Why it pays to get your hub content right

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Hub content does the hard work within any content strategy. / Image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

By the time you’ve finished reading this two-minute piece, 800 more videos will have been uploaded to YouTube. Indeed, videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021, according to Cisco.

So it’s getting harder for marketers to stand out in a sea of content which is rising all the time. They need to, though: video results in 66% more leads per year and generates a 54% uplift in brand awareness.

But how do marketers grab their consumers before they drown?

Thinking like a publisher and following YouTube’s famous ‘Hero, Hub, Help’ video content strategy is a good start point. ‘Hero’ content is attention-grabbing, the beacon that draws audiences in, while ‘Hub’ and ‘Help’ videos keep them coming back for more.

And it’s the Hub part of the strategy that is arguably the real hero of the piece. Done correctly, Hub content is harder working, more enduring and reaps more long-term rewards. Hub content is the brand podcast, event and video that audiences value and sign up for which is episodic and pushed out over time. It builds a relationship, entwining consumers with a brand’s values long after the Hero content has entranced them, then moved on.

But what are the challenges in creating Hub content that generates loyalty and not just likes?

Audiences (and their metrics) keep changing

Of course every decent marketer starts off with the audience data which tells them who to target, how, when and where. But many then stick to that dataset without realising how quickly their audience will shift and change its needs and likes. Marketers need to keep checking the same format and content resonates (via views, website visits, sales, shares, likes, comments) throughout the campaign.

Hub content needs to be given time

Marketers need to commit to Hub content: it’s not about a quick spike and it won’t grow a consumer base overnight. The faith needed in that longer-term plan can be hard - and even nerve-wracking sometimes - when you need to see quick results. But that long-term approach is almost more important than what budget you have available. Whether it’s a smaller podcast campaign or a full blown video series, the content still needs time to see if it hooks, sticks with and grows an audience. And marketers need to be flexible and test what works and what doesn’t, over time.

Our agency’s Steps to Investing for Janus Henderson work is a good example of this need for a long term approach, with a YouTube channel releasing ‘demystified’ weekly, actionable advice for people that want to learn about investing.

Audiences need to give permission for your subject matter

Gone are the days when marketers worked just to persuade consumers to buy. Now, our audiences demand authentic experiences which allow them to develop a personal relationship with a brand. They’ll only do that if the Hub content is based on a subject matter which feels credible and authentic to that brand. And so Red Bull’s recent Dance Connect hub content, twice-weekly online street dance lessons with pro-teachers, is a natural extension of the brand’s energy values. As is Rihanna’s Tutorial Tuesday for her Fenty beauty brand, which regularly pulls in over 1 m views each week.

But brands who stray into territory that doesn’t ripple from their core values will soon find that they’ll turn consumers off.

Hub content is such a Holy Grail for brands that we’ll be discussing how to get it right for budgets of all sizes at our next Insight Breakfast at the Charlotte Street Hotel on 14 May. Red Bull’s Head of programming and audience development, Tom Reding, will also be talking through his brand’s award-winning, best practice approach.

With Forbes reporting that viewers retain 95% of a message that they watch compared to 10% when they read, wouldn’t you like to hone your Hub?

David Hunstone is CEO and director of content for insight-led video strategy and production agency Hub

Hub will be holding the third in its series of breakfast briefing events on how to use video to improve businesses communications strategy on Tuesday 14 May, 830-10am, Charlotte Street Hotel, London W1T 1RJ . Attendees will also have the opportunity to have a complementary Content Surgery after the session, exploring how their video engagement data compares to the rest of their marketplace, using Hub’s proprietorial strategy software. To attend, please click here.

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