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Pillar Content Workshop Recap - June 20th Meetup with HubSpotter Justin Champion

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 26, 2017 7:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Casstevens

On Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 the Chicago HUG welcomed over 40 attendees to our first meetup on the Northwest side! This meetup was a Pillar Content Workshop brought to us but HubSpot Academy Principal Inbound Professor, Justin Champion.

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Justin is a professor for HubSpot Academy (you may recognize him from HubSpot's Content Marketing Certification) and is currently wrapping up a trip across the United States with his wife in their Airstream and truck camper while teaching marketers how to create more effective content along the way. You can check out his journey on the hashtag #unboundInbounder. Having Justin here for this interactive workshop was really exciting!

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What is Pillar Content?

While pillar content is a relatively new concept, it has been spotted in its early stages for a little while now including this post on the HubSpot blog about topics over keywords. You can also check out Justin's recent post on Buzzsumo about pillar content creation. In addition to search engines and searchers both evolving and getting smarter, the way we consume content has changed as well. We're in an age of binge-watching and rapidly consuming larger volumes of content in one sitting than ever before.

The idea is for businesses to take advantage of this concept when creating content by creating a broad core topic and multiple related subtopics. Then, by creating content related to each of these subtopics that point back to the core topic, searchers can find and "binge" the content in their preferred fashion meaning they'll stay longer, learn more, and progress through the buyer's journey even faster. Yep, that's right; this means the days of 7 day delays in email nurturing workflows may not be the way to go any more. After all, do you ever search for something, read about it, and then wait a week to think about it again? Probably not.

The Pillar Content Workshop

Prior to the workshop Justin encouraged members to work with their teams to create at least one key buyer persona and have it ready to use. Working with your team is key to creating accurate and powerful buyer personas. If you're feeling stuck, check out HubSpot's Free Persona Tool to get started.

The workshop itself focused on teaching the group how to efficiently create a conversion-focused content resource page through a series of pre-defined topic clusters (core topic and its sub-topics) in support of one of their products or services. Members left the workshop with knowledge of how to leverage their short-term marketing calendar to achieve long term content goals and walked away with a completed supplemental workbook they could use to get started right away. 

Some of the key learning objectives included writing a clear content mission statement, identifying a primary buyer persona, mapping the buyer's journey for that persona, creating a working content cluster outline for a downloadable content offer, and developing an understanding of how to build a pillar content resource page. The group had a fantastic time diving into this content creation methodology. One of my favorite quotes from the day was from Sarah Corley of WSOL who said "Honestly, it was one of those workshops that will stick with me because of the immediate value that it provided." I love hearing that about our HUGs meetups!


Missed the Workshop or Just Want More? 

If you missed the meetup or you attended it but just want more, I have good news! Justin's workshop is now available as a training at INBOUND 2017! You can get more information and register on the Eventbrite page. Invite your team to join you! The training will take place on Monday, September 25, 2017, the training day prior INBOUND, from 8:30am to noon. 


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Wrapping Up the Meetup 

As always, we wrapped up the meetup by sharing job openings from the group and raffling off some prizes including HubSpot swag and an Amazon Echo Dot! Congrats to 

We also asked anyone who is hiring to provide their contact information so we could share it with you all. To see open positions shared by HUG members check out this page


Get Ready for our August Meetup with Director of Product Marketing at HubSpot, Jeffrey Russo! 

BIG NEWS! Our next meetup will be in August in the West Loop at the Google Chicago office at 320 N Morgan Street. (For our suburban friends, it's much easier to park here than our previous location downtown.) It will be an analytics and reporting focused presentation and discussion hosted by Director of Product Marketing at HubSpot, Jeffrey Russo! We're so excited to have Jeffrey join us in Chicago and look forward to seeing you all there! 

To save your spot for the August meetup register now:  REGISTER NOW

Topics: HUG Meeting Recaps

Stephanie Casstevens

Written by Stephanie Casstevens

One of two leaders of the Chicago HUG, Stephanie is the marketing manager at Label Insight and has been using HubSpot for 5+ years, attended 4 INBOUND events, and has 8 HubSpot certifications. Stephanie is a Carthage College graduate and photographs weddings in her spare time.

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