How to use content pillars to level up your social media strategy

You know it, your parents know it, your cat probably knows it as well. Content is indeed, KING (or as we like to put it, queen!). Content pillars have emerged as an incredibly effective tool for businesses and brands aiming to enhance their social media strategies and bolster brand growth across various platforms. It’s a really simplified way to organise your marketing collateral as well as making sure that various campaigns are on the same wavelength as your always-on activity.

For a social media agency KW Marketing, helping our clients, such pillars allow for streamlined management and creativity in your strategy. This method of utilising content pillars that are inspired by expert content marketers, promises a wellspring of fresh ideas, organisation, and empowerment for your social media strategy. So, let’s dive in and explore how to leverage content pillars for a triumphant social media campaign.

Back to the basics: What are content pillars?

You know that we love going back to basics! Content pillars represent a comprehensive set of fundamental topics that a business can then use to create more specific posts for each individual digital marketing channel. They cover the nitty-gritty of your business and act as pivots in all of your content’s architecture.

When you think up and create new posts/emails/campaigns, they will often link back to these content pillars, as the posts/emails/campaigns will draw upon the basic information contained within them. Simultaneously, content pillars can refer to the new posts for a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter.

Simply put, the subjects you reference within your content pillars should be specific to both your brand and your audience. Moreover, you should be able to break your content pillars into subtopics and discussions over time, adding valuable content to your social profiles and enriching the educational aspect of your brand.

But what do content pillars do?

  • Content pillars are key in digital marketing, strengthening social media plans and boosting brand expansion. They offer core topics that help in crafting posts and organising content.
  • Each social media channel should have its unique content pillar aligned with user preferences and market trends. Even with some overlap, each pillar must be tailored to its platform for maximum engagement.
  • There are plenty of marketing tools out there (we love Buffer, SEMRush & Google Keyword Planner!) that can simplify managing content pillars, generating post ideas, and providing engagement insights. These tools help marketers decide when and where to post for maximum effect.
  • Regular monitoring and adjusting content pillars based on feedback, data, and trends ensures their relevance. Paying attention to the audience and data collection helps keep content valuable.
  • Integrating content pillars with other marketing channels like email marketing enables a robust multi-channel strategy. Aligning email content with social media pillars and using data analytics can help engaging campaigns that direct recipients to social platforms or websites.

How to Implement Your Content Pillar Strategy on Social Media

So here goes. How to use content pillars to level up your social media strategy. You might think that given the fact that consistency is key to good social media management across platforms, then you can just copy and paste your pillars between LinkedIn, Instagram, and other channels. Right? Not quite…

In reality, all of your social networks demand at least a small amount of optimization to make the pillars as relevant to the community as possible. This means that when you create content pillars, you will adjust your key, overarching topics to each social media platform, according to audience and market trends. After all, you need to talk about the things that are currently popular.

Find a social media tool (Buffer is our best friend!) that helps you to manage all your social platforms and generate post ideas, schedule and customise posts, and much more when you’re building your content pillars. This way, your content stays organised and varied.

Steps for you to take to start integrating content pillars in your strategy

1. Build a Content Bank for Each Pillar

First things first, it’s important to understand that each of your social media networks deserves its own pillar. There can definitely be a lot of overlap between these pillars, depending on a variety of factors and your brand’s goals on these networks. You don’t need to come up with completely unique ideas and pillars for each.

When you create social media content pillars, it is important to consider the following aspects:

  • Analyse all social media channels to better customise your content for each audience segment and their preferences
  • Keep track of the trends on each platform.
  • Understand the peak interests on every social network.
  • Deep dive into the different content types and formats.
  • Be realistic with your posting capabilities, don’t over exert yourself!

You could totally get this done by tapping into a tool like Buffer. It’s chock-full of insights about when your audience is most likely to engage and what they’re like demographically. Armed with this info, you can figure out the best times to drop your posts, what kind of content your audience digs, and which social media platforms they love to hang out on.

At the end of the day, being realistic and honest with yourself is the best thing that you can do. Match your content creation capabilities with the demands of the platform that you’re going to be posting on. For example, while you might be able to use one content pillar to create an amazing Facebook post, you might not be able to use the same one to create a winning TikTok video.

Once you have gathered all the data, you can go ahead and start creating a content bank for each one of your content pillars. This should be a mixture of written and visual content, as well as live content.

2. Leverage Events to Enrich Your Pillars

Social media represents a golden opportunity for businesses of all sizes to build brand authority and engagement, but many brands limit themselves to just a couple of content types. If you want to maximise your potential on each platform, however, you have to start including live events in your strategy.

Whether these are online or offline events, you need to use social media to cover an event in real-time, of course, but also to build hype and engagement in the months leading to the big day.

You can do this by adjusting and optimising your pillars to cover a specific event, and then time your posts in regular intervals to keep building up audience engagement. But, don’t forget to diversify your content types!

For example, you can create engaging images with compelling captions as well as engaging reels for Instagram. On TikTok, however, you’re limited to only showing short-form videos. On the other hand, you can use Facebook for long-form written posts, videos, and images.

Make sure to explore the capabilities of all platforms and plan your event promotion content accordingly.

3. Engage with and listen to your audience

When it comes to building content pillars around the things that your audience actually cares about, there’s no better way than through feedback and data collection. It’s important to collect and collate as much data as possible to empower not only your social posting schedule, but also your content ideas and the brand itself.

You can do this by monitoring the chatter surrounding your brand, your competitors, and the most relevant topics in your industry. Social monitoring is a great way to gather information, but it also shouldn’t replace direct and honest feedback.

4. Tie the Pillars in with Your Email Strategy

Through thinking outside the box and reaching beyond social media, you have the golden opportunity to tie your social strategy with your email strategy through your content pillars.

Combining social media and email marketing creates a powerful multichannel strategy that will further engage audiences and generate leads. One can definitely promote the other, but typically you will use email marketing and email communication in general to boost your social presence.

Let’s start with email first. What is email marketing good at?

  • Delivering targeted, personalised messages
  • Converting subscribers into customers
  • Building relationships with customers
  • Retaining customers

On the other hand, what is social media marketing good at?

  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Building brand recognition
  • Building community
  • Building brand loyalty

You have to make sure that your emails are relevant to your audience when doing so, and that’s where your pillars come into play. By using email tracking and social monitoring to your advantage, you can gather data on audience behaviour and how they interact with your messaging.

You can then compare that data with your content pillars to spot the most relevant topics for your emails, which can also tie in with your social posts and discussions. After that, it’s a matter of coming up with a compelling email copy that can be created using an email template creator that will tease these topics, and direct the recipient either to your social channels or your website.

Remember that your recipients can reach your social channels in a myriad of ways, so don’t be afraid to take them to your site first, and then inspire them to visit your Instagram or TikTok for more informative content.

5. Use the Pillars for Content Diversification

Social networks are great places to show your creativity when it comes to the types of content you publish. While you can stick to the same type of content everywhere and all the time, it’s a good idea to keep things fresh by mixing content formats between the pillars.

Keeping your audience engaged and entertained can be a bit of a balancing act, especially since today’s users tend to lose interest pretty fast. That’s where content diversification comes into play. To shake things up, you’ll want to examine your content pillars and topics and consider different formats to keep things fresh.

While diversifying your content, such as morphing a blog post into an educational video or a summary infographic, may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be complex. This can be a simple and effective strategy to amplify your reach.

For instance – you can also use a longer explainer video and edit it to fit the short-form requirements of TikTok or Instagram. Or how about turning a series of topics that you talked about in your posts into long-form articles and promoting them on your profiles? The possibilities are truly endless!

Content Repurposing and Diversification Example: Kolamba at Home

At Kolamba, the art of Sri Lankan cuisine isn’t just about tantalizing taste buds; it’s all about creating an immersive culinary journey right in the comfort of your own home.

KW Marketing worked with Kolamba to build its online presence using content pillars. These pillars serve as a sturdy foundation upon which Kolamba can build its online presence, offering a rich tapestry of engaging content that resonates with their audience.

Whether it’s through photography, informative blog posts about Sri Lankan culture, behind-the-scenes glimpses into their kitchen, Kolamba and KW Marketing strategically crafted each piece of digital marketing to align with their core themes.

By consistently delivering content that educates, entertains and inspires, Kolamba doesn’t just promote their brand – they cultivate a community of food lovers that are eager to embark on a  culinary adventure with them.

Here is the framework that KW Marketing used to repurpose Kolamba at Home’s Content on their channels.

  1. Start by identifying the key message or theme of the blog post/podcast/long form piece of content. This will be the foundation of all repurposed content.
  2. Break it down into smaller chunks of content. This can include quotes, statistics, tips, and other key takeaways.
  3. Create a variety of social media posts using smaller chunks of content. This can include tweets, Instagram captions, Facebook posts, etc.
  4. Create a visually appealing graphic or image that can be used in social media posts. This can include quotes, statistics, or a summary of the post.
  5. Create a short video summarising the key takeaways from the blog post. This can be used on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
  6. Create an infographic that highlights key points from the blog post.
  7. Create a slide deck or presentation that can be shared on LinkedIn or Slideshare – not so necessary in Kolamba’s case but good to know!
  8. Use the key message of the content pillar as a basis for a webinar, workshop or video.
  9. Finally, use social media analytics to track the performance of each repurposed piece of content and use that information to inform future repurposing efforts.

6. Monitor Your Analytics and Optimise

One of the most important elements of social media success is having the ability to monitor your performance and adapt quickly. The only way to do this sustainably (aka without breaking the bank) is to use social media reporting to automatically collect audience and advertising statistics, and behavioural data.

These reports will give you valuable insights for your every post, but also the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are important to your brand, as well as the industry trends on every platform. With this information, you can make informed decisions about your content pillars, specifically their long-term use.

Here are the top five metrics for social media ROI:

  1. Reach: The more Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn group members, etc. that you have, the greater your ROI for any campaign or promotion. Reach can often be tracked within the social media platform.
  2. Traffic: Getting visitors to your website or another URL where conversions happen is a major goal of any social media plan.
  3. Leads: Maybe the most important social media measure, this is the ratio of leads coming from each referring site.
  4. Customers: Track the number and social media-generated leads that become actual customers.
  5. Conversion rate: Tracking the percentage of visitors by social media platform or promotion piece tells you what’s working and what’s not.

After all, you can’t expect a content pillar to serve you indefinitely, as you need to optimise and change it based on the data. That’s why continuous monitoring is an essential part of keeping your pillars relevant in a competitive social media space.

7. Build a Winning Content Calendar

If you haven’t figured it out by now, one of the biggest advantages of building content pillars for your social media marketing strategy is that they allow you to create and maintain an efficient posting schedule for your high-quality content.

Without content pillars, scheduling posts and creating them ahead of time becomes a difficult chore that takes you so much time. But when you have the relevant content pillars in place, it’s just a matter of plugging the topics and your content banks into your posting frequency.

If you want to post every day on all channels, the pillars will prove invaluable in supplying the content, but they’ll also allow you to build sequences of posts that support other strategies. After all, it’s not just about posting regularly; it’s about creating cohesive sequences to boost engagement on the platform while leading people to your website.

Over to You: Ready to Create Content Based on Pillars?

There’s a reason why content marketers and digital marketing leads love using content pillars for all their online channels. If you’re a social media marketer or a business leader in general, you should definitely be looking to implement content pillars into your social media strategy as well.

Be sure to use these above tips to implement your content pillar strategy seamlessly and take your social media efforts to the next level!

And remember, you don’t have to do it all alone. With KW Marketing’s help, creating and managing your content pillars can be a breeze. Start boosting your social media game today, because there’s no time like the present to make your brand shine. Let us help you cement your content pillars by getting in touch today.