If you’ve committed to—or are just getting started with content marketing to help your hunting, outdoor or firearms company drive more website visitors, convert visitors to leads, increase sales and build your brand—there are three kinds of content you should know about that forms the foundation of your content marketing strategy.
Most companies in the industry are getting their content wrong. Most content is highly self-promotional that serves the company rather than their customers. Other brands write about topics that have no relevance to their buyer persona’s problems or questions. Further yet, once companies start writing content, they give up in 3-4 months.
Creating content is not easy and takes time, devotion and the commitment of your entire team to make it work. However, by having a better understanding of what kind of content you need to be creating in the first place, you can focus and plan more effectively so your efforts don’t fall flat.
According to Google/YouTube and Mark Schaefer, author of the new book, The Content Code, there are three forms of content: Hygiene, Hub and Heroic.
Hygiene content makes up the bulk of what you see out on the web. Hygiene content is the lifeblood of your content strategy and keeps your website fresh. These pieces of content typically involve your run of the mill 500-800-word articles that gives your readers “How-To’s”, “Tips and Tricks” and the “Do It Your Self” articles. This kind of content keeps your audience engaged and helps you maintain your search engine rankings. (Source: SEOMOZ)
Some examples of this type of content would be:
- How to Clean Your AR-15
- 3 Ways to Become a Better Turkey Hunter
- 5 Best Hunting Apps for Hunting Coyotes
Hub content goes more in-depth about a certain subject and usually is 1000-2000 words in length and serves more as a reference piece that your readers visit time and time again. Hub content or “evergreen” content serves to attract visitors to your website and keeps them there. This kind of content builds brand loyalty and in most cases will help in building links to your website. You know you have created a piece of evergreen content by quickly looking at your analytics to see what pages of your blog consistently get the most visits. These types of articles require planning, a lot of thought, research and understanding of the topic to make them valuable to your readers. Hub content is also critical in building thought leadership in your category. Hub content also remains high on search engines for an extended period and is typically staggered throughout the year.
A few good examples of Hub content are:
- Spring Turkey Hunting Guide Infographic by BassPro
- 4 Things That Most People Get Wrong About Silencers
- Concealed Carry Tips & Techniques for Dressing Around the Gun
This is the hardest content to produce and also the most surprising. Heroic content—also sometimes called viral content—typically receives thousands to millions of shares and views and is highly entertaining and educational all-in-one. Heroic content also challenges perceptions and opinions and can be controversial or polarizing.
Here are a few examples:
- Video: Bobcat Stalks and Attacks Turkey Hunter. This video received over 77.4K shares on Facebook and 700,000 views on YouTube because it’s unheard of that a Bobcat would attack a hunter. If you hunt, this is something that typically never happens, and when it does, it turns out to be one heck of a story to share around the campfire.
- Photoshoot with 15-year old Elk Hunter Challenges Photographers Views on Hunters. This article received 40.5K shares on Facebook because it helps further our cause of conservation and heritage and helps change negative stereotypes about hunters.
- BATFE To Ban Common AR-15 Ammo. This article received over 88.1K shares because it threatens the industry and acts like a warning siren to alert the firearms and hunting community.
By focusing on creating these three types of content: hygiene, hub and heroic, your content/inbound marketing strategy will remain consistent and focused all year long. Plan your hub content in advance and think about how to come up with one or two good viral pieces. Then fill the rest of your content calendar with helpful hygiene content to keep your audience engaged and your website fresh.