For anyone who has experience with content marketing, you are most likely familiar with distinct types of content production and development models. There are many models on the market, but hub-and-spoke and skyscraper content are two of the most common ones out there. This article will cover these two specific models.
You might find yourself wondering which one is best for your company. When trying to decide, you should list your goals and then go from there. Begin by focusing on the end result. Figure out what you want the outcome to be and what you hope to accomplish with your content marketing program. Your budget will also be a major factor in your decision.
The Hub-and-Spoke Model
The first option we will discuss is often referred to as the hub-and-spoke network. To understand you need to envision a wire wheel with spokes that all meet at a central hub in the middle. Your traffic flows along the spokes and comes together at the hub. These is where your in-depth pieces of content can be found. Your lead generation efforts will be found here as well.
Hub content should focus on your potential customer’s most pertinent demands. The content optimization needs to be in comprehensive enough to be useful and help them with any obstacles they are facing now or in the very near future. The idea of hub content is to take care of your client. It must focus around them and their specific interests.
Hub content can be presented in the form of:
- Blog posts
- White papers
Once your content is centralized into one united network, it can be categorized to deliver an improved content experience for the user. Hub content pieces should line up with a content pillar. Which is basically a large piece of written work that you will break down into many smaller pieces of content to cover the areas you are struggling to curate. When you devote your attention on curating the larger pillar first, it will be much easier to then divide into different channels.
This method has been proven effective for covering all of the content bases. You will always provide the appropriate pieces to the appropriate buyer at the appropriate time.
Spoke content will be created frequently, as opposed to your pillar content. Most people will have video clips, infographics, blog posts and web content serving as their spoke content. Spoke content is used to drive traffic, create links or encourage the reader to opt-in as a way to obtain their email address. Email addresses are still of great value to marketers. Once a reader opts-in, they will often be added to the company’s marketing campaign.
Advantages of Applying the Hub-and-Spoke Model
The hub-and-spoke model works great for developing businesses that are trying to gather leads for their sales team. If your content is written well and appeals to the demands of your leads, they are much more likely to opt-in to receive the hub piece.
Many people are iffy about giving up their email or other contact details. This is generally out of fear of being scammed or inundated with spammy emails. If a user gives out contact info for a piece of content, they must trust that it contains valuable information. They have now advanced themselves as a warm lead and possibly interested in what you are offering.
Disadvantages of Applying the Hub-and-Spoke Model
Creating this type of content takes a significant amount of time and money. It is generally used by the bigger brands who have extensive marketing departments. These companies have the time and resources to create in-depth pieces that will help bring in potential customers. This is not a viable option for a small department or start-ups without the resources to curate hub content.
Skyscraper Content Creation Technique
The idea behind the skyscraper content technique is to concentrate on building a bigger or more valuable piece of content. It is created with search engines in mind. This technique is geared more towards link attraction, rather than lead generation. Of course, that’s not to say that you won’t be able to generate leads, because you will. However, the purpose here is to build links back to a website, which will increase the domain authority. In turn, making it easier to classify for core keywords, eventually attracting SEO traffic.
When curating skyscraper content, you will spend much of your time studying the content on competitors’ sites in order to build backlinks. This technique uses longer content than other models. The idea to provide more value, not just more words for your readers.
Advantages of Skyscraper Content
All content should be beneficial and relevant. You will choose pieces that are already popular with plenty of links that you can improve upon. You want to build upon and truly enhance the already written content to create an in-depth updated piece. This technique is a powerful tool when carried out correctly.
Disadvantages to Skyscraper Content
You must be certain that you are adding value to the original piece. Do not waste your time working on content optimization that doesn’t need to be updated. Readers will be put off by content that takes them longer to read, but no real substance has been added to it. Filling an article with fluff for the sake of word count does not make good content.
Which Content Model is Right for You?
When determining your content marketing program, you need to choose the model that is best for your situation and business goals.
If you are unable to produce sufficient content to attract strong spokes, your hub content won’t work efficiently. As mentioned previously, choosing the hub-and spoke technique will depend greatly on the size of company.
Skyscraper pieces can work great, but you have to implement the technique properly. Many people have failed miserably using this model by assuming they could simply add words to already existent content and make it work in their favor. Quite the contrary, it takes dedicated research and development to be successful.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which is best for your marketing plan. These are only two of the models you may choose to employ. There are plenty of other available options. Take your time and do your research. Determine which is best according to your goals.
Content construction model photo from Flickr