As a general rule, you can expect to pay anything from £1,000 to £4,500 for a pillar page depending on which marketing agency you go with, and the packages and pricing they offer. You could also go to a (cheaper) freelancer, but be aware that much of the value of a pillar page relies on your ability to track its performance, and to continue linking it to other pieces of content.

Pillar pages form a key part of our content marketing strategy at ESM Inbound. This presentation of long-form content is a cornerstone of inbound marketing - and it gives  you more bang for your buck. Essentially, a pillar page offers an in-depth deep-dive into a subject, often based around topic clusters related to it.

What’s the difference between a pillar page and a whitepaper?

Unlike whitepapers, pillar pages are search-engine gold. This is because they are a form of in-depth, keyword-rich long-form content that readers don’t usually need to fill in their details to access. As a result, a pillar page is far more likely to get shared on social media, and it’s more likely to get shared around organisations too. Pillar pages help businesses gain trust and authority, and they can be a great vehicle for re-purposing existing material from marketing collateral and whitepapers. In terms of ROI, they represent a great investment.

What should you pay for a pillar page?

The cost of creating a pillar page varies depending on a range of factors, not least how much from-scratch material needs to be written in order to create the content and how much rewriting and additional research needs to be done. The length of a pillar page is crucial to its performance, however - as with any content - quality trumps quantity.

How long should a pillar page be?

The length of pillar pages also varies, but as a general rule, you should aim for a minimum of 3,000 words. The page should have chapter style subheads too, ideally with an interactive table of contents. It should be easy to navigate, so that your customers can skip to the parts of the pillar page that are most relevant to them. We have created this guide to Pillar Pages to give you an idea of what they should include.

Populating the page with infographics, bullet-based lists and broken-out content boxes will make it more interactive and appealing, and more shareable. And as all good marketers know, it’s important to offer this same content in the form of a PDF e-book download for those who want to read it offline in their own time (on a flight, or on the train, or as an asset they can share on email with colleagues). This turns it into a powerful lead magnet.

Should pillar pages be gated?

We often get asked by clients who are wedded to the idea of only offering long-form content as a gated asset whether, by investing in an ungated pillar page, they could be ‘missing a trick’ in sharing free content without the obligation for data capture. We explain to them that pillar pages with the option of a free download are a no-brainer, and significantly increase the visibility of your content, generating more leads. At ESM Inbound, we tend to see the conversion rate jump by up to 12% after re-purposing previously ‘gated’ content and using it as the basis of a pillar page.

In her inspiring guest post for us last year, Musical Futures International’s Anna Gower shared her story of how she used our guide to creating a pillar page to turn a chapter from a 2009 whitepaper into a unique piece of long-form, ungated content.  Just a week after the pillar page she created went live, visits to the site increased exponentially, and the page has continued to perform since. This is a great example of a client using free inbound marketing resources to make their existing content work harder for them. Not everybody has the time or inclination to do this, of course, and at ESM Inbound, we are always happy to take a deep dive into your existing marketing assets and create a strategic plan of re-purposing and updating them in a more search engine and user-friendly form.

The analytics features in HubSpot mean that by the time a prospect has got to the stage of downloading your pillar page, you’ll have a pretty insightful idea of where their pain points and interests lie, thanks to tracking that shows you which pages of your site they have read and how long they have spent on them. This will help your sales team to tailor any subsequent interactions in a way that’s likely to appeal to a particular customer’s unique concerns and priorities.

It helps you build personas for target customers that are informed, down to the most granular level by data points. In short, it enables you to tailor your sales and marketing approach with evidence drawn from actual prospects and customers. And what could be more valuable than that?