What Are Content Pillars and How Do I Use Them?

Creating social media content, coming up with new ideas and getting everything scheduled and organised ahead of time is already difficult enough when you’re running a business. But on top of that, you keep coming across new terms that you’ve never heard of before… and it can be hard to keep up! 

While it can be overwhelming to learn all the latest social media tricks and phrases, content pillars are definitely something that you’re going to want to know about.

So what are they?

To be honest, if you’re a business posting on social media you probably already have some content pillars in place without even realising it. Put simply, content pillars are the different categories that your brand’s posts fit into. For example, if your brand mainly posts tips, advertises new products or shares customer testimonials then you’ve already got three pillars figured out! 

Why are they useful?

Content pillars are beneficial for several reasons: 

  • Planning: Having several different themes can make it easier to create a content calendar. When planning and creating your social media content, make sure you include all your themes and schedule your posts in a way that creates variety. 
  • Inspiration: When batch creating content it can sometimes take a while for new inspiration to strike. Being able to refer to your list of pillars will be really helpful as it will remind you of topics to cover and posts to create. 
  • Variety: Having a list of themes to cover means that you won’t run the risk of posting the same type of content over and over again. This is good news as it makes sure that ALL your audience is targeted, not just a small group. 

How many do I need?

While there’s no official rule for how many content pillars to have, a good number to aim for is around 3-5 different categories. This allows you to create some variety and flexibility in your feed whilst maintaining a sense of organisation and cohesion in your posts.  

What should my pillars be? 

The theme of each pillar is completely up to you and will depend on your audience and the type of content you want your brand to be putting out. To give you some inspiration and to help you understand the concept of content pillars, here are some ideas for different niches: 

  • A Fairtrade coffee shop could post pictures of latte art, promote new products and share information on the ethical background of their coffee beans.
  • A beauty vlogger’s pillars could include “Outfit of the Day”, beauty tips, body positivity and personal posts from their daily life. 
  • A pet food brand could share photos of pets, promote new products and quote testimonials from pet owners. 

What are some examples?

For a real-life example of a successful brand, check out the official Instagram page for Starbucks, who mainly share new or seasonal products, tweets from their Twitter pages or repost beautiful coffees that customers have shared. 

And here’s the Instagram for Point West, where my main content pillars are social media tips, client testimonials and “behind the brand” posts (ie, pictures of me and stories about how I got started!). 

So that’s it! Hopefully by now you’re completely ready to define your content pillars, revamp your social media calendar and make content creation the easiest it’s ever been.

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