What are Content Pillars? The Secret to Successful Social Media

We’ve all been there:


You sit down to write one Instagram post, and two hours later, you’re still spinning your wheels.


(The struggle is real, my friends!)


On the days when you’re feeling uninspired or unclear about what you want to say on social media, content pillars can help.


Also called content “buckets,” content pillars are typically 3 to 5 topics that reflect your brand message. When used correctly, you’ll tap into these topics regularly through your social media content — all to grow, retain, and convert your online audience.


So, how do you come up with your brand’s content pillars?


When deciding on content buckets, remember to be specific to your niche business. (Go too broad with your topics, and it’s likely you won’t address the questions, needs, and pain points of your specific audience.)


For example, if you’re an interior designer that specializes in kitchen renovations, your pillars could be:


  • Content Pillar #1: Kitchen Inspiration

Everyone loves to save beautiful home design ideas, so you can share kitchens by your favorite designers, the latest finishes & floor plans trends, and expert tips.

  • Content Pillar #2: Services & Processes


Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at how you work. Show them current projects you’re working on, as well as completed kitchens and before-and-after photos.

  • Content Pillar #3: Relatable Takeaways


People love aspirational content, but they also want information they can use on a day-to-day basis. You could share your favorite Target finds, easy design hacks/tips, and even simple ways to freshen up your kitchen without a total overhaul.


By consistently tapping into these pillars, you’re showing your audience that you’re a reputable expert in your field but also that you’re there to genuinely help them create a kitchen space they love — even if they’re not ready to spend the money on a redesign. And creating that consistent trust is what it’s all about.


5 Tips to Using Content Pillars to Streamline Your Social Media


Once you have your pillars nailed down, it’s time to use them to streamline your posting so you’re not scrambling at the last minute or neglecting your social media altogether.


Here’s how:


Tip #1: Create a document with separate sections for each content pillar. I like to use a Google doc to have individual tabs for each pillar and share it easily with my team. Then, set time aside once a month to add new content ideas to each section — or whenever inspiration strikes!


Tip #2: Look at your Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn analytics regularly to get a real feel for how different types of content are performing. Make a note of the high performers, including the captions, visuals, and hashtags you used, and add similar kinds of posts to your future social media schedule.


Tip #3: Stay on top of industry news and trends. For example, as a social media manager, I’m always looking out for new Instagram updates or posting ideas and adding those into my social media calendar when applicable. While you want to stay consistent with your brand plan, you don’t want to miss out on getting timely updates and information out to your target audience!


Tip #4: Listen to your audience, so you’re not guessing at what type of content they’re most interested in. Post polls (either through Stories or in your posts), ask direct questions in your CTAs (calls to action), and engage in meaningful back-and-forths in your comments. Your audience is your most valuable resource for creating content that actually grows your business, so tap into that!


Tip #5: Use your content pillars for more than just social media posts. Those same topics should be the foundation for all your marketing efforts, from blogs to videos to workshops and newsletters. You’ve spent the time drilling down what you’re all about, so rely on those pillars for a consistent, clear message that’s recognizable to everyone that checks out your business.


With this information in mind, you’re more likely to stay organized, stay consistent, and create high-quality content that converts into paying clients.


Take some time today to think about your content pillars and share one that’s unique to your business in the comments below!


And if you need some help talking through your brand and how that translates to content strategy, reach out today.


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