Much like Batman and Superman are one-man armies who protect the weak and defeat any and all villains in their paths, hero assets pack a powerful marketing punch that can do a lot of good for your organization.
We’ve been hearing the term “hero asset” thrown around plenty in recent months, but it seems like everyone’s definition is different. What are the characteristics of a successful hero asset? What role do hero assets play in campaigns? Most of all, how can organizations design hero assets to provide ongoing value to their bottom line?
My goal is to show how with the right strategy and planning, you can create stellar hero assets that will save the day for your organization.
Hero assets are…
Rooted in Thought Leadership
Hero assets are larger, higher-value assets like E-books or guides. They serve as the anchors of long-term campaigns — some of which have different topic tracks or branches. Trend-based in nature, these assets are usually longer than the standard 1,000-1,500 word count — up to 2,000 or even 3,000 words in an asset is more the norm.
Although hero assets address a central theme or core topic, they’re extremely detailed and encompass a variety of supporting topics, trends and best practices. These talking points can and should be used throughout your campaign.
Aligned With Your Brand and Unique Tone of Voice
All of your content — especially your hero assets — should reflect your brand’s unique opinions and perspectives. What’s most important, though, is that these large, foundational pieces include your brand’s unique tone of voice. It’ll undoubtedly take a lot of time and effort to create a hero asset, so you want to ensure these pieces represent your brand in the best way possible. That way, as buyers find and download your content from all over the web, you’ll be able to put your best foot forward and paint and accurate picture of your business.
Over the past year, the rules of content gating have been shaken up. B2B buyers are able to find so much information around the web that they have higher expectations of the content they submit their personal information to access. As a result, marketers are starting to rethink how and when they gate their content.
Despite these shifts, hero assets remain prime candidates for lead-gen forms. Because they’re so detailed and comprehensive, your buyers will be more than willing to share more information in exchange. Besides, hero assets should serve as a starting point for a campaign. Once you capture a visitor’s information, add them to your nurture program and serve them relevant follow-up assets.
Modular by Design
When you start to design your hero asset, always consider the role it will play in your campaign and how it will fuel other assets you need to create. As you develop your ideation, find ways to slice and dice the asset so you can create an army of derivative pieces that dive deeper into different topics, trends and best practices.
Although there will be cases where you can break down and reuse content as-is, your hero asset should also give you plenty of fodder and inspiration to create net-new content. In these cases, you can take narrative points found within the hero asset and expand upon them for more focused follow-up pieces.
If you plan your content with modularity in mind, you’ll be equipped to build a content ecosystem that fuels a long-term, comprehensive entire campaign.
Promoted Consistently…Even As Your Campaign Progresses
With the right strategy and planning, hero assets can give your team plenty of marketing support. They’re detailed and comprehensive, helping you set a powerful stage for your nurture campaign and giving your buyers a taste of the valuable thought leadership they’ll receive in the future.
Hero assets are also powerful weapons for your inbound marketing strategy. If you’re trying to capture buyer attention across search, social media and other channels, it’s wise to leverage a hero asset that covers a variety of different topics and resonates with target buyers in your most coveted industries. That way, you can appeal to a larger pool of target buyers and continue to build and nurture the relationship by serving them relevant, follow-up assets.
As you can see, hero assets can give you the power to ramp up your campaigns and even accelerate your content creation. All you have to do is keep these tips and best practices in mind.
Download our guide to learn about how you can modularize content from the top down, and even the bottom up to beef up your content library.