How do you create content?
We’re talking blogs, emails, social, opt-ins, podcasts, videos… What’s your content creation process?
Are you a planner — thinking about the month or quarter ahead and mapping out what you want to create? Or are you like the rest of us, who are just trying to survive?
Content planning is one of those things that most of us feel like we should be doing. We should have a plan, we should be creating content ahead of time and scheduling it. We should have a better idea of what we’re saying and when.
The truth is, though? Most of us are too busy to create a super strict content plan. And if you’re neurodivergent or don’t enjoy a ton of structure in your business, it might even feel restrictive.
That’s why I like to use loose frameworks that help me:
- Plan as far ahead as I want
- Tell me how much of one type of content I should be sharing
- Structure my ideas for maximum impact
Google has come to the rescue (once again) with one of my favorite frameworks for content creation — and I love it because it’s not too prescriptive.
It’s called The Hero, Hub, Hygiene model. It was originally created by Google for YouTube users, but over time it transformed into a content marketing strategy that all of us plebeians can use.
Using this method as a template, you can start creating irresistible content that helps attract new audiences, build your community, and convert followers into clients.
The 3 H Model is designed to help content marketers not only fill current gaps in their strategy but also strategize and create a plan for their future content (aka: create content calendars).
Want to see this model in action? Let’s go.
The Hero (1-2 pieces per month)
So, what IS Hero Content? Because it certainly isn’t me singing Foo Fighters karaoke.
Hero Content is your “wow” content. This content is a showcase of your offers, your brand values, your unique stance in your industry.
In the original model, Hero Content was often the one that had the most production bucks behind it. Because we’re (mostly) creating our content on our own, I think of The Hero Content as those pillars of content that are constantly referred back to.
This might be that blog series you wrote about your beef with your industry, or that podcast you did detailing a new way to approach a problem. It might be your opt-in or your YouTube channel, aka the content that you constantly drive people to.
In short, Hero Content is the thing everything points to. You can create 1-2 new hero pieces of content a month OR even share and repurpose existing Hero Content.
The Hub (4-5 pieces per month)
Don’t worry, I don’t have a song for this one.
Hub Content is content that builds upon the brand’s voice, story, and connect points. Your hub content can consistently drive to your Hero Content, but the idea is to maintain awareness for your brand by staying present.
This is the content bucket you want to use to get people coming back for more. This is the perfect place for a series of blog posts/podcasts, or even an Instagram series. It’s storytelling and diving into themes and topics that you normally can’t explore in depth.
I like to think of The Hub like the center of the wheel and the Hero Content are the spokes. The Hub content engages people, drives them more into your storytelling, and builds awareness for the brand. From there, you push them into the Hero Content so they can really benefit from your larger ideas or transformations.
You can create 4-5 new hub pieces of content a month OR even share and repurpose existing Hub Content!
The Hygiene (5-8 pieces per month)
When we’re referring to Hygiene Content, it’s basically How-to Content.
This is where you’re addressing common questions, sharing tutorial content, and exhibiting your expertise. I like to think of Hygiene Content as the housekeeping content — you’re answering those questions and making sure that things are tidied up in a clear, concise package.
You also have to maintain this content, just like housekeeping. You’ll be creating more of this content a month and really using it to drive to your Hub and Hero Content.
Your Hygiene Content may seem like it’s just smaller pieces of your Hub Content, but it’s actually capturing people and driving them further and further into your brand.
Aim to create 5-8 new hygiene pieces of content a month OR even share and repurpose existing Hygiene/How-to Content.
You’re ready to roll
It’s a calendar-creating time.
I recommend creating a content calendar for at least 1-2 months out (if you’re a “winger,” this might sound absolutely crazy, but there’s a method to my madness!!!)
Maintaining consistency is one of the most important parts of using content marketing to grow your audience. Give the people what they want, what they expect, and what keeps them coming back around for more.
Of course, if you want to share your thoughts on the 3 H Content Planning Model, come see me over on Instagram @withmegandowd. I’d love to chat with you.