Where does a podcast fit into my marketing strategy? Here’s a video that I recorded as part of a live stream that explores how to form an overarching B2B content marketing strategy, where a podcast fits into that strategy and introduces you to something I call the ‘Pump and Funnel’ marketing model. Enjoy!

Improving the 3H content marketing model

Are you familiar with something called the 3H content marketing model? Because this is something that Google came up with about five or six years ago or so, and they actually came up with it first of all, for video for YouTube. It’s actually a great way of differentiating between the different types of content that you publish. So many people when they’re publishing content, so many businesses when they’re publishing content just think that they need to be publishing content just for the sake of it, and that’s a terrible mistake sometimes because the important content that needs to get written, that needs to get published just isn’t published there.

So if you’re not really familiar with that, or you’re not really sure what the H’s stand for… the first H is Hero content, another piece of content is called Hub content and the third H is called Help content.

Just to give you a rough overview of what the content is… Hero content is the most incredible content that you’ll publish. So it could be a 10,000 word blog article. It could be an incredible video that you put a lot of work into. In essence, it’s the type of content that’s likely to get shared lots of times on social media and is likely to last for a long time. It’s evergreen content, it’s pillar content. It’s your most important content.

Moving over to Help content. What is Help content? Help content is the type of content that should be surfaced in response to the common questions that your audience is likely to ask. So if you have common questions that your audience asks, then you should be attempting to answer this either as blog posts or videos or perhaps even podcast episodes, but more commonly as an FAQ section on your website, through blog posts and hopefully video content at the top of that there as well. That’s a really good type of content to surface high in search engines (or attempt to do that).

If you’re familiar with it, you should definitely check out the book “They Ask You Answer” by Marcus Sheridan. It’s a wonderful book that really hones in on Help content. Now, he doesn’t really call it help content. He just calls it “they ask you answer” type of content, as in your audience asks and it’s your responsibility to answer. He started off actually by running a swimming pool business and driving I think millions of visits to his website each month as a result of publishing that type of content.

Moving over to Hub. Hub content is episodic content. So it’s the type of content that you could publish on YouTube and on a regular basis, on a weekly basis, and this is where a podcast fits in. It’s episode content. It’s going to appeal to someone who wants to subscribe to this content on an ongoing basis. It’s not the kind of content that’s “salesy”. It’s the type of content that people really find valuable, found interesting, perhaps find funny depending on what you want to do. So that’s exactly where a podcast fits in.

But I was actually thinking about this model a long time ago, maybe 2016, something like that. As far as I thought, I didn’t think it covered all types of content online. So for me, there was a big part missing, and I thought about it and I decided to introduce another fourth H. I called this Heart content.

What I called Heart content was the type of content that you have on landing pages for your websites. So it’s the type of content that is likely to convert. It describes specifically a product within your business or service within your business, and there’s a strong call to action at the bottom of that.

There’s not an equal relationship between these four types of content. If you actually think about it, people land on Hero content, probably. They probably hear about you because of your Hero content, but then you’d like to drive them towards your heart content to convert. Again, they might even come across you because of your ongoing podcast or videos, and then be driven to your heart content, perhaps from your hero content to your hub content, then to your heart content. Again, maybe from your hero content to your help content, but then your help, you’re driving people down your funnel toward your heart, your core content, and you’re intending to convert people after that. So that’s a summary of how I view content marketing and what I call the 4H content marketing model.

Introducing the “Pump and Funnel” Marketing Model

But let’s go back into a little continuation of that. I’m going to open a third and final whiteboard. This is another model that I’ve called the “Pump and funnel” marketing model. So I’ve just drawn this out very roughly beforehand, but obviously you can see that this is a funnel here. This is a pump coming up here and let’s see what goes into the whole thing. Well, what I do is I actually split up the funnel into different stages of a buying cycle. So you’ve got five different stages in here, one, two, three, four, five, and if I write them what they are, so I’ve tweaked existing funnels into what I think is probably slightly more appropriate for a B2B type situation. So I think this is a good, really good model to bear in mind if you’re a B2B business.

So I call the first phase Attract, the second one, Assure. So you’re attracting your audience, you’re assuring your audience that you are the right brand to do business with. The third phase, the third part, connect. You’re starting to build that personal relationship with people. So it’s not a B2C type marketing model. It really is a B2B, slightly a longer-term marketing model. After you connect, what do you do? Nurture. So that’s a nurture phase. So you go from connecting with an individual to making them feel very comfortable with you as a business, you personally, to hopefully do business with you, and then that leads to not convert, but convince. Because in my opinion, people choose to convert with you because of what you’ve done, because of the experience that they’ve had with you as a brand.

So you’ve got attract, assure, connect, nurture, convince, and then people naturally become customers. You’ve convinced them to become a customer, but also because of the experiences that they’ve had, they will become a customer. So they’ll become a customer and that leads to the sixth step, Delight. You delight people who have become customers, and a certain percentage of them will become brand evangelists. So you can pump them back into your system and get other customers as a result of doing that. So attract more customers. So that’s what I call the pump and funnel marketing model. I just wanted to introduce it briefly because this is where podcasting fits in.

So where does a podcast fit in? Now, a podcast doesn’t fit in easily. Remember, it’s Hub content, it’s episodic content. So just before we get to podcasts, let’s think of other content. So first of all, the Hero content, the type of content that is going to attract a lot of new people and make a big splash. Well, that’s definitely in your attract area here. So that’s your hero type content. Then after that, you have got your Help content. Now your help content will go along these three parts here, Assure, Connect, Nurture. That’s what you want to be doing with your Help content. People can discover you as a result of your Help content, but it’s less likely. It’s more likely that the Help content is something that people are going to be experiencing after they know you as a brand.

Just before we get to the podcast type content and where that fits in, Convince content. That’s exactly where the Heart content is. In fact, we’ll draw a little heart here and we’ll go heart content. So it becomes easier to do content marketing when you know exactly where to apply it within your overall marketing strategy. The podcast, the Hub type content, that I actually can touch people at every step through the funnel, depending on the topic that you’re touching on. So you can use a content to attract people, assure, connect. There’s no complete rule with regards to a podcast, but if you understand that it can potentially fit into every step of your customer experience, then you don’t actually have to be too concerned about what you’re trying to do with the podcast. Because a podcast makes people more comfortable with your brand. It makes people more aware of your brand and it makes people more likely to purchase from you and more likely to share you as a business because they trust you more. So you don’t have to worry about selling from a podcast because it really is brand building content. So there we go. That is a quick summary of what I call the “Pump and Funnel” marketing model.

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