What Are Content Pillars on Social Media?
The first step to any successful social media plan is to determine your outcomes. What goals do you want to achieve as a business – or individual – by building and maintaining a social media presence?
Once you’re clear on your ‘why,’ it’s time to plan how you’re going to achieve your goals. Do this by auditing what exists already, evaluating your competitor’s efforts and then building a social media strategy.
A key section of the social media strategy is your content strategy. This is essentially what types of content you’re going to create based on the platforms you’ve chosen and the goals you’ve set. So, if YouTube is a key channel for you, long-form video content will feature prominently. Beneath content ‘types’ e.g. video, graphics, audio you’ll also need content pillars.
What are Content Pillars?
They enable you to maintain targeting and consistency without becoming repetitive or overly sales-focused.
Some examples of content pillars for a cybersecurity brand could be:
- Your product or service
- Your expertise e.g. research published by the business
- Industry news and research
- Your podcast
Once you’ve defined your content pillars you can assign a goal percentage of the coverage each one will get. For example:
- 30% of posts will centre around your products and services
- 30% will showcase your expertise
- 20% will be about industry news
- 20% will promote your podcast
This detailed breakdown helps with content planning as you can easily see what needs to be created. E.g. you may need three pieces of content around your products, and two on industry news.
You could also have goals around content types e.g. the number of blogs, videos or live streams you post each month. This will also add efficiency to your content planning sessions as you could decide in advance that you’d like to share two live streams per month, one could be on industry news and one could be on your expertise.
Tip: Things like industry news can be as simple as re-sharing a post from a friend of the brand or aligned news source. Doing this with a comment allows you to quickly and easily add value and show your knowledge on the topic.
What is the value of content?
Having a solid content strategy based on your business goals enables you to report effectively. In social media, there are many vanity metrics and metrics which aren’t relevant to your business goals. Understanding which content is performing based on your goals will help guide what you do next.
For example, an important metric for video content is watch time, if people are only watching the first few seconds of your live stream or video it means it’s uninteresting for them. You could try different introductions and styles and see whether your watch time increases. You could also add subtitles as depending on the platform many people consume social media videos without sound.
It might be that content promoting your product or services doesn’t perform as well as industry news, that’s somewhat expected which is why establishing your expertise and brand values should have a higher percentage of exposure.
Organic social media isn’t a space for the hard sell, selling can happen here but the priority is to build trust, entertain, educate and offer value, so that you have their attention when you have sales messaging.
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