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How To Make A Marketing Video That Works For YouTube

In the same way that traditional broadcast channels have schedules and different types of programming for different audiences or times of day, so can your business. You don’t necessarily need the same breadth of programmes that they have. But it is worth thinking about how your audience interacts with the different marketing videos that you create or curate.

A few years ago, YouTube published their guide for content planning. This defined three types of video which reflect the different ways audiences access content online. They called this structure: Hero, Hub and Hygiene. In this blog post we unpack how to make a marketing video that works for YouTube by using how you can use these insights and the basic principles.

Diagram content structure how to make a marketing video for YouTube

The hero, hub and hygiene/help content structure

YouTube realised that the user is drawn into an online video channel in one of two separate ways – they either see something like a marketing video example that catches their eye, which gets them to click on it and watch it, or they type in a search term to find out about something that they are specifically looking for. Once on the channel, they should be encouraged to subscribe. From then on, they are sent notifications when the channel is updated with new material; this leads to the necessity of regular magazine-type content. These different types of content give rise to what they have termed hero, hub and hygiene/help.


This is the really eye-catching, click-bait stuff. It is more akin to traditional TV advertising. This is where you ‘go big’ to raise awareness of your brand and the other content you are sharing. It is often ‘chunked’ or divided into shorter clips or images, and used as a promotion for the channel itself in banners on other sites. Because of this, its purpose is to catch the audience’s eye with the concept, image or title as they browse elsewhere. They then click on the link and are drawn into watching the video, before being served the other content hosted on the channel.

Deutsche Bank: Agile Minds — hero content is not necessarily about spending lots of money

Related: See more great examples in our Casual Films Guide To Marketing Video Production


This is the ongoing magazine-type material. This should be updated regularly with the goal of getting the audience to check back in to see what the latest show is. This is designed to be ‘pushed’ out to existing subscribers; who will receive a notification when there is some new material for them to view. They then click on this and revisit your channel.

The Marriott Wandernaut Show

This animated series was shared internally to allow staff to hear from key leaders and keep up to date with what was going on across the business. These films gave staff members a reason to check back in and be involved in the company channel.

Related: Your team is the linchpin of your success. Get tips on bringing your employer brand back to life from a Fortune 500 Brand Global Brand lead, in this webinar.


Classic help content: How to Light a Room for Tesco

This is the content that people actually search for — how-tos, guides and instructions. This type of content is designed to pull users into your channel through search results and should definitely be a part of your marketing video production strategy. Initially, YouTube called this ‘hygiene’ because it is about things that people need to do. They have since changed this to ‘help’, because that better reflects what it is/does.

How they work together

By using the three different types to complement one another, it is possible to draw an ever-increasing number of subscribers into your channel — an initial goal of any channel operator. How this works can be seen in the following diagram:

Chart viewer numbers versus marketing video content and structureHow it works: building an audience with the hero, hub and hygiene/help content structure

Your audience finds Help content by searching for keywords or phrases. This leads to a gradually increasing number of subscribers. Having subscribed they continue to be able to access the Hub or magazine style content you share. Additionally, tentpole Hero content is pushed out — drawing larger numbers of viewers back onto the channel. These videos cause the viewer numbers to spike, with subscriber numbers increasing proportionately. You then continue to build trust with your subscribers by sharing content which they genuinely like and value. We'll look at that in more depth next time.

Whatever you are trying to achieve with your content. Whether you want to create a simple how-to or a multistage campaign, it's essential to set off on the right foot. To help you to do this, our marketing video production team created this guide to help you create briefs which are better thought out, clearer and more likely to get you the result you're after. Click here to download it:



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