Have you ever struggled to try to manage your social media content? You may have felt you’ve run out of ideas on what to post. This is where content pillars come into play. Content pillars help you stay organized and plan your posts more efficiently.
After reading this article, you will learn how to create content pillars and how to utilize them in your social media strategy.
Table of Contents
What exactly are content pillars, and why are they important?
So, what are content pillars, and why are they important? Content pillars are 3 to 5 topics your brand will consistently discuss, amplify, and create content for on social media. They’re topics to help you create your social media structure and can be used across all your social media platforms.
You might even have different content pillars for each social media depending on what your goal is for that platform. Every social media account should have a specific goal, whether it is brand awareness or creating a stronger brand image. These pillars allow you to stay on track and build a more concrete plan for your social media schedule.
For example, if you have 5 pillars for Instagram, you can alternate the 5 topics for every post, so it does not look repetitive. If you stick to your content pillars, you will always know what to post. However, just because you have set pillars does not mean they won’t change over time. It is ok to change them to better fit your market segment.
The reason they are important is that you want your social media to have structure, and you want to reach your KPIs. The content pillars can be specific to your brand or your industry. They are very individualized and cannot be copied from industry to industry.
How do you build content pillars?
Creating content pillars is like creating a rough draft for an essay or blueprints for a building. They are the structure for the content you will create in the future. If you have a foundational base for your social media posts, they will perform better and allow you to reach your KPIs more efficiently.
To start, you’ll want to look at what your social media goals are and what the purpose of your account is for. Let’s say you are opening a coffee shop and want to create an Instagram page for it. The reason you might want to create an Instagram is so that you can build awareness of your new shop that just opened. So your goal is to get as many followers that would be interested in coming to your coffee shop and would like to know more about it.
So once you have discovered your goals, you can then start building your content pillars. Let’s say you want to have four content pillars, the first one can be posts that include all new products and news of the coffee shop. This means all the posts that will fall under this pillar will be new coffee flavors or news you would like to share, like half-priced coffees on Wednesdays.
Example of Pillar 1:
Creating content pillars is like creating a rough draft for an essay or blueprints for a building. They are the structure for the content you will create in the future.
The next pillar would probably be branding. These posts will include anything from pictures of the coffee shop to the values and beliefs of the coffee shop.
Example of Pillar 2:
The third pillar will probably be promotions. So this will include any sales or discounts you offer during that week or month. This can also include rewards program posts as well.
Example of Pillar 3:
The last pillar can be used for miscellaneous topics or seasonal and holiday posts. This may include national and international holidays. It’s recommend creating a miscellaneous pillar for anything that does not fit under your regular posts. This is a great way to find new patterns in what you are currently missing on your other pillars. Having your content pillars written out somewhere so you can look back at them and change them when needed is also super helpful.
Example of Pillar 4:
Track your pillars
You can use this template to help you organize your content pillars on paper:
Once you know what your pillars are and have them written down, you’ll be able to track them. Try to keep up with your analytics and find out which pillar performs the best so you can either build upon it or mimic this technique into a new pillar creating a larger success.
As a social media manager, you should know what your audience likes and doesn’t like based on your analytics. If you see that a specific pillar is not performing as well, try to see what you can do to make it better or create a new pillar, replace it and see if it works. A/B testing is required; don’t be scared to try new things. Everything is helpful for your analytics.
Use the pillars to add to your voice
While most social media posts are just one person’s content copied and made from someone else’s content, it’s still vital for a social media presence to feel original. And while it’s true that consistently being original is tough, it’s what ends up separating your social media from the norm.
Now let’s talk about trends. Even though we just rooted for originality, that doesn’t mean that trends aren’t what help get you connected and stay relevant in the social media world. We welcome you to try to look at trends and see what everyone is doing. This way, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you should make sure to put your own spin on what’s trending to stay true to your originality.
This means when you create content that is based on a trend, make sure to add your own authenticity to it and keep your pillars in mind. That is key because although everyone might be doing the same thing, your audience will take note when you use the pillars to add to your voice.
All in all, creating content pillars are very useful and helpful for your social media strategy. They are the skeleton to your content plan. Without having them would be like shooting in the dark. You want to have a concrete plan to help you reach your goals. If you have never tried it out, this is the time to download a template and fill it out. Experiment with content pillars to help reach your KPIs in a much more reasonable time.
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