It’s no secret that video can be an invaluable marketing tool for any size brand. In fact, 86% of businesses use video in their marketing efforts and 87% report that video marketing provides a positive ROI.
As your brand grows its video library, it’s important to put some strategy behind what you’re doing and how you’re using each piece of content.
We didn’t invent it and we can’t seem to track down exactly who did, but we do know that Google is strongly pushing this concept for YouTube programming. The Hero, Hub, Help Content Framework (3H Framework for short) is a video content framework designed to help you categorize and prioritize the various levels of content a business can produce. Hero content is the biggest and broadest, Hub content helps bring things together and can be substantial, and Help content is smaller in scale but helps answer specific client questions.
To help illustrate the value of the “3H Framework” we’ll refer to one of our clients, PSS. They are a manufacturer and distributor of traffic control and work zone safety products, and have heavily leveraged video as part of their marketing strategy.
Hero content is typically centered around a major “tentpole” event such as a product launch, campaign or trade show. This is the star content that usually takes longer to produce and has a higher production value. Some examples of this would include::
This style of content is bold and clearly demonstrates a higher level of investment. Companies may get creative, they may attempt to be funny, and they are always looking to put their best foot forward. For this reason hero videos are commonly made with the production expertise of professional videographers and marketing agencies.
After producing a piece of Hero content, businesses will promote these and ensure they are seen across many major marketing channels.
Good hero content is strong and capable of providing a lasting first impression on your audience. It can be bold, humorous, intriguing, inspiring, educational, or all of the above. For this reason, Hero content more than any other form of content needs to express your company values, and to do so clearly. It's important to come off authentic and to tell your brand's story.
An example of this is this PSS LaneGard product video we created for them. This was a bigger production focused on launching and promoting this product. It was used in many places and some of the footage was even re-used for other hub and help content.
Ideally, hub content is created on a regular basis and released at a set time. For example, thunder::tech releases a podcast episode every other Thursday as part of our “hub content” strategy. The purpose of this type of content is to keep customers engaged. It may not necessarily be something prospects are actively seeking or something we’d put a big push behind, but it keeps the brand top of mind and keeps the audience entertained with consistently fresh educational content. Examples can include::
For PSS, they had the opportunity to show one of their products being tested in a real-life workzone. This was essentially a recap video that proved that the product worked. It was a nice piece to put on their channels but there wasn’t a strong push to it like there was for the launch of the product.
Help content is evergreen content that customers are seeking out, aka “pull” content. As the name suggests, it’s there to help your customers. It’s content that your customers are routinely looking for, and provides an opportunity for your business to provide a helping hand. Examples include::
A good example of this is Gillette's how to shave videos. There’s always going to be new shavers seeking out that information, and the content isn’t going to become out of date anytime soon.
For PSS, we produced a series of training videos (simple help content) for PSS that are being used on a private learning management system accessible to their customers who can use the videos to provide helpful tips and train new employees on the use of PSS’s products.
To start, look at your existing content and identify which of the three categories each piece falls under. If it’s on a YouTube channel, perhaps organize it into playlists such as “podcasts” or “how to videos” to make it easier to find, but don’t forget to think about the SEO value of these titles! If it lives on your website, make sure content is in the right spot for the user journey you’ve created. Then consider if there’s any way you can better use that existing content. Find an older piece of content that’s still relevant and link or embed the new video, or share it in a newsletter or social media post. It’s a good excuse to dig out all types of content and put it in front of your audience again.
Once you’ve done an audit of existing content, figure out where you’re lacking and start planning new content to produce. Not everything has to be high production “hero” content—nor should it. Typically hero content will be the highest cost/highest production while hub and help fall below, but not always. We’ve seen some highly produced help videos and low budget (but engaging and effective) hero videos. Invest most in what you think will benefit your customers and your brand the most then find simple, lower cost, ways to satisfy other needs.
If you’re specifically trying to grow an audience on a YouTube channel, know that part of their search algorithm is looking at the frequency and regularity that you’re posting. So if you’re getting a good number of views on your individual videos but you’re only posting once a month because it takes too much time to create that one piece of content, you might be missing out on search rankings because your frequency of posting is too infrequent or irregular.
Jason Therrien is the president of thunder::tech. He is a fan of entrepreneurs and trailblazers, a proud dad and he liked scotch before Mad Men.
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