The 3Hs, 3Es and 3Is of Content

Hero - stand out campaigns, “must see” videos or “must read” content – eg. advertising launches, new product launches, viral type videos, etc.

Hub – your day-to-day content that you believe will resonate with your target audiences – eg. blogs around industry themes, latest fashion/product trends, etc.

Hygiene/Help – product information, ‘how to’ videos, day in the lives, etc.

Although we believe the tenets of the 3Hs make a great foundation for a content marketing strategy, we also believe that it is what every great content planner has been doing for many years. Finding those things that really differentiate a product/service in its marketplace, talking and sharing best practice, industry insight and opinion and giving information about your place in the world and how your product or service can help – surely these have always been the fundamentals of corporate communications?

At Antelope, we find working with clients as varied as third sector to multinational organisations, from local to global, the key is really understanding what content will engage their customers and how to draw the line between their product or service and their customers’ desires or needs.

So, we have created the 3Es of content strategy:

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Engage:

This is the thread that weaves your brand into the awareness of the customer or potential customer. It could be a video that is shared by a friend or colleague or that post that pops up on their LinkedIn feed. It grabs their attention by saying “This might be of interest to you”.

This is often the hardest part of the comms puzzle. Finding something that talks to your customer base/s – and remember you might have a number of diverse customer types you want to engage with – can often be hard. That’s why understanding their needs, desires and their customer journey will help you understand what ultimately might engage them.

Excite:

Once you have managed to get their attention, you need to keep it. If the average attention span used to be 8 secs, in today’s modern world where we often ‘three screen’ at the same time, retaining our customers’ interest is key. The need to excite them, to make them believe that your service/product could make them feel better about themselves/their lives better/easier/etc. is the key to generating this excitement.

Entice:

Enticement is the leap between interest and becoming a purchaser. Sometimes this bridge can be too far in one go, so you need to offer free trials, BOGOFs or a promotional device to convert from thinking about it, to doing it. However, if you lose the audience at this stage you have to go back to stage 1 so it’s worth getting the enticement stage right.

When planning your 3Es content strategy we advise you also think about the 4Is:

• informative (I didn’t know that)

• interesting (I am pleased I know that)

• intriguing (I hadn’t thought of that)

• insightful (I am glad I know that).

Following theories can often help add structure and simplicity to a campaign. They can also give you guidance and a creed to live by, which, particularly in large organisations, can bring consistency and continuity to your communications. However, as with all theory, you need to be agile and flexible in practice and ensure that instead of ticking boxes you also have your eye on the final output and that it rings true for your brand, your team and most importantly your customer.