Content Pillar: What Are They and How To Use Them

13 mins read

Creating content requires effort, time, and money. But still, it’s more important than ever. Many marketing teams often experience anxiety as they work to follow calendars and channels full, TOP management happy, and prospects engaged. Fortunately, there’s a better way to fulfill your content needs with ease and on schedule. Content pillars help stick to your content strategy, keep your message consistent, generate web traffic with better SEO, and make coming up with new ideas a breeze.

What Are Content Pillars?

Content pillars are the main topics your company regularly creates content around on your website, blog, social media, and other platforms. Concentrating on key topics can help you gain a strong reputation as an expert in the industry and engage target audiences more effectively.

Some marketers use the term “content pillars” to talk about pillar website pages. These are pages of your website or blog that show key topics in-depth. 

Pillar web pages should link to (and be linked from) cluster pages, which explore related subtopics. With each other, a pillar page and its cluster pages create a topic cluster.

For example, a PR agency decides that crisis PR is one of its content pillars. So they create a crisis PR topic cluster. It contains a pillar page entitled “Crisis PR management” and different cluster pages.

Content Pillars vs Brand Pillars

Although some marketers use these two terms interchangeably, they’re not the same thing:

  • Content pillars represent the structural frame of your content strategy
  • Brand pillars are the touch points of a company, the personality and values that a brand communicates, and how the audience perceives it. 

Of course, the way a business is perceived can be influenced by the content it publishes. And that content’s efficiency can be, in turn, decided by how solid the content pillars are. 

So, to sum up— content pillars are a group of brand-specific topics and topics carrying a brand’s content strategy.

Why Content Pillars Are So Important?

Creating content pillars can help you plan and organize your content, as well as show your audience what you do and how you can be useful to them. It can also help you to phase out content that isn’t right for your audience or channels.

Content pillars also help bring a sense of organization to your brand’s social media content approach. Creating your social media content plan becomes much easier when you already have a bunch of specific content themes to be based on.

Four Key Types of Content Pillars

The most common types of content pillars are::

Promotional content: These posts promote a company’s products or services, including sales, special offers, product launches, etc.

Educational content: Such content pillars provide valuable information to the audience through guides, webinars, and blog posts.

Entertainment content: These posts provide your prospects with fun and engaging content. It can be humorous posts, memes, GIFs, etc., often related to the company or industry in some way.

Engaging content: Such posts may include polls, questions, or other interactive activities.

It’s recommended to create content for all types of pillar pages. It’ll help you provide your audience with interesting and various content.

How to Create Social Media Content Pillars?

Now we’re ready to move on and show you the steps needed to take to create social media content pillars.

Instead of publishing all in a raw, you can create more relevant content for your prospects — demonstrating yourself as an expert (or a source of inspiration or entertainment).

This way, you’ll stand out amongst your competitors struggling for followers, engagement, traffic, and leads.

1. Identify the brand’s marketing personas

To create effective content pillars, it’s vital to know your target audience. Define the platforms they use, the topics they’re looking for, their values, and the content they find valuable. This knowledge will help you create content pillars that are interesting to your potential customers.

For example, if you present a marketing agency targeting entrepreneurs, your content pillars might include blog posts on:

“The best way to launch a business”

“Guide to Startup Marketing Strategy”

“Tips for staying motivated while establishing your business”

2. Carry out competitor research

Identifying your competitors will give you insights into what works for them. Save successful competitor posts and find any gaps in their content and posting schedule. Use these findings to create your own content pillars.

3. Brainstorm topics and keywords

Once you have identified your target audience and competitors, it’s time to brainstorm topics and keywords.

You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or Moz to identify high-volume, low-competition keywords that you can write about.

For example, if you’re a PR agency targeting small businesses, your social media content pillars might include topics like:

“How to create a winning PR strategy”

“10 cost-effective PR ideas for startups”

“The comprehensive guide to social media content for small businesses”

Remember to consider the content quality, length, and appropriate use of keywords. There are a lot of services that enable you to analyze your own and your competitors’ content, helping you identify high-value keywords to incorporate into your content, providing your audience with valuable content, and increasing your organic traffic.

4. Stay updated on industry trends

Following up on industry trends allows you to create content that will be interesting for your audience and align with current developments. Follow industry influencers, visit webinars and events, learn from trade publications, and use social media monitoring tools to stay informed.

5. Research current content trends

Keep an eye on dominant social media trends that appear. Video content, influencer marketing, creating a strong community, interactive posts, live streaming, and ads on social media are ideas to consider using in your content pillars.

6. Audit the brand’s social media channels

Conduct regular social media audits to understand what types your target audience likes and what doesn’t. Use these findings to adapt your content pillars and eliminate potentially unsuccessful content.

Remember, these strategies will differ depending on the industry your company works in. By following these steps, you can create a well-rounded content pillar strategy that supports your client’s brand and social media goals.

7. Create high-quality content

Now that you have your topics, trends, and keywords, it’s time to create high-quality, engaging, and valuable content. Your content on social media or blog should be informative, entertaining, shareable, and visually appealing.

8. Publish and distribute your content

Creating great content is only half the process. To maximize your reach and engagement, you need to distribute and promote your content through various channels. You can share your content on your social media pages, in email newsletters, or with the help of industry experts and influencers.

For example, if you’re promoting a blog post, you can share it on your social media accounts and tag relevant influencers, employers with a big audience, or partners to increase its reach. You can also use paid social media advertising to boost your content’s visibility and reach a wider audience.

9. Measure and analyze your results

It’s essential to measure and analyze your social media content pillar’s performance to improve your strategy and optimize your results. You can use tools like Google Analytics to track your audience growth, engagement, impressions, and traffic. 

How to Use Content Pillars for Social Media

Social Media content has an essential position in content creation. With businesses creating so much content for social media – it is important to line up your social content strategy with your overall content strategy. 

Your social media content strategy should include your content pillars. If you created five content pillars (or clusters) for your blog or website you should have the same five pillars for social media content pillars. The questions you are answering and the themes you are writing for your blog are the same questions you should be answering and topics you should be talking about on social media. 

Social media is all about getting in front of your target audience where they spend their time. Connect your website content pillars with your social media content in order to have a cohesive content strategy.

What Are Examples Of Social Media Content Pillars?

Let’s take the most common types of social media content pillars and give examples of ways you can successfully use them:

Educational Content: A sports nutrition company sharing blog posts about how different ingredients work on the body or posting how-tos on applying their products.

Entertaining Content: A clothing brand sharing funny videos or memes about a poor choice of clothes.

Conversational Content: A marketing agency publishes a poll on Facebook asking their followers to choose their favorite product.

Promotional Content: An HR company sharing a post about their new feature of psychological tests to choose the best profession, with a link to it.

Product Showcases: A hat brand showcasing their newest demo and how you can match it with other pieces of outfit. 

Final Thoughts 

Plan your content pillars in advance and adhere to them as much as possible. Authenticity and worthiness for your audience are the most valuable currency on social media. The best way to stay authentic is by creating your content pillars around your company’s values and mission.

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