A guide to creating an online content hub to help you control ALL the content you produce

How do you get produced content out into the world and how do you reach your customers in the digital world? Many companies have started using content hubs – an online destination where all the interesting content your customers want to read and share is available, and also a place where you can keep in touch with what people are saying about your brand. Furthermore, through a content hub you can also make sure you are addressing common customer queries and letting everyone know the latest about your products and services.

by BARBARA MATIJASIC

August 2017

Content creation is a must, and the first step when starting with a content marketing strategy. The next pillars include selecting appropriate distribution channels, optimizing your content in order to generate leads and of course being up to date with analytics to understand your audience and content performance.

However, your created content needs its own ecosystem. It needs to be simple to use at the back-end, so the marketer can efficiently manage content without losing time. Even more importantly, this ecosystem needs to provide a positive experience for the end user.

The solution? An owned-content hub!

A content hub is a web channel that offers a home to all the content you create. You might be thinking: “Oh, I already have something like this. My website!”, but that’s not completely accurate though. A website is meant to present the company and offer all the important information about it. The same concept lies behind a company’s blog - another communication channel with valued insights.

However, a content hub allows you to better manage content that’s normally placed around different channels and therefore not properly controlled. A content mix usually includes news, blog posts, videos, and white papers. News is available on a key website, and blogs are also usually managed there. Videos normally live on a public channel such as YouTube or Vimeo, and white papers will often be accessible on an external lead generation page.  By using so many different communication tools and channels, you are sending your inbound traffic outbound.  To rectify this, a content hub will allow you to connect them into one centralized digital experience.

This solution allows for a perfectly personalized experience, which is tailored to specific needs. Marketers can organize their themes and segments so the user experience is simple and branded in accordance with the desired style and identity.

Some ideas on how to use content hubs: 

This type of platform can be used by all corners of a company to satisfy the entire buyer journey. Because a content hub encourages all content types, it can be used to effectively promote events, serve as a marketing campaign center, news and press rooms, and be useful for thought leadership, sales enablement and account-based marketing, or as a knowledge base.

How to leverage a content hub?

With a content hub, content is easily organized, and there is no need to manage different channels. In this way it’s also possible to save time, so marketers can invest more into increasing traffic and conversions. Furthermore, having a diverse mix of content also increases content discoverability because it offers more points of entry.

Start building a content hub

When you start, you should always determine your marketing goals, and how a content hub is going to achieve these goals. It also makes sense to align the content hub context with your content marketing strategy. You’ll need an editorial strategy, together with a schedule.

Then, simply acquire the software you need to create and manage your content, and start building!

The technology should allow aggregation of content from multiple channels, easy back-office content management, and custom branding options (colours, fonts, images, and copy), responsive design and easy integration with the rest of your marketing technology.

Optimization of a content hub

Content hubs can host different formats, including blog posts, videos, white papers, eBooks, audio, video files, social media newsfeeds, user-generated content, and curated content (via RSS) etc.

To be successful you should think about  building a relationship with your audience. It's good to think about including tools that will facilitate engagement and start conversations. Think about adding social media sharing buttons and strategically placed call-to-action cards (CTAs) as relevant steps in meeting your marketing goals.

Analyze your performance and success

A few key metrics you should keep an eye on in your content hub CMS are: page views, time on page, social shares, comments, CTA impressions, CTA clicks, CTA click-through rate and successful leads, as well as sales metrics.

Want to see a content hub in action?

Here are a few B2B brands who are doing it right.