Hero, Hub, Help: Get Started with a Video Content Marketing Strategy

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  • 1/15/2019

    It’s no secret that video can be an invaluable marketing tool for any size brand. In fact, eMarketer predicts that U.S. social network video ad revenues will surpass $11 billion in 2020, more than doubling that of 2017. 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.

    Introducing the Hero, Hub, Help content framework

    We didn’t invent it and we can’t seem to track down exactly who did, but we do know that Google is strongly pusing this concept for YouTube programming. And for good reason—it makes sense! 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

    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 be TV commercials, product videos, corporate films and recruiting content. Often you’ll want to “push” this content out to your audience through newsletters, social media or even paid media.

    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 (Or COPE if you’ve hung around us long enough to know that one) for other hub and help content.

     

    Hub

    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” 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 and educated with consistently fresh content. Podcasts, vlogs, behind the scenes and branded content are all examples of hub content.

    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

    This 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 they are looking for like how-to videos, tutorials, tips, testimonials and product demos. By producing this helpful content, you’re showing customers that their experience matters and you have the expertise to keep them coming back for future business. This is content that you “set and forget.”

    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 our client, 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.

    Putting it into practice

    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.

    Need help making sense of this? thunder::tech’s experienced team of content strategists is here to help with the support of thirtysix::thirtyfive, our in-house production studio, just give us a call!
    About the author::Matt Stevens is the Managing Producer of thirtysix::thirtyfive, thunder::tech's in-house production studio. He supports a team that brings brands to life with engaging video, animation and other multimedia content production. As a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer & NASM Certified Personal Trainer, he also whips our staff into shape as our in-house fitness trainer.
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