How To Guide: How to Create Pillars of Content

Content is often a source of some conversation amongst small business owners – it’s tricky to get it right, overwhelming to create enough or just plain hard work.

One trick I really like to use is to create pillars of content to help keep focus and plan content out. It also helps me be consistent.

Sometimes called ‘Content Buckets’, pillars are effectively columns of types of content that are important to your business, messaging and audience within which you can plan content ideas.

I have my content pillars on the office wall as a constant reminder of what I am planning.

So how to work out what your pillars are and how best to use them?

  1. Most small businesses will need between 3 & 5 pillars create the variety of content that you need to stay interesting, relevant and engaging. Think about what topics you want to talk about or share as part of your messaging? If you’re stuck, think about not only what you’re trying to sell but what you’re trying to achieve as a brand. For example you may have a pillar for promotion but also one for inspiration.
  2. Decide on your pillars. I would say that pretty much all micro businesses will have a pillar for ‘promotion/sales’. This should only make up about 20% of your content to avoid becoming too ‘selly’ although this percentage might vary at different times in the year. But what else? here are some ideas:
    • Inspiring quotes
    • Business support ideas
    • How to or top tips
    • Behind the scenes
    • Life at head office
    • Entertainment
    • How you make things
    • Customer service
    • Reviews and feedback
    • Customer stories
    • Campaigning messages
  3. Once you have decided your 3 to 5 pillars (more than 5 will start to dilute messaging and possibly start to confuse things!) you need to start thinking about what types of content might fit into each pillar. For example, if you have a ‘behind the scenes’ pillar you might choose Insta Reels of your dog walks or thoughts on life or stories about each days creativity. If you have a pillar about business support ideas, then you might choose blog posts or articles on LinkedIn. Try to choose at least 3 for each pillar and remember to match the content types to suit the platform and who might be watching or reading.
  4. You should now have some lists of content ideas within your pillars. There is GOOD NEWS! You don’t have to think up original content for everything. Think about those lists and which ones form macro or big content e.g. a blog, website page or video and which ones are micro or little content e.g. Insta story or Facebook live. Use your macro content to be the foundation for new micro content.
    • FOR EXAMPLE: You write a blog about the business services you offer. You details lots of ways you do that and optimise that blog on your website really well. The blog continues to get hits throughout the year. This is macro content.
    • From that macro content blog post, you might pick out specific areas or topics from that and share a quick story or IGTV video talking about your approach. You might create a quote graphic about a review from a client that mentions your business support.
    • Essentially, you can reuse that macro content by breaking it into chunks af micro content across the month or year.