Creating Compelling Hero Content 

Following Rika Sharma’s breakdown on developing a smart content strategy, Phil Townend, Chief Commercial Officer of Unruly APAC and IAB SG Content Committee Co-Chair, walks us through how to create effective and engaging content.

WIth social media dominating our attention spans, we’re not only competing with other brands for share of voice. We’re competing with friends, family, selfies, and weddings in our newsfeed. There is so much content out there, but who’s watching it? Currently, 100 hours of content are uploaded every minute around the world. So, it’s scary that only 20% of this content has more than 10,000 views.

To create videos that lead to conversions, ask your client or media agency, “What do you want the user to do after they watch this video?” Do you want them to:

  • Go through and share the video?
  • Click through and download a coupon?
  • Book a test drive?
  • Find their nearest store?
  • Watch the next episode?

Be very prescriptive with the user, tell them exactly what you want them to do. The biggest mistakes marketers make is assume that the consumer understands our advertising and understands what we want them to do.  The next big frontier of content marketing is connecting content with commerce (CtoC).

There are technologies which exist which can allow us to quickly and easily embed further calls to action into video campaigns to take advantage of the interactive nature of the internet.  Using video content made for a passive medium (TV) and distributing this across the web is sub optimal, all research shows made for web drives much better results.

To better understand what you want your audience to do, here are different types of KPIs you can get from your content:

  • Awareness (measured in reach, or views)
  • Advocacy (sharing and word of mouth)
  • Action (user performing a direct task such as requesting a callback)
  • Attention (time spent with brand, completion rate)

You can read more about this framework here on the IAB UK page.

There are three types of content to engage a customer: Hero, Hub, Help. These serve as a great framework for thinking about video and content creation.

Hero: Draws people in and builds awareness for audiences who want to be entertained and intrigued or interested.

Hub: Sits on your channels like Facebook or YouTube. Users come to your page and view this content to learn more about your brand. Here you can have longer form content for the people who are actually engaged and have subscribed to your channel because they’re interested in your brand.

Help: Customers are always asking questions, and you can’t be on the ground all the time to help them. Help content is a constant two-way conversation with your audience. For consumers, ‘how tos’ are an increasing search query.


With YouTube, WeChat, and Facebook serving as the most active platforms out there, this is the spectrum content needs to be distributed across. Because of the differences between each platform, the type of content needs to be diverse and scalable across these platforms.

In fact, 71% of Asian consumers hold their mobile phone vertically to make calls and monitor newsfeed. Yet, 1% of video ads are made for vertical. When we watch video on the mobile phone, we have to turn our phone around, 50% of consumers in Asia find that annoying. So, when creating content, ask first:

  • What’s the user doing?
  • How are they using it natively?
  • How can we create content that spans all of these that allows us to be able to distribute in a seamless, way?

Building awareness, influencing consideration, building advocates, brand repositioning and reputation management are what brands need today. And it’s important that you get the array of all the different types of content that can actually suffice each area.

Thinking about what happens after the distribution is really, really critical. Sometimes we  fixate – certainly in a media landscape – on ‘How many views did I get? What was my reach?’ But that’s not actually shifting product from the shelves. The thing about conversion is knowing what the consumer did after they watched the ad.

Setting your goals upfront and designing content deliberately for the consumer touch point is critical and thinking beyond the view is truly important. The industry needs to move beyond looking purely at media metrics such as views and look at metrics which keep shareholders happy, such as sales, leads, commerce.

Want more advice like this? Attend the next IAB SG next training session. Keep posted on our Twitter or Facebook page!