Many companies see blogging as a one-and-done type of exercise. You come up with a topic. You explain that topic. You move on to the next. The resurgence of an entertainment format called the “serial” has smart marketers rethinking that approach.
Beginning in late 2014, a podcast series called Serial captured a huge audience and broke records for iTunes downloads and listens. Companies have started to take notice and take advantage of the benefits of covering a topic over multiple blog posts rather than just one.
- More attentive audience. There’s nothing like a good tease to have your followers eagerly awaiting your next post. And, bonus: If your serial posts are alternated with posts on other topics, those topics get more views as well.
- More sharing. Tapping into a reader’s emotions through anticipation is a great way to get them to share your posts with others.
- Less writer’s block. Any blogger will tell you that sitting down at your computer to tackle a new topic (or worse yet, with no topic), can be intimidating. Being able to utilize the momentum and the structure that’s already in place once a serial post has been outlined is a relief.
- More creativity. Studies show that when you consider a topic and then turn your attention to other things for a period of hours or days, your brain is still working on the idea. Often this results in insights that lead to much more creative pieces.
- More depth. When you only get one shot to explore a topic, that exploration is necessarily abbreviated, because you don’t want to overload the reader. The opportunity to share information gradually across many days and many posts lets you go into much greater detail.
So, how does a serial blog post play out? Well, let’s say you have enough material for six posts. In that case, it might look like this:
- Post 1: Overview of the concept, explaining that it will be delivered over multiple posts.
- Posts 2–7: Main content, with each post making a quick reference to what preceded it and what will follow—amping up the anticipation.
- Post 8: A summarization of what has been presented. This is also a great time to provide a call-to-action for a content resource that addresses what’s been covered—a white paper, case study, etc.
While your serial content may not involve a riveting whodunit like Serial, it can nevertheless provide a great boost to your blog readership. Our clients in Colorado Springs, the Colorado Front Range, and throughout the U.S. will be benefitting from the powerful draw serial content provides. Will you? We’re happy to help with your blogging strategy and your content marketing in general.