Lilly Red Blog using content pillars

What Are Content Pillars for Photographers: The Secret to Never Running Out of Post Ideas

Maybe you’re like us… or how we were when we first started our destination wedding photography business. If you asked us, “what are content pillars?” back then, we’d probably think you were talking about columns on a historical building.

When we first started, we would get an idea for a blog post or an Instagram post and we’d hurry off to write it, get it published, and put it out there in the world. 

But after posting, we’d have trouble coming up with another post for a while. That kept our potential clients in the dark until we’d have a new creative idea to post about! 

We kept up that cycle for a while, knowing it wasn’t the most sustainable option. Does that sound familiar at all? 

Don’t worry if it does! Because we have the solution. We’re talking about content pillars for photographers, including answering the major questions like: 

  • What are content pillars for photographers?
  • Why should you use content pillars?
  • How do you create content pillars for social media or your blog?

So if you’re looking for the best-kept secret for never running out of social media content ideas for your photography business, then keep reading! 

Lilly Red Instagram feed using content pillars to post relevant content for the audience

What are Content Pillars for Photographers? 

First, let’s get down to the basics. What are content pillars for photographers? You may have heard social media gurus talking about them online. But what are they when it comes to your photography business?

Content pillars are broad categories for your photography business that all of your content ideas fit into. 

For example, as luxury destination wedding photographers based in Italy, some of our content pillar are:

  • Destination wedding photography tips for those who want to break into the industry
  • Featured weddings in Lake Como, Italy
  • How to plan destination wedding shoots
  • How to attract and book your ideal clients

Content pillars help you categorize and define your content to make sure everything you post is in line with your brand and your ideal audience.

Use content pillars to make sure you post information, advice, and suggestions that make sense for your audience. 

How Many Content Pillars Should You Have? 

There is no set rule for how many content pillars you should have. It looks different for every photography business. 

For most wedding photographers, having between 3 and 6 content pillars is ideal so you can incorporate all of the major topics you want to talk about with your ideal clients and social media audience. 

Why Should You Use Content Pillars on Social Media? 

Content pillars in social media and marketing content are the key to never running out of post ideas—whether you’re blogging, sending out emails to your list, or posting on Instagram. 

Content pillars create structure when it comes to putting your brand name out there. Taking time to define them and then using them to create content does two things: 

  • It helps you never run out of post ideas! You won’t feel like you’re struggling to come up with new topics. You can simply refer back to your content pillars to brainstorm.
  • It helps your audience build trust in your brand because they’ll know what to expect from you. For example, as a wedding photographer, they’ll primarily want to see that kind of content. So if you happen to pop up one day with a blog post about your new favorite cooking recipe, they may be confused. Having content pillars will help you stay organized and on topic for your ideal clients.
Lilly Red Instagram posts using social media content pillars

Where Do You Use Content Pillars? 

The short answer: everywhere! You can use your content pillars with any kind of marketing tool you use for your destination wedding photography business.

If you have a blog, an email list, or social media accounts, you can implement your content pillars any time you post. 

The great news? You don’t have to have different content pillars per marketing tool. In fact, we recommend that you don’t do that! It’ll just make it more confusing and complicated when you post your content. 

Instead, create content pillars that are usable across all your marketing platforms. Then, create a schedule that allows you to post to all of those platforms. 

For example, your content schedule might look like this: 

  • Starting with a blog post topic idea for photographers that fits within one of your content pillars.
  • Once you publish the blog post, send out an email to your list saying you have a new post on your site. 
  • From there, you can copy and paste a small paragraph of the blog post into an Instagram caption. And you direct your audience to your website to read the rest of the blog post! 

From one single blog post using your content pillars, you’ve marketed your photography business in three different ways!

Lilly Red Blog using content pillars

How to Create Content Pillars for Photography

Now that you know what content pillars are, let’s dive into how to create content pillars for your unique business and audience.

Just remember, the goal of defining your content pillars is to think about the value you want to bring to your ideal clients. 

Follow these 5 steps to create content pillars:

1. Know Who Your Ideal Client Is

First and foremost, you need to be crystal clear on who your ideal client is and what they want to see from you. They’re the ones who ultimately determine what’s valuable and what’s not. And that determines the kind of content you create! 

For example, the ideal Lilly Red Photography couple is a fashionable couple who wants a luxurious, dream wedding in Lake Como.

That means we post guides on how to plan the most unforgettable getaway in Lake Como, and guides on finding fashionable wedding designers. It also means we don’t talk about how to have a wedding on a budget because that won’t resonate with our ideal client. 

Not sure who your ideal client is? Check out our guide on how to find your ideal wedding photography client!

2. Do a Little Bit of Spying On Your Competitors

We’re not advocating for copying your competitors, by any means. You shouldn’t copy your competitors because what works for them may not work for you. 

But, you can use SEO tools like Ubersuggest to spy on your competitors to see what types of content work for their audience. 

The key here is to make sure you’re a direct competitor. If you don’t have similar ideal clients, then they may not have the same values as your ideal clients.

We suggest making a list of your top 3 to 5 competitors, then head to their social media accounts and their websites. Take a look at what they’re posting and what seems to be performing well. Then think about how you can put your own spin on it! 

3. Look at Industry Trends

As we all know, the wedding industry has trends that come and go every season. Just like wedding colors go in and out of style, how brides and grooms consume wedding planning content is trendy, too. 

Stay on top of wedding industry trends by following wedding industry leaders and influencers on social media. They’ll keep you updated on the latest news and hot topics. You might even want to attend webinars, events, or wedding conferences to learn the ins and outs of the industry.

Doing so will help you provide better, valuable content for your ideal couples! 

4. Brainstorm Topic Ideas 

Once you’ve done the first three steps, it’s time to whip out a piece of paper and a pen (or, you know, a blank Google document). 

With your ideal client in mind, your knowledge of what your competitors are already doing, and the current industry trends, you can start brainstorming topic ideas. 

Just write down a list of different kinds of content that you believe will be beneficial to your audience. That might include:

  • Real weddings you’ve photographed
  • Guides on how to plan your wedding day with your photographer
  • Testimonials from past clients
  • Guides on a specific wedding destination you’re familiar with 
  • Guides on wedding day fashion and accessories
What are content pillars? Lilly Red blog posts using content pillars for marketing

5. Categorize Your Topics Into Your Content Pillars

Once you have a list of potential topics, review it and start categorizing them. You’ll more than likely notice that they fit into content pillars like these:

  • Educating your clients on how to prepare for their wedding day
  • Educating your clients on a specific location
  • Building trust with your clients by sharing past clients’ weddings and testimonials
  • Connecting with your clients by sharing more about yourself as a photographer
  • Inspiring your clients by showing them how you see their wedding day as a photographer

Now all that’s left to do is create and share content based on the pillars you’ve identified. And you’ll see, the ideas will keep flowing because you have a guideline to follow and content pillars that reflect who you are, as well as what your audience will find valuable.

Let Your Content Shine

As much as we love photographing weddings, we know that as business owners, that’s only part of the job. The other part? Actually running a business! 

We also know that running a business takes a lot of time and effort. So we’re always looking for ways to keep things streamlined, manageable, and consistent. 

And what are content pillars if not ways to streamline the ideation process and get more content out there, fast and consistently?

Defining content pillars for your photography business is a golden way to never run out of content ideas, stay organized, and stay relevant in your marketing.

Lilly Red Instagram feed

Want a more in-depth look at how to market your photography business using content pillars? 

Join us in Your Ticket to Destination Wedding Photography!