If you’ve gone through the process of defining your personas, developing a content marketing plan, and creating content, the next question is, “where do you put it?” Historically, people created content in blog post format and put it on a blog. Now marketers understand the important role of visuals and are looking for more interactive ways to deliver content. The traditional format of a blog page with a list of posts appearing in chronological order is problematic for a variety of reasons:
- When people come to your blog, they’re only given a few pieces of content, which doesn’t necessarily provide people with an accurate depiction of the content as a whole and what they can expect
- Chronological order is a crapshoot – you don’t know if you’re going to be delivering the right messages to the right people
- Chronological order assumes what people want instead of letting them choose what they want
- Once a blog post becomes older it gets buried in your site, requiring people to sift through pages and pages of posts in order to find it (which they probably won’t be doing)
- All the emphasis goes on articles, leaving out other types of content, such as infographics, videos, gifs, etc.
Benefits of a Content Hub
The alternative is to design a “content hub.” A content hub is an area where your content will be housed. Content hubs can have many different designs, but ultimately, the goal is to design the experience so users can easily find the information they’re looking for, casually browse, and interact with the brand. Content hubs provide many benefits:
- Increases the likelihood users will find content of interest to them
- Decreases friction for finding the right content
- Gets users to the right content faster
- Increases exposure to older content that is “evergreen,” or content that will always be useful
- Allows the brand to get more mileage out of their content, because it will be easier to recycle and repurpose existing content
- Increases the “shelf life” of content, making each contribution more valuable
- Provides an experience that allows multiple types of content to be featured, such as videos, infographics, gifs, etc.
It’s important to create content for all stages of the buyer journey. However, creating content is just the first step. Content is only valuable if it’s accessible. People need to be able to find the content that’s most relevant to them. How you organize your content and display it is important for findability.
To organize content in a way that’s most useful for users, you need to understand your audience’s needs and interests. Your personas should guide the development of high-level content themes. We recommend creating high-level themes structured around what drives user intent. These high-level themes can be the basis for how you organize and display content in your content hub.
Here’s an example of a content hub we designed and developed. Our content strategy helped us define these six main themes for the content: destination inspiration, travel savvy, trip planning, packing organization, safe travels, and inside Eagle Creek. This entry page allows people to find content that fits their interests.
Rollover text gives users an idea of what content they can expect in each section.
Once a user clicks on a section, they are taken to the section landing page.
Users have the option to sort by most recent, or alphabetically. They can also use tags to further refine the content to find what they’re interested in.
Integrating Social and Email
You may want to consider integrating social media into your content hub to increase engagement. Depending on your brand and audience, you may want to display certain social media feeds. Be careful to not detract from the content experience. You may want to weigh the benefits of incorporating social media with the potential risk that social media feeds will take people out of your content hub experience and into social media. People can easily go to social media and quickly get lost, forgetting your brand.
In the case of Eagle Creek, we made sure to integrate the social media content into the experience of the content hub. Users can tweet to Eagle Creek without even leaving the page.
Your content hub should have opportunities for email capture so you can continue the relationship beyond the first touch point. This allows you to nurture relationships over time. There should be calls to action (CTAs) on each post/article, and on the home/landing page for your content hub.