Hero PR campaigns are the more dramatic campaigns that will drive an elevated level of brand awareness at a larger scale. They are typically strategised across multi-channels for optimum amplification to send a powerful brand message across all audiences.
They’re the campaigns known for going viral – the ones you’re most likely to share with your friends down the pub or retweet to your feed. They aim for viral fame – reaching as far and wide as possible.
- What does Google think of Hero Content?
- When is a Hero Campaign right for Digital PR?
- When is a Hero Campaign not right?
- Hero Content
a) Possible Formats
c) Relevant to the Brand
d) Relevant to the Audience
e) Be Original
- Hero Content is evolving content
- Measuring the effectiveness of Hero Campaigns
What does Google think of Hero Content?
In 2015, Google released the hero-hub-help content framework where it outlaid its approach towards ‘hero’ content.
- Help: sites need content that answers their target audience’s queries when they’re looking for solutions
- Hub: this is regular content where a brand’s editorial voice will come through with a strong, distinctive style
- Hero: this is the big, “tent-pole” event designed to have a huge impact on audience reach. It should still be relevant to the brands’ target audience
Since then, Google has edited its linking advice time and time again but the concept of useful, unique, relevant content continues to sit at the heart of tactics that are going to drive natural backlinks to sites.
When is a Hero Campaign right for Digital PR?
There has been a lot of debate around hero content and campaigns since the pandemic, as PR tactics have become increasingly reactive. The thought of a ‘hero’ campaign can make marketers wary or cautious that too much time, effort or money may be needed for campaigns that focus on the ‘awareness’ stage of the user journey and that may not result in instant results.
In the midst of the debate, there are some key things to think about in favour of hero campaigns.
- Not every journalist is looking for a quick story to fill their slots: there are still journalists who have a job of finding well-researched, methodological detailed stories that are going to engage a range of readers
- Hero campaigns provide the resource to tap into the bigger issues: whilst reactive work inserts brands into the quicker, relevant conversations, hero campaigns can help them join the more serious, higher-brow topics in interesting, unique ways
- Evergreen content: hero campaigns are yet another way to include evergreen, relevant content onto the site
- Thought leadership: these are the campaigns where brands can situate themselves as thought leaders taking a deep dive into topical areas
- Audiences still want content beyond the news: since Covid-19, there are many internet users who actively avoid news platforms and don’t want all content onsite to relate to breaking news. Hero campaigns account for these users and avoid limiting the reach
- Opportunity to rank for informational keywords: hero campaigns, as we’ve discussed, target the awareness stage of the user journey which means they offer opportunities for the site to rank for relevant, long-tail keywords
- People still want to be entertained: content and campaigns ultimately need to bring the audience joy, too, and these big campaigns are fun ways to do that
When is a Hero Campaign not right?
The downsides of hero campaigns have been aired a lot by the community over the last few years. Some to consider are:
- Hero campaigns can require bigger budgets to account for the extra resource, research, asset and time
- They take longer – the more used to reactive PR we become, the longer hero campaigns will feel but these are bigger projects
- They require effective planners – hero campaigns require someone who can stay organised, keep their planning tidy and think strategically
Hero content isn’t always the biggest piece of content but, instead, the boldest. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to ideating your hero content.
Some formats to consider for your hero content might include:
- Interactive Tools
- Visual Assets
- Fake Product
- Book/ Magazine
Go wherever your imagination takes you!
You need to get the look right – like all branded assets. This needs to be done professionally to do the hero content justice and attract attention in the same way traditional media would need to. If you don’t have the budget for a designer or access to someone in-house, there are free tools out there that might work for you including a design platform like Canva, or AI like Dall-E 2.
Relevant to the Brand
- What are your business objectives for overall marketing?
- What is your current strategy?
- Are there any topics that your brand is striving to be an authority on?
- Where are the overlapping areas all marketing channels can amplify together?
- What are your brand no-nos to steer clear of completely?
- Does your brand have access to any exclusive information or data already that could be utilised?
Relevant to the Audience
- What are your audience’s pain points?
- What are they asking about?
- What are the bigger topics the audience need guidance on in your sector?
- What past/predicted trends are going to impact your audience personally?
Ultimately, like all marketing campaigns, your reasons behind it should be relevant to your brand, attractive to a journalist, engaging for a wide audience and bringing added value to the brand and journalists, too.
It’s the uniqueness and originality of your story that’s going to get it to stick when it comes to outreach. It’s the foundation of marketing that campaigns that instigate an emotional response – whether this is crying, laughing, or shocking – are the ones that are going to have success.
Hero Content is evolving content
Once you’ve created the hero content – this isn’t the end of your story. It’s now time to maximise your return on investment by looking at all the different ways you can use this content, showcase it and build upon it in ways that are going to be useful to the brand and audience.
Some examples of amplifying your hero content include:
- Articles: can you create a series of articles from your campaign?
- Blogs: can they be turned into a series of evergreen blogs?
- Social Media: can social content be created for Instagram, Twitter or even TikTok?
- Events: are there awards that can be created from your research, can you have a video premiere event?
- Email Marketing: can you recycle content for your email newsletter?
- PPC: is there an opportunity to work hand in hand with other channels to amplify your hero content?
Measuring the effectiveness of Hero Campaigns
The initial brand awareness metrics are what will give you that more instant gratification, seeing if the campaign goes viral, is picked up by journalists in the first round of outreach and begins to get the brand noticed.
As always, don’t worry if you don’t feel the instant value of your work. The investment into this hero content means you can pivot, edit and get more from this work to offer new formats and new angles time and time again – whilst there may be bigger risks with this size of a campaign with it comes bigger rewards in the long run if done properly!
Including Hero Campaigns in your digital pr strategy can make a big difference to both your brand’s awareness and its online performance. As mentioned these types of campaigns can drain your resource, time and investment so we recommend maximising your efforts and repurposing your campaign into lots of different content formats.
If you want to read on, check out our Complete Guide to Content Marketing, or if you need a hand get in touch with us today, we’re a nice bunch and we’d love to help you get the most out of your marketing.