Any content creator will tell you that the hardest part about creating your own high-performing videos, social media content, blogs, art pieces, and more is to do it consistently and effectively. In the past, we’ve mentioned a few different ways to mitigate the hair-pulling frustration that can come with trying to approach content marketing in a way that is both effective and engaging for your audience – such as repurposing content. Today we’re going to talk about a different strategy that is tried and tested.
We’re talking about creating content pillars.
“Content pillar” is fancy marketing speak, so you’re forgiven if you have no idea what we’re talking about when we say it. What we’re talking about here is a reliable, efficient source of content ideas to pull from whenever the dreaded (and inevitable) creative block lurks around the corner twirling its mustache.
Questions to ask yourself before you get started:
1. What is my brand message?
Your content pillars should be reflective of your brand message. If your tone is typically buttoned up and you must be taken seriously then you probably don’t want a google doc full of “fart jokes for Facebook” to serve as one of your content pillars.
2. Who is my target audience?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again! Before approaching any content creation, you have to know your audience so you can provide relative content that addresses their needs, dreams, and pain points. We have a whole blog about identifying your customer avatar, so definitely check that out if you don’t have the answer to this question yet.
3. What medium am I using?
This could be WordPress, YouTube videos, TikToks, Facebook posts, LinkedIn articles, Instagram stories, or any of the many, many different ways to create and share different types of content. Each content medium and platform have different audiences, and different rules, and may require slightly different strategies.
4. How will I be promoting and optimizing this content?
Before you build your content pillar strategy, make sure that you have SEO tools and practices in place so that you can promote your content and ensure as many eyes get to it as possible!
Effective Content Pillars That Will Work For Anyone
We are a benevolent group of content marketers, who believe in empowering our fellow creators and business owners to ensure that they have everything they need! That’s why we’ve got 6 different types of content pillars that will work for anyone! (Plus, a bonus 7th that only the wisest and bravest may attempt!)
1. Social Proof
As marketers, this is one of our most powerful tools. You’ll want to collect this however you can: whether that’s written quotes from customers, video testimonials, or shout-outs on social media. If you can collect and organize social proof to share with your audience throughout the year, you’ve hit the sweet spot of providing meaningful content to your followers while also showcasing your product or service.
2. Contests and Giveaways
Engaging your loyal customers with a special giveaway, or exciting followers with a contest is a great way to make them feel connected and special. Some examples of this include emails advertising free samples to loyal customers, and social media posts announcing a new “points” system (if you earn 400 points by purchasing our XYZ, you’ll get this other product FREE!).
3. Share the Inspiration
If your brand favors a personable approach, then using social media and blogs as a platform to share moments of inspiration with your followers is a great pillar to lean your content creation on. This might be sharing personal stories about how you started your business or a person in your life who motivated your success, or it could be sharing quotes from an inspirational figure whose actions are reflective of your brand. These are all great ways to make your fans, followers, and customers feel connected to you and inspired by your content.
This is our favorite pillar of content creation. Education is one of the best ways to engage your customers and also provide content that is both meaningful and promotional. It’s a great way to show that your business is run by experts who know what they’re talking about and want to help your customers.
5. News and Industry Updates
Similar to education, this pillar is a great way to engage your audience with information they need to know. If you’re a money-management company and there’s news on the economy, sharing that with your followers while also providing your interpretation of this news can be both educational and informative.
6. Physical Product? Visual Commerce is your best friend.
Sometimes just showing off a new product you’re proud of is enough! This is a great way to generate excitement amongst your customers.
BONUS: Squishy Content and Entertainment
This is the trickiest pillar of all, and it’s the only one that won’t work for every brand. Squishy content is our way of describing content that isn’t necessarily educational, informative, or inspirational: but it does engage an audience. Squishy content can be great to get eyes on your brand: as the point is to put yourself out there and maybe even provide entertainment. There is a delicate balance to be mastered with squishy content, however. Entertainment is subjective so make sure you have a clear customer avatar in place before attempting to engage them with humor or silliness.
Man, this sure seems like a lot of work…
Ugh, we know. That’s why so many business owners struggle with content marketing. It’s hard to become a content marketing expert when you’re a CEO with a million tasks on your to-do list. That’s why CMOs exist to pull together marketing teams and create strong marketing plans that will help grow your business.
The problem? Full-time CMOs are terribly expensive. Luckily, there are Fractional CMOs (like SizzleForce Marketing!) who can provide those same services at a fraction (see what we did there?) of the cost!
Schedule a “Get to Know You Call” today, and we’ll talk about what we can do to help grow your business!