What is a content hub?
Learn the essential facts about content hubs for editors and marketers.
While omnichannel, customer journeys, and headless CMS continue to grow in popularity, the world of digital experiences needs a term designating how to properly treat the cornerstone of all your offerings—your priceless content.
When there are multiple channels, like websites, apps, IoT, digital signage, wearables, and AR, and there are multiple marketing and communication teams spread across different functions, markets, and geographies, you need one common place to create, draft, edit, store, publish, distribute, and maintain content. Enter the content hub.
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Content hub explained
A content hub is the central source for all your various content, helping marketers to create, edit, and distribute content to any required channel for maximal effect.
This concept describes the fundamental structure and habitat of your content in an age where channel neutrality and platform agnosticism are dominant features. The purpose is to remove traditional silos and gather all your content in one place, before coupling it with a platform that can distribute the content to any preferred channel.
Just like a hub is the central part of a wheel, a content hub is the central part of an organisation’s content operations—making it easier to reuse content across different channels and make use of synergies between traditionally separated teams, technologies, and processes.
See also: How to maximise the output of your CMS »
ContentOps: retain full control of your content
A content hub is closely aligned with the content production principle of content operations, ContentOps. This principle integrates people, process, and technology in order to realise more efficient and painless content production: deciding roles and who does what, how they do it, and with what tools.
As a means to align these three important factors, a content hub can organise people into roles and groups with different user rights, make the content available to each stage of a production process—including workshops, schedules, scripts, production, reviews, publishing, and maintenance—and ready the content for distribution through an API.
And best of all: a content platform allows you to retain full editorial control of your content by having one single source of authority. This applies to all the different phases involving multiple stakeholders like editors, subject matter experts, and publishers—processes like planning, creating, and distributing—and technologies like CRM, office suite, creative software, CMS, marketing automation, and email.
Read more: How to excel at content operations »
Avoiding multiple solutions
Being both a central source and a single source of authority in your organisation, a content hub might relieve you of the need to have an excessive amount of systems to create, present, and optimise your content in different channels.
With a content hub, there’s no longer any need for five different systems to manage content in e.g. a traditional website, a blog, an intranet, a self-service solution, and an app. While you still may need to integrate with other marketing tools like an office suite or marketing automation, a content hub can replace the traditional content silos of yore.
Instead of content management system multiplicity, you can have one solution and reuse content across channels via APIs. A truly great content hub can even let you handle and edit rich media files, like images. A single and central content source can therefore save both time and resources.
Suitable technology for content hubs
A content hub is not a specific service, platform, or software in itself, but describes any technological offering that belongs under the concept by the merit of its attributes.
Any system capable of creating content, preparing channel-agnostic content (i.e. structured content), managing user rights and permissions, and delivering content to any channel, can therefore be labeled as a content hub.
A natural specimen is, of course, the headless CMS. But many headless content management systems lack the support for websites, previewing, URL management, and so on. This is why a hybrid CMS might be the most natural expression of a true content hub. But, as always, it depends on your requirements.
Other uses of “content hub”
If this article has made you confused, don’t worry. There is another widespread use of the concept of “content hub” that might be what you have been looking for. Marketing guru Neil Patel describes this other “content hub” as follows:
“A content hub is a destination where website visitors can find branded, curated, social media, user-generated, or any type of content related to a topic.”
A content hub can therefore also be a customisable media channel, like a blog, Pinterest, or RSS aggregators. In this context, a content hub is understood from a consumer perspective, while the article you’re reading right now has described a concept stemming from a producer perspective.