It’s no secret that the digital marketing landscape is vast - and constantly changing. While marketers love the funnel analogy, I truly believe cross-platform strategy is more of a performance ecosystem. Arguably, the most important part of the ecosystem is what keeps it alive and thriving: content. But not all content is equal and almost certainly never performs the same! Enter: trailblazer content.

Trailblazer content can be a single post, ad, or a specific unit that meaningfully outperforms its counterparts. It’s the gold standard that every creative team aims to produce and what every performance team dreams of highlighting on their weekly reviews.

At Code3, we define trailblazer content as any asset that significantly surpasses its peers in reach, engagement, and conversion. It can be as complex as a UGC (one of many) with a clever hook that leads to 2x the ROAS of your other leading assets, or as straightforward as product lifestyle static that drives outsized engagement organically. Identifying and leveraging trailblazer content can make a significant difference in overall strategy.

So what do you do when you hit gold and find that you’ve launched a trailblazer? I often run into agencies and brands who think finding a win means they’ve arrived at their destination. “Our post earned 10x engagement” or “that paid unit is taking over our meta spend” - we did it... At Code3, we have a different perspective. It’s just the beginning.

Our goal is to maximize impact across all platforms and formats, and how we leverage trailblazer content plays a huge role in that. Not sure how to identify and leverage trailblazer content? We’re here to help.

Identifying Trailblazer Content

Monitoring your brand’s performance daily is crucial for maintaining agility and swiftly reacting to performance spikes. At Code3, we are deeply immersed in performance analytics and are constantly prepared to pinpoint that one piece of content that could have a substantial impact.

We’re looking for content that cuts through the noise and connects instantly and deeply with your audience. They stop scrolling. They engage with your content. They convert. The performance spike could stem from a perfectly positioned product feature, potently-worded review, or thumbstoppy visual - let’s face it, the best performing content can sometimes mystify even the most seasoned marketers. That’s why you have to live in your performance data, always ready to flag those outliers that win big in a crowded marketplace.

Leveraging Trailblazer Content

Once you hit gold with a trailblazer, the goal is to spread it far and wide. While it's beneficial to find success with a single asset, the real advantage comes from deploying that asset across multiple placements, platforms, and stages of the marketing funnel. This comprehensive distribution is your brand’s trailblazer strategy.

Transcreation plays a key role in adapting trailblazer content for distinct audiences and platforms. By iterating messaging and visuals by known audience preference, brands can ensure that trailblazer content remains relevant and impactful. Additionally, embracing reactive creation allows brands and marketers to respond quickly to emerging trends and audience preferences, further optimizing the performance of trailblazer content.

Once identified, trailblazer content becomes an invaluable asset that can be repurposed and adapted across different platforms and formats. By creating multiple variants and collaborating with creators, agencies can maximize the potential of trailblazer content, informing storytelling, advertising strategies, and product presentations.

Maximizing the Value of Trailblazer Content

To fully harness the power of trailblazer content, it’s important to take a holistic approach, combining it with other high-performing assets to create superhero content. The value of a single asset extends far beyond its initial intention - and when you have a trailblazer piece of content? Run with it, because there are 10+ ways you can use it.

For example, you post an on-model product static to an organic channel and wake up to it on fire - reach and engagement aren’t only strong, they’re off the charts.

Here are 10 ways to leverage the post:

  • Boosting via Paid Social
  • Supporting visual for your most significant Landing Page module
  • Launching as part of a video sales sequence
  • The first slide of your dynamic carousel
  • Across commerce placements via PDP, A+ and Brand Store
  • Launching as an overlay static asset
  • Adding as an end card of a video across platforms
  • Including image as a storyboard or on a shot list item on upcoming UGC shoots
  • Inform content strategy on marketplace PDPs and brand DTC websites
  • This image becomes the first shot in your UGC shotlist

By launching this asset far and wide you’re not only boosting your opportunities for cross-channel performance, you’re also creating a consistent full-funnel journey for your users.

In today's landscape, trailblazer content serves as the driving force behind successful marketing campaigns. By identifying, leveraging, and optimizing these assets, brands can fill a calendar with high-performing, engaging content that resonates with audiences. And with a proactive approach to optimizing trailblazer content, your brand can be the next true trailblazer.

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