When you create a marketing plan, you need a narrative that your audience will engage with. Customers want to feel like they are a part of the buying process, and are not satisfied in just reading a sales pitch. They want to know the full story of a business or product and learn how it can help them. They want a compelling story, and as a business owner, you should consider this when building your advertising strategy.
Episodic marketing content, means, that over a course of time, your marketing reveals a narrative to consumers. Like watching their favorite TV show, if your message connects with them, customers will follow a campaign and be engaged with it through the conclusion. They could even share it with their friends, encouraging them to be involved with your brand. They are investing time into your content, because they enjoy it; and as studies have shown, if people have an emotional reaction to an advertisement, they feel a connection to the product.
Using episodic content marketing is becoming more popular thanks to social media, but it’s not new. One of my favorite examples is when Reebok debuted the “Office Linebacker” campaign in 2003.
The Super Bowl ad featured a former football linebacker, who was recruited to be an enforcer for office etiquette. At the end of the video, it directed consumers to go to a website to see Reebok’s products and watch more videos. For two years, Reebok released a total of six digital videos to promote the brand. It may not have demonstrated what their shoes or athletic clothing could do, but the story kept the audience engaged and wondering how the story would continue.
As a consumer, I loved the original ad (it still makes me laugh) and every month, for two years, I would visit the website to find out when the next video was being released. As I navigated the site, looking for new content, I was exposed to and learned more about their products. When it was time for new shoes or clothing, if I was in a store, I gravitated to the items that had the Reebok logo.
Although, the “Office Linebacker” was a professionally made series of short films, the concept of keeping people involved with the brand is a strategy your business can implement.
People will think of video content first, but episodic content can be anything where you are telling a story over time that will keep people in suspense until the final reveal. It could be a series of written blogs that ties a larger concept together. It could be a photo essay that offers your audience another step to figuring out a puzzle. It’s all about creating curiosity and directing consumers where to go to have the questions answered.
Think of the questions you answer every day about your business. What are the stories you tell? What is the advice you give? Answering these questions can help you get started on building an episodic content marketing campaign. Create a story from these answers, break it up into small pieces that can be easily shared. If it’s compelling enough, your message can lead to consumer engagement and loyalty.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, sending facts, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.