How to use content pillars to up your social media game

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Creating content for your businesses’ social media channels can be a tricky task.

Brainstorming content, creating content, optimising it for the platforms you’re using – it’s no joke. And when a lack of inspiration hits, it can feel almost impossible to keep those posts coming.

One way to mitigate the content blues is to have a plan.  In this case, having prepared content pillars can help you stay organised and consistent while quickly creating quality content for your audience.

Read on to learn more about content pillars, their importance, and some tips and tricks on creating and utilising them to drive the growth of your brand and business!

 

What are content pillars?

Content pillars form the very foundation of your social media strategy. The pillars themselves usually consist of topics that are of relevance to your business, industry and target audience. From these pools of content, you can create engaging posts across your social channels.

Most businesses have around three to five content pillars to help balance their social media content across a range of business objectives, values, and offerings. Your content pillars are unique to your brand but can span several themes. For example, at Purple Giraffe a few of our content pillars are:

  • Social media tips & strategies
  • Client testimonials & feedback
  • Our team

 

 

We then take these pillars and use them to create consistent content across our website and social media channels throughout the month.

They’re also a useful guide when brainstorming macro content such as blogs or shot lists for photoshoots.

Content pillars can be made up of a range of different content types. From text posts like blogs, images and graphics, or videos, the beauty of content pillars is they can be reworked and optimised across your social and digital marketing.

The biggest plus? Having content pillars means that content you create can cover valuable topics for your audience without having to start from scratch every time you sit down to write it!

 

Why are they important?

Content pillars are important to your business for a few reasons:

 

They help define your niche

Content pillars are important for your business as a whole because they assist in establishing your brand’s point of difference within your industry.

When used in your social strategy, they allow both your audience and your employees to gain clarity on your niche, maintain consistency in your posting schedule, foster trust and thus build your audience.

 

Plan with ease

Content pillars assist you in creating large volumes of content which easily balance your pillar themes with wider business content.

Having content pillars helps you to plan your content to link with events, product launches, or holidays beyond your social media pages, and ensures you do so without sacrificing a balance in content topics. For example, as a café, your content pillars may be:

1) your food;

2) your team members;

3) your idyllic Adelaide Hills location.

 

With Valentine’s Day approaching, you need six posts advertising your Romantic Lunch Special. Instead of saturating your social media for six days about the food & beverages included in your Valentine’s Day promotion, your content pillars mean you can sit down and create:

  • two posts about your staff prepping for the lunch,
  • two posts about the Valentine’s Day menu, and
  • two posts about the venue in the lead up to the event.

 

Content pillars allow you to easily diversify your post content, while also continuing to advertise the Valentine’s Day promotion.

 

Create in bulk

Having content pillars allow you to create bulk content that can be used reliably across weeks or months. If one of your content pillars is the benefits of family business in January, this should still apply in March. Also known as content ‘banks’ or ‘buckets’, keeping pre-made posts nestled under your pillars means you can create content on this topic in bulk and keep it on hand for later months.

 

 

How to create them

Now for the most important part: how to create content pillars for your business.

A good first step is to identify some topics that make your brand different from your competitors. For example, as a bakery, your points of difference could be:

  • The bakery is an 80-year-old family business
  • It’s based along the coast
  • It’s a child and dog-friendly space
  • The bakery’s vanilla slice has won multiple awards

Once these points have been identified, they can be broken down into your thematic pillars. Think about the sorts of things that will make the above points of difference stand out at a glance.

These pillars should also be valuable to the target audience either through informational, aesthetic, or entertainment value. Using this logic, the bakery’s pillars could consist of:

  1. Photos and facts about the bakery’s history
  2. Beach views and beach activities
  3. Dogs that visit with their owners
  4. The bakery’s food, focusing on the award-winning vanilla slice.

Someone scrolling through the Instagram of a bakery with these content pillars might see a page that looks like:

 

 

Finally, now that you’ve identified your pillars, it’s time to create content ideas about these. A good way to do so is to have each pillar as its own blank document, where you can write a list of post ideas under each topic. This list can be added too indefinitely and will serve as your content ‘bucket’.

For example, the bakery could have a range of posts nestled under their dog-friendly pillar, including:

  • Profiles on the dogs who visit with their owners.
  • The dog-watering station ready for pups to visit once worn out from the beach.
  • That they serve puppychinos – a coffee for you and a coffee for your pooch.
  • A post on National Dog Day

Once these posts have been brainstormed and created, they can be plotted across a content calendar on a weekly or monthly basis (whatever works for you!).

Applying content pillars will ultimately allow you to have an effective social media content strategy that is diverse and entertaining for your audience, while also allowing easy strategic planning. Chat to us today about how to get started on your content pillars and wider social media strategy!

 

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Alice Kerr

Alice Kerr

Alice is a young marketing and communications professional with a passion for writing and content creation. After completing her Bachelor of Arts and majoring in English and History, Alice spent two years working within the communications and creative industries. She is now enhancing her skills by completing further study with a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communications and is excited to continue extending this knowledge and passion within her work at Purple Giraffe.

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