Effective Content Marketing: Hygiene content
In this series, we’re going to look more closely at the Hero, Hub and Hygiene model that can be used as a strategic framework to create content to. We’ll look at each type of content in more depth, as well as some examples, where you should place it and how to make it work for your business.
Hygiene content – later updated to be referred to as Help content for some reason – is the most inexpensive content that brands can produce. Therefore, it’s often the type of content that brands typically produce the most of.
Hygiene content is daily or weekly content that you place on owned channels, designed to pull in your target audience. Often, this content is based on the searches that are carried out by your audience.
This type of content is primarily designed to attract new visitors, especially through the use of search engines. By using search engines to pull in visitors, you’re ensuring a steady stream of new users to the site.
Hygiene content is useful for discovering emerging trends among your current audience, as well as analysing gaps in your current content marketing offering. You should be routinely analysing the questions that bring users to your site to see if there is anything you’re not already covering, or if any questions are unanswered.
Planning your Hygiene content
When planning your Hygiene content you should think about the types of content that your audience will regularly engage with. Think carefully about your target demographic, about their needs and questions.
YouTube’s advice on planning hygiene content is;
What is your audience actively searching for regarding your brand or industry? What can serve as your 365-day-relevant, always-on, PULL content programming? E.g. product tutorials, how-to content, customer service, etc.
Hygiene content should be there for your audience to actively find, so making sure that you’re covering every aspect of the purchase cycle is key here. Ensure that your competitors are not giving out advice that you should be giving out.
Tools for content planning
When planning your Hygiene content, you should be looking to confirm your brand’s own internal thoughts about your industry. Don’t forget to take a look at what’s currently happening in the news too, especially in your industry.
Tools like Google Trends, Google Analytics and Answer the Public are all incredibly useful when it comes to content planning.
At Harvest, we also use RegEx to match any question-based queries that bring users to our clients’ sites, just for additional visibility and to ensure that we’re not missing out anything in our content plans.
You should be looking to reaffirm things that you already know about your audience through the use of data. Often, though, you can uncover things you didn’t know about your audience, which is why it’s important to use data instead of just going with your gut.
Example of Hygiene content
Good examples of Hygiene content are plenty on the web, but the ones that we use most internally are guides from a lot of our tech stack.
For example, we run a lot of advertising through Facebook, and often it is useful for the Execs in the team to refer to the Facebook guides.
A great example is Facebook’s Guide to Facebook Pixels. Pixels can be confusing when you first hear about them (and trying to explain them to clients can be harder!) but Facebook makes it nice and easy.
Pretty much every question that we (or clients) have is covered somewhere in Facebook’s series of guides. Obviously, this makes sense for them, as it means that the uptake of Facebook pixels is better and more people use them. Win-win all round really.
Where to place Hygiene content
When it comes to the placement of Hygiene content, the most obvious choice – and the one that most brands take – is a blog.
I might be stating the obvious here, but blogs are a great place to host content. If you think you need to be more creative and fancier with your blog; you don’t.
If blog content starts to perform really well, think about enhancing it further. Signpost related content and ensure that the user is being directed towards the next step in their journey, whatever stage that they’re at.
If the content is not performing well but you know that there is a need for it, then you should consider placing it somewhere else in the consumer journey.
Social media is another good way to create Hygiene content. YouTube is the obvious choice here, but Twitter and Instagram work well too if you structure your wording and hashtags around popular search terms.
However, as I noted in this post for The Drum, don’t expect social media to become a good platform for Hygiene content if all you do is sell. That’s not the point of Hygiene content (or social media).
Instead, look at what value you can add your audience’s life. What questions can you answer? What extra detail or insight can you give them? That’s the key to creating good Hygiene content.
Once you’ve mastered your Hygiene content, and you’ve got regularly returning visitors, it’s time to move onto creating Hub content.