As content marketers, it’s easy to think of ourselves as the hero. We produce blogs, compose written pieces, and share stories that will ultimately save our customers from an untimely demise. However, the truth is that we are not the saviors in these tales. Rather, we act as mentors and advisors for our readers – the hero of their own story. But how do these individuals go from everyday folks to champions? How can they overcome obstacles and defeat pain points, whatever those may be? The answer: teaming up with the right hero’s mentor. That’s where you come in. Throughout our Hero’s Journey Mentor Series, we’re highlighting different archetypes for these companions and digging into not what characteristics and approaches we can take as content marketers to help transform customers into bonafide heroes. And no matter how strong, capable, inspired, or gifted they may be, sometimes every hero needs a friend. This, my patient reader, is the fabled tale of the Sidekick.
The Sidekick’s Origin
Behind every great hero – whether they possess fantastical abilities or are just an everyday human – stands an ever-faithful sidekick. Our minds may drift towards superhero associates: the Robin to Batman; the Jimmy Olsen to Superman; the Bucky to Captain America. But even throughout film, TV, and literature, we can find examples of these friendly helpers. Chewbacca stands by Han Solo through thick and thin; Garth plays idiot savant to his Wayne; even the slightly demented Walter Sobchak does his best to assist the Dude in The Big Lebowski – even if he threw his bag of dirty undies off the bridge instead of the money. The key to all of these characters is that their steadfast commitment to the quest laid out before their heroic partners. While they may have their own lives and interests, they put these needs aside and stand closely to their friends. As the Sidekick, our content marketing minds need to center around furthering the advancement of our heroes, whatever the contexts or contents may be.
The Sidekick’s Approach to Content Marketing
Sidekicks sometimes get the short stick. We may think of them as being superfluous or simply filling in for the hero’s less tantalizing tasks. But as content marketers, this role is to stand by our stoic heroes day in and day out. We help by reminding our readers of not only the importance of their work, but that they’re not alone in their efforts. In this age of emotionally charged and dark superhero films, the existential crises that crusaders go through are troubling to say the least.
This is exactly why a close friend going through the same things as them can be so helpful.
The ideal readers we reach with our written content are dealing with difficult times. They may need to find new customers for their product, increase market awareness, or even turn their business away from a nosedive. When we play the role of the sidekick we are expressing the reassurance that these experiences are not singular and that they’re not out there trying to save their world on their lonesome. The approach for any content produced in this respect needs to stick with them on a daily basis. That’s exactly why the sidekick’s primary focus as a content marketer should be with middle of the funnel offerings like social media and email marketing.
Social media exists because of a universal truth: people want to feel connected. While this overwhelmingly true for individuals, customers and businesses are also going through the same things. They may be unsure of how to approach their pain points, or they may even forget why those victories are so important. Playing the part of the sidekick gives us a chance to speak directly to these heroes on an emotional level, while also reinforcing the reasons they got started on their quest in the first place. Content marketers should be using social media – as well as newsletters or email lists – as a method to firmly stand by the individuals benefiting from their content. The posts and strategies we develop should always be based around appealing to those emotions. They should also be consistent enough to be a part of their everyday life. If you’re developing your brand and trying to speak to customers, what better way to do so than with a sincere and genuine social media posting that inspires engagement and action?
Now that you know the why of a sidekick, it’s time to learn more about the how. Delve into our next big issue where we break down the specific tactics that hero companions can take to sharpen that middle of funnel content. We’ll also give practical advice on how to develop and implement social media and email campaigns that will help transform your customers into caped crusaders, or at least heroes of their own sagas.