Using social media to connect with your customers is almost mandatory in modern marketing. However, social media can often come as an afterthought for busy small business owners. Does this sound familiar? You open Instagram or Facebook to post for the first time in a few weeks, but quickly get overwhelmed because you don’t know what to post about. So, you end up not posting at all. Every time this happens, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect with your customers and build your community. Content pillars are a great tool that can help you get organised and take the stress out of posting on social media.
What are content pillars?
Content pillars are umbrella themes or topics that all your social media content can fit into. They help to shape your overall content strategy. A business might typically have three or four pillars or themes related to their product, industry and the interests of their customers. Content pillars are best established during your strategic development and tied to your value proposition and marketing goals.
How can content pillars take the stress out of social media?
Content pillars will help guide you in coming up with creative ideas when it comes to posting on social media. Whenever you’re not sure what to post about, you can turn to your pillars for inspiration. Pillars help with organisation because they give you a structure within which you can work. For instance, you might find that once your ideas for one pillar or theme start flowing, it can help you to plan your posts in advance and eliminate the stress of having to think up content on the spot!
Taking the time to think about your content pillars can also help you focus on what your customers really want to see from your brand on social media and avoid overly sales-y or irrelevant content that might make your audience tune out. This ensures that you’re really providing value to your community when you post, rather than just posting for the sake of it.
How can you figure out content pillars for your business?
A strategy session with a trained marketer can help you to establish your content pillars. In lieu of this consider the following.
- Who are your customers?
- What are their pain points?
- What social networks do they use?
- Why do they choose to shop from your brand over another?
Once you have a real understanding of your target audience, you can start to think about what kind of content they’d like to see from you.
Your business is a family-run greengrocer. Your customers are a mix of local families and working professionals. They choose to shop from you because of your convenient location, as well as your fresh local produce and personable customer service. Your content pillars could be:
Convenience: Quick recipe ideas, weekly deals and bargains, posts about your local delivery service or pre-packed meal boxes.
Family/community values: Content about the history of your business, your team members and local suppliers. Also, detailing your business’s role in the local community or your locally sourced produce and quotes about the value of cooking and sharing meals with friends and family.
Aspirational: Gourmet recipe ideas, posts about unique ingredients you have in stock and how to use them. Also, posts about the health benefits of your fresh seasonal produce.
You can now use these themes as springboards to inspire endless content ideas. You can use this content on social media, your blog and even email marketing.
Content pillars are a useful tool in helping you gather your thoughts and create social media content in a structured way. At the end of the day, making sure you’re providing valuable content to your audience will go a long way towards increasing your social media engagement and building your online community, while making sure that your time as a busy business owner isn’t going to waste either.
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