It’s 2016, so I don’t need to convince you about the value of producing content. There are a plethora of articles and dedicated conferences telling us the importance of storytelling and creating content that’s both relevant and engaging for our target consumers. However judging by the conversations we’re having and the number of content hubs we’re developing, what’s become important is understanding how you get the most value out of that content you’re creating.

A content hub lets you act like a publisher.

There are two very good reasons why we’re migrating our clients towards websites as the platform for their hub within their digital eco-system.

During the early years of Young+Shand, Facebook was the go-to choice for both a content hub and for content distribution – a no-brainer with over half of New Zealand active on the platform. However, over the past couple of years, we’ve observed how user behaviour on the platform has evolved as organic reach has plummeted. Users no longer visit a brand’s timeline, but rather engage within the newsfeed. Let’s be honest – you only visit a profile if you’re doing a ‘Facebook stalk’, and you’re definitely less likely to stalk a brand’s page on a regular basis. On top of that, Facebook tells us that brands are vying for organic attention with another 17 brands in addition to their friends and family’s posts. Many brands are essentially using social as the new billboard, relying on paid media support to get eyeballs and engagement in the newsfeed before the content finally lays to rest in a brand’s timeline (i.e. their content graveyard).

Although the above ‘social billboard’ strategy may make sense for specific campaigns, it only drives short-term value for the content as opposed to maximising long-term value for the brand. As the bar is raised from a production quality point of view, maximising value becomes more important.

A content hub establishes your brand’s authority.

At a rudimentary level, more content equals more traffic to your owned assets. The caveat here is this isn’t the SEO silver bullet; as anyone who specialises in SEO knows, it’s far more complicated than that. However, content allows you to build authority on specific topics or keywords for your website domain, making your content discoverable in search. In addition to this, the more content you create, the more you can expand the breadth of topics you have domain authority in, as you don’t have to start from scratch every time.

Therefore, the longterm value is twofold. Your brand’s content hub becomes a destination for your brand’s content to live beyond its initial distribution through paid channels. And it also becomes discoverable through organic search, building your owned media opportunities within the media mix.

Using social channels to house your brand’s content is a bit like renting your home instead of buying one. Choosing to invest in the creation of a content hub means you own the property. It’s a longterm approach that lets your brand develop quality content that’s truly going to be useful.

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