A Guide To Using Content Pillars In Your Social Media Strategy
Social media marketing can be a challenging task, especially if you tend to create content on the fly. The creation of meaningful social media content requires planning, ideation, and execution. This won’t be possible without a very important marketing tool: content pillars.
Whether you manage the social media page of a corporate titan or a small start-up brand, you need content pillars. In this article, we’ll go over what content pillars are, why they’re important, and how to create content pillars that make sense for your content strategy.
Why Are Content Pillars Important For Social Media?
A comprehensive and successful content marketing strategy always includes social media content pillars. Social media users expect a certain degree of consistency when it comes to your page. Without a content strategy and set pillars to guide you, you will likely end up creating content that your audience doesn’t find relevant or engaging.
Content pillars give your social media strategy structure and substance as well as aid in organising your editorial calendar. Before creating your actual executions, plot what a full month of content looks like based on your different content pillars. This makes the process of planning and ideation much more streamlined.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, each content pillar gives your brand and products a stronger sense of coherence. By carefully curating what you say and show to your target audience, you are further establishing a stronger brand identity through content pillars.
Refine Your Key Messaging
Once you’ve clearly defined your target audience personas and studied your competitors, you’ll have a much easier time crafting your key messaging. Your key messaging should cut across each content pillar you create to ensure consistency across all your social media platforms and posts.
Below are some general questions you can ask yourself to help you identify your key messaging:
- What customer pain points do your products or services solve?
- What makes you distinct from your competitors? Why would customers choose you over others?
Keep in mind that there may be more specific questions that you need to ask depending on your industry.
Content Pillar Examples
By this point, you should already have your audience personas, a competitor analysis, and a set key messaging. Now what?
It’s one thing to analyse information, but it’s a whole other thing entirely to create social media content pillars – you need to be strategic yet also creative. To make this easier to understand, here’s an example of how content pillars can be created using a fictional brand:
- The brand: You run a craft brewery that specialises in a lesser-known type of sour beer called lambic. Your brewers were trained in Belgium where lambic originated. You have a brick-and-mortar store, but you also have an e-commerce website and do home deliveries.
- Your audience: Your audience has generally never heard of, much less tried, lambic, but they love discovering new types of beer. They enjoy going to restaurants with unconventional menus and are likely to take photos of their meals and post them on social media.
- Your competitors: Your direct competitors only make your typical lagers and IPAs. Their social media posts typically comprise static images of promo deals for their taprooms. They don’t do home delivery.
- Your key messaging: You are the only brewery that offers lambic in the city and also the only one that does home delivery.
There are many ways you can strategise your pillars based on this information. Below is just one example of how to do this:
- Product features: These are posts that highlight aspects of the beer. For example, an Instagram story that breaks down each flavour profile of your beer in detail would fall under the product feature bucket.
- Food pairing: These are posts that recommend certain dishes to pair with your beer. For example, a static image explaining why lambic and ceviche go together would fall under the food pairing pillar.
- Credentials: These are posts that show off your expertise and experience. For example, a 20-second video of one of your Belgian-trained brewers explaining what constitutes an authentic lambic beer would fall under the credentials category.
- Trivia: These are posts that talk about the history and process of lambic relative to other types of beer. For example, a simple static infographic explaining the difference between a lambic and a lager would fall under the trivia bucket.
- Delivery: These are posts that highlight your e-commerce website and home delivery services. For example, a Facebook story that covers your quick delivery time would fall under the delivery content pillar.
There is no limit to how many pillars you can create. A good rule of thumb is to have at least three. That said, we recommend that you keep them as simple and concise as possible. Too many pillars can cloud your messaging and make filling your content calendar a much more convoluted process than it has to be.
Content pillars are an invaluable tool for social media marketers. Having thoroughly researched pillars is fundamental to the success of your brand’s social media strategy.
Content pillars are not just for the benefit of your target audiences on social media – they also make your job as social media manager easier. Content pillars breathe structure and order into your content ideas. Once you have them, creating your content calendar will feel like a walk in the park.