How Do Online Shops Build Hybrid Structures With the Content Pyramid?

Blog How Do Online Shops Build Hybrid Structures With the Content Pyramid?
14th December, 2020

There are many ways of visualising content marketing, from flowcharts to funnels. But at greatcontent, we think that the content pyramid is easily the best way to organise content production.

For those who don't know already, the content marketing pyramid is a tool to decide what type of content to publish and when to publish it. Levels vary from high frequency, low effort content like Twitter posts, through to high labour productions like white papers and eBooks. The idea is that by covering every level, companies can capture large audiences and serve more specific clients efficiently.

The general concept is pretty clear. But what isn't always so clear is how to recruit teams and expertise to staff each level of the pyramid, and that's where hybrid production enters the picture. It's common for blogging and social media to be handled by hybrid teams. But what about eBook or white paper writing? With that in mind, we've come up with a quick intro to the pyramid, with our ideas about how to implement it effectively.

Why build the content pyramid?

1. Flexibility

Not every business will benefit from creating a content pyramid. However, if you want to be flexible about content production, the pyramid is likely to be a wise choice. The Covid-19 pandemic showed the benefits of being as flexible as possible when producing content, as many retailers boosted their digital presence and had to deal with rapidly changing circumstances.

2. Cost effectiveness

Understanding how to divide budgets between small amounts of high effort content and routine investments in social media posts or blogs can be the first step to keeping marketing costs low. Without a rational division of tasks, it's easy to waste marketing budgets without coming close to maximising traffic and conversions.

3. It's easy to outsource

Thirdly, it's never been easier to outsource content production so that you can cover each tier of the content pyramid. If you want regular blog content for specific campaigns, you can commission as much as you need in seconds. You can even commission full-scale eBooks and expect a high level of quality - something that's not always been the case.

All of this leads to the key point: creating content pyramids is complex, requiring hybrid teams with a dizzying array of skills. But today's marketplace has made the task a breeze. Here are some principles that should help you build your pyramid with ease.

The ABCs of creating a content marketing pyramid

1. Recruit elite blogging and social media skills

High volume posts form the foundation of most content pyramids, but the teams involved can't just be thrown together. Writing, research, graphic design, video production, social media analysis - all of these things contribute.

At this stage, it's vital to create accurate briefs and be clear about the purpose of each text. Using agencies that feature pools of writers is a great strategy. However, it's essential to work with partners who deliver the linguists needed to produce appealing, SEO-ready, accurate texts.

2. Assemble hybrid teams for websites and in-depth blogging

Moving up the pyramid a notch, you'll probably want to combine high-volume content with more detailed texts to draw customers into your brand environment. These texts are produced at lower volumes, but the labour needed is much higher than everyday social media posts.

This means that teams working on mid-tier content need to be more focused, with more input from in-house managers. You can definitely outsource content production and task producers with in-depth research. But detail staff for forensic quality assurance monitoring, as it's vital to get each text right.

3. Create small teams for bespoke projects

Rising above mid-tier content, projects can vary. Some pyramids integrate infographics or PDF presentations. Others build full-blown webinars on specific topics that can be linked from blogs and websites.

Whatever you choose here, production teams will be smaller and communication between members will be vital. This doesn't mean that in-house production is essential, though. Agencies like greatcontent are ready to offer the level of support needed to produce anything from executive presentations to 4,000 word blogs.

4. The peak of the pyramid: total focus required

At the tip of the content marketing pyramid we come to long form content like eBooks and white papers - the kind of work which appeals to high level audiences and showcases what companies can do. As such, they need to be meticulously written and researched. Just leaving them to pools of freelancers won't usually be a wise move.

When it comes to the top tier, teams will be very small. They may feature a writer, commissioning editor, and a graphic designer (if needed). But a close working relationship between everyone concerned will be necessary to ensure that the client isn't frustrated.

Commission content the smart way when building your content pyramid

Hopefully, it's clear that not all content is equal. At some points in the content pyramid, clients will need total control. In those cases, recruiting specific talent for specific tasks will make sense. But at the base of the pyramid, large numbers of writers can be managed easily by a couple of staff members to provide quality assurance.

At greatcontent, we build content pyramids for a living, and we're ready to put the blocks in place for any commercial challenge. We can source bulk content at professional standards, or provide individual writers for the most complex tasks. Just get in touch and we'll be happy to discuss your options.

Text: Sam Urquhart
Image: Matheus Ferrero on

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