One of the biggest challenges in developing a content marketing strategy is coming up with helpful, engaging, and evergreen content for your audience.
It may be easy to come up with a few ideas at the beginning of your content marketing journey, but as you travel along, it can become increasingly difficult to create, plan and implement a fully-fledged strategy - hoping that along the way, one of your articles or videos will go viral.
Of course, as we’ve discussed in other posts, there is no recipe or quick fix to make a video go viral, on the contrary, each time a piece of content creates a buzz, it gets studied, to see if there’s anything in particular that made it super successful.
What can one do?
Well, the secret of a successful content marketing strategy is simple, it’s just a matter of patience and hard work. Not only that, but you may also need a plan.
In this post, we’re going to share with you one of the most simple, yet highly effective approaches to content creation, the hero, hub, and help approach.
In a nutshell, the help, hub, and hero approach allows you to split content creation into three content types, which are like a communication “pyramid”. The base of the pyramid is your help content, designed to inform and educate your audience, the hub is the body of your strategy, designed to help your audience turn into a community, and the hero is the top pinnacle designed to expand the reach of your brand outside of its starting niche.
Just read on.
In this post, we’re going to break down each section to clarify what this strategy entails at every step of the way.
With no further ado, let’s dive into the topic.
#1 Help Content
This is your ”bread and butter” content. It relates to creating content that focuses on helping your intended audience by providing informative, helpful articles, videos, podcasts, etc.
The basic idea here is that if you’re trying to build an audience, you can’t start from the most glamorous content ideas, it’s usually best to build up a foundation of evergreen, information-based content that is focused on the queries and searches you know your audience is typing into Youtube or Google every day.
The focus is not your brand, the focus is not a sale, the focus is only on your customers and your attempt at serving them by sharing useful information.
Through this content typology, you’ll be able to connect your brand to its intended public and increase awareness of your brand or platform.
- Quick Tip. The trick to conducting this step of the strategy correctly is to accurately chart the types of questions and queries that relate to your customer and to the authority\experitise your brand is trying to build.
Once you’ve done this, extensively, then you can build upon it and go to the next step in the pyramid, the hub section.
#2 Hub Content
Now that you’ve attracted an audience with your help content, it’s time to work on getting them to hang around by creating Hub content.
Hub content is designed to retain your audience by developing content that keeps them engaged and transforms a passer-by into an engaged community member.
By looking at the Help content that drives the most traffic you can build new article series, video formats of podcast episodes to double down on what works the most.
- Quick tip. The most important thing to take into account, as you build your hub content is consistency. The point of this section of your content pyramid is to help your users build a habit and get into patterns of online or offline behavior that revolve around your site. By being consistent with your publishing you’re helping your users create a community that revolves around a weekly appointment, like a video release, or a newsletter delivery.
If you’ve built a strong help foundation and some engaging hub content, now you can “reach for the stars” with some hero content.
#3 Hero Content
Hero content is content created with the intent of broadening your audience, by creating content which in this case is not connected to a particular niche, but is designed to broaden your viewership.
Hero content is your viral video that goes beyond your traditional audience and reaches a new, massive audience. As the pyramid format suggests, the hero content is the pinnacle of your strategy, but it can’t take up too much of your content production, as it needs to be researched and executed at a scale and quality which may be above your everyday standard.
- Quick tip. Hero content needs to be data-driven, in this sense, the broader the audience you have already established through your help and hub content, the better quality information you can use to design a great hero content piece.
Great! Now that we’ve covered all three steps of our strategy, let’s move on to our conclusive remarks.
There you have it! In this post, we’ve looked at the principles of the Hero, Hub, and Help Approach, which is a very useful and flexible strategy to avoid the “churn and burn” approach to content creation.
If you’d like to read more on this topic, here’s a very relevant book on advertising and digital communication that can help you dive into the subject further: Ogilvy on Advertising in the Digital Age
Moreover, don’t hesitate to explore our blog to find a wealth of free content on content marketing for creative entrepreneurs. Enjoy!
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