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If you’re a social media marketer, you’re probably somewhat familiar with the ins and outs of different social media marketing strategies. In addition to coming up with ideas for new content, creating posts, and fitting them into a well-organized posting schedule, there are several best practices that you should keep in mind to ensure creative consistency and uniform content structure.
One such best practice that you can use to fortify your brand’s efforts on Instagram is creating content pillars.
If you’re not familiar with this term or want to know more, keep reading. In this article, we will talk at length about content pillar strategy, what content pillars for social media are (specifically for Instagram), and how they can improve your overall digital marketing strategy.
What Are Content Pillars?
Let’s start with defining the basics. When considered through a social media strategy lens, content pillars, sometimes called “buckets,” are topics or themes that a brand uses to create posts. Content pillars are specific to your business and what content will be the most on-brand and engaging for your unique audience.
The content pillars you create should be consistent with your branding and should reflect your voice, values, and the specific feelings/reactions you hope to evoke in your audience.
Some examples of content pillars include:
- Self-care advice
- Company updates
- Customer testimonials
- Blog promotions
- Meme and industry-related humor
- Product demonstrations
Remember that the content pillars that work for one company won’t necessarily be suitable for others. The most important thing to consider is what type of content is appealing in your industry and relevant to your followers, then base your pillars around that.
How Content Pillars Help Your Company on Social Media
Having pre-set pillars that all of your content can adhere to makes it easier for you to produce relevant content consistently. Using pillars helps you ensure that each post you make on Instagram is there for a purpose, preventing it from becoming a graveyard of irrelevant and outdated content.
In addition, creating solid content pillars for your brand’s Instagram and other social platforms takes the guesswork out of making meaningful content for your audience each day. They help you excel at content planning since they make it easier for you to organize your brand’s Instagram content and the types of posts you plan on sharing. In other words, pillars make it a lot easier to create an effective content calendar, as doing so without having themes or topics to base posts is, frankly, a huge hassle.
Content pillars also help you keep a consistent tone of voice across all pieces of content you share. This allows your target audience to easily distinguish your brand from the competition because of your strong identity.
How to Determine What Your Content Pillars Should Be
As already mentioned, the type of content pillars you select depends entirely on your brand and your industry. With that said, there are still concrete ways to start thinking about what kinds of themes and topics might be suitable for your company.
Consider Your Buyer Personas
Having a good understanding of your target audience is one of the keys to creating high-performing social media marketing strategies. That’s why it’s vital that you have a set of buyer personas at your company’s disposal. As a content marketer, these personas will help you curate social media posts that are tailored to potential customers’ interests and thus help you make conversions.
When you begin the process of creating content pillars for Instagram, the following questions might help you tailor them to your target audience:
- What topics are your buyer personas interested in?
- What values do they hold?
- What is their drive when it comes to interacting with your brand? What problem are they trying to solve?
- How can your content help alleviate their pain points?
By answering these questions, you will be able to identify the kinds of content your target audience will find relevant and engaging.
Research What the Competition is Doing
To understand your company’s market fully, you should be aware of what your direct competitors are doing.
Identify some companies you consider to be top competitors in your industry, then head over to their Instagram profiles and take a look at their presence on other social media platforms. It’s a good idea to note which of their posts have performed well and which have performed poorly. It’s also helpful to record what topics they’ve explored already and identify potential gaps that you might use to formulate your content pillars around.
Also, consider their tone of voice—it might be a good idea to either draw inspiration from it or embrace a completely different tone, depending on your industry and the niche you’re trying to fill within it.
Though competitor research is key to any good marketing strategy, it’s critical that you don’t lose the unique vision of what your company wants to achieve. Not everything you do needs to correspond to something a competitor is doing. Sometimes, the best policy is to create authentic content that explores a side of the market no one has yet dared to venture.
Audit Your Social Media Channels
A data-driven approach is always best. Be sure to use KPIs to analyze what works and what doesn’t regarding the posts you put out on your social media channels. The only way to do this accurately is by auditing them and collecting data on engagement rate, growth rate, conversions, etc. Using data allows you to spot trends and take advantage of them.
If you see that posts that used to gather a ton of likes and comments are now barely attracting any interest, that’s a sign you should move on and consider different topics or ideas for your pillars.
Along with that, a systematic analysis will help you adjust your content pillars as needed and will ensure that your social media marketing strategy is always on top of current trends and ideas.
The bottom line is that to create suitable content pillars for your brand, you have to know your industry, competitors, and your target audience’s interests. You also have to be aware of the changes that occur in the market and tailor your content to today’s current trends.
If you’re a social media content creator for a business or brand, content pillars are a must-use tool that will help you organize and optimize your work.
Content pillars can help you plan posts while keeping a consistent tone of voice and creating content that suits the interests of your followers. If you work with a team of people, making use of content pillars ensures that everyone is on the same page, from copywriters and graphic designers to social media managers.
The tips given in this article will help you get started on implementing content pillars on Instagram and other social media platforms. If you want help determining the most effective content pillars for your brand and creating content that aligns with them, reach out to us at Markerly. We can help you with everything from creating killer content pillars that increase engagement rates to launching influencer marketing campaigns. Just fill in our contact form, and we’ll be glad to hear about all of your marketing-related hopes and dreams.
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