Content pillars are the main themes or topics around which all good social media content revolves. They help you create content that your audience will love, while also promoting your brand.

Investing time in setting up your pillars will help you plan your social media content much more effectively, acting as the ‘north star’ guide that defines the things you talk about in your posts.

They’re important because they help you plan and organise your content, which is a massive win for every busy business owner. More importantly, content pillars make it much easier for your audience to understand what you do, helping your perfect customers see why they need to invest in your products or services.

When you show up on social media, you want to be doing it in a way that resonates with your audience, and content pillars are the way to do that!

What Exactly Are Content Pillars?

Content pillars are core topics that you talk about across your social media channels. They define your content strategy and should closely align with your brand’s overarching marketing strategy, your brand’s values and goals, and your target audience.

The pillars are the backbone of your social media content, providing structure and consistency to your online presence.

Imagine your content pillars as the main pillars of a building—each one supports a different aspect of your brand’s identity and messaging. These pillars help you create content that resonates with your audience AND tells your story.

Why Are Content Pillars So Important?

The ‘throw it at the wall and hope it sticks’ approach to social media marketing to not going to get you very far. Even worse, chucking out random content without a plan can damage your brand identity.

If your cat is into wearing hats and that resonates with your fans, then that’s great. But if you’re posting something just to please the algorithm, pause for a moment (paws) and think about what you’re here to achieve.

These are the reasons you should take the time to really think about your pillars.

Consistency

Content pillars ensure a consistent and recognisable brand image across your social media platforms. Consistency helps build trust with your audience, making them more likely to engage with your content and eventually become customers.

Targeted Content

What will your audience find valuable? By defining your content pillars, you can tailor your content to your target audience’s interests and needs. This targeted approach increases the chances of reaching the right people and generating meaningful interactions with them.

Boosting Engagement

Linked to the point above, when you create content that means something to your audience, they’re more likely to take action. That might be leaving you a comment, liking your post or sharing your content with their network. The more engagement you get on your post, the more visibility you are likely to get for your brand.

Content Planning

Content pillars provide a structured framework for planning and organising your content calendar. This makes it easier to create a well-balanced mix of content types that help move your customers along the buying journey, from initial awareness through to conversion (making a sale for example).

Efficiency

With content pillars in place, you will never run out of ideas for your posts! No more scratching around for something to post last minute. You can create content that you know directly supports your business objectives, without wasting resources on content that doesn’t align with your brand.

Brand Authority

When you consistently produce content around the same content pillars, it establishes your brand as an authority in your industry or niche. Over time, this can lead to increased brand recognition within your industry sector and make you the go-to brand for your customers.

How to Define Your Content Pillars

No idea where to go from here? Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

1. Always start by thinking about your audience.

Remember the ‘social’ bit of social media, this is about your customers, not you.  You wouldn’t walk into a party and start bellowing sales messages at anyone who will listen, so don’t do it on Instagram either! Instead, your content pillars should resonate with your audience. You can still sell to them, but do it by creating conversation and targeting their preferences, pain points, and interests.

2. If you’re not sure who your target audience is, start with that piece of work!

Understanding your customers and their needs is so important when it comes to creating good social media content.

Think about your brand. Your content pillars should allow you to share your brand’s identity, values, and mission in a natural and authentic way. Choose themes that are relevant to your business and show some of your personality. If sustainability matters to you, make sure you talk about it!

3. Research Your Niche.

Study your industry and competition to identify gaps or opportunities for unique content within your chosen pillars. If you think your audience needs tips and tricks that’ll make their camping holiday easier, and nobody else is doing it with your exact audience in mind, make sure it’s in your pillar content.

4. Keep It Simple.

Pillars are here to make your life easier. Start with a manageable number of content pillars, typically between three to five depending on the size of your organisation. Fewer pillars ensure clarity for both you and your followers. Too many pillars and the messaging starts to get a bit fragmented.

5. Create your pillar-related content.

Develop content that directly relates to each pillar. Don’t just think about social media either, these pillars can be used across your business. The more content you can create around the pillars, the more opportunity you have to repurpose the content, so a blog post can become content for 6 Instagram posts, a Carousel and a piece of email marketing. This holistic approach to social media gives you the most bang for your buck. I love this approach to creating content so much that I made it into a dedicated service that I offer.

6. Analyse and continually adapt.

Don’t just schedule and walk away! Regularly review your social media performance to see which content pillars are resonating most with your audience. Test different content formats too, do your customers love reels? Or carousels? Is engagement better in the evening, or during the lunch breaks? Look at your analytics and if you see trends emerging, work with it!

Content pillars are the building blocks of a successful social media strategy. They provide structure, consistency, and focus to your online presence. When you define and implement your content pillars, you’ll find it much easier to connect with your target audience, moving the needle towards achieving your business goals.

Now you awesome human, go boss your social media!

Or, if you’re not sure you want to go this alone, I can help! My DIY Strategy Workshop will help you clarify your positioning and messaging so that you know exactly who you’re talking to and what you want to say. Together we’ll define your content pillars and build out content ideas that you can implement right away.

Or if you want to hand it all over to me, check out my full range of social media marketing services, or drop me a line here.

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