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Craft Content Pillars for Social Media | Bullseye Strategy

by | Dec 8, 2023

What do social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all have in common? They’re thriving hubs for your target audience — and they’re rapidly encouraging consumers to spend money straight through the platform. In fact, of the 1.074 billion users on Instagram alone, 81% choose social media to research products and services, and a whopping 130 million users tap on shopping posts every month

If you’re looking to optimize your social media marketing for conversion, look no further than a content pillar strategy. Content pillars for social media are the broader topics and themes that create the foundation of your content marketing. On social media, content pillars create a cohesive brand image, drive engagement, and increase authority. If you haven’t developed content pillars for your social media strategy, let this blog serve as your DIY guide. 

What Are Content Pillars for Social Media?

Content pillars act as a foundation for every successful content marketing strategy. Like a physical foundation, pillars are necessary to support the overall objectives of a content strategy. They help ensure that your efforts are spread evenly across all objectives, from awareness and lead generation to conversion. Without content pillars, your content pieces lack direction, leading to lower reach, engagement, and brand recognition.

Often referred to as content buckets or content clusters, pillars consist of the most relevant topics for your industry and target audience. Content pillars for social media can also be composed of different types of content, such as blog posts or visual content like videos or infographics, that your audience would find of interest. Generally speaking, most brands select three to five content pillars to consistently create content for and amplify across social media. 

Content pillars for social media heavily rely on your niche. So, a Fort Lauderdale marketing agency’s content pillars will look vastly different from a local doctor’s office. For instance, here at Bullseye Strategy, some of our content pillars focus on:

  1. Digital marketing trends
  2. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  3. Social media marketing 
  4. Paid media

As you scroll through our blog and the related tags, you can see these pillars reflected in content pieces. And if you land on our social media pages, you see that our recent Instagram posts follow suit. By selecting and optimizing these content pillars, we can create various types of content that cover a range of relevant topics, all while serving our target audience. 

Why Develop Content Pillars for Social Media in the First Place?

Why is pillar content the key to an effective content strategy? For one, pillars allow you to stay focused on your core objectives. With solid content pillars for social media, you no longer have to worry if your content pieces connect with consumers at each stage of the buying cycle — because you know you’re specifically creating content for each portion of the funnel. 

Likewise, pillars enable content marketers to provide consistent value to readers. When you designate content pillars for the most relevant topics for your audience, you remain focused on your specialties. On the other hand, if you neglect pillars and brainstorm content ideas on the fly, you spread yourself too thin. Before long, your content goes from cohesive to chaotic — and readers will notice, and the content loses its value. 

In digital marketing, you always want to provide valuable content. Valuable content leads to more followers, exposure, and engagement, all of which boil down to increased conversions. Besides, valuable content based on solid pillars can streamline marketing efforts and improve associated authority from search engines.

Streamline Content Efforts for Maximum Efficiency 

Chances are, the products or services you provide aren’t suitable for everyone’s needs or interests. Having content pillars in place keeps you focused on creating content for your target audience, so you spend less time catering to an audience with a smaller likelihood of converting. Content buckets also help with organization. It takes time for content marketers to develop social media and blog posts, and if you’re just picking content pieces at random, it could make the process longer and harder. Pillars streamline content efforts for maximum efficiency.

Boost Associated Authority from Search Engines 

Aside from your target audience, search engines like Google also prefer topic clusters. If the content is related to a core topic or follows specific pillars, you ultimately boost your search engine optimization (SEO). When you develop your content around specific clusters or pillar pages, Google sees related information across the site and becomes aware that you are an authority in the space — and so do the people reading the content. 

Similarly, social media sites like Instagram also utilize a form of SEO. Instagram is just another search engine, only for pictures and profiles. In the same way SEO techniques improve your ranking for web pages, Instagram SEO can improve visibility for your account. Content pillars such as relevant topics, post types, and trending hashtags can help drive engagement and conversions on social media. 

How to Create Content Pillars for Social Media that Encourage Conversion 

Once you understand how topic clusters feed into social media marketing, you’re probably eager to create your own content pillars for social media. Remember that the purpose of a content pillar strategy is to provide valuable content to consumers, so you want to focus on your target audience, keyword research, and content calendar. Consider these steps to create content pillars for social media content. 

1. Understand Your Target Audience

Before establishing content buckets, you must understand your target audience. If you haven’t already, utilize your audience research and analytics to create a customer persona(s) that best describes your target audience. 

Ask several questions to establish a detailed persona, including: 

  • Who is your customer in terms of demographics and psychographics?
  • What type of content does your customer consume daily?
  • What kind of content has historically performed well with your customer?
  • How does your customer speak or present themselves on social media? 

These questions will help shape your content pillars and social media posts and shed light on your brand’s appropriate tone and voice. Consumers will want to hear themselves echoed in your brand voice and feel connected to your posts, so understanding how your target audience operates across social media is crucial. 

2. Identify Your Audience Needs 

Once you understand who your target audience is, it’s time to identify their needs. Which of their pain points can you address through your content? How can you make their lives better or persuade them to purchase a product or service that makes their lives better? At this stage, pay close attention to social listening. More often than not, common audience needs will be reflected in social media posts and across frequently searched keywords. 

3. Implement Keyword Research

To nail down audience needs and create content that performs, be sure to implement keyword research. When you identify specific keyword phrases that consumers care about — and search for often — you can satisfy that need with your content. Your content should offer value, so monitor highly-searched key terms often to determine core content pillars for your social media strategy.

4. Sort into Buckets of Core Content Pillars

Now that you’ve determined your target audience, their needs, and what they search for, you can finally create your core content pillars for social media. Begin by creating a master spreadsheet of all keyword phrases or topics you’d like to cover. Then, cluster content based on related subjects. For instance, topics related to keyword mapping or backlinks could both be clustered under an umbrella of technical SEO. Aim to create three to five content pillars, but do not exceed more than 10 — otherwise, you’ll end up stretching your content too thin. 

5. Create a Content Calendar 

With content pillars in hand, you can move along to the content planning stage. A content plan establishes a blueprint of the exact blog posts, articles, infographics, social graphics, videos, and other content pieces you’d like to create. Before content creation, implement a content calendar that includes the post type, desired keywords, and date for publication to maintain a cohesive brand presence across social media. 

6. Develop and Promote Content

You must begin content creation with your target audience and their needs in mind. Use your noted keyword phrases to develop the body of the content, such as an accompanying graphic and caption, and supplement with related hashtags. Once you create content, promote it across all platforms, from your blog to your social media platforms, to extend reach and visibility.

7. Repurpose Existing Content into New Formats

Lastly, always continue your content cycle by repurposing existing content into new formats. For instance, you can repurpose a pillar article about the future of digital marketing into visual content, like an infographic or video. Or, you can repurpose the transcript of a high-performing video into a new blog post. Remember that quality content can take several forms, so long as each form can nestle underneath one of your content pillars for social media.

Content Tree Method for TikTok

Dre Fox’s Content Tree Method offers a unique and dynamic approach to content creation, particularly for platforms like TikTok. By envisioning your content as a tree, each branch representing a main topic that further branches out into subtopics, you can create a comprehensive and diverse array of content. This method allows you to expand beyond the conventional three-to-five-pillar model, avoiding repetitive content and fostering more engaging interactions with your audience​​​​.

To effectively build social media content pillars on TikTok using this approach, consider following these steps inspired by Dre Fox’s method:

Start with Broad Themes: Identify broad themes or main topics you are passionate about and that align with your brand. These serve as the “trunks” of your content tree.

Branch Out: For each main theme, think of subtopics or aspects that you can explore. These subtopics act as the first set of branches on your tree.

Generate Specific Content Ideas: From each sub-topic, brainstorm specific content ideas or types of posts. These are the smaller branches and leaves that stem from your sub-topics. This could involve creating different types of TikTok videos, such as educational content, behind-the-scenes looks, day-in-the-life vlogs, or videos based on current trends and challenges.

Align Content with TikTok Trends: Make sure some of your content ideas align with TikTok’s trending sounds, challenges, and hashtags. This will help boost your visibility on the platform.

Plan Your Content Calendar: Organize your ideas into a content calendar, scheduling when and how often to post each type of content. This helps ensure a steady stream of diverse and engaging content for your followers.

Using Dre Fox’s Content Tree Method, you can create a structured yet flexible content strategy that keeps your TikTok feed fresh, varied, and aligned with your brand identity. Remember, the key to success on TikTok lies in authenticity, creativity, and engagement with your community.

Content Pillars and Social Media Strategy Go Hand-in-Hand

Brands like Nike or Apple — which boast 144 million and 25.5 million followers, respectively — do not just wing their social media strategy. They optimize for conversion using content pillars. Great content isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision; great content is the culmination of audience research, analytics, and planning hours. If you want to turn your social media content into great content, contact Bullseye Strategy today. 

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