When working in the realm of digital content marketing, it’s impossible to avoid the mention of the content hub. This new concept is often hailed as the holy grail of content management and naturally every agency wants to avoid falling behind the competition. We feel this here at Monumental – if you were to snap us in half, innovation would be written through us like a glamorous stick of rock.
But what exactly is a content hub? Online research into the subject can often leave marketers a bit stumped – mainly because the definition of a content hub is somewhat subjective. So, we are here to set the record straight and spill the tea on what you need to construct a functioning hub. More useful than a blog, it is a great way to provide a logical structure to your branded content. Once you’ve embraced the content hub, you’ll never go back, sweetie.
Essentially, a content hub is an online destination where customers can find branded content of yours that is most relevant to their search, in the most efficient way. Of course, you might imagine that a website with a content blog serves this purpose. But hold it right there, sweetie – a content hub is different in two ways:
1. It is smaller than a website
Hubs often feature a central page that shows the most relevant content to searchers straight off the bat. Having a more focused and economical approach to displaying your content is beneficial for customers, both those who have a search intent and those who are seeking any and all information about your business. All attention is good attention, after all.
Content hubs will not feature ‘about us’, service landing or e-commerce pages, for example. Only content that is deemed immediately relevant to the desired focus of the hub will be featured there.
2. A content hub does not display content in chronological order
While blogs are helpful for businesses that wish to push topical content primarily, they are less useful for promoting evergreen content. Content hubs make it quicker and easier for customers to find this non-topical content they may be searching for.
Not only is a content hub a fantastic way to organise and present content, it also has SEO benefits. She’s definitely not a one-trick-pony. A hub will lend topical authority to your brand through the driving of search traffic to the core page. This is why it is crucial to ensure that all of the content in your hub is relevant to your chosen topic or message. This topical authority may also be aided by the internal linking of hub subpages to the core page. Ensuring that the anchor text for your links is relevant to your core hub topics will help this.
Backlinks can also boost the authority of the hub as a whole, even if the links are only to one subpage. This is made possible by strategic linking between pages in the hub – another benefit of having such a condensed platform for your information. Sharing is caring – it helps to think of all your subpages as needy partners. Don’t let the central page leave them on read.
A website can be so polished that you can see your reflection in the landing page, but if you aren’t getting traffic, then the whole project is redundant. What makes the content hub so effective in this aspect is the engagement your content will inspire. This could be reading, sharing, signing-up or confirming event attendance, to name a few.
High quality content builds credibility for your brand, as well as driving traffic to the hub itself. An audience will form as a result of the combination of these two facets. Data capture then takes the wheel and converts audience interest into leads through data capture methods.
When a customer visits your hub, seeing content that they value will increase their time on site. This added time presents more opportunities for you to feed your marketing funnel and engage with these customers. Helpful actions could be:
Especially when one considers the new GDPR regulations that introduced more penalties for unsolicited contact, content within the hub is a highly effective way to generate leads organically. You thought you could get through a marketing article without the reminder of GDPR, didn’t you? Well, guess again! By encouraging customers to submit their data willingly, you will build up a pool of genuinely interested leads. These leads will come from the beginnings of a relationship of trust in your brand and its hub content. This is important, considering 83% of customers think that businesses are trying to cheat GDPR rules.
Having what you deem as your most interesting content at the forefront of your content hub is an effective, albeit harsh way to grade what your business is producing. But this is time to be sensitive about criticism! CTR and time-on-page will be a clear indication of whether or not your content is performing as well as it should. Sometimes, it pays to be savage in this industry, darlings.
While analytics can be observed from any other content platform, the way in which effective change can be implemented is superior with a content hub. Structuring a hub with the goal to have the most relevant content at the forefront means that content that doesn’t perform gets told to sashay away. This is a highly effective way of ensuring that your online content is performing the best it can be to generate leads and build authority.
American Express produced one of the earliest content hubs: the OPEN forum. The platform created a supportive community by allowing businesses to communicate with each other. It also curated:
Did you hear us at the back? A leaf can be taken out of Amex’s book. They ensured that the user experience of the hub was slick and their content was highly relevant to their brand message. OPEN Forum’s mission statement today reads, “Insights and resources dedicated exclusively to the success of small business owners.” This strategy is present right down to the content that OPEN Forum shares. When coming up with the site’s content strategy, American Express put themselves in the shoes of the customers. This is why it has been a success since 2007.
At Monumental, we don’t just talk the talk. Our clients are living for their content hubs designed, created and managed by us. For example, our B2C client, Office Groceries, in just three months has seen:
You can take that to the bank, honey.
Content hubs will give your online marketing strategy that next-level jush. We hope that this article has tickled your fancy and inspired you to go the hub-way. If you have any further questions regarding content marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Also, be sure to check out the Do’s & Dont’s of Content Marketing during a Pandemic.
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