Want to use video marketing to grow your audience, nurture community engagement and capture user intent (via search-friendly content)? Then it’s time for Google and YouTube’s definitive guide to video strategy – the ‘hero’, ‘hub’ and ‘hygiene’ model.
Since Google introduced hero, hub and hygiene (now called ‘help’) content as recommended YouTube programming in 2014, the model has dominated marketing executions – and not just for video content. It relies on content pre-planning to produce a regular, consistent variety of videos, with a focus on more rather than less. The rewards? Raising brand awareness, influencing consideration, driving sales, and promoting customer loyalty (and advocacy).
But just what is hero, hub and hygiene / help video content – and how can you leverage it for kick-ass results when it comes to your business and content goals?
Why you should tier video content
The answer is simple: not all videos are created equal. Different types of content have different content goals, and which is best for any given situation will largely depend on the outcome you’re pursuing.
Things have changed since the traditional, pre-internet days of print and television advertising. With the advent of digital technology like social media and video streaming, people’s content consumption habits, and the way they engaged with brands, changed – fast. And so did the buyer’s journey. What was once believed to be a relatively linear process, can now be so multifaceted across online and offline channels that you simply can’t afford to just rely on that one big hero ad any more. And now that purchases can be completed 100% end-to-end online (and increasingly on mobile), there are more opportunities than ever for brands to meet people where they are, no matter what stage of the buyer’s journey they’re at.
From a digital marketing perspective, this means aligning your video content with your marketing/sales funnel (or flywheel), to help solve problems and add value for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
The good news? Hero, hub and hygiene content exists to do just that.
What is the hero, hub and hygiene content model?
The hero, hub and hygiene (or help) model is Google’s content creation strategy for YouTube, and video in general. It serves as a branded content framework within your overarching brand strategy – and while clearly a marketing tool, is no less useful for non-marketers planning and creating content.
The essence of the hero, hub and hygiene model is that in addition to the traditional hero content of television-style commercials, your online videos should also add value by inspiring, educating and entertaining your audience… And not just with ads. This is where hub and hygiene / help content come in.
But first, let’s revisit hero video content.
What is ‘hero’ content?
Hero videos are your brand’s big-budget ‘push’ messages you market to the masses, with hero marketing moments typically happening only a few times a year. Associated with industry tent-pole events and product launches, these videos are created to skyrocket audience growth while raising brand awareness. These are the videos that get shared on social, hit news headlines – and ultimately, go viral.
- Made-for-digital video ads
- Product launches e.g. iPhone
- Tent-pole event videos e.g. Super Bowl
- Other big marketing campaigns
- Live-streamed events
- Collaborations with influencers
- e.g. including behind-the-scenes content
- Collaborations with influencers
Let’s take a look at the hero-style example video below.
What is ‘hub’ content?
Hub videos are the regularly-scheduled forms of content designed to establish loyal viewers who subscribe to your YouTube channel and return to watch videos regularly. This can be related to your target audience’s passions, rather than just your brand’s key pillars, and works best as episodic or formatted series-style videos (e.g. with release dates and host personalities). Hub content is also aligned with middle of the funnel (MOFU) marketing, so webinars and presentations are common.
Hub content examples:
- Episodic series e.g. vlogs
- Product content for vertical markets e.g. webinars
- Formatted series e.g. interviews
Let’s take a look at the hub-style example video below.
What is ‘hygiene’ content?
Hygiene / help videos are your brand’s basic ‘pull’ content, meaning they’re ‘always-on’ (i.e. long-term relevant) and discoverable via search. Hygiene videos are less polished, they ditch the sales pitch, and interestingly, they’re also where people struggle most – despite the lower production value and cost. Renamed ‘help’ videos because they do just that, a quick, easy way to capture user intent is by understanding what audiences are searching for that’s related to your brand or industry – then making videos that address those questions or pain points. This is where a little SEO knowledge goes a long way, as using search insights to focus on high-volume and low-competition search queries will be your fastest road to content success here.
Hygiene / help content examples:
- Frequent searches
- How-to videos
- Product tutorials
- e.g. with customer service teams
Let’s take a look at the hygiene-style example video below.
Nail the hero, hub, hygiene model with Shootsta
The great thing about Google and YouTube’s hero, hub and hygiene / help model is that it’s perfectly aligned with Shootsta in the hub and hygiene space. Traditional video production companies have made video look too hard and too expensive for too long, but we’re here to say – it doesn’t have to be that way! When it comes to your content marketing strategy, pieces of content like hub and hygiene videos are some of the most value-add, user-friendly videos that even new-to-video content creators can produce. With Shootsta, we teach you how, we do your editing, all so you can share more videos, fast. Because video should be easy!
Shootsta’s high-quality, cost-effective scalable video solution helps brands deliver hub and hygiene video volume like never before, and with turnaround times to not just surprise and delight, but simply amaze – did someone say 24 hours? So you can meet your content calendar’s weekly, even daily output goals. It’s time to take advantage of the role tiered video now plays in brand content, and solve the video content problem once and for all. From hygiene to hero content, Google and YouTube’s model has what you need to deliver engaging, effective video content. And so does Shootsta!