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Understanding Social Media Marketing Basics: What are Content Pillars?

As a marketer or business owner, you have probably heard a lot about content marketing, content calendars, posting five times a week, writing at least one blog post a month, giving value to your audience, and being consistent –  the list goes on.

But how do you cover all the above if you’re a one-person team or if your marketing team is very small?   

The answer is Content Pillars! 

In this article, we want to help you understand what content pillars are and why they can help you optimise your time and organise your content without running out of content ideas. 

Additionally, we’ll give you some insights into how you can create a consistent content strategy across different platforms. 

We have a lot of examples and tips to reveal. Let’s dive in!

Defining a Content Pillar

Content pillars are predetermined topics or themes that define the brand’s content strategy. 

These “themes” are generally between three to five pillars. Ideally, we recommend five pillars, and they should directly reflect what your target audience is interested in and indirectly evoke your company’s mission and values. 

Each content pillar can be used for different purposes, channels and types of content. 

At Attention Experts, we use five content pillars: brand offering, educational or value posts, product offering, company culture, and customer feedback. 

Let’s have a look at some content pillars examples:

Brand Offering: 

Content that shows what your brand can offer to its customers without directly promoting your services or products. It will help customers to believe in what you offer and build trust. 

Example:  Webinars, Q&A sessions, awards, PR articles, announcements, and new partnerships.

Educational or value posts: 

People always love learning something new. So finding information that is easy and well communicated will make your audience follow you and see you as a leader in the industry. 

Example: Blog posts, YouTube Videos, Reels, How to Carousels, etc.

Product Offering 

Here is your chance to discuss or introduce your products or services, but find a creative way to promote them without sounding pushy or overselling. 

Example: Free demos, FAQs, videos, product tours, case studies, etc.

Company Culture 

Highlight your employee’s achievements, congratulate them, and introduce them to your audience. Also, share moments that reflect your company culture and strengthen company values. 

Example: Work anniversaries, employee spotlight day, motivational quotes, reels that show the office’s environment, etc.

Customer Feedback 

Show what people say about your company and products 

Example: Google and Facebook reviews, product reviews, videos, etc.

In the above five examples, we have different content pillars that will work for most brands. Each pillar of the content will contain various topics suited for each brand and industry. 

For example, suppose you’re a beauty brand launching a product and don’t have customer feedback yet. In that case, you can focus on brand offering or educational content instead, and highlight what the company is doing to differentiate between its competitors.  

Remember that you can have between three to five content pillars; most importantly, your pillars have to represent relevant content that your target audience will engage with.

Benefits of Content Pillars

Defining your content pillars will empower your social media content strategy and help you build a strong identity. Your followers will quickly understand your message and know what to expect from your brand. Your audience will find more value and engage more often. 

Content pillars also help guide creating specific content for a particular target audience. Since you already have chosen topics based on your target interests, you will speed up content creation and research. Then, you don’t get lost thinking about what to post or, even worse, talking just about yourself or your products. 

Additionally, by identifying your content pillars, you can have a sense of organisation. It makes it much easier to create a content calendar and schedule it for all platforms. 

Steps to Creating your Pillars 

It may seem a bit complicated, but trust us, it’s not that complicated. 

As we said before, you can define between three to five content pillars, and they can vary depending on your business and industry but most importantly depending on your buyer personas. 

So let’s start with how to create your content pillars, step by step. 

1- Creating a customer profile 

The centre of your content pillar is your target audience. Why? 

Imagine yourself as an online shopper customer and answer some of the following key questions. 

  • How would you like to be approached by a brand? 
  • What type of content would you prefer?
  • What problems or needs are you trying to solve?  
  • Would you engage with a brand that doesn’t match your personality and lifestyle? 
  • Which type of content would you like to see from a brand? 
  • What motivates you to buy online? 

The answers to these questions are those you should know when you’re creating a customer profile. Without these answers, you won’t be able to define what type of content your target would be attracted to. 

See below what this customer profile will look like: 

Knowing who you’re speaking to is the foundation of a marketing strategy. That’s why it’s essential to focus on your customer profile first and then build a relationship through a content strategy. 

It’s like when you’re dating someone. You will start asking key questions to build more meaningful conversations, right?

2- Audit your competitors 

The main idea of this step is not to compare yourself with your competitors or copy from them. 

Instead, it’s about understanding your brand market and being aware of what your competitors are doing, what is working, and understanding how you can improve upon the gaps in their strategy.  

So, take a look at four competitors, head to their social media channels, see what they are doing on each of them and, most importantly, check how their audience is responding to their content. Are they engaging?  

And remember, this step is to give you ideas only! 

3- Repurpose/Rebrand targeted content.

Optimise your content pillars depending on individual channels that your audience’s preferences. 

For example, create extensive educational blog posts for an audience that prefers long and more in-deep articles – though remember not to limit your content to that format only. 

Instead, you can repurpose that blog post and create a YouTube video, a carousel post for Instagram or even an Instagram stories Q&A series.

Another tip is to see what content works and what doesn’t! 

Check your social media analytics on each channel, identify content with the best results, and adjust your content pillars accordingly. Also, analyse the content format for each social media channel. 

At Attention Experts, we have found that the same content works much better on some platforms than others.

For example, single images work better on LinkedIn or Twitter, short videos are Facebook’s favourite, and carousels and reels are preferred by Instagram. 

4- Creating a Content Calendar 

A social media calendar is one of the most important steps of social media content pillars. 

Having a content calendar will save you time and bring consistency to your overall strategy. As a bonus, you will improve your Facebook CPM and get better results in your social media ads.

We recommend choosing one day every fortnight to create between one to ten posts, so you can schedule your content two weeks in advance and not miss a day. 

Let’s recap! Here is a quick example of what your content pillar and content calendar should look like: 

  • Monday – Branding / Promotion Posts: 

What is your brand offering? (FAQs, case studies, highlight products or services) 

  • Tuesday – Business value posts: 

Talk about the value points of your business, and why you’re adding value to your audience. (Webinars, Case studies) 

  • Wednesday – Educational posts: 

Educate your audience on your industry, and provide valuable material they can use to learn something better. (Blog post, YouTube videos) 

  • Thursday – Customer testimonials: 

Show your customer testimonials (Single images, videos) 

  • Friday – Promotion:

Highlight your products or services (Include a strong call to action)  

  • Saturday – Educational posts:

Educate your audience on your industry, and provide valuable material they can use to learn something better. (Blog post, YouTube videos) 

  • Sunday – Business Value posts or Company Culture:

Think about what represents your tribe, and what they believe in. (A quote or statement, company video)

How We Can Help You With Your Brands Content Marketing Strategy on Social Media to Increase Conversions

If you’ve read to this point, you’re likely very interested in growing your business through Social Media Marketing. If so, you should join our next FREE webinar to learn more about Social Media Marketing & ROI.

Each Month, our Growth Director, George Hawwa, present a 30-minutes webinar to cover a new topic in the social media space. You will have the opportunity to learn, ask questions live and grow your business.

Wondering what our current topic is? Check out the upcoming webinar HERE.

George is in charge of Attention Experts’ overall growth and best practices. George shares some accolades: being named in the ‘Top 30 leaders under 30’ in 2007 by Entrepreneur Australia Magazine and having won ‘Outstanding Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ for 2018 at the NSW Business Chamber Regional awards.

He also currently lectures at Sydney University on social media strategy to Postgraduate students at the Centre for Continuing Education. In addition, George is a sought after speaker and educator on social media strategy and business. 

Make sure to REGISTER NOW!

And if you need help with your social media strategy. You can also give us a call for a FREE Strategy Session. Our number is (02) 8069 9796 (02) 8069 9796 if outside Australia), or message us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/attentionexperts. You can also book a meeting with us via our website.