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Content Marketing

Strong Content Production: The Hero, Hub & Hygiene Framework

When it comes to marketing, I’m not a fan of rules, especially when they’re served in a slightly patronising alliterated fashion. However when studying towards my Squared Online qualification I was introduced to Google’s three ‘H’ approach to content marketing, and although initially dubious; I’ve grown to endorse it.

“So what are the three h’s of content marketing and why should I care..?”

Let me break it down for you.

 

Hero Content

Is the crème de la crème of content, ordinarily backed by a lot of budget, not only in it’s production but also in distribution. It’ll involve emotive storytelling, rarely relies on SEO and only works if you truly connect with your audience.

The rule of thumb is that the larger the business, the more successful the hero content. This is evident when looking at the go-to examples that are used in almost every marketing conference today (y’know… Coke, Oreo, Red Bull). But don’t let the corporate conglomerates put you off, hero content is viable for any business, whether you’re an international enterprise or an SME. Hero content could be your businesses ‘in’ to gaining the brand equity it deserves.

There are no set parameters for creating hero content, it’s unique and bespoke by nature. And for that reason I can’t give you a step by step guide on how to produce it, but here’s two examples that prove when done well; it can really pack a punch.

The ‘Like a girl’ campaign from Always. This content tugs at the audiences heart strings, showing how young girls don’t connect the phrase ‘Like a girl’ to being pathetic, unlike their adult counterparts. I’m by no means the target demographic for Always but this gave me goosebumps… 

Dollar shave club – this now $615 million California based business gained its 2 million subscribers from this viral video in 2012. This shows the power of hero content and how a small start up can blossom with a solid business model and smart (but not necessarily costly) content production.

 

Hub Content

The problem with hero content is that once it’s been seen, shared, and given a thumbs up – it quickly becomes irrelevant. In order to retain the exposure that hero content brings, you need to continuously engage with your audience and turn them into brand advocates – enter hub Content.

Hub content should be evergreen, continuously serve a purpose and should incentivise your audience, giving them a reason to come back. It’s success is measured by the amount of engagement it generates and although SEO optimisation is important for hub content – it’s not the be all and end all.

One example of a brand producing excellent Hub content is Lowe’s hardware store in the US. They’ve taken to Vine and turned a somewhat ambiguous social platform into an excellent hub content distribution channel. Their six second home improvement and maintenance tutorials are not only interesting to watch (as they offer something different in comparison to the average viner), but they’re also very useful! Combined with a catchy hashtag (#LowesFixinSix), they’re one brand doing hub content right.

 

Buffer are another example of providing great hub content. This report provides readers with advice on how to increase engagement on social and also offers up their own data to prove the recommended strategy. A dreamy concoction for any social enthusiasts and definitely something worth sharing…

Buffer’s Social Media Marketing Report March 2015

 

Hygiene Content

The content that’s optimised to perfection, that’s there to serve your audience and provides them with the answers to the questions they’re searching for. When creating hygiene content it’s important to identify your key demographic, understand what they’re searching for and then align it with your brand’s industry.

This could simply be some reassurance from other consumers by asking your current customers to post product reviews online, here’s an example from Sony.

Or it could be something a bit more creative like on-the-rise hair product brand, Mister Pompadour who’ve affiliated themselves with a young YouTuber named Joe. Joe’s not only a great face for the brand (being their core demographic) but by approaching him, they’ve been able to piggyback off of his popularity and produce great how-to hairstyle tutorials.

Hopefully you can see that it’s not just the major brands that have the ability to produce strong content. The marketing scene is flooded with big budget examples, but rest assured there’s most certainly room for your business. If you want some content marketing advice, feel free to email me at chris@christhewriter.co.uk or tweet me @WriterChrisUK.

-Chris