The content marketing revolution will not be televised, but you may see it on YouTube, and repurposed into smaller content pieces on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Seemingly overnight, brands are starting to think like Netflix, and they are building their own original series that drive thought leadership in an entertaining and engaging fashion.
It’s all due to a larger investment in a strategy called Brand Affinity Marketing, which Wistia defines as “an approach to marketing where businesses create and distribute binge-worthy content with the goal of positively impacting the overall sentiment, perception, and value of its brand.”
Using whatever gear available to them — from smartphones to entire video teams — B2B brands are realizing that it’s never been more meaningful (and fun) to be a marketer. Episodic content is a blank canvas for brands that’s still largely untapped.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the perks that are unique to creating a dedicated video series for your brand.
1. Content Repurposing
It’s true that there is more to episodic content than meets the eye.
One of the best things about building a video series for your brand is the ability to repurpose each episode into several microcontent snippets across various formats suited to various platforms. From subtitled videos and image quotes, right down to audio podcasts and written articles.
All of this can originate from a single episode. Besides, as marketers, we don’t always know which content pieces will work best ahead of time. Having a content repurposing workflow helps us embellish on the original content piece and extract multiple assets from it to increase the chances that something will strike gold with our target audience.
The powerful combination of building episodic content and repurposing each episode is a blue ocean way of thinking that’s hard to replicate. This is especially true when compared to other forms of content you could be creating. Just think of some of the variables that go into building a show, including:
Not only can you create a binge-worthy series, you’ll make it easier to be efficient and reduce wastage with content production as you continue to scale your content output through repurposing.
Whether people are at the gym before work, driving to work, or checking LinkedIn on their phones throughout the day, brands today have the power to build and deliver the right content in the right doses to appeal to their personas’ dynamic lifestyles.
Think about it!
They may listen to the audio version of your video series on Spotify while driving to work. They may see a poster quote image on Instagram that intrigues them to watch the full episode later on. They may watch subtitled video microcontent on LinkedIn that they decide to tag a colleague to see, and so on.
2. ‘Series’ Signal Quality
When was the last time you couldn’t make up your mind on where to eat?
In 2007, psychologist Barry Schwart gave a TED talk titled the Paradox of Choice, with a book of the same title. He spoke about the reasons why having too much choice can sometimes be detrimental to our well-being. Let’s face it, think of how much choice your customers have when they do a search related to your domain. There is tons of content out there as it is.
So how do you stand out in a sea of sameness?
By building a dedicated original series, you send a clear signal that cuts through the noise to say that this set of videos have been curated for you; a ‘set menu’ of sorts that’s designed to be a one-stop shop to your interest in a certain question, topic, or domain.
By packaging their content as such, brands treat their discerning audiences to a curated, high-value selection of content that seeks to entertain as much as educate and engage. It sends a signal of quality and trust. It creates a platform for the culture surrounding a certain industry that connects those individuals with others who share the same worldview and interests. It’s a natural addition to a brand’s top and middle of the funnel content strategy.
Packaging something as a series matters.
Afterall, it’s not what we say but how we say it. Think about all the content you’re currently creating. What elements can you add to shape it up into an episodic series? What would you name your show, and how would you promote it?
3. Built-in Frequency
Marketers face the endless dilemma of balancing quality, frequency, and distribution every month. Let me explain:
Brands need original, quality content. Quality in the form of high-value, entertaining and engaging content that will speak to our persona’s goals and interests. We need to give people what they’re looking for, and present it in a memorable way.
Creating content is not a one-time event. Content is like food. We need to produce content on a regular basis. For some, that’s monthly, for others, its weekly or daily. To stay current, ever-green, and top of mind, we need to create content for our existing community as a way to maintain or grow their interest, as well as attract the interest of others.
It’s not enough to hit publish and pray (P&P). We close our eyes, and quietly hope that once the content is published, they will come. As you and I know, distribution is an art as much as it is a science, but it is a quintessential conscious step that should be part of every piece of content that goes out.
By building an original series for your brand, you tackle quality, frequency, and distribution all in lockstep.
The quality piece comes from the engaging video episodes you create that are attuned with your buyer persona’s interests and in collaboration with others that your buyer persona cares about.
The frequency comes from the repurposed content that systematically comes out from each episode.
The distribution comes from the co-marketing efforts of your marketing, sales, and leadership team and the relevant teams from the guest’s organization as well.
4. Credibility by Association
When I left my old job, my amazing team bought me Shoe Dog, a book recounting Nike’s early days as told by Phil Knight, Nike’s founder.
In that book, I learnt that the Nike brand wasn’t always the Nike brand we know and love today (spoiler alert). They built their brand by first associating with successful athletes who in some cases almost begrudgingly agreed to let Nike sponsor them. Time has passed, and in the same way people used to put the Nike brand ‘ on’, today you can argue that Nike puts people on. In pop culture, it’s considered a rite of passage when you get your own Nike sneakers. Credibility by association.
When building out your video series, decide which individuals and companies you’d like to associate with.
- Are they aligned with your brand values?
- Can hosting those guests on your show add unique value to your shared audiences?
People who stumble upon your show may have come across it because they knew the guest first and foremost. Through them, they may have gotten to know you. It works the same way as warm intros if we think about it.
When people come across your show (read: your brand) through someone they already love or respect, it carries a positive ripple effect onwards to you.
5. Reduce Costs Systematically
Multitasking sucks. We all try to avoid it, yet we can’t. It is seen as a necessary evil to create different content types and different campaigns.
Did you know that multitasking leads to up to a 40% drop in productivity, contributing to increased stress, and a 10% drop in IQ?
Yup, you can Google it.
Episodic content comes to the rescue here yet again. By living in “episodic” worlds, we can start to think of content pillars in terms of episodes; episodes that can then be repurposed and distributed across multiple formats and channels.
While there’s no agreed upon standard among marketers for how many episodes should be in a show (I usually suggest a minimum of 10), it’s fair to assume that there’s at least 3 or more in sequence. This helps us as content marketers enter a state of flow, where we can fully focus on building a repeatable standard operating process for how we plan, produce, post-produce, and distribute the episodes.
On Getting Internal Buy-in
By batching our tasks and streamlining our processes, individual steps and outputs take less time. When all hands are on deck and aligned to build a show, we begin to overcome working in silos and start working more in unison. Moreover, as marketers we can easily create medleys of content across the different episodes and snippets created to produce content that is evergreen and unique in and within itself.
Take the plunge and start your own video series. If it’s a hit, do a season 2. If it doesn’t perform as expected, consider pivoting and starting a new show targeted towards a different persona.
You may just become the next thought leader in your space.
Looking to up your content marketing game? Try Chopcast. With chopcast, you can make your existing content work harder for you. Chop your long-form videos and podcasts into tons of social content to keep your audience engaged across any social platform. Search videos by topic and keyword to generate tons of clips.