Hero content is here to save your marketing calendar…
You’re sitting there, a mouse in one hand, a cup of double-strength coffee in the other. You stare your content calendar in the eye (well, screen) as a tumbleweed blows across your desk – the monthly stand-off has begun.
Let’s face it, content creation can be pretty darn time consuming, and when it comes to planning out your content for the month ahead, it can take a lot more time than expected when you a) don’t have any content and b) have to create something out of nothing for every single post, email and update.
A while back, we wrote about content grabs, which is one way to fill up those content slots with ease, but next up in our ‘help, I’m a marketing manager with no time!’ series (working title) we’re looking at how you can get the most from just one piece of content.
What is hero content?
Not all heroes wear capes – which is just as well, because we reckon it would be pretty distracting in this case. To answer the question – hero content is basically one big piece of content that aims to make a splash. It could be a television ad, an experiential campaign, a brand video, whitepaper, a book or even a long-form blog – basically, the star of your content show. Regardless of the medium, hero content typically takes time, money and resource – but with the right strategy, you can get a lot more bang for your buck.
If you think about it, hero content is like the roast beef (or nut loaf, for our plant-based pals) in a Sunday roast. On its own, you have a pretty expensive indulgent treat, but there isn’t much variety and you don’t get a balanced meal from it. Now, when you slice it down and put it on a plate with yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and those carrots with the maple glaze on top, you now have a whole lot more from that one nut loaf (or beef joint, for our carnivo…you get the jist). Bringing this back to content for a sec, hero content is only really worthwhile when you can break it down and team it up with smaller pieces of content.
One Bus, Lots of Content
Our client’s First Bus were looking to launch 75 of their new, state-of-the-art buses with a bang. Inspired by a childhood dream (did anyone else want to shrink down to fit into their toy boxes when they were wee?) and the fact that we couldn’t quite get our hands on a shrink ray this time around, we decided to create a giant Hot Wheels style experiential stunt with one of the new buses and plonk it straight in Glasgow’s city centre (George Square, to be exact). This was our piece of hero content.
On the day, it got loads of attention, but after a few hours, it was gone in a flash. To make sure it made the most impact, we created a content strategy around the whole thing – documenting the whole campaign and making an even bigger splash online. Here’s what it looked like:
- Live stream of the bus going live
- Photos of the stunt
- Hero video to film the launch and people’s reactions
- Live behind the scenes content (e.g.: Instagram stories)
- Full behind the scenes video (from idea, to final result)
- Case study, including photos, videos etc.
- Blog post, including photos, videos etc.
- Press release, including photos, videos etc.
- All of the above, turned into short 5 second clips and one-off posts for social media
- All of the above content, used for digital ads
- All of the above content, built into a presentation
From this one piece of content that didn’t exist online at all, we managed to create a bucketload of material to work with – extending the lifespan of the campaign, showing it to people who didn’t happen to be walking past George Square that morning, and scoring some additional buzz around the new buses.
Tips on Breaking Down Hero Content
- Consider every stage in the process – from that first idea, to the final launch, there’s content at every stage. Yep, even the parts that you find boring.
- Document, document, document – keep those little sketches and carry a camera with you if you have to, your future content-planning self will thank you for it.
- Think about your channels – how many you have, how frequently you’d like to post, consider where you’ll be putting this content and the mediums within them (eg: Instagram posts and Instagram stories).
- Different audience, different angle – for example, your customers are one audience, your industry peers are another. This is especially useful when thinking about press releases.
- Give yourself time – even though you’re getting more from one piece of content, it still takes some time to pull it together. Don’t rush – it will save you time in the long run.
- Work backwards – think about how much content you want to create from it, then plan around it at the beginning of the project.
- Aim for repeatability – consider a content theme, or structure that can be used in the future. This should make things even more efficient for the next project, and the next one, and the next one.
- Repost, repost, repost – especially with social, things move so fast. Even though you’ve seen this piece of content three times, it doesn’t mean everyone in your audience has. Be mindful, but don’t be afraid to post about the same thing a few times.
Like we said, content creation can be a big time-guzzler, but with hero content, a dose of strategy and a structure that squeezes the most from that initial investment, you can so much from your content without having to go back to square one after every post has been published.
One more thing—did we mention behind the scenes content?
Hey, need an award-winning team of content strategist and content creators to get you off on the right foot? Get in touch – we’d love to help!