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Episodic Content: The Ultimate Video Strategy for Social Media

By Eric Halsey

Keeping up a steady stream of social media content for a business is so much harder than it seems. You need pieces that are engaging, but also on brand. They need to be fit within a larger marketing strategy, but also remain fresh and interesting.

 

Fortunately, there’s a better way to get content that your audiences will engage with. Better yet, it can give you a steady stream of valuable marketing insights. In other words, your social media strategy needs episodic content marketing.

 

Confused? Still with us and we’ll explain everything.

 

What is episodic content marketing?

In short, it’s creating episodes of a show instead of the typical blogging. Think Netflix more than some generic software company blog. This could be anything from reaction shows to behind-the-scenes documentaries.

 

The idea is that by creating quality content tied together with a larger theme, you give your audience a reason to subscribe and keep watching rather than throwing one piece of one-off content at them after another hoping they’ll stick around.

 

Still trying to picture it? Here are some examples to help out:

Great examples of episodic content marketing in action

GaryVee

 

GaryVee is an absolute master of episodic content marketing. His content model and the way he uses it every day shows just what episodic content and content repurposing can do together.

 

Essentially, he begins with a main piece of content (often a talk) before breaking it into dozens of smaller pieces of microcontent. He then distributes two waves of this smaller content on all his social media channels. The result is a steady stream of content that consistently engages and grows his audience.

 

This strategy has made GaryVee an absolute juggernaut on social media.

ProfitWell

 

Another example I particularly like is the reaction videos done by ProfitWell. It’s a brilliant example of how you can do episodic content marketing that’s directly related to your product while also making something genuinely entertaining.

 

ProfitWell helps businesses improve retention, optimize pricing, etc. So having some of their employees break down and analyze company pricing pages in a video series shows just how deep their expertise goes.

How episodic content marketing impacts your social media

Now that you’ve got a sense of what episodic content marketing is, let’s talk about how it can supercharge your social media strategy (if it wasn’t clear already, GaryVee offers a great example of what this looks like in action).

 

I’m going to break this down into the two critical things any social media strategy has to balance: quantity of content and quality of content.

Quantity: IE more content on more platforms

When you create episodic video content that lasts 30-60 minutes per episode, you’re not just creating one thing to share at a time. Instead, by breaking that episode into smaller pieces of microcontent, you can get:

  • A blog post.
  • 6 short videos for IGTV and Facebook
  • 4 medium length videos for YouTube
  • 10 memes for Facebook and Twitter
  • An audio version to put out as a podcast
  • 5 quote images for Facebook
  • And more…

 

That was just an example, but it gives you an idea of what’s possible when you start with a quality piece of episodic content.

Quality: IE content that resonates with your audience

A huge quantity of social media content isn’t worth much if it doesn’t resonate. The good news is that all that microcontent you’re taking out of each episode is centered around some idea, fact, story, etc. that you think your audience will enjoy.

 

But what happens if your audience doesn’t respond to all that microcontent? That’s the other major advantage of this approach to social media.

Always be learning

Too often, social media managers approach their role as simple putting out content instead of listening to what audiences have to say about it. The episodic content marketing strategy uses microcontent to allow you to perform several rounds of tests for each episode.

 

These tests let you really hone in on what your audience connects with. So, for example, if a specific short video takes off on Youtube you can try putting it on Facebook to see whether that success was more about the platform or the specific content. Or, you can create another video on a related subject and try and see if that one resonates in a similar way.

 

All the while, you can (and should) be asking your audience for their favorite moments in your episodes (with timestamps so you can easily turn them into microcontent). It’s your own virtuous cycle for social media marketing.

What does it take to get started in episodic content marketing?

If all of this sounds interesting, what does it take to get it going? There are three core things you need to get started.

Ideas

Obviously coming up with an idea for your show is tough. You may be thinking that this whole approach just doesn’t work for your industry. Before you succumb to that kind of thinking, have a look at these compelling examples. Plenty of these companies are the first in their industry to try episodic content marketing.

 

That said, these are the core types of episodic marketing you can try:

  • Interviews
  • Behind-the-scenes videos
  • Reaction videos
  • Documentaries
  • Recurring events like lectures, breakfasts, etc.

Equipment

The good news here is that for less than $100 you can have a basic setup for a video series going. Some lapel mics, a phone, some lights and maybe a tripod and you’ll be ready to start creating. Just remember that many of the most successful shows out there have absolutely bare bones sets.

 

Just look at Hot Ones, a massively popular interview show. Their setup is essentially a small table, two chairs, a black backdrop, lights and a camera. They show just what’s possible when you focus more on the show quality than on fancy equipment and their success proves them right.

Expertise

Once you’ve got your idea and the equipment you need, inevitably you’ll run into challenges. That’s where it’s helpful to bring in expertise. Feel free to reach out to us and set up a chat. We’re always happy to help with brainstorming, troubleshooting, or just understanding what episodic content marketing can do for your business.

Tags: How To, episodic content, video content