On a scale of 1-10, how strategic do you feel you are with your content marketing?
When I work with clients who are completely overwhelmed by content creation and what they should be saying in their content marketing, I always say let’s pull it back to the basics.
At this point, I’m assuming we’re clear and solid on who their audience is, what they like, want to see, etc. We have the audience defined. But if you’re not crystal clear, don’t worry, we’ll go there anyway.
Content pillars are a strategic framework that can give you fundamental themes to structure your social and content marketing, taking away some of the decision-making pressure of what to post this week. It also ensures that your messaging aligns seamlessly with your brand identity and audience interests.
Let’s jump in!
Introduction to content pillars
Trends come and go, but content pillars? They’re forever. Well, maybe not forever-ever, but they can act as steadfast guiding principles. At their core, a content pillar is a thematic category around which you create and organise your content. This approach streamlines your content creation process and ensures consistency and relevance in your messaging.
Understanding your audience
One of my clients was stuck on 1000ish followers on the ‘gram, so we went in deep to get super clear on their audience. Once we’d started to get clear on who they were talking to and how, we could target their audience more effectively, and, he gained 3400 followers in a month.
So, believe me when I say understanding your audience is paramount. Conduct in-depth research to decipher their demographics, interests, and challenges. Dive into engagement data to unravel what resonates most with them.
Once you really know them, you can understand their pleasure & pain points, and aspirations and tailor your content pillars to cater directly to their needs.
Defining your brand identity
Going hand-in-hand with putting your audience at the heart of your content creation is ensuring that your content aligns with your brand identity: your values, mission, and unique selling proposition (USP). When your content pillars echo your brand essence, they become powerful tools for communicating your brand story effectively.
Brainstorming content pillars
You can be as specific or as broad as you want with your content pillars, but let me give you a few suggestions:
Educational content serves as the bedrock of knowledge-sharing. It encompasses industry insights, how-to guides, and expert tips. By positioning yourself as a valuable source of information, you not only engage your audience but also establish authority within your niche.
Inspiration is the fuel that propels action. Inspirational content includes success stories, motivational quotes, and client spotlights. You inspire your audience to envision their success by sharing stories of triumph and resilience.
Engagement is the heartbeat of social media. Polls, Q&A sessions, challenges, and surveys foster a sense of community. They invite your audience to participate actively, transforming them from passive observers to engaged community members.
Promotional content is your platform to showcase your offerings. This pillar includes launch teasers, client testimonials, and limited-time offers. By strategically incorporating promotional content, you drive sales while maintaining authenticity. This content pillar is often left out; small businesses and solopreneurs forget to tell anyone they’re selling something.
If you’re not launching, an 80:20 split to regular-promo content, so one post should be promotional if you’re posting five days a week. However, that’s not a hard and fast rule. Obvs, when you’re launching, go all out.
Collaboration amplifies your reach. Collaborative content includes guest blogs, joint events, and client spotlights. By partnering with others, you tap into new audiences and foster a sense of camaraderie within your community.
Authenticity builds trust. Behind-the-scenes content offers a glimpse into your daily life, workspace, and team. By humanising your brand, you create a connection beyond business transactions.
Aligning content pillars with business goals
Content pillars are not just thematic categories but strategic assets aligned with your business objectives. Whether brand awareness, lead generation, or sales, each pillar should contribute meaningfully to your goals. You ensure your efforts are purposeful and results-driven by mapping your content pillars to specific business objectives. When choosing your content pillars, ask yourself, what do I want to achieve with this type of content?
Creating a content calendar
With your content pillars in place, the next step is crafting a content calendar. Decide how frequently you’ll post, assign content pillars to specific days/themes, and weave in seasonal or trend-related content. A well-planned calendar ensures a consistent, diverse content stream that engages your audience.
Content creation and distribution
Content creation involves a blend of creativity and strategy. Pay attention to design elements, compelling copywriting, and captivating visuals. Tailor your content for different social media platforms, and remember some of your followers may follow you across multiple channels. Utilise tools and resources to streamline content creation and scheduling, allowing you to focus on delivering value.
Monitoring and adjusting your strategy
There you go, set it and forget it for the next fifteen years.
As if! Sorry if that’s bad news, but you should monitor engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and click-through rates. Analyse this data to gain insights into what works best. Based on these insights, make data-driven decisions, refining your content strategy for optimal impact.
So, there you have it: content pillars are the cornerstone of a robust social media strategy. They provide structure, relevance, and purpose to your content, ensuring that your messaging resonates with your audience authentically.
But remember that social media is not static; it’s a vibrant ecosystem that evolves. Stay in tune with your audience’s feedback, continuously learn, and adapt your content strategy accordingly. By doing so, you navigate the social media landscape effectively and create a loyal and engaged community around your brand.
Hi, I’m Saloni, a Marketing Consultant and Small Business Coach, with over 15 years of marketing experience, I’m here to help you simplify the marketing overwhelm. Want more insights and top tips for your marketing? Sign up to my newsletter.