What are content pillars?

What are content pillars?

Creating a content calendar for social media can be difficult if you don’t have a set purpose or theme behind what you are creating. Implementing pillars as part of your content marketing strategy can help you stay focused and is key to driving engagement.

What are content pillars?

Content pillars are overarching themes that guide the creation of the content that follows. It’s key that your pillars are defined in the context of your brand, its core message, your target audience and the platforms it will be on.


Why do you need them?

1. Provides a foundation for your content strategy
Content pillars are fantastic as they essentially act as an umbrella that your content will be under. Instead of creating content randomly, it helps you curate content that covers the topics related to your brand and what you are trying to achieve. Not to mention, if you’re having creativity blocks, they are great for honing your thought process.

2. Targeting
Content pillars are key if you want to ensure you are talking directly to your entire audience and crafting content that is meaningful for them. Basically, these pillars ensure you aren’t ignoring those important audience segments.

3. They address the needs of your customer
Having defined content pillars means you can use each pillar to talk directly to a pain point your audience might be experiencing. You can then craft each piece of content to highlight how it remedies this pain point.

4. Consistency and authority
At the end of the day, it will be much easier to create consistent content that the audience will slowly begin to engage with, if you have pillars as a guide. By building content around relevant themes, you not only demonstrating to your audience that you know them but can also highlight that you are a trusted authority on the subject.


How to define your content pillars?

1. Audience
Before doing anything else, you need to define your audience personas and profiles. Figure out how old they are, where they are based, how they like to consume their content, what are their pain points, do they like videos or static content. The list could go on. The more you know about your audience, the better. Once you’ve painted a picture of who your audience segments are, it can help you zero in on appropriate content pillars.

2. Themes
Once you have your audience persona in mind, you can then start thinking about broad themes which will eventually become your pillars. It’s key that they aren’t too specific. Have a look at your competitors and see what content they’re putting on their social platforms, it might give you some ideas as to what you can focus on.

3. Content
As part of creating the content pillars for your personas, you need to consider what type of content appeals to them. This could be video content, tutorials or quote tiles. You can then start creating new content pieces or repurposing existing content that reflects each content pillar and the audience you want to talk to.


An example of content pillars for social media

A fictional example could be a skincare brand that has target personas comprised of skincare newbies, skincare lovers, professionals in the industry and product retailers. Obviously this is a very broad example but it’s important that you have your audience together.

You could then group themes together to be:

  1. Education (about the product, about skin)
  2. Lifestyle (using the product in your routine, how people feel using the product)
  3. Relatable content (quote tiles, funny posts)
  4. User generated content/ social proof (showcasing results, brand ambassadors)

Some core content that could work for these pillars and personas:

  • Relatable quote tiles
  • Tips and tricks
  • Easy to follow tutorials
  • Influencer spots
  • Before and after pieces, ordinary people using the products
  • Testimonial tiles
  • Product spotlights

Again, this is a very broad example, but it shows how you need to have themes and then what topics/ content could potentially slot under those themes.

So, are you using content pillars? If you want to keep your campaigns focused whilst ensuring you’re engaging your target audience, defining your content pillars is a must. Content strategy and creation can be a difficult process, but if you have a foundation, you’ll find that it’s easier to figure out the rest.

If you need help with your social media content strategy, enquire now!

Check out our previous blog here.

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