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The Complete Guide to Content Hubs

You’ve devoted time and energy to creating a rich pool of content and resources. It deserves more than a simple upload to your website only to get lost in a sea of pages. That’s where a content hub comes in. With content hubs, you can curate an easy-to-reach, content-rich and topic-specific resource for your visitors that they can engage with again and again.

In this guide, we’ll explain how content marketing hubs help ensure your content reaches a wide audience and its full potential while cementing your brand as trusted advisor to your target audience.

What is a content hub?

A content hub is an online collection of content related to a specific topic or theme. Its goal is to serve as a comprehensive resource for users seeking information on that topic and can include various forms of content such: blog posts, videos, infographics, whitepapers, webinars, podcasts, and more. The goal of a content hub is to attract, engage, and retain users by providing valuable and relevant content in one place. They’re a great way to centralize various resources on your website that would otherwise be missed.

Content hubs are designed to be an evergreen resource, and should be regularly updated and curated to maintain relevance and value. If your hub proves useful, readers should feel confident returning to it time and again to lean on your expertise.

Types of content hubs

Content hubs can take several forms, depending on their purpose, the type of content they’re made up of, and who this content is aimed at. They may be:

    • Centered around a particular industry
    • Focused on a specific product or service
    •  Aimed at an individual persona
    • Promote or organize a virtual event

Any of these factors may influence the way your content hub is structured. When it comes to structure, there are lots of options available:

Video Libraries: Collections of video content such as tutorials, webinars, interviews or recorded podcast sessions. These hubs are perfect for visual learners and can be categorized based on topics or types of video content.

E-learning Platforms: Educational materials, courses and information compartmentalized into easily understood modules. These hubs facilitate learning and might include interactive assessments, certifications and continuing education credits to drive user engagement.

Community Hubs: These provide users with places to discuss your content and share their ideas and experiences. Forums or discussion boards can bring people together and give your audience a chance to not only benefit from your knowledge but to network with and learn from others as well.

Resource Centers: A place for more in-depth information, often on particularly technical subjects. There may be downloadable content such as whitepapers, academic papers and case studies. These kinds of hubs show how the information you’re providing can cater for experts as well as entry-level visitors.

Conference Hubs: A hybrid of resource and community hubs, these content hubs provide conference attendees with a centralized repository of conference-relevant material. Content can include everything from keynote and session recordings to downloadable assets and sponsor highlights.

Your content hub could also include a combination of the above features. That kind of variety and richness is what keeps your audience coming back to your hub as a source of information and inspiration

Why are content hubs important?

Content hubs are more than just repositories for your assets — they’re engaging, data-rich opportunities.

Audiences are busy. The easier it is to provide them with content they want, the better the experience they have with your brand. Learn why content hubs are so important for digital marketers today.

They enhance user experiences

Content hubs enrich user experiences by providing a one-stop-shop for all relevant information. By providing a wealth of information in one place, they save the time and energy it takes to scour the internet, reviewing and collating information from multiple sources. A well-designed content hub should be intuitive and easily navigated, to help users find related content easily, and to make their journey through the hub seamless and engaging. Visitors shouldn’t have to leave the hub to learn more about a related topic – you should understand what they may want to see next and provide them with that information.

How do you know what the visitors to your content hub will want to see next? By leveraging data analytics. This data will enable you to recommend content based on user behavior and preferences and help you visualize how people interact with your hub.

They centralize content for better engagement

Centralizing content keeps people engaged for longer – which should be your end goal. Bringing content together under one webpage encourages users to continue their content journey with you, reducing bounce rates and increasing the time spent on site. There’s also the benefit of improved SEO performance. Search engines favor well-organized, authoritative content — exactly what a content hub is. With the help of strategic keywords, purposeful internal linking and high-quality, people-first content, a content hub can become a powerful traffic-generating tool.

They drive webinar registration and engagement

Content hubs are particularly effective for promoting digital events, like webinars. Hubs can preview the information users will benefit from in upcoming webinars, enticing registrations. And, by allowing webinar attendees early access to this information, you can add a sense of exclusivity.

A webinar space within a content hub can include registration forms, reminders and follow-up content, such as Q&A summaries, related articles and on-demand events. Webinars are an excellent form of content because of their continuous value — as live events, recorded experiences and as companion pieces to other resources. Simply put, webinars are the gift that keeps on giving, and content hubs allow them to shine.

How to create a content hub

Content hubs requires a good deal of thought and planning. You need a hosting platform lightens the mental load — whether through intuitive automation, user design or both — while actively contributing to hub development. Additionally, a content hub platform should help create personalized experiences for users — bonus points if it’s based on in-platform data and analytics. The ON24 Intelligent Engagement Platform has a Content Hub capability loaded with an impressive arsenal of features that can do all of the above. 

Regardless, authoritative, informative and engaging content hubs are within your reach; here’s how you do it.

Planning your content hub

The first step in any planning phase is understanding what you need your content hub for. Do you have a lot of information on a particular topic that would benefit from being curated into an easily navigated collection? Do you want to demonstrate your expertise on a particular subject? Answering these questions will help you to define your goals, target audience and key topics. Develop a content strategy to act as an outline for the kind of content you need, when it needs to be ready, and how you plan to display it.

You should also think about your target audience. While the content in your hub may hold a broad appeal, you should always have a persona in mind when you’re creating content. This helps focus attention and reduces the risk of bland, vague and forgettable information.

Setting up your content hub with ON24

Choosing the right platform is crucial for the success of your content hub. A good platform should be easy to use and provide you with plenty of opportunities to customize, streamline and analyze the performance of your hub. We may be biased, but we believe our content hub capability one of the best because of the attention we put into these key areas:

    • Personalization: Your content hub needs to feel like it’s yours. That’s why we provide so many customization options and opportunities to use your personalized branding—even allowing you to base your hub’s appearance on different audience segments.
    • Integration: Real-time updates and the ability to track every interaction gives you an invaluable level of integrated visibility; not only keeping you informed of your hub’s success but providing you with actionable insights for how to maintain its value.
    • Analytics: Benefit from intelligent insights into how your hub is performing at contact, account and campaign level. Use this information to inform your decisions and impress your stakeholders.

Curating and organizing content

As a marketer, you create content for people. But when creating people-first content is only one part of the equation. It’s also important to make it so that finding your hub is easy and intuitive. You can:

    • Use categories, tags and a search function to help users find what they’re looking for.
    • Make helpful suggestions of what users might like to see based on what they’ve been viewing.
    • Provide credible sources for your information and ensure it is relevant to your audience’s needs.
    • Regularly update the hub with new and fresh content, and make sure users are notified when new information is available.

A content calendar is invaluable for scheduling updates and helping to maintain a consistent flow of new content. Prioritize high-impact content such as in-depth guides, case studies and original research — all of which are opportunities to demonstrate authority and expertise. Supporting this content with input from industry experts, data-led research and contextually relevant news helps to ensure your hub is authentici and professional.

Driving engagement and measuring success

Promote your content hub through marketing channels, like social media, email and search. By tracking metrics such as traffic, time on site, bounce rate and conversions, you can understand how users are interacting with your content and identify areas for improvement. For example, you can use this data to think about where you are seeing the most engagement and which email copy produces the best open rates.

Don’t forget: your content itself can lead new users to your hub. Implementing SEO best practices on your content hubs can improve visibility in search engine results. Conduct keyword research to identify relevant terms and optimize your content accordingly. Use internal linking to connect related content and improve the overall SEO performance of your hub.

Best practices for maintaining your content hub

Here are our practical tips for keeping your content hub engaging and relevant over time.

Regular content updates

A steady stream of fresh content will keep your audience coming back for more. By this point you should have a content calendar and posting schedule – but don’t be afraid to leap on a trend if you see a hot topic relevant to your hub.

Engaging with your audience

Give your audience opportunities to interact! Give visitors the opportunity to engage with your brand, and each other, through forums, discussion boards, Q&A sessions or exclusive virtual events. By doing so, you can both foster brand loyalty and gain deeper insights into what resonates with your target audience.

Integrating with other marketing channels

Share content from your hub across all marketing channels. Whether this means taking snippets of a webinar for social media, or including article downloads in your email outreach, there are plenty of ways to repurpose the wealth of information you’ve accumulated and use it to spread the word of your content hub.

Case Studies: Successful Content Hubs

What does a successful content hub look like? Check out these examples:

Content Hub Case Studies

Case Study – NVIDIA

NVIDIA saw more than 9,000 visitors to its ON24-powered content hub within the first year of its life. That’s because it used its hub to spread its webinar reach worldwide, translating the key points of their events for overseas audiences and providing a centralized location for content.

Case Study – Ingram Micro

Intelligent tech provider Ingram Micro suffered from a disjointed customer experience. With the help of ON24 analytics, Ingram Micro could tailor its messaging and plug the gaps in its content strategy, creating a cohesive content hub that garnered regular interaction from a fifth of the business’ contacts.

Great examples of digital content hubs

Looking for more inspiration? Check out these examples.

Future trends for content hubs

As a strategy, content hubs aren’t stagnant. They’re constantly changing to reflect audience needs. So, what will the future of content hubs look like for content marketers? Here are a few predictions:

Personalization and AI

Personalization and artificial intelligence go hand in hand, especially where the future of content is concerned. AI can analyze user behavior to deliver personalized content recommendations, giving users an experience that feels tailored to them and valued as an individual visitor.

AI can also be used to generate new content from existing resources, turning a single resource into a whole range of assets. This saves the energy that an individual or team would take to achieve the same results and gives back more time to be spent on the tasks that require human innovation.

Data-driven content strategies

We can’t impress enough the importance of collecting data and using it to your advantage. Data-driven insights, such as those found in first-party data, can help you to hone targeted and effective content, ensuring your content hub continues to not only meet user needs, but go above and beyond their expectations in a way that feels intuitive. They may think you’re a mind reader — but the truth is, it’s all in the numbers.

Use analytics tools to track user behavior and how your content is performing. Monitor metrics such as:

    • Traffic
    • Engagement time
    • Churn
    • Conversion
    • Qualified leads
    • Returning visitors
    • Brand awareness

Use this data to inform your content strategy. Identify which types of content resonate most with your audience and prioritize those in your content calendar. In this day and age, with so many analytics available to you, there’s no excuse for taking stabs in the dark with your content strategy – data can act as your night vision goggles.

Make your content hubs stand out with ON24

Your users are hungry for content, and if you can keep them well-fed, they will treat your content hub like a five-star restaurant — recommending it to peers, promoting it on social and coming back for more. If we’ve piqued your interest in our content marketing hub capabilities why not sign up for a free demo to discover the ways in which we can enhance your content marketing efforts.

Content Hub FAQs

A content hub can include a variety of content types. People enjoy content through many different mediums, and especially when it comes to educational content, the way in which it can be consumed may make a big difference in how much engagement it sees. The goal is to provide comprehensive coverage of the topic in diverse formats, so consider using the following:

    • Blogs
    • Videos
    • Webinars
    • Seminars
    • Forums
    • Whitepapers
    • Guides
    • Courses
    • Infographics

Including a mix of content, types ensure you cater to different learning styles and preferences and increases your chance of engagement.

Yes! Repurposing existing content is a great way to populate your content hub. Whether this comes in the form of optimizing old blog posts, condensing articles into infographics, or creating succinct video versions of long-form written content, the reward is the same — more content for your users to enjoy. Repurposing not only saves time but also helps you reach maximal audience segments with minimum effort. A single webinar can provide:

    • A written transcript ready for distribution.
    • Verbatim quotes for marketing purposes.
    • Video clips for social media to advertise your next webinar.
    • Exclusive downloadable content for subscribers.
    • Infographics and decks based on the data discussed.
    • A reason to host a follow-up Q&A to review what was discussed and answer any questions.

There is no set timeframe for issuing updates to your content hub. Therefore, you should update your hubs as often as you feel necessary to drive audience engagement. Aim to add new content reliably regularly and conduct quarterly audits to refresh existing content. The frequency of updates can vary based on the speed at which your industry moves and the needs of your audience, but staying relevant is something you should continuously be conscious of.

Common mistakes include:

    • Failing to define goals and create a strategy. Without clear objectives your content hub may lack direction and fail to attract the attention you want due to its lack of coherence.
    • Making it difficult for users to find the content they want. Ensure your hub is well-organized with intuitive navigation, categories, and a search function. You can even imagine you’re a new visitor to your hub – where are you drawn to, and how easily can you get where you want to go?
    • Not optimizing content for SEO. If you’re not working to improve your hub’s visibility and drive organic traffic, you’re missing out on a wealth of potential engagement.
    • Allowing content to become outdated. This reflects poorly on your hub and your business.
    • Failing to drive traffic through marketing efforts. Your hub should be something you’re proud of – make sure you’re promoting it the way it deserves to be promoted.

Use analytics tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as traffic, engagement and conversions. Measuring these quantifiable metrics will help you understand the effectiveness of your content hub and identify areas for improvement. You can also gather user feedback as a source of rich qualitative data – whether through forms, surveys or Q&As. Actively seeking the opinions of your users in an open and interactive way also helps to promote the sense that you’re creating content for your audience’s benefit.