How to turn pillar content into micro content

If you’ve spent much time in the world of content creation you’ll know there’s a huge difference between long-form content and the short-form content tailored to social media, and something I often tell my clients to do is turn their pillar content into micro content.

Many businesses know the need for longer pieces which boost their rankings in search engine results, but also feel a pressure to be posting content in bite-sized pieces on various social media platforms.

As a content creator myself with experience in building an online platform around my own business I’m here to tell you that there’s a way to kill two birds with one stone by transforming pillar content into micro content.

But first of all, what are pillar content and micro content, and why do you need both?

What is pillar content?

Simply put, pillar content is content which educates or gives information on an entire topic, or fully answers a question which someone is searching for.

Pillar content has big advantages for both you and your audience; it gives a wealth of information to those who come across it, and also ranks highly in search engine results, bringing more traffic to your website.

Pillar content often comes in the form of online guides, e-books, and longer blogs (1000+ words).

This longer-form content is comprehensive, covering a topic in detail and leaving the audience with a thorough understanding of the subject they’re researching.

Another crucial trait of pillar content is that it’s highly relevant; these pieces remain long-term to give value to your audience – meaning that they’re also regularly updated where needed.

They’ll also be well-structured, so that they’re easy to navigate and understand; this may involve using a table of contents and links to different sections.

Good pillar content takes time to create; it needs to be well-researched and thought through to be an authoritative and informative piece.

I’ll outline micro content next, and then we can think about how to turn pillar content into micro content.

What is micro content?

In contrast to pillar content, micro content is content which can be consumed in under 30 seconds.

It might be a video, image, or written copy, but the key feature is that it’s a small chunk of information that answers a specific question concisely, or simply leaves an impression on your audience without taking much time to do so.

You’ve probably noticed that there’s a trend for micro content through platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. On social media, users are looking for quick hits of interest, and micro content is tailored to this.

Algorithms favour micro content, and so do modern attention spans; the average reader’s attention span is currently 8 seconds, so we need to grab people’s interest as quickly as possible.

Instagram reel

Examples of micro content include:

  • Short video clips, such as Instagram reels
  • Images and infographics
  • Concise and brief written copy
  • Website titles
  • Memes
  • Tips shared on platforms such as X
  • Graphs and tables
  • Email subject lines

As you can see there’s a lot of micro content out there across a broad range of platforms, but the main thing is that it demonstrates the value of what you have to say.

Even if it’s just through sharing one tip that’s applicable to your industry, or a meme which speaks into a problem that your audience frequently face, you show that your brand is relevant.

It builds trust, so that they’re interested enough to engage with your longer-form content, or look at your website, or come back to you in future as a source of reliable information.

So now that we know what they both are, how can you turn your pillar content into micro content?

How do you turn pillar content into micro content?

We’ve seen that both pillar and micro content are crucial in building your brand, with pillar content boosting your website in search engine rankings and demonstrating your knowledge, whilst micro content piques people’s interest and drives them deeper into your brand.

But it’s a lot of work to create both, so my top tip is not to produce them in isolation, but instead to transform your pillar content into micro content so that they’re coherent whilst also saving your time.

I recommend taking your pillar content as a starting point.

Regularly writing one longer piece will then allow you to extract key points from it to be used in micro content such as tweets and LinkedIn posts.

You can take out the highlights of your pillar content and drip feed them across your other platforms to gain traction from your audience.

Here are some ways where I’ve seen this put into action:

  • Turn some top tips into a caption for a short TikTok video
  • Overlay a key point onto an image for Instagram
  • Use a key paragraph as a Facebook or LinkedIn post
  • Use a summary of your blog for the content of an email, which links to the longer post
  • Share a quote from a relevant review which links to your longer article

The applications of these will vary depending on your business, but once you start to think about the possibilities of turning pillar content into micro content it really does open up a wealth of opportunities.

Where to start with transforming your pillar content into micro content

As a content creator and coach myself, I’d recommend starting with asking yourself, ‘what do I want to share?’ and using this as your pillar content topic. Then ask yourself, ‘how do I want to share this information?’ and use the answers to that as your micro content by tailoring it to different platforms.

If you need more direction or help with this we’d love to walk with you on your marketing journey. With years of experience both as an athlete who’s built her own online platform, and as a content creation coach, I’m uniquely qualified to help you to do the same.

Get in contact with Picture Perfect today and get started with tailoring your content to your audience by turning your pillar content into micro content – we can’t wait to hear from you.

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