How and Why To Create a Media Hub For Your Company
March 1, 2021
Create passionate communities of brand advocates with media hubs.
I’ll be honest: When I saw the term “media hub” flying around LinkedIn sometime in 2018, I wrote it off as another high-style, low-substance turn of techspeak and moved on.
But far from techspeak or a passing trend, media hubs can empower your business by turning customers into advocates. By unifying people around elevated content offerings, then leveraging that community for marketing and strategic purposes, you can create communities of ultra-engaged consumers while improving adoption, retention, revenue and even sales.
Best of all, media hubs can meet a huge variety of business needs: customer retention, lead generation, employee onboarding and engagement, certification and reseller programs and much more. Learn more about why they work, where they work and how to make them work for you below.
But first, what are media hubs and how can they excite your community?
What Are Media Hubs?
Think of a media hub as your company’s destination for branded videos, similar to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. On a dedicated microsite, you can host videos, webinars and live sessions on fully branded pages, each of which can collect data and valuable marketing information from your visitors.
Content can also be subdivided into sections, split by topic, job title, or industry, giving your audience more options while helping your company fine-tune audience preferences and content gaps. Paired BigMarker’s powerful interactive features and automated workflows, you can create videos with the engagement and connectivity of a live presentation, but enjoy the convenience of running them alongside your other work.
If you don’t charge entry, your media hub can draw a huge number of passionate brand advocates ready to consume higher-level content. But you can also use subscription options to create an exclusive community of ultra-engaged, premium users. That revenue can then be used to finance even better content, pleasing your audience and strengthening your community even further.
Why Should I Use Media Hubs?
Create Communities That Retain and Excite Customers: Today’s most valuable companies need to create communities, not just to rally the troops but to foster affinity around a shared set of values. Through excellent content and interactions in media hubs, companies can foster the intangible sense of belonging that, more than ever, keeps people coming back to the same coffee shop, shoe brand, etc. for years.
Inform and Understand Your Customers: Customer satisfaction is the lifeblood of any business. But for marketers who are often removed from customer feedback, understanding customer needs—before a widespread service problem makes those unmet needs abundantly clear—can feel like a mindreading exercise.
But more than ever, customers need to have a pulse on their audience’s needs or risk losing them, as according to a recent Salesforce survey, 76% percent of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. With your media hub content, you can fill existing customer needs and field requests for new content as they come up, instead of directing people to a email@example.com email address that hasn’t been checked in two years.
Provide fully-branded content experiences: Media hubs can be fully branded with the company logo, colors and taglines, so hosts can emphasize their brand identity, then use their top-quality content to drive their brand’s value proposition and underlying values home. This way, branding and marketing can work together to reinforce your brand’s appeal and please your audience.
Dive deeper into pressing issues: In the age of Instagram stories and social-media-based news consumption, marketers are using hours of brainpower to gain additional seconds of their audience’s attention. This need for brevity has resulted in striking visuals and creatively succinct ads, but it also deprives audiences of the more nuanced, context-rich content they need to fully understand not just your product and its story, but its relation to the broader world.
Since your media hub’s made up of a self-selecting, interested audience, hosts can turn out more complex, long-form content that covers more ground. Some examples include interviews, podcasts, panels, debates and even extended Q&As. If you can get your audience thinking, then connect your message back to your value proposition, they’re certain to come back for more.
If we learned anything in 2020, it’s that no company or industry operates in a vacuum. To stay relevant, companies need to relate their product, industry and customers with the world in which they live. Media hubs are a great place to introduce content that bridges the gap—to provide value for people to make their lives easier, whether that’s keeping up-to-speed with the latest product features or conversations happening around specific topics
Increase revenue: Media hubs feature annual and monthly subscriptions, along with free trials, to drive revenue and offer top-shelf thought leadership to your most dedicated customers. Tiering your customer base also lets you segment your messaging, which can improve your appeal to both your highly engaged and lower-touch audiences.
When Do Media Hubs Make Sense?
Media hubs fit a variety of use cases, from internal training to customer relations and marketing purposes. Here's where we’ve seen media hubs shine.
Training and Onboarding: Getting up to speed in a new role can feel like drinking from a firehose—and that's doubly true when you're onboarding remotely. But employers can create a cohesive, streamlined and useful training program with media hubs, which can organize videos by topic andjob title. With BigMarker’s interactive and engagement features, such as polls, Q&As, handouts and whiteboards, hosts can also enhance comprehension and retain their audience’s attention—turning passive consumption into active learning.
(P.S.: BigMarker integrates with Thinkific, a course builder with quizzes and interactive practice sessions, so you can host your course on Thinkific, then push learners to BigMarker to view webinars and other video content.)
If you’re running these videos “simu-live,” consider relaying audience questions to a live Slack thread so a company representative can answer questions right away. Add filters by topic and job title so learners can find exactly what they need, and nothing they don’t. So with media hubs, employees can get up to speed in a seamless, informative way that requires less facetime from managers.
For Lead Generation: After a webinar or virtual event, your attendees will want additional opportunities to learn about the event topics and your company. So at the end of your event, or in your post-event email, direct attendees to a media hub featuring additional interviews, panels and sessions centered on the event topics. If you require listeners to submit their name and email before viewing, you can generate a new stream of leads.
Besides collecting names and emails, your leads’ preferences and download activity can inform—or determine—your content strategy going forward. For instance, if your mid-afternoon session on sales enablement was sparsely attended, but a similarly themed video on the media hub got a lot more views, you can attribute the low event-day viewership to the session’s mid-afternoon timing. Then create more content on sales enablement but give viewers the flexibility to watch on their own schedule.
Customer Engagement and Retention: Creating a product is no longer enough. Customers also expect us to share the playbook for using the tools we make for them, helping them to achieve the outcomes we promise. A comprehensive knowledge hub empowers customers to achieve those outcomes with less output from your team.
In this case, your knowledge hub would include product demonstrations, feature tours, live Q&As with your support and developer teams or live streams of company events and stakeholder meetings. In this case, the knowledge hub helps your customers use your product to its fullest potential and helps them feel invested in your company’s future.
(P.S.: Consider including esteemed customers on a panel of guest speakers, giving them the opportunity to present among their peers and cementing a long-term relationship with your company. This panel can take the form of a live customer testimonial or a moderated session with an outside guest.)
Certification Programs: In the hub, you can organize certification course videos into a section, then administer a quiz at the end. Hosts can conduct the course through a series of evergreen webinars, which combines the flexibility of remote learning with the interactivity of “in-class” interaction. Learners can move through the course in a convenient, self-paced manner, but a Slack relay can send questions to a company representative who can answer right away.
Especially if your company is offering a complex and/or popular course certification, the hub structure enables you to provide a high-volume program without sacrificing quality or audience comprehension.
How to Make Media Hubs Work For Your Business
But like any business move, success lies in the execution. With a little strategy, you can maximize your media hubs and watch your business boom.
Gate them. As always, lead gen is the name of the game. If you’re not using a subscription model, ensure you’re capturing your audience’s names and contact information with a gated registration form for each video. By separating your hub into different focus areas and content streams, you can fine-tune each viewer’s interests and send them offers tailored to their specific needs. That way, you can market smart and hard.
Add them as a premium feature. Especially if you can book some big-name guests or feature exclusive content in your media hub, you can upsell your audience and increase revenue, while also organizing your most passionate customers into a supercharged community of advocates. This creates a virtuous cycle in which you’re creating next-level content, generating revenue that finances future content initiatives, which goes on to attract even more subscribers.
Maximize engagement features: Utilize engagement tactics like personalization, recommendations, requirements, certifications, mobile access, real-time chat, and gamification, to create the ultimate experience for your users.
Enable and incentive sharing: The biggest intangible benefit of media hubs is the shared community between the host and attendees—and between attendees themselves. Bring that excitement off-platform to further engage your current attendees and attract future audiences. Encourage attendees to use the sharing functions within videos and reward the most active promoters with a free month on the media hub, a virtual goodie bag, company swag, discounted services or more. From there, watch the followers roll in.
Integrate with your CRM: Generating leads is good. Converting them to customers? Even better. By integrating BigMarker with your preferred CRM or MAS, like Marketo, Salesforce or HubSpot, your viewers’ names and emails flow automatically to your sales team, who can follow up and move those new leads down the sales pipeline more quickly than ever.
Want to learn more about how the world's most innovative companies are using online events to advance their marketing goals? BigMarker's team of Account Executives are here to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
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