Companies used to rely on traditional TV and print advertising to put their brand out there, but this is no longer a feasible strategy on its own now because of the huge change in the business landscape.
In this post, Evelyn Timson of Bristol and London based Aspect Film & Video, examines the Help Hub Hero approach to content strategy, a three-tiered method that’s well-adapted to the more complex tastes of today’s audience.
The Help Hub Hero Model of Content
14 new users are added to social media every second and 400 hours worth of videos are uploaded to Youtube every minute. The internet is labyrinthine, with ever-growing platforms and brands constantly competing to get even a few seconds of a person’s attention. Given the sheer volume of content produced worldwide daily, strategy and foresight are essential if your brand is to stand out.
Viewers have become more discriminating in what they watch. The challenge for any brand is to hold their interest and gain their loyalty through an informed branded content strategy built around adding value, educating and/or entertaining viewers, whilst always reflecting your brand values and image.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through the Help (or Hygiene) Hub Hero model—a term coined by Youtube for creating successful video channels. The scope of help, hub, hero goes well beyond video, expanding to content marketing in any media. The concept itself is rooted in print magazines, which traditionally run features, news or user-generated content (ie letters to the editor).
Its basic idea is to have three kinds of content, each with a different purpose. Hero content is for attracting widespread attention and making a huge splash, similar to old-school TV advertising. This is supported by help and hub content, which are released more frequently to build a strong subscriber base over time.
On a surface level, hero content seems to generate the most impact, but help and hub do much of the heavy lifting long-term. These three build on each other, resulting in a positive feedback loop where current subscribers promote your content on their own.
Hero content is meant to gain as much exposure as possible and to evoke strong emotion through storytelling. It’s where you go big, aiming for virality such that your brand comes to the forefront of people’s attention. Out of the three kinds of content, this has the biggest production value, appearing more professional-looking and polished and requiring careful planning and execution.
The frequency is typically only once or twice per year, in conjunction with tentpole events such as anniversaries or product launches. Successful hero content casts a wide net and gets people talking about your brand, even though they may not have heard of it before. Note, however, that its impact comes in a huge burst—massive, but only lasting a short while.
In contrast, hub content follows a regular schedule, providing engaging content that’s targeted towards people who’ve already subscribed to your brand. While hub content doesn’t aim to earn as many views as hero content, it forms the basis of your brand-building campaign and keeps subscribers interested and enthusiastic. Aside from enticing viewers to check in often, hub content gradually turns subscribers into brand ambassadors who share your content and vouch for your brand.
The focus should be on the passions of your target audience, and all content should be imbued with your brand’s voice without promoting it outright. As push content, it’s distributed through social media networks, mailing lists, and Youtube channels, so the larger your community, the more potent it becomes.
Help content is designed around the questions and problems of your target audience, offering practical guidance and giving your brand an authoritative voice. Categorized as pull content, it mainly builds an audience by being discoverable on Youtube and other search engines. Well-made help content thus draws on both SEO optimization and deep knowledge of the target audience. It should go through a proper SEO process, catching the top queries, but beyond that, it should also be based on what your target audience is the most curious about.
While hub content caters primarily to existing subscribers, help content seeks to pull in people who may not be familiar with your brand yet. It’s meant to be evergreen and usable, and common formats include FAQs and how-to guides.
One reason why Help Hub Hero work as an overall approach is that it acknowledges that viewers are at different steps of the customer journey and one kind of content won’t necessarily work for everyone. Segmenting content in this way does require more thought and effort. Most of all though, it requires a joined up and comprehensive branded content strategy.
Collaboration among different members of the marketing team is also crucial since social media, analytics, and content production should work seamlessly together. Nevertheless, Help Hub Hero offers plenty of leeway to experiment and to try again. Done right, it maintains movement through the marketing funnel and adapts well to the changing preferences of consumers.