YouTube’s Hero, Hub, Help Content Strategy

Reading time: 5 min

Want to grow your brand channel?

In this post I’ll outline YouTube’s Hero, Hub, Help content strategy. It helps brands grow on YouTube. It’s a helpful framework that any brand should implement if they want to grow their community of viewers and subscribers.

The Hero, Hub, Help framework breaks out content into three key categories – Hero, Hub, and Help content. All content on a brand’s channel should fit within these categories. If it doesn’t, then don’t do it.

hero hub help

At its core, Hero, Hub, Help can be defined as:

HERO – The brand’s ‘go big’ moments (once or twice a year)
HUB – Recurring episodic content (majority of your channel)
HELP – Pull consumers in through search & trends

Hero content should be Super Bowl Big!

These videos are major brand moments – product launches and major announcements. These should be limited to no more than a couple of times a year.

A great example of “Hero Content” is Budweiser’s iconic “Lost Puppy” commercial.

The ad premiered at the Super Bowl in 2015. This sixty-second spot cost cost six million dollars to air. The brand even created the custom cover of “500 Miles” which is available on iTunes. It was Budweiser’s ‘go big’ moment and they pulled out all the stops.

The ad was promoted heavily across YouTube and had a massive PR push. It paid off. On YouTube the ad generated over 30 million views

Another great example of hero content is Pepsi’s viral video “Test Drive”. Pepsi tapped Jeff Gordon, one of their biggest athletes, to go undercover. He went to a used car dealership and asked to take a car on a test drive. With the used car salesman in the passenger seat, Jeff Gordon drove like a bat out of hell. The used car sales man freaked out and hilarity ensued.

“Test Drive” did phenomenally well, it original generated over 70 million views (please note, the original video has since been removed by Pepsi – the video embedded above is a re-upload).

Pepsi put a lot of effort behind this. They got one of their biggest athletes  involved. They put a ton of PR and media behind it, and it paid off.

Hero content is all about pushing content out to support the most important brand initiatives.

Ask yourself, what are the two or three most important activations? These should be considered your Hero moments.

Additional Hero Content Examples

Oftentimes, brands expect every piece of content needs to go ‘viral’. That’s not a realistic goal. Brands need to be careful about how they allocate resources, not everything needs to be a hit. This is where hub content comes into play.

The purpose of Hub content is to build a community. You wan to keep subscribers engaged. It’s answering the question – How do you keep people coming back?

Hub content should be episodic, and easy to replicate. Oftentimes brands think they need to reinvent the wheel. This is incorrect. You want to niche down and focus on a specific format. The reason for this is if you’re going to ask people to follow you, they’ve got to know what to expect.

Look at the popular YouTubers. All of them have a clear format that they follow. They rinse, repeat and evolve that format slowly over time versus creating content around a million different formats.

For example, Dude Perfect does trick shots. The Fine Brothers do React Videos. The Try Guys literally just try new things each video. You want to create a format around a relevant niche and then stick to that.

A great example of branded Hub content is the “Nintendo Minute” series.

“Nintendo Minute” goes live every Thursday like clockwork. It’s got the same hosts, Kit and Kayla, who are two Nintendo employees.

The show format is consistent. Kit and Kayla are on a couch, the two play games, and discuss what’s new and interesting within the Nintendo gaming community.

The production is very simple. The hosts are on a couch without a fancy set and there is a single camera set up to record them. This makes it easy for Nintendo to replicate each week without expending a ton of resources.

Nintendo Minute proves how successful Hub Content is for brands. Nintendo has produced over 350 Nintendo Minute videos, which have garnered over a 1 billion views.

By maintaining a consistent hub format your subscribers know what they’ve signed up for. Oftentimes brands vary their content too much. When this is done they pull in subscribers because of one style of video then lose them because they post something different.

Additional Hub Content Examples

Help content is an SEO strategy. Help videos should be answering the question – “How are we (as a brand) going to help our consumer find what they’re searching for?”

Brands should not indiscriminately produce videos simply because their target audience is interested in something. Help content should be created based on where the the brand has expertise and popular search terms.

help content diagram
Help Content

Home Depot does a great job with Help Content.

Of Home Depot’s most viewed videos, the top thirty are Help videos. The most successful video on their channel is “How to Tile a Bathroom Floor.” Other top performing content on their channel includes – ” How To Replace or Install a Toilet,” and “How To Replace or Install a Ceiling Fan.”

These aren’t sexy topics.

However, the videos are beneficial to the brand and consumer. The consumer gets their questions answered. The brand (in this case Home Depot) can highlight their products and services.

Additional Help Content Examples

Brands should be looking to the successful YouTubers and learn from them. What they’ve done so well is understand the importance of focus. Every successful creator has a hub series at the core of their channel. That hub series is what defines them and what they build a community around.

Currently, brands are far too focused on every piece of content being a ‘hero’ video. That just isn’t feasible.

Passionate communities take time to build. Be consistent. Focus on a clearly defined ‘hub’ format and with time your channel will grow.