The Hero Help Hub Framework

The Hero Help Hub Framework: Video content strategy for colleges and universities

The Hero Help Hub Framework helps you create an effective video content strategy for your college or university.

It explains the very different roles played by the three types of video content, and how they each fit into prospective students’ decision-making process.

The framework helps guide many of the decisions that you face when creating video.

If you are ever unsure of answers to questions like…

  • What type of video should I be creating?
  • What’s the best way to distribute and promote my video content?
  • How long should this video be?

…then applying the framework will help you understand the purpose of each video you are creating, and stay on the right track.

The Hero Help Hub Framework

hero_hub_help clearhead
hero_hub_help clearhead

Video content strategy #1: Hero content

  • Keywords: emotion, bravery and storytelling.
  • Main distribution channel: paid media.
  • Duration: 30 – 90 seconds long.

Hero content has high production values but low release frequencies. It’s the video equivalent of your prospectus: you create it once per year, and then distribute it as widely as you can to attract prospective students into the top of your recruitment funnel.

Hero content is best suited to interruption advertising. It’s creative, bold and emotive. It raises awareness and captures prospective students’ attention with its storytelling and ‘wow’ factor. It’s the education version of a Super Bowl ad: the piece of content you are known for, the one that gets talked about, shared and watched again and again. It forms an indelible first impression and stirs viewers into taking action.

Hero content requires the most resources (both in time and money) than the other two video types. However, the investment pays off as this content type has the biggest impact of all. Audience retention, viewer engagement and conversions are at their highest.

If it’s the best, the first or the biggest – or if there’s a story behind your hero content – you can also get earned media coverage, sending even more viewers to watch it.

Click here to see a great example of hero content from the education sector.

Video content strategy #2: Help content

  • Keywords: informative, useful and timely.
  • Main distribution channel: owned media
  • Duration: typically 1 – 5 minutes.

Help videos are always-on content, answering prospective students’ queries 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Imagine someone has just typed one of these into Google:

  • “What’s the accommodation like at xyz university?”
  • “Is xyz a good place to study?”
  • “Can you get into university with vocational qualifications?”
  • “Is xyz college good for people with a disability?
  • “What’s the difference between BTECs and NVQs?”

If you want your college or university to appear on search engine results pages, you need to create help content. It’s not a promotional film masquerading as informative, educational content: help content is genuinely useful to viewers, with subtle branding.

It’s pull content, optimised for search, that answers people’s questions in a timely manner. The title, thumbnail and metadata will all need to be optimised to closely match the search queries of prospective students, to ensure it can be successfully indexed by search engines.

Most of the time, help content sits ready for when your target audience seeks it out, perhaps on the FAQs page of your website. However, if it’s a seasonal piece of content, you may want to actively promote it on your owned media channels and put some paid advertising behind it at the relevant times of year. If it’s really useful and well executed, you may also scoop some ‘earned’ distribution, through shares, media coverage and links to it by influencers.

The queries to focus on answering with help content are the ones that sit in the overlap area of these three criteria:

  • What prospective students are searching for
  • Your college or university’s expertise/niche
  • Where there’s enough search volume to validate the production

Help content could be talking heads, infographics or animations. You can create this type of content fairly cheaply, especially if you do it in batches. Then, release the videos in stages, when most relevant to your target audience. They can be a bit longer than hero content – just as long as they need to be to answer the query concisely.

Click here to see a great example of help content from the education sector.

Video content strategy #3: Hub content

  • Keywords: regular, engaging and fresh perspective.
  • Main distribution channel: owned media.
  • Duration: 30 seconds – 2 minutes long.

Both hero and help content is about finding a new audience – either through big bold ads or by being there when a searcher has a query.

Hub content is aimed at audiences who already know about you, perhaps because they’ve seen your hero content, or they live locally, or they’ve subscribed to your updates. They actively want to receive engaging content from you on a regular basis, as long as it’s relevant to their stage in the customer journey.

Hub content is normally deeper under the surface than hero content. It might be the second video prospective students watch as they search your courses, or video links you send to your email database.

It’s push content that deepens your relationship with prospective students, and maintaining that interest and engagement over time. Hub content helps you keep prospective students warm and convert to enrolments.

It’s content that you develop on a regular basis to give a fresh perspective on your key messages.

  • Is your college one where people learn by doing, on fully vocational courses? Create a video showing what trips, practical projects and hands-on workshops have taken place this month.
  • Is your university all about employability? Create a case study about your latest alumni who got a really cool job.

You’ll notice that, in all of these examples, the focus is on the students. Not your principal or your building. Students tell us they want to see and hear from other students.

Click here to see a great example of hub content from the education sector.


We can help with your video content strategy: email hello@weareclearhead.com or call us on 02074941589 for an informal chat.