It’s a battle we go into every day – whether as marketers for brands, enterprises, marketplaces, franchises, NGOs, or publishers.
We are all in it together, asking ourselves – how can we not only capture the attention of prospects and customers but how can we keep their attention beyond the typical 90 seconds they will give us to watch one of our videos.
Today’s audiences are time-strapped, demanding unique experiences, and have little patience for the same old same old.
Today’s audiences are the Netflix Generation, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z, or Generation Alpha. We are all part of the Netflix Generation. We want amazing content, we want it whenever we want it, to be able to consume it wherever we are on any kind of device, and we want to binge!
Now, on the one hand – this could seem like a formidable, perhaps insurmountable task for any marketer . . . how to create amazing, binge-worthy video content that will keep audiences coming back for more and more?
But fear not! There is a way – and it’s called episodic marketing video.
Episodic marketing video: a brief primer
Generally speaking, episodic marketing content is about creating content and slicing it up into episodes – yes, like a TV series. So, instead of offering this content up in one fell swoop, we offer up instalments that can be consumed one episode at a time over a period of time.
Each episode in our video series should be driven by the same theme or topic, which must be of interest to our target persona.
When creating a marketing video series, you can provide enough of the story with enough insights, value, and entertainment for it to be worthy of your audience’s time to watch. But, it shouldn’t tell the whole story in one episode.
This way you keep them coming back for more. With each new episode, you reveal more insights and bring new value and this way you can keep their attention, build trust, engender likability, and even get to that oh-so sought after marketing nirvana called brand affinity.
Why is brand affinity so important? Because brand affinity takes the customer relationship to the next level (beyond loyalty), where the customer’s connection to the brand is rooted in trust and in the faith that high-quality products, services, and marketing content will be consistently delivered.
The result is an emotional connection that brings much more value both to the customer as well as to the brand.
What can a marketing video series be about?
Ok, sure, we’re not talking about Stranger Things or Money Heist. We’re talking about products, services, and information. So, can you really create a storyline that’s engaging enough about these?
Before we get into the how, let’s take a look at a couple of examples of extremely popular marketing video series.
The first comes from NatGeo (National Geographic) which has two branded IGTV (Instagram TV) series – Explorer and Untamed. In these series, they pick a topic and take a deep dive through a 3-6 minute episode.
The episodes cover topics such as analyzing different animal species, explaining the origin of certain phenomena, or showcasing various human or earth related occurrences, for example. And each episode earns truly admirable engagement that is measured by hundreds of thousands of views.
Check out these examples:
Another example comes from IKEA, which creates videos that give design or cooking tips and feature IKEA products in the video. The furniture giant also makes sure to use dynamic text on screen to incorporate product names and prices for easy user lookup.
And here are a couple from IKEA:
The first step for your first series (we’re optimistic, we’re sure you’ll get hooked and will want to create multiple series!) – is to pick your theme or topic. For example:
Crafting the content
When considering the content of your episodes it’s worthwhile to take the time to map out the storyline. Even if we’re not in ‘Once upon a time’ land – we still should be telling a story.
This could be the story of our persona and how they overcome their challenge (with our product/solution, but discussed ‘in between the lines,’ not overtly).
Or it could be a more straightforward delivery, but which should nevertheless be presented through the prism of a human-driven narrative vs. an approach that is dry and didactic.
Moreover, we should never be too “salesee with our series. Its objective, after all, is to engage and entertain rather than to overwhelm with promotion.
Making it binge-worthy
“But how to make it binge-worthy?” You might be asking yourself. Well, here are some tips you can keep in mind for what makes for a great episodic video experience:
Work it into your script
- Start out with an intriguing open-ended question that will pique the viewer’s interest and make them want to stick around to watch the whole video. For example, if your product is a collaboration software offering, then you can start out a series about effective communication by asking: “?”
- Have a recurring cameo by or include a repeated catchphrase in each episode
- Remember the basic formula of all great stories: our hero/heroine is called to overcome a challenge (e.g. improve collaboration), they try to do it, succeed moderately but experience trials and obstacles, they overcome some, more trials and obstacles, overcome them, then achieve the desired outcome, usually becoming the revered hero/heroine of the village.
- Close with a cliff-hanger so that the viewer will count the minutes until they get to see the next episode.
Work it into your production
- Make it beautiful by using stunning imagery
- Use on-screen text to emphasize key messages and concepts as well as to explain complex topics
- Make it easy to make
And make sure not to forget to measure what works and what doesn’t so you know how to continually optimize the story and its production.
Among the metrics you can track are:
- Hours watched (how much total air-time was gained)
- Video plays (how many viewers found the video interesting)
- Number of subscribers (did the video series deepen the viewer’s brand engagement)
- Comments and shares (how effective the videos are at ‘spreading the word’)
- Time on page (did the video send viewers to review additional content on the page)
- Go-to-market (how quickly you can create and publish the videos)
Your new video series best friend
For beautiful, visually engaging videos that are supremely branded and easy to make, we’d like to offer up Wochit Studio as your new video series best friend.
Wochit Studio is a cloud-based video creation platform that is designed to empower anyone and everyone, regardless of whether or not they have a background or knowledge in video editing, to create high-quality, professional-grade videos that are deeply engaging.
The platform offers a straightforward UX that simplifies editing, smart editing features with many options for customizations, an extensive pre-licensed library of 200 million images and videos, and myriad built-in templates.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your director’s chair ready and. . . action!
Want to learn about this topic and others relating to making killer videos for your organization? Then make sure to check our podcast, coming soon!