Hygiene, Hub, and Hero Strategy for Email Marketing
This read is all about incorporating Hygiene, Hero, and Hub content into your marketing calendar, making your audience’s experience valuable, and then leveraging it to skyrocket your revenues!
Ever wondered what makes Taylor Swift, Game of Thrones, and all the famous YouTubers so unique and successful? Well, it is because they use strategies to produce contents that add value to their viewers and listeners.
Not only this, but this content also helps you drive retention for your business and then ultimately drives a good amount of revenue too. So what is this strategy that makes your content marketing so powerful? We call this Hygiene, Hero, and Hub content.
- Hygiene, Hub, & Hero – The Three Content Buckets
- What Is The Difference Between Hygiene, Hub, And Hero Content?
- How To Build It Into Your Marketing Calendar?
- Building Anticipation Before The Release
- Hygiene, Hub, and Hero Examples
Today we will view these strategies through the lens of email marketing and get some insights into how you can make your emails consistent and communicative.
Hygiene, Hub, & Hero – The Three Content Buckets
This is the email structure that many people use to build and maintain a cadence of valuable content. It allows you to do different activities with content and categorize your emails into buckets with various features.
You can leverage a lot of your content in terms of how you scale things, keep the wheels turning, and keep the drumbeat going. This can also help you strategically work towards building more thoughtful and effective templates.
So without further ado, let’s dig into this and unpack this magical side of the content marketing world.
What Is The Difference Between Hygiene, Hub, And Hero Content?
What Is Hygiene Content?
This is the bucket of content you use every day.
As the name suggests, hygiene is something you take care of every day, so your whole body stays healthy in the long term. Similarly, working on some content daily will benefit your business in the long run.
It is something you do consistently and consists of content that is more relevant and contextual to that time and place. This content aims to drive the audience to your business, such as acquiring new customers, getting them to your site and your social accounts, and getting them to follow you.
This consistency and contextualizing of the content add value to the customer’s experience. Besides this, sending something every day helps you maintain cadence, so you cross the audience’s eyes more often.
There is some similarity between hygiene and hub content, and things get mixed up here. For instance, you try to contextualize the emails if there is a certain time window, so you recycle a piece of content that gave good results last year, too; that’s where a piece of hub content is used. But to communicate effectively and with added value, you only think about hygiene content.
What Is Hub Content?
The hub content bucket for email marketing is where you spend a large portion of your time. This is considered the skeleton of your email strategy and will be the foundation of many things in the future.
Hub content is the things you send weekly to your audience, for example, the weekly newsletter, vlog series, or weekly recaps. This is the content in which you build consistency; you habituate your audience to expect that content every week. And that is what indicates your success in your content marketing.
It’s like Saturday Night Live which doesn’t go live just because it is ready; it goes live because everyone knows it’s 11 o’clock on a Saturday!
Here, again we see that it’s the drumbeat that helps you build that consistency and build something with which your audience connects on a different and unique level. And this is where your brand voice comes to play, which helps to build the foundation for many things you’re doing in that hub bucket.
What Is Hero Content?
Then lastly, we have the hero bucket. This is where you start thinking big because we are talking about giant, large-scale events that need more anticipation than consistency.
Everything at this level is big. You can’t build this based on consistency because here, you’ll send content maybe once a quarter or once a year, but you largely need to focus on creating anticipation in the audience. The kind of anticipation that keeps your audience hooked to your site.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the perfect example and the most relevant time for using hero content. BFCM is probably the most major time for most e-commerce brands, which sets the tone for the rest of the year.
So it is necessary to use the right content to build anticipation ahead of time and keep your audience engaged with your brand, so they’re ready to take action when the time comes. And you have to build everything here in a strategic, thoughtful way.
How To Build It Into Your Marketing Calendar?
Now that you know the three content buckets, let’s move on to bringing all these together and thinking about how to strategically build them into your marketing calendar to make everything easy and sorted for you ahead of time.
It is better to start with the hub content because the consistency in this bucket gives us a nice foundation for everything. And then, you build other strategies around this content.
So in this weekly hub, you’re maybe sending a newsletter or any value-added content consistently every week. You also need to think about the resources you need and ensure that the content is replicable.
This is where you should plan weeks and months in advance, so you’re not shooting from the hip every month. This gives you a way to hold your ground and get used to that sending cadence and also gives you a chance to make your audience used to this weekly sending so that they start expecting that content before it comes, which is a very valuable approach.
To build something valuable, you can also use content from another content marketing strategy running for your business. You can even use the sources out of business, i.e., if simultaneously you are investing in SEO content or if you are investing in any other content to engage, educate and inform through other means, you can take that content and recycle, repurpose, or modify it in a way that can be translatable and contextual to the audience of this business.
Building Anticipation Before The Release
What does Game of Thrones creators do?
So as I mentioned in the beginning, Game of Thrones and many other shows produced by HBO or any other entertainment label use the same strategy for their shows’ marketing.
We know Game of Thrones consistently comes out every Sunday, and because the show follows the same trajectory with every season, the audience knows what to expect. They know ‘winter is coming,’ and they’re ready for it!
The anticipation built by its marketing team is the reason you see so much excitement in the audience regarding their favorite show’s arrival. And the reason everyone tunes in to watch it in real-time is that they have been tuned to do so through the hygiene content they’ve seen almost daily on social media for the past few months, creating so much hype among them.
This hype is built in no other way than good marketing. The show creators keep the viewers informed and engaged by releasing teasers, trailers, and episode recaps every week so that they keep on wondering what will happen next.
They know that the key to getting a good response from the audience on the release day is to build anticipation around it. Similarly, for your business, you must know that a consistent stream of content and consistent, frequent sending help you fit your brand into the audience’s schedule, and they keep thinking about you, which is a very powerful place to be as a business.
What does Taylor Swift do?
We can also take Taylor Swift and her work as an example, as I mentioned in the beginning. So if she has a major event, for example, a new album release, she’ll start talking about it early on.
She may share some content through a social media channel, which could keep the viewers guessing what is going on. Like she may put up an update saying “Recording time!” or put up behind the scene saying “In the studio again.” These would be the touch-points that would build anticipation in the audience.
After these teasers, she may start releasing the official videos’ first looks, hitting bigger touch-points, and finally letting the audience know something big is coming.
There will be multiple different touch-points leading into the album release. And when that album is released, she would have built enough anticipation that she either sells out a tour or gets a ton of streams which would eventually mean a good amount of revenue there.
Hence, you can see what is happening in both scenarios. Both the GOT producers and Taylor Swift are maintaining the momentum and simultaneously building anticipation among the audience ahead of time. This process takes months to shape up and bring the required results on the big day, i.e., the finale or the day of the album release.
It’s not something that just the big labels and famous people do; many of your favorite YouTubers are in the same boat too. They’re constantly communicating and always doing something with their audience, like their end-of-season special, a theme related to a specific time, or anything they think will be the best for their brand.
What can you do?
So, now we can talk about this in the context of other businesses too. For instance, if there is a holiday season leading into Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, you may also build similar anticipation among your audience. For example, you can offer them to be a part of your VIP list months before, which may provide them early access or an escalated discount during the holiday season.
You may send content saying offering them early access to a new product that may be released soon and get them on that early bandwagon. This creates a good momentum and builds anticipation and excitement around that new product rollout months on.
What makes this experience so unique is that you don’t do that every year or every month, but when you do, it’s a really powerful tool for your business. So it would be best if you were smart about how you can align everything perfectly and how you can leverage each opportunity to build momentum and consistency. And that’s one of the hardest parts about this; maintaining that consistency over time.
But once you can do that, you can have a linear format and a scheduled plan, i.e., on the whole, you have your content calendar ready to go. Doing all of this in advance will make your lives a lot easier, and this would fit well into an Excel spreadsheet, too, which means everything is good to go.
Another thing to consider here is that if you are an established brand, you may have multiple pieces of hub content that you share every week, so you may not have to reinvent the wheel all the time. You may have three to four hubs sent a week to specific audiences.
This can be good for you because when you already have a lot of hygiene content through other channels, you can repurpose or recycle it to use it for consistent hub sends later and communicate with them on a different level months before.
You need to remember that it is really weird for the audience if you communicate with them only once a year out of nowhere and that too around the holidays. It reflects your brand’s lack of interest in the customer’s life. We specifically hate brands that communicate too much only around holidays.
Holidays are the times when everybody is sending something to everybody. No one would care about your email on Thanksgiving because they’re getting Thanksgiving content everywhere. It’s like white noise.
The real and most magical thing to do is to start communicating during the weeks and months leading up to the holidays so that your brand is not new to their eyes when you send content during the holidays. They recognize you through your consistent and valuable sending and would most likely open your emails during that busy time. This way, you’re building an audience that is engaged and excited to hear from you.
Hygiene, Hub, and Hero Examples
Some examples of each one of these categories are discussed earlier, too like for hub content, there’s an example of a weekly newsletter that you can send on a consistent, frequent cadence. It may be filled with hygiene content that will be a daily send-like user-generated content.
For hero content, you can take an example of what Red Bull does by having somebody jump out of the plane. So it’s like a big event. They may be leading into that hero content or the example of Nike doing their “Breaking Two” project where they had somebody try and break two hours into a marathon.
That’s a powerful example of creating hub content for e-commerce businesses. This may be used at various opportunities ranging from leading into a new product rollout that the business has been focusing on for a quarter or a large-scale event that may be built into combat prime day or a big sale promotion event. But building these strategies will allow you to be thoughtful about your marketing.
Incorporating the three content buckets into your marketing calendar builds off this nice foundation that you can do some cool work on building a powerful structure and consistency around it, and that also without reinventing the wheel.
It’s crucial that you start planning early on and execute all these plans using a framework that helps you unpack and simplify the content that is easily translatable to your audience and your team.
As we mentioned earlier, the key is to start early so you can build a frequent cadence and maintain consistency and attention. You need to consider a few things with this, such as your resources and your decision regarding your growth areas.
This gives you a great way to experiment and explore because you have a better litmus test of the audience and the market. In other words, it means you’re not just shooting from the hip and not surprising your audience at different times in different places. You have more consistency in that level of engagement every week.
So this is something that I think is an efficient way of using content marketing by trying to simplify things for your team and your business. It is a very easy way to start checking the boxes that help you build a more stable foundation to make decisions in content marketing.
Hopefully, this was helpful for you and cleared all your confusion about the three content marketing categories. If you have any further questions, you can always mention them in the comment section below.
And don’t forget to give feedback also. Good day!