Create microcontent

Once your pillar content is recorded, review the footage and look for moments that will resonate with your audience.

When you find the right moments, turn them into short clips and image quotes.

For example, here’s a piece of microcontent that Gary plucked from a two-hour keynote:

This single post has generated 712,000 views and 104,000 likes on Instagram while the full keynote video generated only 295,000 views and 5,000 likes by comparison.

That’s a 7x improvement in viewership and 60x improvement in engagement!

Just by repurposing and promoting the most powerful moments from longer pieces of content, you can improve the ROI of your material dramatically.

Step 3: Distribute pillar & micro content

Once you have your pillar content and microcontent, distribute them across social.

Use the first round of microcontent to drive viewership back to the pillar content, like this:

As far as posting goes, don’t space things out too far. Gary does it one minute apart, making sure the pillar content is posted first so it can be linked to from the microcontent.

Step 4: Get community insights

After you’ve distributed the pillar content and microcontent, Gary says listen to your audience to find out which pieces resonated.

When Bobbi Smith tweets that she loves a quote from your podcast, note it.

When Jack Jones says he digs the line at 11:34 of your YouTube video, note it.

If you’re having trouble generating awareness, you might have to promote the content to get more eyeballs on it. For better engagement, ask viewers to leave comments with quotes or time stamps of their favorite parts.

Step 5: Make community-base microcontent

The feedback that Bobbi Smith and Jack Jones left on your social posts? Use it to create more microcontent.

Turn great comments into images on Instagram.

Edit clips of the sections that people enjoyed for Facebook.

Repurpose funny GIFs that fans developed and post to Twitter.

All of these repurposed snippets become new original content as they are edited and presented in a new way with custom copy and titles.

Step 6: Distribute 2nd round of microcontent

Once you have your community-driven microcontent, distribute it across social.

After that, Gary suggests going the extra mile by writing articles for Quora, Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook, and your website based on the pillar content by expanding on the transcriptions and adding new points.

He says: “Colin Campbell is a beast in transcribing me. He’ll listen to my videos and then he’ll pitch me, ‘Hey, let’s do “Betting on Your Strengths.”’ He’ll transcribe everything but it’ll be missing some stuff. He’ll call me and interview me for some more questions, and then I’m speaking first-person in a blog post.”

By adopting this framework, you’ll be able to improve your team’s efficiency and build a content marketing strategy that resonates with your audience.