Find out everything you need to know about content pillars for social media, including examples and steps into your social media planning.
As a social media or marketing freelancer, navigating your way through social media strategies can sometimes feel overwhelming — like trying to find your way in a maze without a map.
Content pillars can be an excellent solution to give your social media content direction and structure.
In this guide, we’ll explore all you need to know about content pillars for social media, including different examples and tips to integrate them into your social media planning.
What are content pillars in social media? 🏛️
Content pillars are a set of topics or themes that a brand will use to create content and posts for social media. They’re also sometimes referred to as content buckets or content categories. They’re specific to your brand and form the foundation of what type of content you post.
As a social media marketer, the topics or content pillars you choose should reflect the most popular and appropriate content for your target audience. They should incorporate and be consistent with your brand’s purpose, tone, values, feel, positioning, and general aesthetic on social media.
If you’re wondering how many content pillars you should have, it’s important to consider factors like the industry, client, and audience — many brands typically opt for four or five.
Examples of content pillars for social media ☝️
Ready to start constructing content pillars for your brand? Here are a few examples to inspire you:
- A dermatologist focusing on content pillars for Instagram might post about products and methods of skincare to avoid, along with product reviews and reaction videos to skincare routines.
- A vet might focus on dog-friendly foods, what foods to avoid giving certain pets, and short videos on how they deal with more challenging pets with compassion.
- A make-up artist could post videos about make-up tips, product reviews, and client looks.
- A fitness coach could share simple at-home workouts, tips, routine ideas, and motivational posts.
- A cleaning product company might share videos with cleaning tutorials and tips or funny stories related to cleaning.
Content pillars vs. brand pillars ⚖️
The terms content pillars and brand pillars are often used interchangeably, but they do have a difference:
- Content pillars represent the foundation of a social media content strategy.
- Brand pillars represent the way a business is perceived, its personality, tone, and values, as well as its touch points.
In a nutshell, content pillars are a selection of brand-specific topics and themes that keep up a brand’s social media content strategy. On the other hand, brand pillars are fundamental to a brand’s identity, values, and overall mission, serving as the foundational elements that drive all business decisions and actions.
Why are social media content pillars important? 🙌
Social media content pillars are pivotal for businesses and brands. Instead of just making guesses while creating posts, content pillars provide guidance to create a balanced mix of meaningful content that’s consistent with your strategy and social media key performance indicators (KPIs).
Social media content pillars are also vital to your brand’s growth because they:
- Create a strategic framework for all your social media efforts
- Simplify the process of creating content
- Allow you to create content that is consistent, has value, and will align with your KPIs and end goals
- Bring an element of organization to your social media approach, making it easier to plan and implement social media campaigns and create a content calendar
- Give your business and brand a sense of stability and predictability to customers
- Raise brand awareness and SEO, driving conversions and engagement because they allow you to create informative, engaging, and high-quality content.
How do you define a content pillar strategy for your brand? 📝
As an Independent, the content pillars that you choose for your business or brand will largely depend on the related industry.
Here are steps you can follow on how to create content pillars and how to define a content pillar strategy:
1. Identify the target audience 🔍
Who is your target audience? What are their pain points, needs, and interests?
Identifying who you are trying to reach before you start creating any content is key. Outline and understand your audience’s persona to create tailor-made content that encourages engagement.
2. Find the best platforms to align your content 🖥️
After identifying your target audience, choose the most appropriate content distribution channels that are most suitable for your audience. Remember, each social media platform has its own strengths and restrictions — choose those that work best for you.
3. Do market research 🤓
Investigate your market to reveal gaps, the pain points of your audience, and insights that pure data might miss. You can make use of existing research, surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews.
4. Brainstorm topics and keywords 🧠
Keywords offer insight into where your expertise might be needed. Use tools such as Ahrefs or Google Keyword Planner to learn what keywords are gaining traction. Incorporating keywords in your posts and captions is also great for boosting your SEO strategy in the long run.
5. Generate high-quality content 💯
Now that you have your topics and keywords, it’s time to create! Remember, engaging content is entertaining, informative, valuable, shareable, and aesthetically pleasing. When in doubt, try creating posts or Stories that specifically ask your followers what they would find helpful or want to know about.
6. Publish and distribute your content 🗞️
Maximize your content’s reach by promoting it through different channels, including email campaigns, newsletters, social media profiles, and influencer marketing.
7. Monitor content analytics and performance 🕵️
Keeping a close eye on your analytics is an effective way to see what content performs the best and resonates with your target audience.
Pay attention to the high-performing posts. What visuals, captions, keywords, or hashtags do they have in common?
Using an analytics tool to track key metrics, such as engagement rates, comments, and likes, is an excellent option for comparing content and monitoring your content analytics.
8. Get audience feedback 📣
Another method to get inspiration for content pillars is to pay attention to what your target audience is saying on social media and make note of their FAQs and popular comments.
Next step: Schedule your content calendar 📅
After you’ve put in the work to identify and brainstorm your content pillars, you can start creating content that will support each category or topic.
Planning and scheduling your content in advance is a game-changer. It eliminates the chaos of impromptu posting, optimizes time, and smooths out the entire content-creation journey.
Creating a content calendar, where you plan and schedule your posts in advance, also allows you to be consistent and effective and streamline the entire content creation process.
Using a social media management tool, such as Buffer, Hootsuite, or Loomly, is a handy way to schedule the content and captions you’ve created.
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