What exactly a content hub is, and why you need one

by NIK BERG, ONE POINT TWENTY ONE AND REDWOOD LONDON

June 2016

Let’s say you’ve mastered this digital content game. You’ve got a website, a blog, social media accounts. A full house of channels to distribute your stories. But you could still be missing a trick.

And that trick is a content hub. A digital destination that curates the best of your content in one place, that gives your customers what they want, when they want it, leading to better engagement. It gives you control over what messages you deliver and how your customers can respond, can deliver more potential customers through organic search and provide you with analytics to help you deliver a better service.

What does it look like?

Whatever you want. It could resemble a website or blog, a popular layout involves a series of tiles linking to articles, blog posts, videos, even social media posts and third-party pieces. The goal is to show the depth and breadth of relevant content available in a simple and enticing format.

Your audience is always-on and a content hub enables you to deliver stories on demand, to feed their hunger with a continuous publishing platform. 

A content hub enables you to deliver stories on demand, to feed the hunger with a continuous publishing platform.

Thanks to platforms such as Flipboard and social networks we’re used to content-snacking and being delivered curated content.

A hub will allow your audience to dip in and out and to curate your content through categories and search to deliver an experience that’s just right for them. 

Big brands do it

Content hubs have been embraced by brands from Coca Cola to Fujitsu and American Express, Home Depot, Harley Davidson giving their customers valuable insight and information straight from the source, whilst also pulling in content from trusted external partners. 

It goes without saying that Google’s Think With Google is worth a look to see how it’s done.

But what if your brand IS content?

Can a content hub work alongside a subscription-model website or digital magazine?

Yes, it can.

Just look at Blendle which has signed up major players, from Time to Newsweek to the New York Times, to deliver individual articles for a few cents each.

Customers can now access great stories they want from behind a  paywall without committing to a subscription. The Blendle content hub has given media brands a whole new business model.

Now that really is a neat trick. 

The Blendle content hub has given media brands a whole new business model.

5 major content hub benefits

1. Trusted content

Straight from the horse’s mouth. It’s your brand so you’re best placed to inform your audience. Bringing in relevant and interesting content from outsiders who share your brand values can enhance trust with your customers.

2. Organic traffic

Content that’s relevant to what your customers are looking for will help you win in search and drive more traffic.

3. Engagement

Entertaining, informative content will keep customers coming back and is more likely to be shared.

4. Control

Unlike social channels you can keep control of the conversation.

5. Analytics

It’s easy to discover what’s popular and what’s not, and refine your hub to deliver what your customers really want.