How to ensure your 'Content Strategy' doesn’t become a 'Brand Villain'

Any hero worth their salt has a strong focus, a decent support team and always keeps an eye on the competition. Their story resonates across borders, time and people. And the same principles apply to 'Content Marketing' video content – inspiring stories that create massive brand awareness.

Every hero needs a good support crew

In YouTube’s ‘Hero, Hub, Help’ content framework pyramid, ‘Hero’ is at the top, the beacon that draws audiences in, while the ‘Hub’ and ‘Help’ content works to convert them into repeat visitors.

Our Hero can’t work in isolation: it’s part of an overall strategy which really maximizes how marketers can influence and engage with consumers at every stage of their brand interaction and purchase journey. When these three parts work in harmony with each other, they help the brand become a consistent, meaningful part of a customer’s life rather than just randomly crashing in and out of it.

Hone the art of storytelling

Hero content is about incredible stories that transcend the usual brand narrative. Stories create an emotional framework which is more engaging, memorable and shareable for the customer, and within which you can then introduce rational facts and product messages.

That’s because stories are based around an emotional hook, a universal human truth which everyone can tap into. So when you’re planning your Hero content, first understand what your objectives are, then find the emotional hook which allows you to showcase those brand needs and values – maybe it’s excitement, transformation, purpose, adventure, joy, childhood innocence, intrigue or even fear?

Then follow the classic storytelling techniques of assembling your cast of characters. You need a hero who exemplifies your brand values, a villain (usually the issue your brand helps overcome) and a decent supporting cast of mentors and adversaries along the way, in a classic three stage set up, confrontation, resolution narrative.

So, brands need to react to this always-on culture with always-on strategies that tread a fine line. On the one hand, they need to make a big splash with eye-catching campaigns that can reach a mass audience. On the other, they need to ensure they’re producing a regular stream of compelling content to maximize this engagement and cater to the needs of their target audience. It’s from this need that the idea of Hero content and a multi-pronged content strategy has emerged

Marketing super heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Each marketer offers their expertise in different, specialized forms. They may be more empathetic or analytical, but, either way, they are customer focused.

Hero content and The Three H strategy has become the driving force behind most brand content strategies in recent years, and that’s for a very good reason: it’s smart, scalable, and generally works very well. But it’s not a guaranteed success and it’s not the only strategy out there.

When considering a content strategy, brands should think carefully about who their target audiences are, the different stages of the buying cycle and how content can fit within it. A car company, for example, should think of the challenges that customers face when buying a car and what they might need to know when considering the purchase.

Good content is all about reaching an audience in the right way at the right time to meet their needs. If you’re strategy isn’t doing that, it’s time for a rethink.

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