shutterstock_145678766There’s a reason why people binge watch Netflix, tune into their favorite game show week after week, or stand in line for the release of the most recent novel in their favorite series. We are drawn to episodic content because of its storytelling, our thirst for information, and the personal connections we develop. In fact, studies show that articles released in an editorial series get 124.3% more page views than standalone articles.

But what exactly is episodic content, and how can it help your marketing?

What It Is

Episodic content is a style of content marketing that includes releasing small tidbits of information throughout a longer period of time. These pieces of content usually build on each other and create a cohesive story.

The goal of episodic content is to encourage information to remain top-of-mind until the next installment. Every episode should contribute to one running story or meaning (which may sound a lot like a campaign!).

Examples

While episodic content works well with TV series and fiction, it can also work well in the marketing world. Some examples of brands using episodic content to their advantage:

  • Kate Spade’s Miss Adventure series, which features a popular celebrity in a mini series
  • Newscred’s 3 part webinar series on Google Analytics
  • Financial podcasts that build on the same premise and story (read more about podcast marketing here)

How Episodic Content Can Help

Two of the best things about episodic content, and what makes it so successful, is the elaborate storytelling and the cliffhangers, or calls to action, that keep the viewer wanting more.

We have become accustomed to the “traditional” advertisements, which are usually flashy, promotional, and obtrusive. While this type of advertising still has a place in today’s marketing world, more people are turning to ad blockers and other technology to tune them out. This is why content marketing is becoming the new norm.

If you’ve tuned into the hugely popular podcast Serial, watched any hit shows on Netflix, or stayed up all night reading the most recent mystery novel from your favorite series, you know the importance of cliffhangers. These precarious endings leave you wanting more and counting down the time until you can find the ending.

Episodic content capitalizes on this same idea by utilizing dire calls to action at the end of a post. What will your viewer have to do to get the next episode, sign up for your email newsletter? Tune into the next live video broadcast? These are questions you can ask yourself when creating your cliffhanging calls to action.

Through episodic marketing, you can tell a story and tap into your reader’s emotions. By developing a cast of characters, plot lines, and strong calls to action and cliffhangers, they will feel more invested and will look forward to your next post.

How to Do Episodic Marketing

One of the key elements to get right with episodic content is timing. As you well know, the best content strategies tie in social media, email, and other marketing plans. Because of this, it is crucial to plan your content ahead of time and keep your posts consistent. It’s all about keeping your content fresh and current, but also giving a long enough gap for people to look forward to the next installment.

The most important aspect of episodic marketing is to have a sufficient ending that will make tuning into your content worth it. What is your end goal and how will you get there? There are few things worse than an anticlimactic ending, so plan your content accordingly.

Have you seen some good examples of episodic content that have kept you on the edge of your seat? Send us a Tweet at @FMGSuite or email marketing@fmgsuite.com to share!