YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world. The way people use the site and search for content has developed into three defining factors over the past ten years, since its launch in 2005.
‘Hero, hub and hygiene’ is a video content strategy rolled out by YouTube in 2014. Using the strategy effectively can help drive viewers to your content and enhance your understanding of what your users are looking for and how.
The three Hs, in layman’s terms, mean the following: hero is for people who browse the web and seek inspiring content. Hub caters to people who search and seek relevant content and finally hygiene content targets people who subscribe to a channel and seek regular content. For consumers, this works in a cyclical manner; understanding this process is key to your brand’s content strategy.
First and foremost, when considering creating any content for your YouTube channel it’s important to showcase not what your company does, but why. Knowing your brand’s purpose inside out is key to securing success with this strategy.
The graph above displays the viewing patterns of each group. Your hero content sees extreme spikes, creating a buzz online and a flurry of views as a response. Hero content showcases what your brand’s passion is and why you are in business as a company. This content is all about why you are selling what you sell and showcased in an emotional way with a strong narrative. This is supposed to provide a massive step-change to your audience growth and as a result can build your channel’s subscribers. Brands can align the release of this content with cultural events or holidays, enlist a celebrity or collaborate with a YouTube influencer. This is where brands will invest their cash. It’s important here to research what people are going to be excited about in the cultural calendar as relevant hero content attracts viewers. This is also true of hygiene content, operating as an important complement to hero content. As the graph shows, views of hygiene content will remain fairly stable. Consider what the overlap is between what people are searching for and what your brand equity is – what can your brand do a good job at answering? Create videos around this so that people can find answers whenever they want, wherever they are. As ‘How to…’ searches account for 100 million hours of YouTube views, consider creating tutorials or other informational content that may draw users to your site.
Finally, once people have found you, now they want to know where they can come back to. This is your channel, your hub. Users can subscribe here and see what you are posting- regular posts will work best, to give well-scheduled content that provides a reason to subscribe and return on a regular basis. Develop an editorial style to your content and maintain a consistent visual language to please your subscribers.
This cycle can often operate in reverse, with brands developing solid hygiene and hub content to establish a solid-viewer base before investing large sums in hero content.
Understanding how each of the Hs can impact your content, and when you publish it, will ultimately enrich your understanding of consumers, and in-turn entice loyal viewers to your channel.