Hero, Hub, Hygiene — Re-think your video content strategy

Written by on Friday, October 24, 2014


There is a problem with valuing viral videos over everything else. They are excellent way to get your video, channel and brand noticed. To get impressions. A quick fix. But relying only on them is not a sustainable strategy. For brands, it takes money and time to produce and distribute viral videos. Also luck plays a major role. Moreover, the viewers and subscribers you get from these videos have expectations that you can’t fulfill on a regular basis. They expect to get content of same caliber. For this reason a more holistic approach is required.

Hero, Hub, Hygiene is the YouTube content strategy for brands. The emphasis is put onto growing your subscriber base, your community, and turning your viewers into fans. According to YouTube, subscribers watch twice as much content as non-subscribers and drive 20 times the engagement over Facebook likes. So, instead of putting all the money into major spot-like videos the emphasis is put onto consistent and proactive content creation, and community management.

So what are Hero, Hub and Hygiene?

Hero content is intended for the broadest audience possible. Hero content is usually published right before major tent-pole happenings such as product launches, conferences, holidays and events. In a way, Heroes are the in-throwers of your YouTube channel: they get people to visit your channel but to get them stay and become regulars you need to entertain them on a regular basis. This is where Hub content comes into play.

Hub is regularly scheduled content to give “a fresh perspective of things that interests your audience” according to Brendan Gahan’s Infographic. Videos are longer and more episodic in nature. With Hub content you are able to dig deeper into your brand. They are the soul of your channel that will maintain your audience and reward them for subscribing. Both Hero and Hub content is something you actively push to your audience.

Hygiene (sometimes referred to as Sanity)
Hygiene content is usually short, always-on ‘pull’ content which your customers search information about. The focus is usually in educating your customers about your products and emphasis is in the informational rather than productional value. This content doesn’t need to be produced by the brand, it can be curated by or done in collaboration with your target audience. How to -videos and tutorials are Hygiene content.

Your channel is the hub.

To summarize, your channel is the hub itself. Your audience expects to get hub content from you regularly. Your channel lives from it. To keep your channel and the community formed around it clean and healthy you need Hygiene. This content lets you interact with your viewers, answer to their questions and service them. Hero content is what you do once or twice a year. Something that breaks the monotone of the regular schedule.

Hero/hub/hygiene video strategy isn’t only to maintain your channel but to grow your audience and to form a community. Make fans out of your subscribers.



  • Dave Coleman, YouTube, Dx3 Canada
  • Brendan Gahan’s Infographic


About the author

Satu is a YouTube certified Producer who besides producing videos looks after publishing and distribution at online video agency KLOK. She has a web development background, which has given her an edge at research and development. She excels at creative problem solving and figuring out solutions where there seems to be none. She works at developing audiences, acquiring media, researching different services and platforms as well as data analysis. She spends way too much time on YouTube.

Customer service on YouTube

Written by on Monday, June 16, 2014

KLOK online video agency Pauli Kopu Customer Service on YouTube

When it comes to connecting and engaging with customers, YouTube is one of the most relevant platforms. Instead of having to try and explain how your service works, you can just show it.

Online videos are quickly taking foothold from traditional mediums like TV and the big appeal is the easiness of consuming videos. They offer entertainment and knowledge exactly at the time when the consumer is looking for it, and demand nearly nothing. When brands are available to their customers in a platform so reachable as YouTube, it´s a win-win for both: Customers won’t have to go out of their way to get answers to their questions and brands can save a lot of money by giving out all the information available to the customers instead of having to explain the same thing over and over again in customer service lines. Also B-to-B sector can make use of the online videos by giving the next best thing after face-to-face communications.

Here’s few examples on how companies can improve their customer service with the help of online videos.

Videos on Frequently Asked Questions

Half of the customers using social media are seeking an actual response from the companies’ they’re in business with. That is 50%! Usually these questions are not easy to answer, but require technical or otherwise professional knowledge. These answers are nearly impossible to stuff under 140 characters in twitter or makes a Facebook post so long that nobody want’s to read it. So video is the perfect medium for answering these kinds of questions.

Some brands are already using YouTube and online videos for giving their customer detailed information and an easy channel to ask their questions. Finnish Airline Company Finnair, for example, has FAQ- videos where their staff answers the most asked questions in a detailed way. In order to make these videos as engaging as possible, the customers could ask questions beforehand in Finnair’s Facebook page. This was an awesome way to have a dialogue with the customers and create customer loyalty.

How- to and tuition –videos

A great way to use online videos to support customer service is different types of how to –videos that can be used in a variety of different contexts. Beauty and hair-product companies can show customer how to use their products to get the desired look and retailers can teach their customers to wash an item in a certain way. For example, Nordic-based financial service group Nordea has made how to -videos about their Internet banking services, how some features can be deployed and used.

Tuition videos on the other hand, are made to cover an entire concept, from top to beginning and teaching the customer about the most important aspects. They work as an introduction for example to certain business field, it’s context and ways of work. Usually the big topics are divided into smaller themes so that they´re easy to comprehend. Many customers prefer to watch a video instead of reading a long whitepaper about the subject.

Product Demonstration -videos

YouTube is also an outstanding platform for instructing step-by-step processes. Setting up a new gadget and making it work the first time can be daunting to anyone of us. With an easy to follow, demonstrative videos that take new customers through the entire setup and learning process, brands can really help make the whole customer experience more pleasant. It also saves time and money for both the brands and the customers by preventing, for example, incorrect installations when it comes to electronics.

Inspiration videos

Inspiration videos are one step ahead of the traditional customer service. They’re made so that the customers can get new ideas and inspiration to do something that ultimately benefits the brand. For a company that sells DYI- equipment’s can make a video on home-décor and give the customers the needed push to want to try and experiment with the new ideas.  In a way they serve with ideas and woo the potential customers by giving them something to get excited about.

For example Lowe’s YouTube Channel has a playlist about creative decorations solutions. This is an innovative way to boost your sales among those customers, that are keen on trying something new, but don´t have an idea on what that could be and how it could be done.

In the end:

Finally it’s important to remember that the best results are gained when these types of customer service videos are used together. So go ahead and mix and match your customer service videos and give your customers the added value they deserve! Successful content marketing, and video content in particular, finds consumers where they already are. Keep in mind 90 percent of web traffic expected to be video by 2014, now is the time to start preparing your YouTube customer service strategy to leverage that massive potential audience.

TL;DR? Watch the video:

Google Invests in Music Videos on Multiple Fronts

Written by on Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 9.46.30 AM

Google strengthened its hold on music content by buying a stake in Vevo, but it’s also developing the concept of music videos with videos like Arcade Fire’s ‘Just A Reflektor’.

The Internet is still a minefield for copyright claims and content owners can be aggressive when it comes to royalties, especially in music and movies. Companies like Pandora and Spotify have shown that it’s possible to navigate the deep waters of online music licensing without going under, while Vevo has managed to do the same for music videos.

Established in 2009 as a joint venture between Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music, Abu Dhabi Media, Vevo is YouTube’s number one channel partner. The two had a symbiotic licensing relationship until last summer, when Google secured a 7% stake in the company with a 40 to 50 million-dollar investment.

According to comScore, Vevo is now bigger than any of its competitors, including MTV, Yahoo! Music and AOL. It’s clear the Vevo partnership was necessary for Google as they need to secure good content for eyeballs and ad revenue. Also, compared to YouTube, Vevo has a much younger audience and it’s fairing especially well among 13-24-year-olds. Youth preference is generally considered an indicator of future success so it makes sense Google would want to hold on to Vevo and eliminate onerous licensing negotiations.


Bloomberg Businessweek visualized comScore data for their recent article on Vevo.

Google’s ambitions in shaping the future of music videos are not limited to Vevo or YouTube. The Google Chrome team has been behind some of the most creative video experiments seen in recent years. The benefit of Google Chrome is that the browser provides more flexibility than standard video platforms, even if video distribution will be limited.

In 2011, Arcade Fire’s song ‘We Used to Wait’ was featured on an interactive video called The Wilderness Downtown, created for Google Chrome. It pulled Google Maps Street View images around an address the viewer entered. It won a Grand Prix in Cannes.

Now, Arcade Fire has created another interactive Google Chrome video for their song ‘Just A Reflektor’. It’s a new type of music video that takes cues from the viewer’s smartphone. The users control the visual effects by moving their phone or tablet in the physical space they’re in and their webcam even brings their face into the video.

In the YouTube era, viewers are active participants. Songs inspire people to create their own videos where they are singing and dancing to their favorite songs. The challenge for music video producers is to harness the creative energy of the audience and build interaction as part of the experience. Google already has the stage set.

What Successful Creator Channels Have in Common

Written by on Friday, October 18, 2013


Back in March, I had a conversation with someone who had plans of getting rich with YouTube. He wanted to start a channel and have at least 100.000 subscribers by December. “We could be making serious money in ads”.  It sounded like a wild dream, considering that he would be working from his home and he had practically zero experience in marketing or web development.

There are people who do pay their rent and daily expenses with the money they make out of content creation. It’s possible that in the future, some people may even go through university with the money they made with a random funny childhood incident. Maybe their parents managed to press the rec-button at the right moment.  It would definitely be much easier to walk around with a camera phone in hand than start a university fund.

But if making money out of video channels was so easy, there would be thousands of young video millionaires. Over 100 hours of video is downloaded on YouTube every minute. Very few of the videos actually succeed. So what’s the formula for successful channels? In my mind, it boils down to the following things:

– Clear theme – if you have a comedy channel, comedy is what your subscibers expect to see
– Creators know their subject well – for video bloggers like Finnish Soikku, that may even be themselves
– Creators are passionate about their subject – money isn’t their primary motivation and their excitement shines through
– Content is published regularly – the audience gets a constant reminder of the channel’s existence
– Creators interact with fellow YouTubers building connections – networking and collaborating can be a great way of reaching new audiences

So, if you are thinking about setting up a channel, plan carefully. What is your motive?  How well do you know your subject? Do you have something to say? Do you get a kick out of making videos? If all of these elements are there, then you are probably on the right path.

About the author

Emmi Kivinen works with scriptwriting, journalism and post production at online video agency Klok. She has writing experience in TV and film. Emmi has a degree in Film Art and wrote her Bachelor's thesis on youth films. Currently she is also working with a feature film script and several short film projects.

Should Brands Create More Content With Talented Filmmakers?

Written by on Thursday, September 26, 2013

Casey Neistat Mercedes CLA Project

Online video talents have become an important piece of the entire video ecosystem as we know it today. Actually, we all should be thankful to all those creative and passionate minds, who strive for creating original content for a multitude of purposes and genres and who are taking the whole industry forward. Comedy, science, music, fashion, sports – the list of categories and sub-categories goes on and on, and as we speak, hours of new content is being uploaded online to be consumed by interested viewers.

Many of these independent talents have been able to upgrade their “game” by joining successful online video studios like Maker, Revision3 or Base79. Without going too deep to the business logic of these kinds of companies, it should be safe to say that they are built on sharing ad revenue coming from millions of shown ads on the talents’ videos. This is one way to create a online video business, where the talent and the company both can be successful. It has been great to meet people from both sides – at KLOK we highly appreciate the forerunner mentality, courage and enthusiasm.

The other side is, that brands are eagerly wanting to enter the online video environment not only with placed ads, but with original content – content produced solely from the brand’s perspective. In many cases (thousands have failed too) the outcome has been fabulous: touching stories, entertaining mini shows or cultivating small clips have left a mark to the online community.

A great bunch of this “professionally” created content is produced and managed by agencies and marketing departments, but what might happen when brands and the YouTube talent started increasingly getting acquainted with each other too? Would they find the perfect, authentic match to their upcoming stories they want to tell their audience about?

The talents know their audience. They already have a relationship. And if the talents are able to do what they love to do, it will be authentic. That’s what the brands are looking for online but very often lacking to execute.

Here’s an example from a collaboration, where NYC based filmmaker Casey Neistat joined forces with Mercedes Benz to create content for the launch of the new CLA. It’s authentic, it represents the talent’s style and vision and it’s even published on the talent’s channel. And yes, it is a series, not a traditional TVC.