Hero-Hub-Hygiene: The 3H Content Strategy Explained

Last Updated on Nov 22, 2023

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    Content plays a significant role in today’s general lifestyles. Whether video or a written article, for entertainment or informational purposes, content is all around us. So how do you ensure that your content marketing approach reaches the right people? By using the Hero-Hub-Hygiene strategy, of course. 

    How can this strategy help your business become more visible?

    It’s simple! No matter the size of your operation, the 3H content model helps you build a workable strategy for more significant success. 

    So sit back and allow me to tell you more about developing a reliable content strategy. I’ll also look into what the 3H approach entails and the significant benefits it’ll bring to your business. 

    Who knows? I may even unveil a few gems for you!

    Key Takeaways

    • The Hero-Hub-Hygiene content model is a strategy for creating and promoting content that helps businesses become more visible.
    • It involves creating three types of content: Hygiene (short pieces such as how-to guides and short blogs), Hub (pillar pieces such as long-form articles and ebooks), and Hero (standout pieces such as webinars and case studies).
    • The 3H content model helps businesses build a consistent brand voice, establish themselves as credible sources, and generate leads and conversions.
    • A content strategy is an effective way to develop a brand, increase audience engagement, and drive sales.
    • The Hero-Hub-Hygiene model can be applied to all forms of content, including written, video, and audio.

    Why use a content strategy?

    In general, the online content marketing landscape can be tough to navigate. Standing out from the crowd isn’t always easy, especially when everyone is trying to do the same thing.

    So, when using content to market your business, how do you make sure that you reach the right audience? Develop effective content marketing funnels.

    But what does that mean, and why does it matter?

    Before I tell you why you should use an approach like the 3H content strategy, let me explain what it is. 

    Simply put, a content strategy is an effective way to develop your brand, increase audience engagement, and drive sales. It’s an essential tool in growing your business, especially online. Having a strategy in place provides the map for you to reach those goals through content. 

    You wouldn’t build a house without a plan, would you? Consider this the blueprint and your content marketing approach as the house. The blueprints (content strategy) help you build a stable house (content marketing).

    You can anticipate your audience’s questions and build trust and relationships with the right approach. In turn, you’d have better conversions and generate more leads, which convert to sales. 

    You can consistently portray a relatable brand voice by identifying your customer touchpoints. You’ll also develop yourself as a credible source, building trust and your reputation. 

    So how would you put this information into an actionable plan? Let’s look at the Hero-Hub-Hygiene model. 

    Breaking down the Hero-Hub-Hygiene content model

    The Hero-Hub-Hygiene content strategy is a clever plan devised by Google to help YouTubers gain more credibility. While this model was initially developed for video content, it applies to all forms. 

    Today, I’m going to focus on written content and how you can use this approach to increase your site traffic and improve impressions. 
    Refer to the image below for a brief overview of what the Hero-Hub-Hygiene content model entails. Each stage uses a specific type of content and serves a unique purpose. The idea is to provide relevant information in an effort to build brand loyalty and establish your credibility and authority.

    A pyramid shape depicting the Hero-Hub-hygiene content model with focus on the "what" and the "why"

    Hygiene (Help)

    When we look at the 3H content model pyramid, we start at the bottom with “Hygiene” (also known as Help). After all, you’d start with a strong foundation when building your house, right?

    The first stage of the Hero-Hub-Hygiene strategy is to provide content that grabs attention and is fantastic for keyword marketing. These short pieces give your audience a taste of your expertise, providing essential information in your area of authority.

    In terms of written content, the Hygiene format includes short blogs and how-to guides. These are the easiest to produce and market to your target audience.

    Laptop with a sticky note saying "Help" to signify the first H in the 3H content strategy.
    To share basic or general information about your product or service. How-to guides, short blogs, fact sheets, infographics.Your target audience and potential customers.Share to your company site, social media platforms, sponsored content.High: Post at least once a week.



    Now let’s look at the walls of our 3H content “house.” The Hub content includes pillar pieces that go deeper into the content topic and help boost audience engagement. 

    These pieces give readers more value, often including downloadable workbooks or step-by-step guides. Not only does it encourage interactions through free downloads, but you’re also adding value to your readers through helpful resources. 

    The most significant difference between hygiene and hub content is its longevity. Hygiene pieces tackle the “right now” problems, whereas Hub content addresses larger issues. A considerable benefit to Hub content is being used across various marketing funnel stages (as long as it remains relevant).

    Bike wheel hub signifying the second 2nd "H" in the 3H content strategy
    Provides deeper, more focused value to the reader. Encourages engagement and attracts a new audience.In-depth pillar blogs with useful downloadable content.Existing clients with a basic understanding of your niche.Email marketing and trusted branded site/landing page.Medium: Approximately once a month.


    Finally, we’ve reached the “roof” or Hero of the content strategy. 

    This content is full of “meaty” information for your audience. These pieces provide the most value in your Hero-Hub-Hygiene strategy. It also allows you to cement your place as a point of authority within the industry. 

    The pieces created here include detailed studies or ultimate guides to help your clients reach their goals. The idea is to show that your products or services are the absolute best solution for their problems. 

    By now, you’ve laid the foundation with a hygiene piece, built up knowledge with the hub, and secured the reader with your hero knowledge. In the eyes of your reader, you’ve established yourself as a trustworthy and knowledgeable point of authority. 

    That’s the end goal of implementing a Hero-Hub-Hygiene strategy!

    Bike crank with the word "Hero" signifying the 3rd H of the 3H content strategy.
    Expert-level story-telling content to grab the reader’s attention and establish an authoritative role.Long-form content, detailed step-by-step tutorial, ultimate guides.Larger audience with deeper understanding of the topic.Get maximum exposure through paid channels.Low: Approximately once every second month. 

    Building a Hero-Hub-Hygiene content strategy

    Right, I’ve told you what Hero-Hub-Hygiene is and why it matters. Now, I’m going to tell you how to create a strategy that’ll produce results.

    When you started your business, you did extensive research before determining how to make your product or service a success, right?

    Well, that’s exactly what you’re going to do here. 

    The two main questions to ask are:

    • What is my goal for these marketing funnels?
    • Which problems do my potential customers have that my product or service can solve?

    Once you have these answers, consider how each piece of your Hero-Hub-Hygiene content will fit together to meet these goals.

    The next step is to determine where you’ll begin. You could work from the bottom with Hygiene pieces, building the content up from there. The alternative is to start at the top with the larger Hero content, breaking it down into smaller portions for each stage. 

    In my opinion, your content strategy should ideally contain one Hero, three Hub, and a series of 12 or more Hygiene pieces. 

    One final piece of advice is to pace yourself and stick to one area of expertise per content marketing strategy. I, for one, enjoy keeping up with various points of interest too. But in this case, it’s best not to overwhelm your readers with too much information in a single campaign. 

    It’s worth every second you put in

    I know you’re thinking: Ren, this entire process sounds like it takes a whole lot of time and effort. Can’t I just write a few interesting pieces of content and chuck them on the site? Unfortunately not. 

    If you share these sentiments, then why not set up a call with us?

    We’ll put in all the time and effort to develop a Hero-Hub-Hygiene content strategy that’ll leave your competitors in the dust. 

    After all, when done right, your 3H content model could open a world of possibilities for your business!

    Frequently asked questions

    Is hero-hub-hygiene still relevant?

    Yes, the hero-hub-hygiene model is still relevant. The content marketing landscape may have changed a lot since the model was developed in 2014. The concept is the most relevant way to gain maximum impact on content efforts. The strategy also helps creators and marketers to build diverse content and gain a larger audience. 

    How does the hero-hub-hygiene model work?

    The 3H model worked in tree stages. First, the Hero content (or pillar piece) draws attention to your brand. Next, the Hub contains engaging content that creates a loyal audience who keeps coming back for more. Finally, the Hygiene pieces lay the foundation. This content covers important information related to your brand.