The Absolute Guide To Creating Episodic Content In 2019
21609
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-21609,cookies-not-set,edgt-core-1.0.1,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,hudson-ver-2.2, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,blog_installed,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.5.4,vc_responsive
The Absolute Guide To Creating Episodic Content In 2019
Stop Creating Content. Start Providing Value. 💪

Here’s the reality. If you want to see what content marketing is truly capable of, start creating content that helps people with their challenges and questions. Content that helps your audience learn or improve how they do something. If the questions and challenges that are being addressed are aligned with your brand, it can provide real value to the audience’s attention you are looking to secure.

 

Sounds simple, right? It’s certainly not. It’s not something that can be quickly composed and rolled out across social media, expecting leads to then flow in. You must understand the challenges your buyer persona’s face to provide real value. You have to find solutions that align with your brand and helps them solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. This takes an extraordinary understanding of your customer, but also your business.

 

Do not let that dissuade you. Being the subject matter expert in your industry is incredibly powerful. This is the reason content marketing, and more so episodic content can be incredibly effective. So let’s start with that.

Stop creating content. Start providing value.

Episodic content is long-form content published by marketers then divided into smaller installments or “episodes.” The content takes the form of a story or a series that follows a narrative that reveals more information to the viewer with each episode. Using this method of storytelling is an effective way to connect with an audience and ensure they return to your content more frequently.

 

By using pillar content, typically a keynote video, a speech or a vlog as a primary source of content, this enables one pillar piece of content to drive twenty other pieces of micro-content.

 

Episodic style content, when used in a business context, helps brands shorten sales cycles, build brand awareness, and establish credibility within their industry.

BBJ Illustration 14 C1 - Cropped
Why You Should Use Episodic Content.

Your brand needs to connect with your target audience frequently, as it can average six to seven touchpoints for your readers to become your buyers and advocates. Episodic content is designed to bring your audience back to your brand, and every time they return, you are becoming more credible.

 

As the digital and social landscapes become more storified and visual, episodic content will continue to trend. Video content has quickly overtaken static posts in our news feeds, and therefore brands need to consider more long-form, creative video content that brings value to the audience rather than just being just a single passing moment in time.

 

The trend of episodic content is expected to continue. If marketers are to be successful they need to sharpen their storytelling skills or assemble the right team to deliver on this form of content creation and distribution. Below are some of the most appealing advantages of episodic content.

  • Episodes Build Brand Relationships Over Time

Think about it. If you see a video, you absolutely love it, and you know there’s another related video being released soon, wouldn’t you be interested to see what’s coming next? Wouldn’t you sign up for subscriber updates or check in on the channel (YouTube, Facebook, a dedicated site page, etc.) regularly to watch more? This fan loyalty helps establish a positive association with your brand. It keeps you top-of-mind, it creates an emotional connection and it keeps those viewers interacting with you time and time again. If your episodic content is interesting to your viewers, they will return for more. Do a great job of storytelling and they’ll follow your entire series.

  • Serialized Content Means A Greater Content Lifespan

When you release a short commercial, it usually doesn’t live for very long (unless it’s a viral success – which is a true rarity, like a Super Bowl commercial) You might run some ads driving to it, you might post it on your website, but it won’t have a lot of permanence outside of those channels.

 

Serialized content, allows a more creative, non-salesy effort that inspires a longer lifespan. If your content is evergreen – meaning it’s always relevant and not tied to a specific time or event – it’s more likely to be shared, more likely to gain organic exposure, and more likely to remain impactful years and years down the line.

 

According to SkyWord – “A status update, snapshot, or singular 15-second ad spot, is generally a limited experience which engages only as long as the length of the content. By expanding video content into larger narratives, marketers increase the lifespan of that content by making it feel connected to a greater context.”

  • Episodic Content Allows For Thoughtful, Creative, More Editorial Content Angles

Episodes or a video series allow you to develop a story over time. Whether that means creating independent episodes that are longer and each tells an individual story, or telling a story over shorter but numerous episodes, the key to both here is time.

 

That’s why Netflix series are so popular. With the episodic format, you can tell your brand story however you wish, building up connections to personalities, helping viewers empathize with the narrative, or going more documentary style and creating something entirely editorial that relates to your company’s vision.

  • Video Series Provide Better Data About Long-Term Brand Engagement

Do viewers feel like your video content resonates? One short brand video might perform well, but that doesn’t mean it resonated with the wider audience or that those watching enjoyed it. Episodic content gives you a detailed snapshot of what your audience actually thinks. If you see a high percentage of return visits, shares, or long watch times, you know your audience not only loves your videos but loves the entire series and is making a concerted effort to continue engaging with you.

  • Build A Subscriber List

A growing subscriber list automatically occurs with good episodic content with the right CTA in place. Readers who want to know more and do not want to miss the next episode will subscribe to be kept up to date with your content.

  • Creates Credibility

Episodic content enhances the credibility of your brand as people become more and more familiar with you and your business. This builds trust and value with your desired audience.

  • Search Engine Optimisation

Anchor content in the episodic form will remain relevant to your brand and to your audience for a very long time. Much like other forms of content, the linking process of episodic content and return user patterns gets the attention of Google and other search engines, helping your site’s ranking and ultimately driving more traffic.

Funnela New Updated Final - Edited 600x600
Types Of Episodic Content.

As content marketers, to get the best results it’s important to use a variety of episodic videos and blog posts. Overall whether you use text, images or video and audio, anything you publish in multiple stages can be considered episodic content.

 

While forms of episodic content marketing can include written articles, infographics and podcasts, video tends to be the most popular and effective medium, and it’s not difficult to see why. Cisco predicts that by 2022, video traffic will account for 82% of consumer internet traffic. As video becomes more predominant, so does the need to promote it in a way that connects consumers to a larger experience.

 

When it comes to getting started with episodic content, there are many creative ways. Here are 5 options  to begin with:

  1. Podcast Talk Show

It’s safe to say we’re living in the golden age of podcasting. As such, the sheer volume of quality audio content out there can feel overwhelming. From a business point of view, podcasting can be an incredible marketing tool. It might not work for every type of business, but for those that it does work, it can yield great results: a new audience, more trust and loyalty, and even more clients and sales.

2. Fireside Chats

The fireside chat is a mainstay of the corporate conference. They provide a great alternative to the traditional presentation format. Fireside chats are increasingly popular with event organizers and for many conferences, becoming a fixed element in their agendas in the form of breakaway sessions. If you’re looking to freshen up your event, this is a session format worth exploring.

3. Panel Discussions

Panel discussions are a great way of getting a wide range of viewpoints from experts in a specific field. At conferences, they are a useful way to trigger an exchange of viewpoints among experts, either with prepared statements or in response to questions from the audience. The discussions should be informative, interactive and thought-provoking. Capturing this can create opportunities for the distribution of multiple pieces of long-form video in the form of episodic content.

4. Behind the Scenes

Capturing a one-off event can create a wealth of sharable content like event recap videos, behind the scenes videos, sneak peeks and more. Event videos also keep budgets low by leveraging the investment you’ve already made. Participating in a trade exhibition? Audiences love to see the atmosphere, the highlights, deals being done or new products and technologies being unveiled. Get high-quality long-form footage at the same time as short ‘snackable’ content for Instagram.

5. Documentary

Your buyer personas will dictate the content and medium most relevant for your business, and in turn determine the priorities for content and guest research. Ensure it is aligned with your business and brings value to the audience you are trying to reach.

Episodic Content Examples.
Beautyworld Middle East – Speaker Interviews
Luxury Property Dubai – Property Tours
Section 4 – Industry Thought Leadership
Ask Gary Vee – Questions & Answers Show

Even traditional marketing projects like webinars or online training programs can be given the serialized upgrade. By promoting these types of videos within new and original content, you’ll be creating a “video funnel” which keeps consumers planted within your content ecosystem. Now that you got some inspiration for episodic content, let’s jump right in with how you can start.

Is There A Basic Process For Creating Episodic Content?

By building episodic content, you are taking the steps to build a path to success by deciding to become a thought leader in your space. By producing a show for your personas, with regular consistent episodes, you will be seen as a knowledgeable and authoritative figure within your industry.

 

The real benefit of episodic content is the ability to take one long-form video and turn it into more video, audio, written, and image content. This was first popularized in GaryVee’s Content Model and provided an excellent methodology to create multiple forms of content from one pillar episode. Getting started with episodic content is easy once you have a framework to work with. Let’s take a look at a top you can begin to shape your process around:

Step 1. Plan Your Microcontent

Planning your micro-content first is key. This way you will be able to map out key points, topics or statements to be covered so that in post-production you will be able to repurpose into ‘snackable’ pieces of content for your social platforms. Regardless of whether you are filming video, recording a podcast or recording a live event, start with mapping out what you know you will need for your micro-content.

Step 2. Record The Episode

Quality is key here, but you don’t need to go overboard. Starting with even just your smartphone is fine. Alternatively, Twisted Content’s Smartphone Filming Kit is designed to give you all the necessary tools to film like a pro. When you prove the concept of your video series or podcast you can upgrade to more professional equipment or hire a team of professionals to do the heavy lifting. Regardless, start with the best quality affordable within your means.

 

If you are focusing purely on audio then you have several options to create your episodic content, ranging from using a smartphone dedicated solely to recording audio to lav mics as a more professional option.

 

It’s worth considering at this point if you wish to include any CTA’s in the recording. This is tricky because the content must not look like an advertisement. The call to action must be subtle.

Step 3. Distribute & Track

After your content has been developed it’s time to create a plan to distribute and amplify your new branded assets. Once you have your long-form content in place, you can divide key pieces of information or important statements into short ‘snackable’ content to be distributed across your different social platforms. Get your images, video, and audio in front of the right people, at the right time, and on all the right channels.

Step 4. Analyze & Repeat

Without analyzing and understanding how your content is performing your efforts will be aimless. By spending time understanding how your content is engagement, traffic, and lead generation you can get a better idea of what type of content is best working to drive your business results. If you use Google Analytics or marketing automation software like Hubspot, you can establish goals like to track first touch attribution for instance and see how your content impacts lead generation right through to sales. Easily measure and track ROI from each piece of content. Understand what’s working, and get actionable insights to re-target, nurture, and grow your brand month on month.

How Can Episodic Content Grow Your Brand?

In a noisy world where everyone is producing content around their products and services — it is getting harder and harder to get people to give us their attention. A study cited in The Drum helps illustrate the problem. It stated that “…60% of the content created by the world’s leading 1,500 brands is “just clutter” that has little impact on consumers’ lives (or business results).

 

The best episodic content is educational, entertaining or informative, even better if it’s a combination of all three. By entertaining your buyer personas you build attention, likability, and credibility – helping you build the lasting relationships that will support your efforts throughout the buyer journey.

 

We’re big believers in the power of serialized videos. Typically, creating amazing, engaging episodic content takes greater resources (re: time and money), a commitment to the best video quality you can manage, and a well-thought strategy about your series’ distribution.

 

But that doesn’t mean only large companies can be successful. Smaller companies that are deeply committed to their content marketing can be just as successful, if not more, with the right strategy, resources, and support.

Happy Episodic Content Clients 🎥
Contact Us.  â˜Žï¸
BBJ Illustration Instagram Image in Phone - Cropped