Social Media Content Pillars

The secret to creating consistent social media content

A lot of people are easily scared off by fancy marketing terms… Somewhere between the sales funnels, brand identities, engagement, and so on, it can start to sound intimidating. The truth is, all of these marketing tools are things that you can and will master if you set your mind to it. If you’re managing your own social media, you’ve probably encountered a couple of these buzzwords, so “content pillars” might not be a brand new concept for you. Have you heard about what content pillars can do for your social media? If you haven’t, you’re in the right place. Social media changes every minute and we’re here to help you use this concept to work through the chaos and find some consistency.

What are content pillars?

In an endless pursuit for consistency, organized content themes are your brand’s very best friend. You can think of social media content pillars as ways to categorize your content. This means creating a series of categories specific to your brand that you post within. These categories will help you stay on brand while consistently creating exciting and engaging content. With the right amount of content themes, even if a follower only enjoys one of them, content that appeals to them will appear frequently enough for them to keep following you. These themes can overlap in individual posts, and some of your more successful content will encompass all of these content categories. We usually recommend coming up with 3 – 5 content pillars that align with your brand.

Content pillars have multiple benefits. Some of these are: 

  1. They help you ensure you cover your important content themes/topics and rotate those topics.
  2. They help guide your social media planning because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you go create content. 
  3. Content pillars allow you to plan your content long in advance. They enable you to structure your content by creating posts within each of your content pillars/categories. You can then alternate your posts and make sure that you are consistently posting content that aligns with your brand and target audience.
  4. They help you gain valuable information about your audience. According to Later, “content pillars will help you get clarity on your niche. Being an expert in one area or a few specific things will help your audience grow faster.” 

How to create content pillars?

The post categories, or content pillars, you choose for your business should all relate to your target audience, your brand, your story, and your product offerings. Most of your content should be customer-centric and focused on adding value to, educating, or entertaining your audience. 

We recommend incorporating your product/service as a content theme but trying to limit the “salesy” posts to less than 20% of your content. The remaining 80% will be defined by your content themes.

Knowing your audience, what challenges them, what entertains them, and what they find funny will be crucial in the process of identifying your content pillars. After all, if your goal is going to be to add value to your audience’s lives, you are going to need to have a specific understanding of who your audience really is. We would suggest taking the following approach to defining your own content themes: 

  1. Research your audience in relation to the content they engage with, brands that they tag, and things that they share and/or reshare to their own account.  
  2. If you already have a presence online, review the content that has performed the best organically (without a budget behind it). 
  3. Research your competitors and identify their best-performing content. Consider what motivated their audience to engage with that content. 
  4. Identify an area where you can truly add value or entertain your audience in a way that your competitors do not. 
  5. Use the information that you have gained through your research paired with your brand goals to identify sustainable content pillars. 

Once you’ve chosen your content themes, it’s okay to shift and alter them. If a particular type of content isn’t working, it’s fine to stop making that type of content and try something else. If you’re doing social media marketing effectively, your brand will change and grow with time and trends. Don’t be afraid to adjust your content strategy to shift and grow simultaneously!

6 Examples of Sustainable Content Themes

Now that you have an understanding of how to develop your own content pillars, let’s take a look at some sustainable options.  

A phone showing an Instagram content with organised content pillars.

Testimonials are a great way to show an honest opinion of your brand. Your audience will see your product/service through the eyes of your customers instead of your own. According to Strategic Factory, “ninety-two percent of people said that they read testimonials when considering a purchase.” By putting your testimonials front and center, you might be speeding up your conversion process!

User-Generated Content:
Not only do you get extra content for your social media, but you also have the added benefit of making your audience feel appreciated and seen. Posting UGC also encourages more of your audience to create UGC, which could greatly improve your organic brand awareness. 

Educational Content:
In this content pillar, feel free to show off a little! This is where you will display your area of expertise by sharing your knowledge. For example, if you owned a sneaker company you could have a content pillar dedicated to sneaker care. Special tips and tricks on how to take good care of your sneakers would attract an audience who loves their sneakers and might attract post saves and shares from like-minded sneakerheads. The Instagram algorithm sees post saves as an indication that your content is valuable, and will therefore show your content to more people. 

 Team and Culture Content: 
This content would communicate your internal environment and team. It’s a great way to show your audience that you are transparent and that you have a happy work environment. This reinforces their belief in your brand and puts a face behind the offering.  

Humorous Content: 
This is one content pillar we would recommend to everyone. Who doesn’t love a good laugh every now and then, right? Right. Humorous content can include memes and reels that are developed based on a deep understanding of your audience. The intention is to entertain your audience by showing them that you relate to their lifestyle.

Problem Solving: 
Another hugely beneficial content pillar is content that communicates your ability to solve problems in the lives of your ideal customer. Considering the viewpoints, needs, and struggles of your target audience will help you create content that not only adds value but also solves problems. Sharing this type of content will attract your ideal audience and prove that you have a deep understanding of their lifestyle. 

How to use Content Categories

Once you’ve created your content categories, how do you actually implement them as a part of your social media strategy? We would suggest setting 3 – 5 content pillars and then brainstorming content within those categories. Once you have created your content within these pillars, you can rotate your posting schedule to make sure that you have a good mix of content from each pillar. This will allow you to develop aligned content that never gets old. In other words, your audience will remain interested and entertained. 

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to make sure that your content aligns with your pillars: 

  1. How does this type of content serve my brand?
  2. Does this type of content add value to a follower’s timeline? And is that value in line with my brand’s “why”?
  3. What objectives am I trying to achieve by posting content? Does this type of content further those objectives?

Content pillars are an incredibly effective way to ensure that you post consistently and continuously create content that adds value to the lives of your audience.