YouTube’s ‘Hero, Hub, Help’ Content Planning Framework for Brands: What exactly is video content strategy? On YouTube, it involves the research, development, planning, creation, delivery, and management of your video content.
YouTube can be a great platform for companies, and brands. With over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos watched each day, a vast consumer audience awaits. Potential for increased engagement is limitless. If you get your video content strategy right.
As a brand or company you produce different types of video formats. But not every one of these formats should be featured on YouTube – at least not publicly.
What you need is a defined YouTube content strategy. But what exactly is video content strategy? On YouTube, it involves the research, development, planning, creation, delivery, and management of your video content. This list may be a little bit daunting at first. But, the guiding strategic model of Google and YouTube’s own content experts makes the process simple, and effective!
These experts both use and recommend the ‘Hub, Hero, Help’ framework, segmenting content into three clear categories. It creates a strong foundation for building successful, long-term publishing schedules.
Each of the hero, hub, and help video types has a different tone, and publishing frequency.
I like to picture this strategy as a tent of content with three core layers.
Let’s take a deeper look into the details of each…
Help content is the foundation of your content strategy.
With help content aka hygiene content, the aim is to be helpful and clear. Give answers to frequent YouTube and Google search queries, and FAQs from existing or potential customers.
Popular formats include:
- Product tutorials.
- How-to videos.
- Q&A sessions.
By meeting customers’ needs, you’re establishing the market authority of your brand. With that in mind, the focus is on issues, problems, and queries that you can give answers to. While your branding will definitely be present, attention mainly is on audience interests.
Once again, tools like Google and YouTube Trends will be your go-to for content generation. A powerful extra resource for generating ideas will often be your customer services and sales team. Tap into their insights, and direct customer interaction.
High-volume help queries often stay relevant over the longer-term, keeping visitors coming. Building a database of help content on your YouTube channel is a great way to gain sustained viewership. Get it right, and you’ll see your subscriber count consistently increasing.
This is the content that builds an ongoing conversation… keeping your audience coming back.
These videos don’t need to be big budget, perfect productions. They simply need to bolster your brand image, giving insight into you, and what you do.
Consistency is the key here. In scheduling, imagery, language, format, and branding. This can include:
- A personality who appears in each video.
- Consistent intros, outros, graphics, and descriptions.
- Calls to action.
- Distinctive, but reliable brand voice.
- Broadcast frequency and timing.
Hub content is often released in regular intervals: once a week or month, in the style of a series. Support this with active, sustained promotion through social media channels, and newsletters. Adding incentivised sharing gives engagement an extra boost.
When it comes to format, high performing examples include vlogs, interviews, collaborations, and product USP promotion. Whatever the format you choose, use hub content to show your brand’s relevance to audience interests and values. And don’t forget those calls to action!
Make use of tools like Google and YouTube trends, to find out what your target audience is talking about. They’re a great resources for finding brand-relevant, trending topics to develop your the series. It also helps increase likelihood of discovery, and continued interest.
Hero videos are your big budget productions – getting your brand out to a broad audience, showing it off. They’re driving increased discovery and awareness.
Use Google and YouTube trends to keep up with hot-topics, and events of interest to your target audience. Linking hero content to these trends is a powerful way of tapping into the buzz of activity, attracting attention for your own brand.
Less frequent than other types, hero videos focus on major brand events. For example:
- Product updates and launches.
- Big announcements.
- Seasonal campaigns.
Sometimes called “tent-pole” content, they create boosts of activity. These videos draw audiences to your YouTube channel, and other videos. In short, hero content creates excitement, inspiring audiences to find out more. They turn your brand message into an experience, share your values, and make you memorable.
To launch, YouTube experts recommend a “bite, snack, meal” approach. This creates a build up to the release of full-length hero content. The aim is to increase anticipation, excitement, and engagement with release of the main feature. Done right, this draws significant attention to your channel, and brand.
With their investment and potential impact, hero videos are best for promotion. Share across social media, and paid advertising space.
Bonus tip: Know who the key personalities and influencers are in your market. Get them to share, or even feature your hero content – this is a great way of boosting activity even further!
Examples of YouTube Content Strategy for Brands
This strategy is not only officially recommended by Google / YouTube, Google also uses it for its products itself. An example is its smart home brand Nest. The brand has become popular with its smart thermostat that resembles a bit the first iPod.
The Nest YouTube channel features explainer videos on how to install the products and other common user questions. These questions get answered by the Nest engineers themselves.
The Nest brand positions itself as the HUB for the topic ‘Smart Home’. They regularly publish videos that demonstrate new features of the solution: for example smart lighting or smart washing machines.
Nest’s Hero content are funny videos showcasing emotional or funny user moments with Nest’s smart webcam like “Do you want to marry me” or the first steps of the baby.
McDonald’s in Austria has done a video series on user questions regarding help content: McDonalds answer questions like “Where do my fries come from?” or “How do the chicken live that produce the eggs?”
McDonald’s positions itself – among others – as the home/hub for children’s birthdays. To strengthen this positioning it produces videos with its clown mascot Ronald McDonald.
McDonald’s hero content features its food promotions. The content gets produced by high-end agencies and is featured on TV and online on YouTube as a masthead homepage ad.
YouTube Content Calendar
Pulling together the hub, hero, and help video content types, a content schedule will emerge.
What results is a three layered calendar. This makes planning and development clear and easy for your team. It also becomes far simpler to integrate the three video content types to boost and support each other.
Measuring Success of Your YouTube Content Strategy
With each of the hub, hero, help content types, ongoing optimization is key!
Constantly assess your content strategy, ensure video performance and YouTube SEO. tubics’ SEO tools are great resources for getting this right. This is especially true for help and hub videos.
Use YouTube’s links and ‘end screen’ features for calls to action. Direct viewers to more content, purchasing options, and channel subscription.
Last but not least, make use of analytics on existing content. They provide invaluable insights for the continued development of all content types. What’s working, and what isn’t?
Keeping an eye on performance over time, you ensure you’re on the right track, building your audience, and ROI.
To get your YouTube optimization in peak condition, check out tubics’ YouTube SEO analysis tool. And get in touch with any inquiries, or to request a demo!