Hero, Hub, Help: YouTube Content Strategy
Want to build a YouTube channel?
The Hero, Hub, Help content strategy is the ideal way to grow a brand channel.
WHY A YOUTUBE CONTENT STRATEGY?
Most brands approach YouTube as a platform primarily used to host ads. This is a mistake.
YouTube is the most used digital video site AND the second largest search engine.
With 75% of US internet users using the site regularly it attracts all ages and demographics. Additionally, time spent on the site is incredibly high – viewers ages 18 and older spend an average of 41.9 minutes per day on YouTube.
WHAT IS HERO, HUB, HELP?
So how do you develop a content strategy for YouTube? YouTube developed what is called the Hero, Hub, Help content strategy. It can be broken down like this:
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 Google’s iconic “Loretta” ad.
The ad was promoted heavily across YouTube and had a massive PR push. It paid off. This piece of hero content has generated more than 66 million views to date.
Another great hero content example 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 (the original video has been removed by Pepsi).
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 EXAMPLES:
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS TO SUPPORT HERO CONTENT:
Because hero content is meant to support major brand moments, it’s important to think about mass awareness tools. Paid media, PR support, and influencer amplification are all relevant and helpful tactics.
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 want 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. 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.
HUB CONTENT EXAMPLES:
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS TO SUPPORT HUB CONTENT:
The focus of hub content is to engage your community. As a result, it would be wise to cross-promote your YouTube channel to your existing community. Social posts and emails are all effective options to get the ball rolling.
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. Instead, help content should be created based the intersection of brand expertise and popular search terms.
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.
HELP CONTENT EXAMPLES:
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS TO SUPPORT HELP CONTENT:
Help content is meant to pull users in to a channel via search. As a result implementing basic search engine marketing tactics will be beneficial. For example, if people are searching ‘how to build a toilet’ Home Depot’s video may not rank first organically. However, they could pay for ads to have it appear first.
BUILDING A YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Ultimately, the hero, hub, help model blends the best of what brands need with the lessons learned from successful creators/influencers.
The model provides plenty of room for brands to promote their brands and launch campaigns while also building a community. If you look at every successful creator their channel is defined by a hub series. That hub series is what defines them and what they build a community around. This is the element most brands lack and why the hero, hub, help model is so effective.
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.