I used to post content on a whim whenever I had an idea. The problem with that is that sometimes my content was all over the place in terms of topics, timing and approach.
What I posted often resonated with my network, but it wasn’t intentional or strategic. And it took me a lot of time to create the posts, so it wasn’t efficient for me either.
What I learned to do (and now what I teach my clients to do as well) is to create content with purpose. You can more clearly define your purpose and intention with your content pillars.
So, what is a content pillar? A content pillar is a subset of topics or themes in your wheelhouse that support your brand and business which create the foundation for your overall content strategy. You should have three to six of them in your overall content strategy.
Content pillars you define your niche, guide and speed up your content creation process and ensure that your content is more strategic. They also help you stay organized, be consistent and create high-quality content. And most importantly, content pillars enable you to be more intentional about creating and publishing content. When you intentionally create and curate content around your content pillars you can maximize your content strategy and marketing efforts.
Each of your pillars could be comprised of different types of content such as blog posts, articles, social media posts, videos, podcasts, email blasts, website content, landing pages, surveys, white papers, infographics, just to name a few.
The thing is, you’re probably already creating content supporting your content pillars, but you just haven’t formally written them out as part of your overall content strategy.
So, for example, my content pillars are:
- Social media/digital marketing
- Content marketing
- Legal marketing
- My Women Who Wow initiative
- Personal branding
- Motivational content/Mental health in the workplace
I write only about these topics for the most part – and my content pillars are broad enough to give me some leeway within each topic to do so. Within each content pillar I create subtopics as well.
Defining your content pillars will help you stay focused and better organize your relevant keywords, brand messaging, values, content ideas and expertise into your content strategy.
So how do you determine your own content pillars? Start by identifying your audience, your expertise and the problems you solve for them. Then brainstorm topics and write down everything that comes to mind. Think about your areas of expertise, your target audience and your marketing, business development and branding goals. The content that supports those goals is what you should be producing and promoting on a consistent basis.
Make sure to review your analytics as well to see what content has performed well with your audience already so that you can create more of that. Make sure to repurpose high-performing posts as well as repost other content that fell flat perhaps based on other factors (such as the image used, the caption, time of day it was posted or the hashtags used).
Once you have established your content pillars, you can then brainstorm your subtopics and individual post ideas.
Everything you post on LinkedIn (or any social media channel) will be then categorized under one of your content pillars, which can change with time and as your business changes. You’ll create a simple, shareable content calendar to help you organize the posts. I use Google Sheets for mine.
Your content calendar can be sorted by your content pillars so that you can easily track and measure engagement. This will help you create more intentional content that truly supports your marketing and business goals.
Of course, some of your posts will still be created on a whim if they are super timely or when you feel inspired – by all means, still go with that feeling. But planning out your posts with this content pillar structure and having a content calendar will help you be more efficient, strategic and enable you to more effectively repurpose your content too.
Having specific themes or buckets that each post or piece of content falls into makes it much easier to create meaningful content with intention and purpose.
Message me if you want to join one of my upcoming virtual trainings on this topic!
Here’s a video with more about content pillars and intentional content.