How to create Content Pillars that don’t suck

How to create Content Pillars that don’t suck

Or, how to engage your audience through authentic, organic social media posts

Content pillars, also known as buckets, are key themes you weave into your brand to provide consistency and highlight your brand’s purpose, advantages, aesthetics and tone. Useful in every area of marketing, content pillars are especially relevant on social media where you only get a split second to showcase your brand and the corresponding value you hope to demonstrate to your audience.

Not all industries will have the same content pillars, and not all professionals within any given industry will have buckets that look alike, either. You want your tone to reflect your brand’s personality, and if that brand is you- give the audience a dose of what your life looks like! Authenticity is key, and if organized appropriately, content pillars should make your planning easier rather than more complicated. 

Content Pillars should prioritize at least 3 out of the following 5 buckets:

  1. Promotional
  2. Educational
  3. Community
  4. Entertainment
  5. Engagement

Whether you organize your communications calendar around these specific buckets, or just keep them in mind generally when posting, it’s important to personalize the bucket so the content is organic and authentic to your brand. 

If you’re a retail brand, Educate on your differentiators. Is your product made to order? Do you have lower costs due to a DTC production model? If you’re a realtor- put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Do you want to Engage using polls on Instagram Stories? Maybe this vs that in home trends. Do you Entertain by walking people through listings? Realtors have a never ending opportunity to Educate their audience. Interest rates and preferred lenders are always going to be relevant, so share what you know and keep your audience plugged in. 

Audit, analyze, improve

As you post and begin to have a backlog of content to reference, you can glean insights from your traffic as to which content pillars are performing well and which need tweaking. A social media audit is necessary from time to time to evaluate your audience’s response, especially as your brand grows, it’s important to wrap new followers into the fold and not alienate your original customers. It’s also important to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Adopting best practices and latching on to current trends (Reels, anyone?) communicates to your audience that you are up to speed with your industry and instills trust in your brand. 

Curious how to authentically market your brand using best practices and create organic content pillars that effectively communicate your product/service? We can design a communications strategy for you that takes the guesswork out of marketing your brand and turns on and utilizes the channels your business needs, just ask

The Big Reveal: Fall 2020 OTC Newsletter

The Big Reveal: Fall 2020 OTC Newsletter


It’s been a long… um, year. We hope this finds you and yours well. Like many of you we’ve had our head down helping our clients, becoming homeschool teachers, working on ourselves – you may have noticed we’ve had some work done.

Your Market Watch

You know you can count on us to be watching everything that’s going on out there and give you the deets. Here’s what’s up:

  • The Social Dilemma: Those outside the tech industry are catching wind of the power of social media and the potentially negative effects on our democracy and children. Why is this important? Brands need to be more aware of how they’re talking to their audience, why they’re talking, and messaging that is both socially aware in addition to benefiting the bottom line. Thoughtful marketing is more important now than ever.
  • Rethinking Retail: With the ability to shop in person made more difficult due to the pandemic, many brands are opting for pop-up options for the holidays. Risk is lower with a higher reward. Have you thought about your holiday strategy while in the midst of COVID? Even if physical retail isn’t in the cards this year, there are other ways to break through to your audience.
  • Influencer Backlash: Influencers have been catching some negative attention since COVID hit both from partner brands and their audience. Consumers are fully aware of “pay to play” strategies and weary of becoming clickbait associated with social issues. Strategic partnerships are vital for brands but must be carefully selected with authentic and true partners who value your product and can build a long term relationship.

What We’ve Been Up To:

BigStar: BigStar is an award-winning motion design and graphics studio that is experiencing growth in both talent and project recognition. OTC came on to amplify and define the agency’s brand identity along with expand their reach to new and prospective clients and talent.

  • Brand Identity, Internal and External Messaging
  • Social performance: Organic 20% increase in IG followers, 15K impressions, 7% growth on Twitter and 5% growth on LinkedIn in 5 months
  • Client pitch wins: 2
  • Website Refresh

Lindsay Neuren Group: OTC partnered with leading Austin realtor Lindsay Neuren to amplify the Lindsay Neuren Group brand through a bespoke strategy that focuses on growing their social following on Instagram, developing a robust advertising strategy with print ads and evergreen video content, and strategically crafting brand partnerships with local Austin brands to distinguish and elevate the Lindsay Neuren Group within the crowded realtor space.

  • 15% Social Growth in followers over four months. Ideate content and saw efforts to tailor content to generate sales leads via social saw 1000%+ increase
  • Messaging and tagline creation for Website, Social and Advertising copy
  • Coordinated and creative directed advertisement creation, sourcing agencies for print and video advertising

One Two Collective: Like many clients we work with, 2020 has pushed us to re-evaluate our offerings and ensure that our own marketing strategy makes sense and aligns with the consumer climate we’ve seen shift over the course of the year. We’re still your reliable marketers in residence, we’ve just edited our focus to be what we feel is most relevant to clients today: 

  • Brand Building
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Social Strategy
  • Experiential & Retail Optimization

These core services can easily bloom into neighboring areas, but focusing on these four areas maximizes marketing spend and gives the highest ROI to our customers. Browse our new site and get acquainted. 

OK! Enough about us. How are you? No, for real, you’re being a stranger. Say hello and give us a follow.
Your friends,

We help companies of all sizes scale their marketing capabilities to expand brand reach and engage consumers across all touchpoints. We generate results by customizing consumer experiences through creating 360° marketing strategies from scratch or crafting targeted strategies to supplement an existing plan.

We’re not an agency,
We’re a part of your team.

Reach out to us at to learn more.

Strengthening Your Brand to Thrive in a Flooded Market

Strengthening Your Brand to Thrive in a Flooded Market

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Navigating Uncharted Waters

The events of recent weeks have left brands in a tailspin and future challenges will continue to make themselves apparent. As marketers in residence, we’re tasked with helping our clients create and implement strategies that drive demand and loyalty and in trying times like these, we feel it’s important to drop the curtain and help as many people as we can. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing tips for how to strengthen your brand and stand out in a flooded market place.


Top Level Overview

  • Now that you’ve had a moment to pause and reassess the framework of the situation, it’s time to reallocate your ad spend and strategically focus on the right customers.
  • Rebalance your budget. Focus on growth and efficiency in marketing and R&D. Cut back on non essentials like fixed asset expenses or nice to have functions.
  • Over invest in your current customers and new ways to reach them. Ask them what they need from you and make customer service your top priority. Deploy new ways to reach them outside of social media.
  • Share positive stories and information- tell people where you’re at, show your teams that work tirelessly and get no credit. Give a face to the people in your company so that consumers are more likely to support you.

Next, focus on the brand:

  • Think long term. This is an event that will change the way people think moving forward. You’re focusing on digital/social now but, what is your long term strategy for connecting on a human (or in-person) level?
  • Be creative. Content is critical right now. To cut through the clutter, be empathetic to the situation, but find interesting ways to engage with consumers. Advertising prices drop during times of recession (and hopefully the economy will bounce back quickly) so this gives you a unique opportunity to increase your market share. So now might be the time to invest in a new creative strategy. 
  • This is the perfect time to work on your brand messaging and mission. Spend time focusing on your core offerings. Tragedy and the unknown makes consumers more aware of who they invest in, make sure your messaging is authentic and resonates with your audience.
How can I help?

How can I help?

How to navigate business development via relationship building.

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash
by Carson Hood / Originally published on Linkedin


“How can I help?”

A simple question that punches way above its weight class- it’s where good conversations and projects begin. In business development it’s easy to fall in to the practice of asking for something from your prospect. Move past that awkwardness with a smile and genuine offer to help.

When I present my clients with this simple ask, the response is almost always a sigh of relief wrapped in a chuckle – “where to begin, can you pick up my kid from school and have this cut to my boss all by 7pm?!” A warm opener and a good way to move the conversation forward without putting the onus on your client to give a TED talk on their latest challenge.

Inboxes are a wasteland and dusty post-its cover the flashing light of voicemail notifications in cubicles everywhere. People don’t need more notifications, more things to look at, or more questions. They need some assistance, someone to take a couple of things off their plate and know they’re going to get done and be boss-review-ready.

Luckily I’ve always come from a place of, “how can I help?” I say lucky because it really was a natural reaction I had when beginning my career and not knowing anything about business development, project or account management. Managing a project, new business deal or priority account is a complicated web with lots of lines to read between. What I found I did know, was how to help and mobilize my network to solve any challenges I couldn’t on my own.


Let’s break it down


Be a resource.

Need a photoreal dragon sigil that impresses fans of the biggest show of the last decade? Got it. Heading to New Orleans for a wedding next month? Awesome! My buddy lives there; here’s a great list of things to do from a local’s standpoint. Whatever the ask, be a known go-to resource. It’s not always about being transactional. It’s about helping.

Have confidence in your team.

I thought I was creative until I met and worked with truly creative people. There’s no need to be the smartest person in the room or try and solve someone’s problem if I have someone else that can do it better. When we first began talking with the production team on Free Solo, the focus wasn’t budget and scope. It was – can you help me bring El Capitan to life and help our director realize her vision for this mountain and incredible story of this climbing feat? No, I personally cannot but Josh and our team at BigStar can and they’ll kill it. Let me introduce you, come have a conversation with us, let us put some frames together. I didn’t need to close, I knew I needed them to meet my team and hear our vision.

Offer a solution.

For any number of reasons, not all projects are a fit. However, the word “no” is never in my vocabulary. Being a resource comes from a place of service rather than sales. “Sorry, this project is going to be a tough fit for my team but, have you tried….?” Recently, I received a call from a new client that was in a tough spot. You know the classic triangle – good, fast, cheap? She was staring at it dead center. In short, I recommended a live action approach to a problem she was looking to solve in 3D. She hadn’t thought about it and never dreamed she’d be able to afford it but in reality, she could and although she may not have hit the triangle trifecta, the story she’s telling will be realized in a much less complicated and more highly effective way.

This resource-focused approach has been a fundamental, and enjoyable, element of relationship building for me and the foundation of my career in business development. Challenges come in various forms, states, and valuations but being a trusted resource will always be most relevant. Taking that a step further and being someone you can hit up for a good drinks spot in Manhattan or outdoor activities for your kids while you’re vacationing in Austin adds color to my daily conversations and is something I genuinely enjoy doing.


With that being said, Hi. I’m Carson. How can I help?


Carson Hood is the executive producer at BigStar, the award winning motion graphics and design company as well as the co-founder of One Two Collective, a consumer experience marketing consultancy.