When you saw the word “episode” in that subject, I bet you thought this might be one of our classic Conversations With Coaches podcast lovefests.
And while I’m always willing to flip on that spotlight (newsletter subscribers will know EXACTLY what I’m talking about), I wanted to give you a little “peek into the process” of episodic content and talk about why it can be so valuable to growing your brand and your business.
I mean, that’s why we’re here, right?
So, what exactly IS “episodic content” in our context?
Any format that fits three criteria qualifies:
- Content that’s produced as distinct episodes in a series of similarly structured pieces.
- Content that can be subscribed to as a series, and in which subscribers are notified of new episodes.
- Content that builds a back catalog of previous series that can produce ongoing engagement, sharing, and new subscribers.
Numerous formats fit this mold: most podcasts, most YouTube channels, most webinar series, most (online or offline) conference series, some serialized blogs, lots of email newsletters, and plenty of others.
Even a social media account (Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) could fit this mold…though I’d argue it’s unwise to keep any content of value exclusively on a platform you don’t own and control (more of a personal preference, but I can get a little protective around such things).
Here, take a look at this well-visualized “flywheel” I borrowed from SparkToro (you’ll want to zoom in to get all the juicy details, or click/tap the image to go right to the source):
Seems like a lot, doesn’t it? That’s a big part of why we focus on helping with the process of it all, so that you don’t get bogged down in all the gritty details, but you also get to “put your best foot forward” and create high-quality content that properly represents your expertise and value to your future clients.
…and there lies perhaps the biggest challenge, eh? Creation.
With the right help, your time is well-spent and the impact of your effort is maximized…but you’ve still gotta create.
Some unsolicited advice, if you don’t mind:
- Choose a content format you (or your team) personally enjoy creating. I’ve never seen an episodic creator who was unenthused about their series do anything but flounder and fail.
- Choose a production schedule that sounds “easy” to you. Don’t be aggressive or over-commit; it’ll come back to bite you. And content consumers (in most niches) are perfectly happy with monthly or bi-monthly launches. As James Clear espouses in his must-read best-seller Atomic Habits, “When in doubt, stick to the schedule and reduce the scope.“
- Create 3-to-10 episodes before you “launch” the series, so you can release already-produced pieces while you smooth the production process (ten will be a challenge, but 3 is perfectly reasonable).
Content takes a long time to get right. And even if you’ve got a team that knows how to distribute, it can take a long time to show ROI. And it will probably never show the kind of high-fidelity, easy-to-prove metrics that advertising channels do, even factoring in our increasingly diffuse and privacy-focused ad environment.
However…episodic content, when it earns real engagement from the right audience, is unbeatable as a marketing investment. It scales without draining your resources, and it builds a back catalog that continues to produce value.
The boost to your brand awareness and brand preference is second to none. And, because few of your competitors are willing to make these investments, it’s still one of the best ways to stand out in a crowded space.
Okay, that’s probably enough insider ‘marketingspeak’ for one day – I promised you a peek, not the whole shebang.