Choosing Content Pillars for your Athletic Program
In our last blog, we discussed planning out a content strategy for a high school athletic department. A big part of that is content pillars.
For a refresher, a content pillar is a subset of topics or themes which create the foundation for your overall content strategy.
If you didn't get a chance to check out the blog mentioned above, give it a read before reading this one! Here's a link
How to Choose your Pillars
So - how can you choose your own program's content pillars?
The first thing to remember is that there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Chances are, if you are already posting regularly on social media, you already have pillars, you just haven’t thought of them in this way.
First step is to take a look at your last month’s collection of posts and take note of:
1.) What you posted most often
2.) The posts that have had the most success - in terms of likes, views, etc.
Choose your successful examples and frame your content pillars around them!
If you’re not posting regularly, or you just want a fresh start, you’ll want to consider two things:
1.) The audiences you are looking to target
2.) Your program’s goals for social media
Once you have this information, you can create pillars that serve the specific demographic you are looking to engage and your program’s goals.
One of your goals may be to engage parents in order to keep them more informed. Therefore, one of your pillars could be: Keeping Parents Informed
The associated content could then focus on sharing game day information, score updates, and program announcements. Examples below:
Taken from Ankeny Centennial HS in Iowa (@Jaguars_AD on Twitter)
Next Steps / Staying Organized
Once you’ve figured you’re pillars out, you’ll be able to create a content plan. However, we know most programs have limited time and resources. To help, we have a few recommendations:
1. Create branded templates for posts that are related to your content pillars
This will allow you to save all of your branding (logo, colors, etc.) on the templates and not have to re-make your visual content from scratch each time. As a result, when it’s time to post, all you have to do is input basic info (like the score and opponent) and then you can share to social right away!
2. Create a content calendar
A content calendar is a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish upcoming content. You can use Google Sheets for this, or a platform like HootSuite. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as it works for you. Content pillars will help solidify your calendar’s structure, as you’ll know, for example, you'll post an Athlete of the Week every Wednesday.
3. Schedule posts
Sometimes, you’ll have to post on the fly, but for a significant amount of your content, you’ll be able to schedule it out ahead of time. You can use a platform like HootSuite or Gipper - to schedule content to post, automatically, to your various social accounts. This will save you time and ensure you’ll better engage your stakeholders with consistent content.
If you’re needing inspiration for pillar ideas or help with creating branded templates, a platform like Gipper can be a major help! It’s built for resource-limited athletic departments, and will enable you to create branded visual content for your program’s social accounts - in seconds, on any device, and without needing design experience.
Hope this helps and thanks so much for reading!
Jack Zamore is the Chief Marketing Officer at Gipper. Gipper is a platform that helps high school athletic departments create professional sports graphics for social media - in seconds, on any device, and without needing any design experience.
Learn more @ gogipper.com