Are you creating episodic content to build your online presence?
If not, you should really consider it! As you’ll learn in this week’s #ContentWritingChat, it can help boost engagement and provide better storytelling.
So, how do you get started with episodic content? Just keep reading for all the amazing tips shared during our chat!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Episodic Content for Better Storytelling, Engagement, & Online Results with Chris Strub

Our guest host this week was Chris Strub. He was previously on our very own Write Podcast talking about the same topic, so it only made sense to invite him onto our Twitter chat as well! Chris is an award-winning roadtrip marketer and had some great advice to share with all of us. Let’s dive in!

Q1: How do you define “episodic content” in the context of social media?

If you aren’t familiar, you might be wondering what episodic content actually is. Here are some answers from our chat that should give you a better understanding:

Chris says episodic content is bringing value to your audience on an ongoing, repeated basis, as part of a consistent, regularly schedule and public plan. He knows that having a content plan is important to your success. After all, planning ahead allows you to be strategic and helps you stay on track with your goals.

As Cheval said, episodic content takes a person on a journey. That’s exactly how you should think about the content you create online.

Eddie feels episodic content can build suspense and create anticipation for your audience. That’s a great way to keep them coming back for more in the future.

Each piece of content is like a brick that builds one on top of the other. That’s a great way to look at it! You want to keep your audience invested throughout the journey.

Sabina said episodic content is all about creating content in some sort of sequence. This will help you plan out your content in advance to ensure everything flows and works together.

As Julia mentioned, episodic content can be shared on your blog, a podcast, video, and so much more. You can get creative and find the formats that work best for you and your audience.

Don’t forget you should always build off of and learn from the content you’ve previously published.

Q2: Why is it beneficial for content creators to think episodically?

Now that you know what episodic content is, you’re probably wondering what the exact benefits are. Here’s what you need to know:

As Chris pointed out, people want to know what’s next and what they’ve missed. It creates excitement and anticipation when they know what’s coming up. And when they can easily see what they’ve missed, they’re able to get caught up without any trouble.

Julia said episodic content is beneficial because it helps you build real connections and loyal fans. That’s crucial for creating long-term success online and positioning yourself as an authority.

All of your content should be strategic and work together. As Sabina pointed out, thinking episodically helps you create links between your content pillars.

It’s all about bringing visitors to your site down a funnel towards your end goal. Episodic content has the power to do that with ease when done right. Sarah said you need to build on the story and build the relationship, which you’d do by adding more content that leads them down the path.

Jason said you don’t have to feel pressured to tell a story in just one piece of content. You can break it up and spread the value across several pieces of content. This is easier for you to create and better for your audience to consume.

If you let people know what’s coming next, you give them something to look forward to. As Olivia said, if they invested the time to read the first part, there’s a a good chance they’ll come back in the future.

And when you give people something to look forward to, they keep coming back for more. That’s going to help generate repeat traffic to your website, which is important.

Ken feels episodic content creates a feeling of comfort and expectation for your audience.

Q3: Is it important to be explicit about our broader episodic content strategy?

If you’re going to start creating episodic content, do you have to inform your audience ahead of time? Here are some opinions straight from Tuesday’s chat:

Chris feels it’s beneficial for you and your audience to recognize the bigger strategy at play. Plus, as he pointed out, authenticity is important. Your audience respects that. At the very least, Chris suggests informing people what the next piece of content in your plan is. This way, they can anticipate it.

Gene agrees that it’s important to set the expectation. As he said, if people are expecting episodic content and you don’t deliver, it can break your trust. So, if you’re going to go the episodic route, make sure you take it seriously.

Eddie said the easier you can make it for your audience to consume content in the way they want, the better the engagement you’ll receive.

By being upfront with your audience, Jason says your audience will know about the journey they’re on. Those that started at the beginning will know what’s coming up and those that discover it later on can go back and see what they missed.

Lexie feels that being explicit about your content will help you build trust with your readers.

From a reader’s perspective, Narmadhaa likes to know where thing are heading. She also feels it’s easier for the writer when they’ve planned content and know what they’re working toward.

This is a great response from Shawn. As he said, your audience is going to let you know what works and what doesn’t. Pay attention to them.

Q4: Which social media mediums — text, video, audio, photos, etc. — are most amendable to episodic content marketing?

Is there a certain medium you should be focusing on to bring your episodic content strategy to life? Or can it work with a variety of formats? Check out these answers to this question:

Chris feels any medium where people are consuming your content can be effective. This is when it comes in handy to really know your audience and what resonates with them.

Sarah agrees that it depends on your audience and their interests. Think about your message and how your audience is consuming content. Do more of what they want to see.

Lexie feels the same way! She also recommends using a variety of social media mediums to deliver your content.

Alexandra feels a combination of at least two mediums is the most effective.

For Cheval, it’s all about live streaming and podcasting.

Eddie likes the idea of creating video, which can then be repurposed into a variety of formats.

Social media gives you so many options. Twitter allows you to create a thread of tweets or a Moment. You can also create stories with Snapchat or Instagram. And that’s only the beginning! Get creative with how you use social media for episodic content.

Q5: Can I go back and modify content I’ve already made to make it episodic?

If you have an archive full of content, is it possible to make it more episodic? Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Chris said you can absolutely go back and modify content to make it episodic, such as blog posts and podcasts. He said simply adding a number to a podcast episode, for example, can help.

Jason knows this is a great reason to go back and update your older content.

Eddie suggests taking long-form content and breaking it up into smaller content pieces that can be posted on your social media channels.

Q6: What are the best ways to “string together” my episodic content?

Now, how do you put all of this episodic content together in a way that flows? These are some great tips from the chat:

There are a variety of ways you can string your content together. You can add episode numbers to your content, like with a podcast. You can also organize YouTube videos into playlists. Chris feels seeing those numbers or an extensive playlist showcases your knowledge. As he pointed out, Twitter is great for combining content, especially when creating a Twitter Moment.
But of course, one of the key things is to create a content calendar. This is your opportunity to plan ahead and ensure everything works together.

Simply letting people know that there’s more content coming in the series lets them know what to expect.

You can also use the same image design or color schemes to connect episodic content. You’ll also want to consider titles and hashtags as well.

And don’t forget to interlink those related blog posts! It’s a great way to keep people on your site longer.

Q7: Which social media storytellers do an outstanding job creating content that is episodic?

Are there any online storytellers that really stand out to you? These people are all worth checking out and learning from:

Chris has a few favorite storytellers, including Brian Fanzo and Ross Brand.

Julia thinks Madalyn Sklar, Ai Addyson-Zhang, and Chris are all doing a fantastic job.

Q8: Chris, you’ve written two books you categorize as “Roadtrip Marketing.” What is “Roadtrip Marketing,” and why is it such a great example of episodic content?

Here’s what Chris had to say about his books and Roadtrip Marketing:

As you can see, Chris has done some pretty amazing work! If you haven’t already checked him out, make sure you do!
Want to chat with us? #ContentWritingChat happens on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central Time! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated!

We're hiring writers and editors!Apply Now