Content Pillars for Instagram - Course Creator Community

Content Pillars for Instagram

If you’ve landed on this blog then I’m pretty confident you know what content pillars for Instagram are… 

However, if you’re unsure, let me give you a quick breakdown of what content pillars for Instagram are and how to use them… 

Now there are 1,000,000 tips, tricks and hacks out there on how to grow your Instagram…

Some of them are really good… Like Instagram Lives, Join Lives, Collaborations, Appropriate Hashtags, Reels, Stories… etc etc

Some of them are not so good… e.g. buying following, follow/unfollow, BOTS, engagement Pods… etc etc

But either way… none of these strategies really matter unless you have a consistent posting strategy…

Every single legitimate Instagram expert will tell you exactly the same… 

Start with consistently posting good content and then all the other tips, tricks and hacks are like the icing on top to make sure that more Instagram users see this content! 

And this is where it gets a little tricky.. 

Coming up with content can be tough… it’s time-consuming… it takes mental energy… and it can feel like you’re just repeating yourself and saying the same thing over and over again… 

Well, that’s how I used to feel anyway… Until I discovered Content Pillars for Instagram 🙂 

The specific content pillar strategy  I like to use for Instagram is the “12 x 3”

I set this up about four years ago… and it was the best decision I ever made! 

I now spend pretty much ZERO time and mental energy coming up ideas/content for Instagram! 

Here’s a Simplified version 

Come up with 12 ‘broad categories’ (also known as “Content Pillars” for your content) 

E.g. if you’re in the social media space your 12 content pillars maybe Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Podcasts, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, SEO, Email, Website, and Blogging 

E.g. if you’re in the fitness space your 12 categories may be Biceps, Triceps, Abs, Chest, Lats, Rhomboids, Hamstrings, Quads, Glutes, Calves, Pelvic Floor, Lower Back

Once you have your 12 ‘Content Pillars’ you then pick 3 ‘specific topics’ within that ‘Content Pillar’’ that you could write a piece of content about!

E.g. If you’re in the social media space and your Content Pillar is “Instagram” your 3 ‘specific topics’ could be

Topic 1: Instagram Reels

Topic 2: Instagram Stories

Topic 3: The Feed

E.g. if you’re in the fitness space and your Content Pillar is “Biceps” your 3 specific topics could be 

Topic 1: Bicep Workout 1

Topic 2: Bicep Workout 2

Topic 3: Bicep Workout 3

This then gives you 12 weeks’ worth of content (3 posts a week for 12 weeks) on autopilot! You would then just repeat the same content every 12 weeks. You’d only be repeating the same posts 4 times a year – your followers wouldn’t even realise and ideally, you’d have a whole new set of followers in 12 weeks anyway who had never seen the post before! 

And… chances are you’re going to be adding other posts, lives, stories etc during the 12 weeks so your content won’t be EXACTLY the same!

This also works if you want to get more niche too… Let’s say your niche is Instagram! 

Your 12 ‘Content Pillars’ could be Reels, Stories, The Feed, IGTV, IG Lives, IG Joint Lives, Collaborations, Story Take Overs, Hashtags, Check-Ins, Instagram Ads, Paid Shout Outs and Influencers. 

And then your specific topic is Reels 

Topic 1: How to come up with ideas for Reels

Topic 2: How to add text to a Reel

Topic 3: How to select the best music for your Reel

The biggest piece of advance I can give here is don’t create all this content at once! For now, just come up with the 12 ‘content pillars’ and just stay one week ahead! 

So this week, all you need to do is create your content for next week. And then next week just create your content for the week after. This way you’re only creating one week’s worth of content at a time. After the 12 weeks is over, then you can rinse and repeat 🙂

The “A / B” Method 

With the “12:3” Content Pillar Strategy mentioned above – you’ll only be repeating your Instagram content once every 12 weeks or approximately four times a year which is fine… 

However, there’s a way we can get this down to repeating only TWICE a year… without doing a whole heap more work… 

This is called the “A / B Content Pillar Method”

This basically means for each ‘Content Pillar’ come up with 3 “A Topics” and 3 “B Topics” 

Let’s use one of the examples above…

Niche: Social Media Space

Content Pillar: Instagram 

3 x “A Specific Topics”

Topic 1: Instagram Reels

Topic 2: Instagram Stories

Topic 3: The Instagram Feed

3 x “B Specific Topics”

Topic 1: Instagram Hashtags

Topic 2: Instagram Lives

Topic 3: IGTV 

So in 12 weeks’ time instead of repeating the EXACT same content… You’re still posting about Instagram… Just different ‘specific topics’ regarding Instagram… 

If you use the A / B Method – you’ll only be repeating the same content TWICE A YEAR! 

There’s no way your followers will notice this… and if they do – they probably need to hear the same content again! AND… Ideally, in 6 months’ time, you’ve got a whole new heap of followers! 


Content Pillars for Instagram

Now I’m a huge fan of Russell Brunson, I personally think he is one of the best internet marketers in the world and one of my favourite books when it comes to Internet marketing is Russell’s book “Traffic Secrets”. In this book, there’s a specific chapter on how to use Instagram called “Instagram Traffic Secrets”. 

Russell uses a strategy called the “JK5” (which he learned from Instagram expert Jenna Kutcher). Which is similar to “12 x 3”. This strategy basically involves choosing 5 ‘content pillars’. Russell chose family, funnels, faith, entrepreneurship, and personal development. Jenna chose marriage, body positivity, photography, fashion, and travel. 

Now there’s a key difference here… As you can see in both Russell’s and Jenna’s examples, they haven’t just chosen to post about ‘work’… Russell chose ‘family’ and ‘faith’ as two of his content pillars which are completely different from ‘funnels’ and ‘entrepreneurship’. The reason for this gives your Instagram / brand more personality and makes it more well-rounded. 

What Russell recommends in the book is creating ‘folders’ on your phone based on your content pillars. For example, Russell would have folders on his phone for family, funnels, faith, entrepreneurship and personal development. Russel would go through his life day and day and take a few photos of what he’s up too and immediately save them to their appropriate folders. That way when it’s time to post, he doesn’t need to think too much about finding a photo, he can just open the folder, choose the best photo that matches what he’s thinking about, and goes from there.


If you can get your content pillars for Instagram right, it just makes life so much easier 🙂 

and you’re using the ‘12 x 3’ content pillar system – the first 12 weeks are the hardest, then it’s smooth sailing from there!

So if you’re using the ‘A / B content pillar method’ – the first 12 weeks are still the hardest, the next 12 weeks are a little bit of work but a lot easier than the first, and then it’s smooth sailing from there 🙂 

Feel free to browse related topics

How sell more online courses.. Using Instagram with Sue B. Zimmerman

How to use Instagram effectively to grow your list and sell more courses

How to use Instagram to make more online course sales… without being sales-y with Steph Pye

You can also check this FREE COURSE:  How to Create an Online Course… In Less than 48 Hours… Even if you suck at tech!

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Jono Petrohilos

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