The hero, hub, help content strategy is a framework that brands can use to create effective content to engage their potential customers.
Today, in this digital first world, successful brands build a loyal following online through releasing a variety of content on a regular basis across an array of channels.
The days where brands could just periodically publish an advertisement about their product or service are long gone.
However, fact is, content marketing is getting harder and harder by the day. Business owners and marketing teams alike are simply running out of fresh, original ideas to reach, attract and engage their potential customers.
If you feel a bit lost, confused or don’t know where to start in building your own content marketing ideas don’t worry. Below I answer the question; what is the hero, hub, help content strategy? Which will make planning, creating and executing your own effective content marketing strategy easy like a Sunday morning.
The hub, help, hero content strategy explained
The hero, hub, help model is a three tiered content approach. It helps segment content to improve its effectiveness.
The picture below shows a pyramid with three core layers.
Hero content – This content is designed to be seen by as many of your potential customers as possible.
Hub content – This content is designed to keep potential customers who have shown an interest in your product or service engaged. We’ll explain why this is so important below.
Help content (sometimes referred to as ‘hygiene’ content) – This content is designed to pull users in through organic search.
Why use the hero, hub, help content strategy?
We’ve all heard of YouTubers by now. We either do or we have a child or nephew that watches their favourite YouTuber on a regular basis.
Successful YouTubers have been implementing the hero, hub, help content strategy for years. They’ve built up an audience, some of them in the millions, that keeps coming back and engaging with their channel by posting new content on a regular and consistent basis. Their content isn’t a piece that may or may not be watched, it’s something that their audience look forward to and return to.
Imagine if your brand could build a loyal following who when they were ready to buy turned to you.
What is hero content?
Hero content is go big or go home content. It’s bold, it shouts from the rooftops and grabs your audience’s attention. It’s designed to drive mass brand awareness by reaching as many of your potential customers as possible and aims to motivate them to take the next step.
An iconic example of hero content would be Red Bull’s Supersonic Freefall marketing campaign.
Whilst we don’t expect the typical small to medium business, or many large businesses in fact, to be able to fork out $30 million on one marketing campaign it does show what hero content is all about.
To date, this marketing stunt accumulated over 47 million views. It is reported that Red Bull’s $30 million spend increased U.S sales by 7% which equates to a $500 million increase in the first 6 months following the event.
What is hub content?
The purpose of hub content is to grow and keep your audience engaged and coming back. YouTube says this content should be regularly published and should aim to get people to subscribe, like, comment and follow.
Earlier I said I would explain why keeping your audience engaged is so important, here’s why. We live in a world where markets are saturated and we have more choice than ever before.
To buy a washing machine 30 years ago you’d probably go to one shop and buy one. Now we have Amazon, AO.com, Currys, Euronics and that’s just naming a few.
Google reports that people are taking 9 days longer on average to make a buying decision in 2019 compared with 2015.
Ultimately, if you’re not keeping your potential customers engaged long enough for them to buy, your competition will.
A great example of hub content can be seen with Blendtec’s Will It Blend series. Blendtec makes and sells blenders. One major consumer fear is that blenders won’t blend the hard stuff and seem to always burn a motor out.
Blendtec created its series Will It Blend where they blended (I don’t think I’ve ever said blend as much in my life) bricks, phones, crowbars, golf balls and more to overcome consumers’ fears and show them that their blenders would blend anything.
Here’s Blendtec’s episode where they blend an iPad which got 19 millions views
What is help content?
Help content is designed to catch users searching for key terms related to your brand, product or service.
For example, a few months back my wife was looking for a new car. She wants something along the lines of a Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage.
We’ve got a baby on the way, 2 dogs and love camping.
Whenever she has a question such as how many miles per gallon does x, y and z get or which boot is bigger, she turns to Google.
Almost every time Motorpoint would pop up in the search results with a really helpful and valuable blog comparing various cars. Low and behold when it came to buying one, we went to Motorpoint and bought one.
That’s the power of highly optimised help content. Help content does what it says on the tin, it helps potential customers reach their buying decision.
There’s various white papers and research on how much of the buying journey is done online before speaking to a salesperson but all report different figures from 50% to 70% so I won’t quote any particularly. However, think of your own experience when you last bought something significant. Did you just go and speak to the salesperson straight away? Or did you do all of your research at home, online? And then go into the shop to buy?
How effective is the hero, hub, help content strategy?
Since its creation in 2014 the hero, hub, help content model has proved very effective with the likes of Red Bull, Nike, Adidas and Gillette adopting the approach and implementing it into their own video marketing strategies.
Here at Proper Video, we’ve helped a range of clients plan, build and execute their own help, hub, hero content marketing strategies which has resulted in ranking better on search results, their websites performing better and ultimately, increasing the amount of inbound leads they get. So we’ve seen first hand just how effective the help, hub, hero content strategy can be.
To compare, let’s take a look at Dollar Shave Club (DSC) and their competitor Gillette.
DSC burst onto the scene in 2012 with a hilarious video which went viral. Since then it has had over 27 million views.
This viral video is key to Dollar Shave Clubs success however, for every video that goes viral there are thousands of videos designed to go viral that end up just clogging up the servers.
Their competitor Gillette however, didn’t focus on one viral sensation. Instead they focused on creating a range of hub and help content aimed at building a long-term community.
The result is that whilst DSC’s viral video is undeniably gold, Gillette has four times more subscribers and three times more views overall than DSC.
Examples of hero content
I mean, who hasn’t seen Jean-Claude Van Dammes epic split between two Volvo trucks reversing? This is a great example of a hero video which racked up over 100 million views.
Examples of hub content
Red Bull Who is JOB
An example of hub content Red Bull make is their series Who Is JOB?
Jamie O’Brien is a pro surfer from Hawaii, Red Bull created a series which followed him and his crew of friends ‘who are down for whatever.’
This series had tens of millions of views and kept millions of surfers coming back to their channel and interacting with Red Bull as a brand.
Carwow knows how to keep their petrolhead community engaged and coming back for more. Drag races, in-depth reviews and comparisons have earned the channel nearly 7 million subscribers and hundreds of millions of views across all of their videos.
Examples of help content
The home of DIY, B&Q, offers a great example of help content. The entire UK knows that if you want to paint a room, tile your bathroom or do something in the garden B&Q will probably have what you need. However, some of us DIY’ers don’t exactly know how to do what we want to do. B&Q’s YouTube channel is full of helpful how-to videos showing DIY’ers how to do things.
iKamper’s YouTubechannel is full of videos that answer the logical questions any potential customer will have. such as, is the iKamper easier to put up than a traditional tent? Will it fit on my car? iKamper made a range of videos like ‘Skycamp Canopy Setup and Take Down’, these videos helped potential customers overcome their fears about buying their product.
Currently, brands are far too focused on every piece of content being hero content however, if you look at every successful creator, their channel is defined by hub and help content and our examples show that this results in more effective content.
The model allows for plenty of room for brands to promote themselves, their product and services without coming across to consumers as solely self-serving which in this day in age, puts consumers off.
Just throwing money at video and hoping the next one goes viral isn’t a sustainable approach. Instead, brands need to grow a channel on a solid foundation of hero, hub and help content to grow their audience, build a community which ultimately leads to better commercial results.