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What Are Content Pillars? How Can You Use Them When Planning Social Media Content?

You can’t run a successful business if people don’t know about your work! One of the best ways to reach potential customers is by generating great content on your social media platforms. It’s important to note that exceptional content doesn’t just appear out of thin air, even if some of your favorite businesses and influencers make it look effortless.

Companies who are absolutely #winning at the content game have a comprehensive content calendar where they specifically schedule content curation and have a strong social media marketing strategy. How do they come up with all of that content? The answer is simple. They’re able to build their empire by leaning on and leveraging their content pillars. Here’s how you can use your own content pillars to build up and support your business plan.

So, What Is A Content Pillar?

When you think of an architectural pillar, you may picture a neoclassical, museum-type building. Not only are the pillars impressive looking, but they also support the physical integrity of the structure. Content pillars function similarly for your business, especially on social media.

A content pillar is a well-researched substantive piece of content from which more content can be built. Think of it as a foundation. Typically, you will want to start with about three strong content pillars that you know you’ll be able to post about regularly. You can always add more pillars as your audience grows and evolves over time.

How To Determine Content Pillars

Before you make your social media marketing strategy, you should choose your content pillars, because they’ll inform how you steer your campaigns and general content. Most importantly, taking the time to choose your content pillars is important, because it’ll help build your company’s brand. That being said, it should also be a fun and rewarding process!

You can choose your content pillars using a good old, classic brainstorming session. Grab a pen and paper—or your laptop if you’re not old school—and write a whole list of what you’d like to focus on. Narrow it down to three to five of your best, all encompassing ideas.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out what your content pillars should be, try starting with your topic clusters. Topic clusters are the materials that you’ll create, eventually based on your pillars. Write a list of content you’d enjoy writing about or producing, like ideas for blogs, quizzes, guides or videos. Those will act as your topic clusters. Once you have your list, lump similar content together, and you can come up with an overarching theme based on how the topics relate to one another. The final product is your content pillar. Voila!

What’s A Pillar Page?

The phrase “pillar page” refers to a page on your website that focuses on that core service, offering or topic. It supports your business by thoroughly explaining and examining one aspect, or pillar. Your business’ offerings may be multi-faceted, so you may have more than one pillar page. That’s fine, just make sure you’re not confusing pillars with your topic clusters.

Pillars Are Your Social Media Marketing Strategy Foundation

By being specific about the pillars you’re creating your content around you’re helping your business. Pillars give your social media strategy a direction and help you narrow down the audience you’re trying to reach. Pillars and topic clusters use links to other relevant content to help boost your search engine optimization, or SEO. Your social media website will begin to rank higher on Google, making it more easily accessible, and more likely that your target audience will discover and interact with your content.

Going the extra mile to plan your pillars will strengthen your social media strategy. Content curation is your best friend when it comes to building awareness around your brand. Once you have your pillars, make a consistent content calendar and stick to the plan, so you’ll continue to rank higher in searches. You’re a #boss, so make sure everyone can actually see the great information you’re putting out there.


Need help with your social media strategy? We've got a team for that! Here at McMillan & Phillips we have a team of experts to make all your brand growth a reality. Reach out today and let’s start optimizing your website and ultimately, your brand!

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