The Ultimate Guide to Content Pillars for Instagram: How to Create your Social Media Strategy

Everybody is talking about how important your content strategy is for being successful on social media. And they’re right!

If you’re looking to grow your brand and engage your audience on Instagram, then what you need first are content pillars.

In this post, we’ll walk you through what content pillars are, how to identify them for your business, and provide examples to inspire your own content creation.

Let’s elevate your Instagram game with content pillars!

What are Instagram Content Pillars and why do you need them?

Think of your content pillars as the building blocks of your Instagram strategy. They form the foundation of your content, so it’s crucial to make sure they’re rock-solid.

Essentially, content pillars are like the big themes or categories you focus on when creating content. They give you a roadmap to follow, ensuring that you’re always creating content that’s aligned with your business goals.

By keeping your content pillars in mind, you’ll be able to create a cohesive Instagram presence that resonates with your audience and supports your brand.

Related Article: The Minimalist Instagram Strategy

Use content pillars to craft a solid strategy and plan for your social media content

Defining content pillars for your Social Media strategy has a lot of benefits:

  • Get consistent: Having solid content pillars is like having a dependable partner that always has your back. You can be sure that your content is always on brand, and that builds trust with your audience.
  • Saves you time: Creating content can be a lot of work, but defining your content pillars can help streamline the process. With a clear idea of what you want to post about, you’ll be able to create content more efficiently and even repurpose it across different platforms.
  • Boost engagement: When you focus on your Instagram pillars, you’re creating content that speaks directly to your audience’s interests and needs. That means they’ll be more likely to engage with your content, leaving comments, likes, and shares. The more engagement your posts get, the more visible they become, which can help you grow your following and reach even more people.

You will see that using content pillars for Instagram is not just about having a plan for content creation, it’s also very helpful with building a community around your brand. By sharing content that aligns with your content pillars, you’re not just creating posts, you’re also starting a conversation with your audience.

This helps you establish a connection and deepen your relationship with your followers, which is crucial for growing your brand on Instagram.

Related Article: How to Build an Engaged Audience on Instagram

How to Create Content Pillars for your Small Business in 5 Steps

Defining your content pillars might sound like a big task, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. Plus, the benefits to your Instagram presence make it totally worth it.

So, let’s break it down into five easy-to-follow steps:

  1. Get clear on your brand’s core values: Think about what makes your brand special, and how you want to be seen by your audience. Do you have brand values listed? Perfect!
  2. Research your audience: Then, do some research on your audience. What do they care about? What problems are they trying to solve? Why would they follow you? For which type of content?
  3. Nail your brand message: Once you have these insights, you can start crafting a brand messaging that speaks directly to them.
  4. Choose your content pillars: Think about the key themes and topics that align with your brand’s values and messaging. These categories should be broad enough to give you some flexibility in content creation, but specific enough to keep your content focused and on-brand. Aim for 3-5 pillars to guide your content creation.
  5. Rinse and repeat! Once you start creating content, regularly evaluate how well it aligns with your goals. Make adjustments as needed to ensure your content stays on track and resonates with your audience.
Don’t know where to get started? Download our FREE Instagram templates to put your content pillars into action

To make this process even easier for you, I’ve collected 7 typical types of content pillars suitable for small businesses. Use these as a starting point to come up with your own pillars. 👇

7 Types of Content Pillars and Examples for your Instagram Strategy

If you’re unsure where to start with defining your content pillars, go through our collection of content pillars below.

Each of these pillars is tied to a goal you want to reach with your social media strategy.

Pick the 3-5 categories that are most important to you right now and come up with one content pillar for each goal.

Goal / StrategyExample Content Pillars
Visibility & ExposureQuick Hacks, Educational Carousels, Inspirational Photography
EngagementFunny Memes, Interactive Games, Weekly Question Formats
Building TrustBehind-the-Scenes, Personal Stories, Video Content
ConnectionFailure Stories, How you started, Introduce the Team, Your Why
(Social) ProofUser-generated Content, Client Success Stories, Testimonials & Reviews
EducationFacts of the Week, Your Topic/Product explained, Infographics
Sales & LeadsFreebie Promotion, New in the Shop, Flash Sales, How to use your products
Examples for content pillars depending on your social media goals

Examples of Social Media Content Pillars

To make all of this more clear, I’ve collected some examples from our Instagram account

See how we create content with our content pillars in real life:

Content Pillar: Share new template drops

Goal: New members for the Template Membership

Content Pillar: Quick Canva Hacks

Goal: Exposure

Content Pillar: Social Media Content Ideas

Goal: Build Trust, Exposure

Content Pillar: Member Success Stories

Goal: Connection, Proof

From our examples you can see that some pillars even pay into multiple of our goals on Instagram, which is a win-win!

Check out our content pillars in the wild and follow us on Instagram

From Strategy to Action: Ideas to use Content Pillars to create better Instagram Content

Now that you have your content pillars defined, it’s time to put them into action and create content that engages your audience and supports your business goals.

Here are some tips on how to use your content pillars to create better Instagram content:

Mind your Mix

Make sure your content mix includes all of your pillars so you’re providing value to your audience across a range of topics. A good rule is to alternate between pillars, so if you post a piece of educational content one day, follow it up with a post that builds trust the next.

If you want more guidance, sign up for the Template Membership, where we provide monthly content guides synced with the content pillars your business needs to grow!

Tell stories

Stories are a powerful way to connect with your audience and create emotional resonance. You’ll see that we have included storytelling in some of the example content pillars above. Use your content pillars to craft stories that speak directly to your audience’s needs and desires.

Use visuals strategically

Instagram is a visual platform, so use visuals to your advantage by creating eye-catching, on-brand content that supports your content pillars. For example, if your pillar has the goal “engagement,” create a visually stunning poll or quiz that encourages your audience to interact with you.

Related: Shop Engagement-Boosting Templates for Instagram

Add value

Always be thinking about how you can add value to your audience’s lives with your content. Your content should educate, inspire, or entertain in some way, so make sure you’re providing value that aligns with your content pillars.


How many content pillars should you have?

Aim to choose at least 3 pillars if you’re just starting out. This is synonymous with focusing on 3 main goals or categories. When you’re confident with expanding your content, you can choose up to 7 pillars. Using more just gets overwhelming and isn’t recommended.

Can I use content pillars also for TikTok, Facebook or LinkedIn?

Yes! All methods described in this post can also be used for other social media channels, including TikTok or Facebook. Content pillars aren’t a strategy solely helpful on Instagram and they will help you structure your content on other platforms as well.

Read on about this topic:

Other Articles you might find helpful:

2 Responses

  1. Great insights! Developing a solid social media strategy is undeniably crucial in today’s digital landscape, and your blog post does an excellent job of breaking down the essential steps to create one. I particularly appreciate the emphasis on understanding the target audience – truly the foundation of any successful strategy.

  2. This is an awesome read. I am indeed grateful for how you curated this with examples for someone to get clarity.
    Thank you

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