4 Effective Techniques to Master Hero Content

Why do people love stories about heroes?

Because they’re the protagonists who make a story relatable, relevant and real.

A good hero bridges the gap between the ‘story world’ to familiar territory. A commonplace that helps the reader (or watcher) gain greater and deeper insight. Somewhere they can be engaged, educated, encouraged and inspired. 

Hero content uses this same structure.

Content designed to reach a wider audience, like the heroes from your favourite book or movie. 

This type of content is the Peter Pan, Simba, Ariel and Aladdin of Walt Disney stories. It’s the Danny Torrance of Stephen King’s The Shining, the Losers Club from It or John Coffey from The Green Mile.

Hero content creates connections. 

Once perfected, you have pieces of bite-sized content, crafted from long-form content, to use across multiple platforms. Valuable hero content that puts your audience in your story, but shouts your brand to the world. 

This saves you time and effort, without needing to produce more content. 

How to Find Your Hero Content

Hero content fits into the H-H-H model; Hero-Hub-Hygiene (or helping) content, a framework created by Google in 2016. Although originally for video, it’s a useful blueprint every business owner should apply to their content today. 

hero-content-HHH-framework-Google
The H-H-H model by Google.

Content types that can become your hero are:

  • ‘How to’ guides
  • Long-form blog articles
  • Free downloadable e-books 
  • FAQ articles 
  • Industry resources
  • Video content

For example; an 800+ word FAQ article turns into:  

  • Detailed FAQ article itself
  • A short snippet (1-2 Q+A) to feature as a Google My Business post, link to the full article to bring more organic traffic to your site (5+)
  • Promotional post across all channels 
  • Q+As to use as Instagram and Pinterest tiles (question first, swipe for answer)
  • Social media posts focusing on one Q+A (10+ posts)
  • One-liners from article to twitter (20+ tweets)
  • A short video outlining 1-3 top FAQs (5+ posts)
  • Downloadable checklist 

Here’s how to master the art of hero content. 

1. Place Your Audience at the Centre of the Story

The secret to successful storytelling is understanding your audience and making them the centre of your story. 

To write good content, you must create something that’ll attract, engage and solve their problem. You need to know what makes them tick if you want to capture the attention of your readers. 

For example, if you sell homes – think of the pet peeves your customers have when shopping for a new house. Then deliver content that educates them about their issue and how your services may help them.

“The customer is the hero of our story, not us. When we position our customer as the hero and ourselves as their guide, we will be recognised as a sought-after character to help them.”

“In other words, your audience is Luke Skywalker. You get to be Yoda,” – Donald Miller (Building a Brand Story).

Your hero content shouldn’t be about how great you are. This brings disconnections. It’s about what you can do to help your audience. Your product or service is only there to support them on their journey. 

hero-content-yoda

2. Write the Right Language 

Hero content keeps your audience coming back to your site. 

But if you’re not speaking their language, your story (and message) get lost. Your audience tunes out and feels secluded, no one wins.  

How do you nail the right language and tone? By digging deep into who your audience is, their needs and personality. 

Follow these tips: 

  • Know what they care about and what they want to read, use Google Analytics to help profile your ideal customer and Search Console to review search intent before you create any content 
  • Swap industry jargon with consumer-friendly language 
  • If you do use complex terms, define them simply 
  • Use phrases and acronyms that make sense to them

3. Make a Clear Point

Tell your audience what your content is about straight away. 

Use stories to help clarify a point, write short and pointed copy and kill your darlings. Content without a purpose is useless. If there’s no structure or context, readers will lose interest. 

4. Don’t Forget the Cliffhanger

Everyone loves a good cliffhanger in a movie. 

Hero content is exactly the same. Except, the cliffhanger is your strategic call to action

A great CTA triggers a response and turns your readers into leads. It must direct them to the right move, but it’s no easy feat. 

CTAs are the tipping point between “bounces” and “conversions”. It’s the cliffhangers that evoke excitement and curiosity. They direct the audience to take action, like turning the page or watching the next episode. 

Hollywood does a good job of this. When they segment a movie into a series of films, you can’t help but watch the rest to find out how the story ends. 

Dr. Seuss says it best when describing the art of writing:

Dr-Seuss-quote

Memorable brands like Disney, Coca-Cola and Apple have long realised the power of brand stories to build a connection with their audience.   

Hero content is rooted in storytelling and human experience. If you want to engage your audience and attract more people to your site, make sure you invest time to make a hero out of your content.

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