One of the secrets to successful social media marketing is the creation of an always on, always available approach. A Facebook status update here, a Tweet there, an amusing (and let’s not forget relevant) meme shared on Instagram.
It’s interesting then that many companies, whilst accepting the need for presence and regularity across social media, rarely apply this approach to their YouTube channel strategy. Indeed many companies don’t even have a YouTube channel, instead uploading video content with no activation strategy, just for it to get lost amongst the billions of other unloved YouTube videos.
Today’s new media consumers demand more from your brand and they don’t expect to ‘pay’ for it by being bombarded with shallow sales pitches either. What’s needed is a more considered and segmented approach to your video marketing strategy.
Introducing Help, Hub and Hero
A more modern approach is the help hub hero model which covers every level of the marketing funnel through a three-pronged approach that:
- Draws prospects in with a grand ‘tent pole’ piece that embodies the brand (the Hero video).
- Keeps them on board with regularly updated, magazine style consumer focused but less showy content (the Hub video).
- Answers potential customers’ questions by providing how-to’s, FAQs and responding to feedback (the Help video).
Youtube has a platform specific spin on this marketing concept (they called it Hygiene, Hub, Hero), but it’s an approach that has actually been around for some time, with its roots planted firmly in print media.
Flick through the pages of any popular consumer magazine and you’ll find the content inside fits neatly into three categories of: headline-grabbing features; smaller snippets and news stories; and how-to guides, quizzes and letters pages.
Let’s look at each element of the help, hub, hero mode in turn.
Holding out for a Hero
Hero content is your chance to shine, to go big, to raise awareness.
It will typically have top-notch production values and the aim is to turn heads, ensure customers know who you are and to get people talking – regardless of whether they are interested in your product or service, or not.
Prime examples are the now hugely celebrated annual John Lewis Christmas ads. Outside of the festive season, you’d be hard-pushed to remember a John Lewis commercial, but every November they become a media event.
Great hero content employs traditional storytelling methods to elicit an emotional response in the viewer, helping to create more memorable advertising that appeals less to our rational side and more to the perceptual and instinctive parts of our brains. The content may be funny, sad, shocking or just downright awesome, but if it makes you feel, you’ll want to talk about it, you’ll want to share it, and you’ll have made a connection with the brand, even if this is at a subconscious level.
If hero content is about making prospects aware of your brand with a big splash or grand gesture, hub content aims to build a base of regular viewers, and transcends self-promotion by giving back something of value. Put simply, your content hub creates an online destination that gives your followers regular, targeted material they will want to return for time and time again.
This kind of content is less generalist and more targeted towards your prime prospects, appealing to their interests and passions. If hero content is about brand awareness, hub is about consolidation.
The Red Bull brand has become synonymous with grandstanding spectacles that dazzle global audiences, but they back up their extravaganzas with the Red Bulletin hub, which pushes engaging content to their core audience.
Rolled out across networks, value-rich hub content encourages prospects to like, follow and subscribe, with the long-term goal of building a community of loyal followers.
Help content eschews self-promotion and instead looks to address the questions and problems in your target demographic by providing useful information. It can take the form of a FAQ to address direct queries collated through feedback forms, or provide how-to instructionals relevant to your sector, products and/or services.
Unlike hub content which is push content, help is pull, in that it is designed to be found through search by people who may have not encountered your brand at all before. The approach should understand the common search engine terms used for searching for information related to your industry or product, ensuring you rank highly in results. But it’s more than a pure SEO strategy and requires a deeper understanding of your target audience and identifying gaps in the market.
Delivered with skill, help content will establish your brand as an authoritative voice and go-to place for unbiased and practical information – which your followers will want to share and promote to their own networks. In some cases it even allows you to showcase your product or service without explicitly selling it.
The Bottom Line
Creating a powerful online video presence is about more than the big brand ad. Consumers crave content and the smart approach to YouTube marketing is to develop non-linear segmented approaches to content ideation, creation and activation.
Drawing up a content calendar to help plan your approach, and fostering a culture of communication between your marketing teams, will reap rewards in the long run. You needn’t confine help hub hero to just your video marketing either. The approach can – and should – be applied to all your content from blog posts, to your Instagram pics.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community