Anyone who became hooked on the hugely popular TV series Breaking Bad knows the power of episodic content. Great drama released week after week takes advantage of our constant need for new information and plays on our emotions with cliffhanger endings. We always want to come back for more.
It makes sense that the same psychology can be applied to content marketing. The episodic format has grown in the last few years, with an increasing number of marketers using episodic content to build audience curiosity and brand loyalty.
To illustrate its power, a study from the Content Standard showed that articles in an editorial series had 124 per cent more page views that standalone articles.
Episodic Content Explained
Simply put, episodic content is content published as a series, with multiple posts but one central theme. Because it’s broken down into different chapters, the content becomes more like a story that is revealed over time. You can use text, images, video, or audio; as long as it’s published in several stages, it becomes episodic.
The Power of Episodic Content
Episodic content is an effective way to highlight your company’s strengths and expertise without your audience feeling they’re being sold to. It can also give you and your team a clearer vision of what content topics you’ll be covering over time, so it can help streamline your editorial calendar.
The main benefits are clear:
. Exciting and valuable episodic content will make sure more of your audience and first-time visitors return to your content, increasing page views for your website, blog, or social media channels.
. It will help to grow your email subscriber list organically.
. It will boost your credibility, as people will become familiar with your style and trust your brand more.
. It will increase your SEO power, as more links and page visits will result in higher search engine rankings.
Refining Your Episodic Content Strategy
If you’re a smaller company, it’s even more important to produce valuable, engaging content to draw attention to your brand. This is why research into your industry and competitor analysis is a crucial first step in building your audience.
What content topics are already covered online? Can you find gaps in information for content topics that are relevant to your industry? When you discover what’s missing from other content, it’s a potential path way to reaching your target audience with original, helpful material. Then, the episodic nature of the content will hopefully keep people coming back for more.
Make sure you grab the attention of first-time readers with interesting content, and to build suspense, end with a promise to deliver more information around the same topic. For example, a weekly blog post series, or a video series focusing on a topic your audience truly cares about.
Crucially, spend time crafting titles. Titles that include topic-related keywords and highlight a clear benefit to potential readers will get higher click-through rates and help to build your search engine rankings.
To make sure more people return to your content, try to maintain a consistent style that speaks the language of your target audience; you don’t want to alienate readers with industry jargon or confusing language. It’s about speaking with a clear voice that your audience can relate to, but also surprising readers with new ideas or a fresh perspective on a topic.
You want to build anticipation by referring to future posts without giving too much information away; saying just enough to pique their interest. Essentially, it’s about creating a community of people who want to return to your content again and again.
To keep your audience involved, you need to make them feel each piece is adding to their knowledge. You can increase anticipation by using your social media channels to preview new content or countdown to future content pieces.
The Bottom Line
Episodic content has become a hugely popular format for audiences from every industry sector, and marketers are using it more and more to build brand credibility, drive traffic, and increase audience engagement.
Aside from drawing attention to your brand, using episodic content is a simple and effective way to improve your content-planning process. Humans will always crave the unknown, so why not take advantage of this content strategy to keep your company top of mind with consumers and take your marketing power to the next level?
Three Types of Posts for Your Company Blog
The majority of brands now realise they need a robust content marketing strategy, and a company blog is a critical component within that. The following article explores some different types of blog posts to use.
It’s crucial to vary content to keep your audience engaged, and this piece will show you how.
Industry news and reaction
As stated, your company blog should be varied with the different types of content you use. Getting the balance right is crucial here. Your audience wants to be informed, so you should focus some of your attention on providing the latest news from your industry.
Keep in mind the intense competition in the marketplace for this type of content. Remember your competitors may be sharing the same news as you. Therefore, you also want to include some of your own commentary.
It’s crucial to pinpoint what this piece of news means for your business or how you are taking advantage of the latest industry trend.
Share your news
Another way to make your blog stand out is to include content that only you can write. The obvious example of this is sharing your own news. There are various ways you can do this, such as publishing a case study of the work you have done for a particular client.
An approach like this works well for marketing agencies; it’s not a hard sell but it does provide an opportunity to show what you can do.
There are other options as well, such as a report from a recent event of yours – you can even include video highlights or an interview you did. Always think about what your audience is interested in and which type of content they will engage best with.
Sharing good news makes your brand more personable and encourages engagement with your audience. Be careful though to avoid writing promotional posts regularly, and always look to add value through your company blog.
List-style evergreen posts
Latest industry and company news should certainly be shared regularly to keep your audience informed. However, one of the problems with this type of content is it only typically gains short-term views over a day or two when it’s fresh.
It’s also crucial to publish content that doesn’t age in the same way.
The best approach for this is list-style evergreen posts. To put it simply, this is content that stays fresh for months or even years after it is published. Again, ensure you are providing value to your audience by covering the topics they are most interested in.
Remember blog posts like this are fun to write, easy to promote and can be shared over and over again.
Content marketing is a significant trend and something most brands need to be involved in.
If you’re serious about this type of marketing, you will want to have a company blog that you update regularly.
It’s necessary to find the right balance with the content you publish, so this article has explored the topic in greater detail.
Remember to provide commentary on industry news, share your own news and create list-style evergreen posts.
Three Keys to a Great Infographic
If your brand wants to master Pinterest, then it’s essential to create great infographics. It’s well worth doing this because Pinterest is an incredibly valuable social media site if you can get the hang of it. Therefore, this article focuses on some essential tips to create the best infographics.
Write an engaging title.
It’s easy to think that infographics are all about imagery. However, the words and language you use are also crucially important. Of course, this process all starts with the title you choose to use.
Therefore, spend some time on a descriptive title for your content while also keeping SEO in mind.
Remember, there are different ways you can create an engaging title, and these can include the use of numbers, which can draw attention. For example, you can focus on a particular year or several tips if that works for the rest of the content of your infographic.
Another thing you can do is ask a question in your title, which aims to educate as well as giving users a reason to read on.
Make your infographic visually appealing.
It may seem an obvious point as infographics are a type of imagery in themselves. However, the way you present your information can play a crucial part in the success of it. In general, you should be creative with your infographic to ensure it stands out.
Remember, it isn’t a restrictive type of content so you can add images, charts and text effects.
Keep it consistent though by following a plan and formula. For example, data is common in an infographic, but using data visualisation techniques can bring a lot more attention to your content.
Keep in mind you are presenting information and the more appealing you make it; the more likely others will want to share it.
Think about the use of colour.
It’s striking how much more appealing an infographic incorporating a range of different colours is compared to one that is black and white or using only one colour. Of course, it’s vital to strike the right balance though because too many colours could look messy and detract from your core message.
One concept that can be effective is to take advantage of different contrasts between colours.
Remember. you want to pick colours that complement each other; the right blend can make specific colours stand out.
In fact, this can be a very effective way of using bold colours to create the maximum effect.
Pinterest can be a tricky social media site for brands to master.
Of course, this is partly because it looks complicated at first. One type of content that performs particularly well is infographics.
Remember to write an engaging title, make your infographic visually appealing and think about the use of colour.
3 Social Media Tips for Writers
The work responsibilities of a freelance writer have certainly changed over the years. It is no longer the case that the job is limited to only the writing process. The best freelancers now need to invest a significant amount of time in social media efforts to promote themselves.
The following article explores this content in more detail by providing some social media tips for freelance writers.
Make use of Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter is a conversational platform and can be a great place for freelancers to be. The opportunities are vast. You can post links to your latest content, advertise that you are available to hire, and connect with other freelancers.
It’s certainly true that having a strong Twitter profile with regular updates will add to your credibility as a freelancer.
Facebook doesn’t tend to be such a good platform for web traffic, but it can still have significant advantages. First of all, you can set-up a Facebook page to market yourself where you can post some of your latest content.
Facebook groups also offer a significant opportunity where you can find out about job opportunities as well as getting exposure for your content if your allowed to post links.
Remember that visuals rule on social media.
It’s fair to say that you won’t get very far merely posting words on social media; it isn’t the sort of content that engages enough these days.
Of course, visual content is critical when promoting on the more image-led sites such as Pinterest and Instagram.
At the same time, when you get your visuals right, it can be hugely rewarding for web traffic and exposure. It’s a good idea to use various social media platforms to create your content for each social media site and play around with it to see what works.
If you have the time to invest in it, Pinterest can be hugely rewarding for web traffic, but your visuals have to look great.
Stay active on your core platforms.
It’s important to have a schedule for your social media activity; otherwise, you will not be as active as you should be. Social media platforms are different, and not all of them are right for everyone, it also depends on how much time you want to invest in it. Some sites require a bigger time commitment than others, and you want value for your time.
However, you will quickly understand which platforms are worth your time.
It’s also a good idea to have a clear strategy of what you want to achieve with each platform. You may also want to plan content in advance and schedule your posts.
Staying active though will be the way forward to getting the best results.
Being a freelance writer can be a complicated job as there are many more aspects to it than simply writing content. Social media though needs to be part of your work, especially if you write most of your content online.
Various platforms have much to offer freelance writers if you are willing to invest the time. Remember to make use of Facebook and Twitter, use key visuals and stay active on your core platforms.
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