What are content hubs?
A content hub is a collection of blog articles and other online materials that focus on a central topic.
The articles are brought together via a main ‘pillar’ article, which introduces and links to each one.
A simple content hub might look something like this:
Why use content hubs?
Before content hubs, the best way to cover a topic in detail was to write an in-depth article. The last recommendation I read said the ideal word count for an in-depth article was anything over 3,500 words. That’s a whole lotta words!
These articles are undoubtedly good for SEO, but not so much for the human audience — because this isn’t how a human audience consumes content.
Humans are much more selective. They want to read exactly what interests them and answers their specific questions. Realistically, they’re not going to sit down and read 3,500 words. And they’re not likely to want to skim through 3,500 words to find answers either.
Creating a content hub allows you to thoroughly explore your topic in an organised way that makes good sense. Each piece of content centres on one specific area, which means you can keep your articles more focused and manageable.
The benefits of content hubs
Here are 10 ways using content hubs can benefit your business.
1. Create something of real value
A content hub creates real value for your audience by giving them all the information on a topic in one place. Every time you add new content to your hub, its value increases.
And, in creating value for your audience, you’re also creating value for your business with multiple opportunities to attract and convert your ideal customers.
The secret to achieving this?
Focus your article on giving something to your audience and makes sure it’s valuable to them. For example, it could be information, advice or directions.
Then, at the end of the article, when they might be looking for somewhere else to go, add a Call To Action (CTA) and point them where you want them to go next. Your CTA should feel natural for where the article ends. It might go to another article in your hub, or straight to the relevant page of your website.
2. Promote your authority
A content hub builds your authority on a subject, making your site the number one resource for information on that subject.
The ultimate aim of becoming an authority is to build trust with your audience.
To achieve this, you have to be honest and transparent. And you have to present your information in an impartial way that talks openly about the pros and cons.
This may not always be what your audience wants to hear. But you have to remember that content is designed to inform rather than sell. Customers read it because they want the facts — not a sales pitch.
3. Target visitors at all stages of the journey
A common problem with lengthy authority articles is when they try too hard to be all things to all visitors. And they don’t always succeed.
Content hubs use separate articles that are shorter and more focused on what each visitor actually wants to know. This makes it easier for visitors to find the information that interests them.
It also gives you the chance to target visitors with different awareness levels and at different stages of the buyer journey. You can do this by creating content specifically for visitors at each stage.
Let’s look at visitors at each stage of the buyer journey and what they might be searching for.
Exploring the problem
Visitors who suspect they have a problem, but don’t yet know if there’s a solution. At this point, their searches might be:
- Describing the problem
- Asking if there’s a way to solve the problem.
Looking at possible outcomes
Visitors who know they have a problem and know what outcome they want, but don’t yet know how to achieve it. At this point, their searches might be:
- Describing the outcome
- Asking how to get the outcome.
Weighing up the options
Visitors who know the solutions to their problem. They’ve learned the terminology for those solutions and are working out which is the best one for their needs. At this point, their searches might be for:
- Names of the different solutions
- Local suppliers or online providers
Ready to buy
Visitors who’ve decided on the solution they want to go with and are now deciding who to buy from. At this point, their searches might be for:
- Package options and prices
- Work samples and results
- Customer reviews.
Visitors who’ve already bought and are using the product. At this point, their searches might be:
- Troubleshooting problems
- Tutorials and how-tos
- Replacement parts
- Supplementary products/services.
4. Answer all your visitors’ questions
Visitors looking for content have a lot of questions. A content hub gives you the flexibility to answer them all with the necessary amount of detail.
But how do you know what questions people are asking?
Here are some resources you can try:
- Answer the Public gives you all the most asked questions on any subject you type in
- Quora is a site where people ask and answer questions.
If you need more ideas, do a Google search for your subject, then look at the ‘People also ask’ and ‘Related searches’ sections on the results page.
5. Keep your visitors engaged
Once you have attracted visitors to your content hub, you can keep them there by signposting them to additional hub content they might find useful.
Include internal links at relevant pointAt the bottom of each article, include links to content ‘You may also like’ or ‘People also viewed’.
6. Use a multimedia approach
Everyone has their favourite way of consuming content. Some prefer to read, others like to watch a video and some like to listen to podcasts in the car.
To engage more visitors, you can give them content in a choice of different media formats. You can link to this multimedia content from your main pillar article.
A multimedia content hub might look something like this:
Your multimedia content can be repurposed from your blog or created specifically using the most appropriate medium for the the job.
The user content in the diagram refers to user-generated content that’s related to your subject. For example, it could be video of people using your product or audio discussions by people in your industry.
7. Get new mailing list sign-ups
If visitors are engaged and interested, you should have more success when you ask them to sign up to your mailing list.
Include a sign-up point at the bottom of each page, or have an email capture pop-up appear as they’re about to leave your site. Sweeten the deal with an exclusive offer for subscribers, an extended trial or a limited time discount.
Mailing list sign-ups are warm leads, which you can then nurture, persuade and convert using targeted email marketing.
8. Generate new leads
The ultimate goal of any content marketing strategy is to get more business. Depending on your strategy, this could be from your mailing list sign-ups or from CTAs on the articles themselves.
As a fountain of all knowledge, your content hub is more likely to result in new email sign-ups. And the content itself can take new visitors from any stage of the buyer journey through to the part where they’re most likely to buy.
By targeting existing buyers and users, you have the opportunity to upsell with:
- Supplementary and complementary products/services
- Add-ons and upgrades (you can offer a free trial first)
- Extended warranties and service packs
10. Boost your SEO
Content hubs are a good way to get your content ranking in the search engines.
First, they offer the perfect opportunity to target a wide range of keywords.
Second, they have the potential to become an authority on the subject in question. This could earn you brownie points with Google and help you achieve a high ranking.
Are you ready to create a content hub?
If you’re thinking your business could benefit from a content hub and would like some help to create the written content, this is where I can help.
I’m Jenny Lucas, an SEO copywriter and content strategist based in Leicester, UK.
I’ve been writing high-ranking blog content since 2010 and have a proven strategy for success.
If you’re serious about making your blog content work for you and would like to find out more about working with me, you’ll find more information on my content writing page.