Are you staring at your blinking cursor, with no idea of what to write for your next social media post? We’ve all been there and know how hard it can be to come up with fresh content when you are feeling uninspired.
This is where our best friend, content pillars, come into play. Think of content pillars as the foundation of your brand and the topics you are known for. Using content pillars for social media is a great way to stay on brand, get organized in your content planning, and deliver high-quality content that your audience will resonate with.
We’re sharing our top tips to create content pillars for your brand and how to use them effectively to plan and implement your marketing strategy.
What are Content Pillars
Content pillars are topics that your brand will become known for and that you will create content for on a regular basis. Generally, you’ll have 3-5 content pillars, but it varies from brand to brand.
The more you can niche down on the types of content you will create and share, the easier it will be to become an expert in that area. If you haven’t read our post on niching to what you love – read it here for all the key reasons that niching down is so important to the success of your business!
Content pillars will vary for each brand, but they typically revolve around the primary thing you sell as well as other related areas that you can provide valuable information and resources about. This is important – don’t let your content pillars only contain things you sell! Selling constantly to your audience is a sure way to give them fatigue and maybe even prompt them to unsubscribe.
For example at Halcon, our content pillars focus on our main areas of expertise and what makes us unique. These include branding, social media strategy, website design, running a small business, and female entrepreneurship, to name a few. We also share content about our family (and fur babies!) which helps provide a personal connection to our brand.
Establishing Your Brand’s Content Pillars
Ready to find your content pillars? We suggest starting with a BIG brainstorming session and narrowing it down from there. Nothing is off-limits at this stage, so make a list of all the topics that you have expertise and interest in. Consider the following questions as you brainstorm:
- What are the key products/services of your business?
- What types of content do you currently post about?
- What content is resonating the most with your audience?
- What topics are you passionate about writing and sharing on?
- What are some of the most frequently asked questions you get from customers?
- What differentiates you from other businesses in your industry?
As you make your list, start to circle categories that feel most important to your audience. Even if they aren’t directly related to something you sell, there is likely a tie with your audience and what attracts them to you and your business. At the end of the day, customers are drawn to the people and the brand behind a business, not just the products they sell.
For example, content pillars like motherhood, food, travel, and interior design are all topics that can help you differentiate yourself from the competition and might be a big draw for your target customers. Use these strategically in your marketing to attract your ideal clients with content that resonates with them.
When in doubt, listen to your audience. Hone in on your analytics to see what posts typically perform the best. You can even poll your audience to see what they want to hear more about from you.
How to Plan Your Calendar with Content Pillars
Now that you have your content pillars, it’s time to put them in action! If you don’t have one yet, create a content calendar to get strategic and organized on the content you’ll create.
We suggest planning out a month in advance for the big pieces of content, like blogs, sales, and emails. Plug in any key dates and deadlines so you can schedule around them as needed.
Use your content pillars for each type of content you plan, and rotate through them. You can even make a list for each content pillar and dump all of your content ideas in there. Then, when you feel stuck, you have a ready-made resource of great ideas ready to pull from!
For social media, rotate through your content pillars on a daily basis to make sure you are hitting each one throughout the week. Having set days of the week for each pillar makes this all the easier to plan your content, like Monday – Branding; Tuesday – Motherhood; Wednesday – Social Media; Thursday – Client love; Friday – Entrepreneurship.
Not only do your content pillars lay the foundation for your strategy, but they will also make managing your marketing tasks so much more efficient + effective!