How Content Pillars Can Help Your Brand

Dec 16, 2021 — Markerly Editorial Team, 5 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In today’s world, creating and maintaining a social media page is on a company’s non-negotiable list. Providing a consistent output of posts to loyal followers is essential for any brand trying to market itself online. 

But not all social media posts are created equal. The difference between a successful social media profile and a mediocre one is the value of the content it provides. Content that serves the audience is content that sells. An easy way to provide this to your followers is with content pillars for Instagram.

What Are Content Pillars for Instagram?

Woman likes a photo on her phone

Content pillars (sometimes called “content buckets”) are topics or themes that a brand consistently amplifies and discusses through its posts. For most brands, this means focusing on three to five topics that they will consistently discuss online. 

Content pillars establish the foundation for your overall social media marketing and content strategy. They help guide your brand in the overcrowded social media space toward your niche. Once you find that sweet spot that connects your followers to your brand, it makes planning your content marketing strategy much more effortless. 

Though your pillars will likely be specific topics tied to your brand, you can approach content planning from several different angles. For example, a post could be promotional or educational, or it could be focused on building community or providing entertainment. 

Not surprisingly, in order to produce high-quality content, your content pillars for Instagram should focus on topics that you’re an expert in. Company updates and customer testimonials can also be useful. This strategy makes it much easier for social media beginners to find subjects to talk about while ensuring that all content is relevant and accurate.

Using Markerly as an example, our content pillars include influencer strategy, trends and analytics, and social media tips, to name a few. You can see this on our Instagram account with just a little bit of scrolling! 

The Benefits of Social Media Content Pillars for Instagram Marketing

Woman films video for one of her content pillars for Instagram

Here’s a quick rundown of how content pillars for Instagram will benefit your brand:

1. Improved Content Focus

Content pillars keep your social media strategy focused and on-brand. They organize the core concepts and ideas that make up your brand and make it easier to come up with content ideas. They also give a clear picture of the types of posts you’ll want to explore, whether that be community spotlights, informational posts, infographics, quotes, and so on. 

2. Easier Scheduling

Content pillars make it much easier to schedule your content calendar each month. Instead of frantically typing up low-quality posts at the last minute, you can improve the quality and relevance of your posts by planning ahead with a focus on your primary topics. Better yet, you’ll save time so you can focus on other important marketing tasks.

3. Become a Niche Expert

As you begin with a focus on your areas of expertise, you can quickly establish yourself as a valuable source for information or entertainment within your industry. Your target audience will come to view you as a trusted source that they can rely on when they want the latest updates from your niche. 

This will also lead them to take other valuable actions. According to Sprout Social, 91% of consumers will visit a brand website after following them on social—and 89% will buy from the brand.

4. Improve Profile Engagement

Remember, your content pillars for Instagram need to cater to your followers. When done right, your target audience will be excited to see your posts show up on their Instagram feed. If you continue to provide content they enjoy and extract value from, they’ll show their appreciation through consistent engagement with your posts.

With more engagement on your social media profile, your account will experience greater reach that puts it in front of new audiences. Social media content pillars help create a cycle of growth that continues as long as you provide relevant content. 

Key Tips for Content Planning

Person plans out content pillars for Instagram

Creating a content calendar starts with idea generation. It may be helpful to create a Google Doc that you can divide into separate sections for each of your content pillars. Under each pillar category, write down as many ideas or subtopics as you can. Your own experiences, news headlines, common questions from customers, and company news are all good places to find ideas. Use this “idea bucket” to plan out social media posts for several weeks—or even months—in advance. 

Regardless of which content pillar a particular post will be focusing on, be sure to maintain a consistent brand voice throughout. Your own unique way of saying things is often just as important as what you’re talking about.

Know Your Demographics

When planning your content calendar, it may also help to take a closer look at your audience demographics. Can they be broken up into subgroups? If so, you’ll need to consider the marketing differences between groups. Creating a piece of content for Gen X will be worlds away from marketing to millennials and Gen Z. Understanding the buyer personas for the different groups you target can help you adapt your content accordingly.

Having a clear idea of each groups’ motivations, goals, and pain points will help you hit the mark with your chosen content pillars for Instagram.

Take Advantage of Analytics

Practice makes perfect in fine-tuning your marketing strategy. Not everything you envision for your brand’s content calendar will resonate with the people you’re trying to reach. 

Tracking your analytics is the ideal way to experiment and find out what content performs best and engages well with your audience. Listening to your audience is always the best course of action for deciding how to handle future content creation efforts. Analytics will help you identify which posts receive the most engagement. You can plan future posts around similar topics, or by following a similar format to your top performers.

Follow the Trends

It’s also a good idea to take note of industry trends and news. Accessible tools like Google Trends and Pinterest make it easy to research trending hashtags and topics that you could tie into your digital marketing messages. 

Don’t be afraid to copy marketing trends that have become popular with others in your niche, either. If you see a competitor gaining lots of traction with Instagram Stories or long-form content, chances are, your own audience will also enjoy similar content pillars.

Save the Date

When planning your content calendar, be mindful of the actual calendar as well. Holidays or launch dates for a new product or service should also be planned for in addition to your main pillar content. 

Centering social media content pillars around providing value makes your social media platforms more than just a hub for your brand’s content. They can also become pages that inspire, entertain, and educate. Following these steps leads to higher engagement, builds stronger relationships between you and your target audience, and creates greater brand recognition.

Start Creating Content Pillars for Instagram Today

Person snaps photo of baked goods spread

With strong content pillars for Instagram that are distinctly tied to your brand and its products or services, you can carve out a strong niche on social media. Content pillars will help you provide high-quality, relevant posts that keep your audience coming back time and time again. As you use content pillars to guide your posting strategy, you will enjoy greater reach and engagement that makes a meaningful difference to your brand’s bottom line.

If you need help creating content pillars for Instagram to take your social media posts to the next level, contact Markerly today! Our full-service influencer campaign management can enhance your small business’s Instagram content with pillar content that drives engagement and reels in your target audience.

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