January 13, 2023

Content Pillars 101: How to Create a Sustainable Content Strategy

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If you’re feeling concerned about generating consistent, brand-centric content for websites, blog posts, and social media postings, rest assured you are not alone in this sentiment. With the number of platforms that are available today and the amount of content that is being published, it’s easy to get lost. However, only consistent and intentional content are remembered. Content pillars are the topics you want your brand to be known for. Once you create them, it’s a lot easier to create and schedule content for your business.

In this post, we will cover

  1. What are content pillars
  2. Why content pillars are important
  3. How to create content pillars
  4. Content pillar examples
  5. Creating a content strategy

1. What are Content Pillars?

Content Pillars are the everlasting topics that set your brand messaging with your target audience. Your business goals may vary but your content pillars remain the same. They set the foundation for an effective content marketing strategy. Your content across websites, blog posts, social media, email campaigns come under your content pillar buckets. When content has consistent messaging across all platforms, it’s easier to be relatable and build credibility. For any brand, there could be 3 to 4 main categories which could be further broken down to sub categories. This helps you to create diverse content connecting to the main content pillars.

2. Why Content Pillars are Crucial

Content pillars are important because they give you direction and structure which can be repurposed throughout your platforms. When you identify the topics you want to build credibility with your audience, you can ensure that your content is relevant and valuable. Another advantage is that content pillars open opportunities for curation and repurposed content. Gaining trust with your audience is crucial to any business and having solid content buckets established your brand as a thought leader in the industry. Some benefits include:

  • Consistent brand messaging
  • Build authority
  • Drive engagement.
How to Create Content Pillars

3. How to Create Content Pillars

Content pillars are the foundation to a clear content marketing strategy and this includes several steps.

  • Define Your Business Goal

To achieve success with your content marketing plan, it is critical to understand your desired outcome, whether it be to build your brand from the ground up or to publicize your products.

  • Build Authority

There is a reason why consumers trust one brand over another. In order to gain the trust and respect of your desired demographic, your brand must be dependable and trustworthy. Brainstorm ideas for content that can establish your brand’s expertise and trustworthiness.

  • Identify Relevant Content Formats

In order to remain relevant in your industry, it is important to understand the evolving needs of your target audience and identify which topics draw the most engagement. Content types can vary based on your expertise and niche market. Some common content formats include blog posts, infographics, case studies, tutorials, tools, resources , lists, testimonials etc.

  • Do Competitor Analysis

Good competition is something to be excited about. Your business is relevant. Carefully analyze the content from your rivals to recognize what themes are being explored and assess the engagement level. Make a note of themes, format and engagement rate.

  • Build Your Value Proposition

Understand your strengths and how you can use them to differentiate your business from the competitors. Your individual approach to problem-solving and your background can frequently offer a unique viewpoint and a unique selling point.

After taking these steps, craft 3 to 5 content pillars that strongly reflect your value offering and intended audience.

Content Pillars Example

For example, if you are a personal development coach, your goal is to establish credibility on mindset, productivity etc and show your audience why they need to trust you over your competition. Credibility can be gained with how to guide, testimonials, giving statistical data and success stories.

Personal development coach Content pillars

Building a Content Strategy Framework

A content strategy framework allows you to create, manage and distribute content that aligns with your business goal, The framework includes the content pillars, content calendar and content analytics metrics. It includes processes that can be reused along with tools used for publishing and managing content. The goal of the framework is to create consistent , relevant content that can be measured, repurposed and distributed across platforms. Here are ways you can use your content strategy

Download free content strategy template

The guides includes a seven step framework that can be used to create a customized content strategy for your business. Its editable and you can type in your goals and create your content pillars.

Website Copy

Your website is the gateway to a large online audience. Aligning your website content to your content pillars sets the brand messaging for your audience. Web copy should be persuasive and engaging. List down the benefits of using your service relating to the content pillars. Use about pages to build credibility on your expertise. Using the right words and appropriate CTA will boost your engagement rate.

Related article : How to write website content like a pro

Social Media Content Pillars Template

Social media usage has increased exponentially in recent years. With your proposition and competitor analysis, choose two primary platforms and curate them to other platforms. After identifying the social platforms, create content based on the content pillars. Break it down like below

Content Pillars Example

SEO : Content Pillars -> Keywords

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long game but worth doing it as long as you have a website. Setting up a basic SEO setup will help google understand what your page is about and in some cases will rank you for a few keywords. Take your main content pillars and look for long tail keywords that have low competition but good volume. Set up those keywords throughout your website pages. This does not happen overnight but having the foundation set up never hurts.

Automate Content Scheduling

Unless you want to be glued to your computer 24*7, use your time wisely with social media promotions. Tools like canva will help you create content specific to any social platform. Schedule the posts in advance and use your time to engage and answer questions from your audience. Some tools include

  • Canva Pro
  • Buffer
  • Tailwind

Measure Results

Like any Key performance indicator (KPI), content strategy results can be measured. Tools like Google Analytics and search console can give valuable insights on your website. Social platforms have an analytics setup. Use them to identify the accounts reached, engagement , comments etc. The idea is you publish, test , engage and repurpose.

Ready to create your content strategy ? Download free content strategy template.

Work With a Content Strategist

Are you exhausted of producing redundant content? A content strategist can help you. With my expertise in market research, copywriting and analytics, I will work to create a content plan that aligns with your brand values and business goals. By creating the right content pillars and consistently creating intentional content, your efforts and the investment will be paid off. This will in turn drive more leads, conversations and engagement. Let content work for you 24*7.

Check out a recent customer testimonial. You can send me a request here or book a free consultation here.

I had the pleasure of working with Anya recently to plan for my company’s content marketing plan for 2023. She had a great framework document to help me think through my company’s values, customer personas, business goals, and content types. Anya’s curiosity, knowledge of marketing content strategy, and passion for writing make her a great partner for any business!

Rachel Nussbaum, Specular TV

Did you find these tips helpful ? What else would you add on to the list ?. Let me know your thoughts below. Follow me on social to know more about copywriting and marketing resources.

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