Episodic Content: What It Is and Why It Works

If you aren’t using episodic content for your website or blog, you may be missing out. Episodic marketing is a superior tool for generating traffic and increasing brand awareness.

Defining Episodic Content and Why It Works

If you’ve ever been on a Netflix binge, watching episode after episode of Grey’s Anatomy or The Walking Dead because you simply cannot take your eyes off of the screen until you know all of the answers, you already know how addicting episodic content can be. Those cliffhangers at the end keep people waiting with bated breath for the next episode.

episodic content

That’s the way episodic content used online for websites and blogs. Simply put, episodic content is content published by marketers and site owners as a series of multiple posts that build on each other.

Broken into small chapters or episodes, this content takes the form of a story that slowly unravels for the readers and follows a specific plot. These sections usually start with an introduction and end by leaving the reader wanting to know more.

Types of Episodic Content

Episodic content is not always delivered in written form, as content marketers get the best results with a variety of episodic articles and blog posts. Whether you use text, images or video and audio, anything you publish in multiple stages can be considered episodic content.

episodic content how to

Coca-Cola’s “Crossroads” campaign is a great example of episodic content. It tailored its message to a specific target audience, developed characters that the audience engaged with and left them wanting more. Nominated for a Webby award, “The Beauty Inside” series sponsored by Intel and Toshiba delivered six episodes across multiple channels, which contributed to its success.

Why You Should Use Episodic Content

It’s important for your brand to connect with your target audience again and again, as it takes six to seven touch points on average with your readers before they 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.

Content marketing experts episodic content to continue to trend. If they are correct in their assessments, it’s time to hone your storytelling skills or search for a writer who can fit the bill. Below are some of the most appealing advantages of episodic content.

  • Return Audience – If your episodic content is interesting to to your readers, they will return for more. Do a great job of storytelling and they’ll follow your entire series.
  • Build Subscriber List – A growing subscriber list automatically occurs with good episodic content. Readers who want to know more and do not want to miss the next episode will subscribe.
  • Credibility – Episodic content enhances the credibility of your brand as people become more and more familiar with you and what you are about. This builds trust and value with your target audience.
  • Powerful SEO – Episodic content will remain relevant to your brand and to your target audience for a very long time. The linking process of episodic content and return user patterns gets the attention of Google and other search engines, helping your site’s ranking.

Follow the Leaders

You can clearly see by watching the big brands that episodic content is an important part of successful content marketing campaigns.

Be sure to reach out to one of our professional content writers if you’d like episodic website content created.

Kerri Ponder

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After pursuing an AAS in Nursing at Three Rivers College and Black River Technical College, Kerri found her true calling was writing. Now a full time writer on Crowd Content, she delivers original work that is highly researched and well-written, and is quick to welcome direct orders.

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Earl Dotson
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Earl Dotson

Episodic content sounds like an idea whose time has definitely come. Who wouldn’t enjoy having the Netflix experience while visiting a website or blog? It’ll be interesting to see just how much episodic content takes off in 2016.

Rob Toccs
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Rob Toccs

Great post on episodic content. I haven’t thought of applying it consistently to a blog.

Do you think its effectiveness would depend on the source of traffic for a site? I think people who follow a site on social media would be more likely to return than visitors who find it through a search engine.

Kerri Ponder
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Kerri Ponder

I think it would depend upon the niche topic. For example, I am a foodie and love to follow food and recipe related blogs. Therefore, if a food website lures me in with a how to given in steps, they could potentially earn my following. This is one example though, as there are many other niche topics that can benefit from this type of content marketing. Any topic that offers one or several how-to posts should consider linking them together for episodic content. For example, look at the success found by those who post how-to videos on YouTube using episodes.… Read more »

Elizabeth Chaney
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Elizabeth Chaney

So glad for the information. I wanted to add one of my old personal stories to my blog but it was too long. I can now split it up and “kill two birds with one stone”

Kerri Ponder
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Kerri Ponder

Yes! This is an excellent way to use episodic content. It should prove to be a very successful way to share your story. Good luck!

Val Tanaka
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Val Tanaka

I used to have a 400-500 word post rule. Give or take 50 w0rds. If my post went for longer, then I would divide it into a part 1 and part 2. I stopped doing that for a while, and I just recently went back to that old policy.

Brian Evans
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Brian Evans

I really like what you had to say and felt your blog was superbly written. However, I feel that episodic content is at best a passing fancy. It is very difficult to create an environment that is going to bait people back for more. Companies like Apple and Samsung have pulled it off but they are huge players. If you can do it; I say kudos to you and must admit, I do so with a tad bit of jealousy. For know I am going to stick with CTA’s or calls to action. Great post really made me rethink things.… Read more »

Kerri Ponder
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Kerri Ponder

I agree that not EVERY site will benefit from episodic content. However, successful content marketing sometimes requires site owners and managers to ‘break the rules’ …maybe you can find a way to recreate episodic content, think outside the box for your particular needs. Thanks for the comment!

Georgia Potts
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Georgia Potts

Breaking the rules often leads to memorable work! I’ve noticed more episodic work lately, and it does tend to be more memorable.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I’m pretty intrigued with this idea. I also do some fiction writing, and this has worked well for some people to create novels and novellas. I may try it some day for that.

Earl Dotson
Guest
Earl Dotson

You write fiction? That sounds so cool! What genre do you write in? Have you tried writing episodic content yet?

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

I write sci-fi, fantasy and horror. I’ve had stories published in all three. I once sold a non-spec-lit story, but I probably won’t again. If it can happen in real life, I’m not that interested in it!

Bethany A.
Guest
Bethany A.

Love this! It is so easy to get hooked with a TV show, so why not with writing, too?

Val Tanaka
Guest
Val Tanaka

I feel like I’m cheating with episodic content. Of course people are going to come back if you post a bunch of content with cliffhangers! But high drama cliffhangers at least ensure interesting content.

And I do binge watch Netflix on occasion. I fully agree with your examples and point.

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