How to define your content pillars - content creation for strategic growth

Content creation needs a strategy and content pillars are perfect for staying consistent and relevant.

When finding content topics is a struggle, then you’ll be happy to hear that this post will go deeper into one area that makes content creation and finding topics a lot easier.

The four foundations of all copy and content

Just to be sure – content that helps you speak to the right audience and grow your business should be based on the following four foundations:

  • YOU in your entirety and your differentiation
  • YOUR IDEAL CLIENT with all their quirks, needs, and preferences
  • YOUR OFFER and the stages of the transformational journey you are taking your clients on
  • YOUR BRAND, its psychological foundations, stories, and personality

The reason, why I keep stressing these four areas in so many of my posts is, that these are non-negotiable knowledge areas that you cannot afford to neglect because they don’t just drive your content and copy – they drive your whole business.

So, let’s assume that you have a solid understanding of these four foundational areas…

Great! Because a deep understanding makes your copy and content creation so much easier.

And if you want to add strategy to the mix to be more effective and leave a greater impact on the right people, then you should look into defining your content pillars.

What are content pillars and why do I need them?

Content pillars are nothing else than a range of topics, themes or areas of expertise that you (and your brand) can use to create content and copy.

These areas are specific to your brand and should serve your ideal client’s information needs.

Your content pillars ensure that you create content that your audience wants to read and engage with based on topics that they resonate with and that they want to learn more about.

More advantages of defining your content pillars are that…

  • They help you to stay focused on what matters to your audience
  • Keep you organised (you know the general topic areas you need to write about)
  • Help you stay consistent - because it’s easier to plan your content and it’s easier to serve your clients content needs and expectations
  • Help you with creating high-quality content that your audience can’t wait to see in their feed
  • They make it easier to strategically plan your content

I believe that these are quite important benefits that do justify the upfront work that you have to put into creating your content pillars.

Creating your content pillars is pretty straightforward…

What kind of pillars should I create?

Your content pillars are very much dependent on the nature of your services and your offer(s). And they also tie into your brand.

If you have been following my content for a while, then you might have noticed that my content is related to the four foundations that I mention in the beginning of this article – YOU, YOUR IDEAL CLIENT, YOUR OFFER, AND YOUR BRAND.

My “YOU” pillar might cover anything from mindset, personal development, personal strengths, differentiation, experience & expertise related topics, personal stories etc.

My “YOUR IDEAL CLIENT” pillar might cover topics like identifying your customer avatar, discovering needs, pain points, desires, and struggles, how to interpret demographics etc.

My “OFFER” pillar talks about how to talk about features, benefits, and outcomes, how to position your offer, the transformational journey of an offer etc.

My “BRAND” pillar discusses topics like writing your brand statements (mission, vision, values, USP…), finding your brand story, storytelling, brand personality, brand voice etc.

These pillars are the four core parts of my programme that I am taking my clients through to achieve absolute messaging clarity AND they are essential for writing any conversion copy.

In addition to that, I write about content and copywriting. That could be anything related to how to write headlines, different copywriting formulas, the difference between copy and content, FOMO, how to write web pages etc. This post definitely falls into this content pillar!

So, if you want to know how to find your content pillars then deconstruct your offer, your brand, and your area of expertise.

How do I use content pillars?

So much about the theory – let’s move on to the practical part.

No theory without implementation!

Here’s how you get started with your content pillars:

Read the last sentence of the previous section again and look into your offer, brand, and area of expertise.

Next – take a close look at your ideal clients and their most urgent needs. I’d recommend to niche down quite narrowly to start with to capture the right people.

Once you have grown your audience and have established a good content base, you can expand into related areas that capture a wider audience that is located on the fringes of your content pillars.

I am assuming that you are not entirely new to content creation and already have posted a good amount of content.

If that’s the case, then I recommend taking a look at your analytics to find out …

  • What content performs well
  • Which content your audience engages with the most
  • Which content resonates most

You can take notes and save high-performing social media posts in a special folder, and add the visuals and hashtags that you used.

That also allows you to repurpose your content with more ease later on.

I also recommend checking trends on Google and Pinterest and seeing if they are relevant to your industry and area of expertise.

But most of all – actively listen to your audience and hear what they are saying in conversations, coaching sessions, social media groups and comments.

All these activities take the guesswork out of content creation. They allow you to identify topics and areas that your audience wants to hear about.

Be strategic & plan your content

Strategy plays an important role in marketing your business effectively. That means that consistency alone is not enough to reach your goals.

You need to have a plan – and creating a content plan is an essential part of that. Having a content plan also takes a good portion of the stress out of content creation because you already know what you want to write and when to post.

It also makes it easier to use scheduling tools that allow you to save time and let you post without even thinking about it or going online.

When planning your content – block some time regular time for writing, during which you can batch-create some content.

Take a look at your year and any special dates, launches and events. That allows you to plan when to write a launch sequence and announce a new service.

Then think about what you can consistently commit to every week. Can you write one long-form piece of content every week? This could be a newsletter, article or blog post, podcast or live video that you could later repurpose and slice into smaller portions.

How often do you want to post short posts on Social media?

Always bear in mind that you need to be able to honour your commitments and post consistently. The frequency doesn’t matter as much – consistency is more important.

You could start out with one newsletter per month, an email every two weeks and 3-5 short posts per week.

Post types that excite your audience

There’s a lot of variety of posts online and you have most likely written different types of posts as well. There are…

  • Storytelling posts that take your audience behind the scenes of your business or into the lives of your clients.
  • Posts that educate and let you share your knowledge and insights.
  • Posts that inspire or trigger a mind shift. In these posts, you often share your insights and understanding of a subject matter. These posts help build your reputation as an expert in your field.
  • Business and brand-related posts that tell your audience more about your brand, and what you believe in or stand for. These posts are important for building trust between you and your audience.
  • Posts written for engagement and entertainment like polls, quotes or memes, quick shares of funny moments etc. They are designed to boost the algorithm and often don’t go very deep.
  • Sales posts, that let your audience know that you are open for business and how you can help them

When you create your content calendar, you should vary the type of post you are writing and the pillars the topics fall under. Don’t continually sell to our audience or post some quotes that you resonate with.

Give your audience a variety of topics and styles. Human minds like novelty and varying your content gives them the needed variety but it also nurtures the relationship and moves them closer to the next point of their buyer’s journey.

If you need help with a more strategic approach to content creation and more clarity about your messaging and content pillars – then send me a message and we can discuss how I can help you with that!

Categories: : Content Creation, Content Creation tips, content marketing, Content tips, Contentwriting, Copywriting, Copywriting tips, Customer Avatar, Engagement, Ideal customer Avatar, Marketing, messaging foundations

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