On a good day, it’s like watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. On a bad one, more like hosting a far-away aunt who’s come to visit. What is it?
Let’s talk about content series today.
Like all of us, they have their good days – and the bad ones, too.
In the best case scenario, creating content in series saves time and effort. Repeating predictable patterns in content marketing makes a message more memorable in the audience’s eyes and ears.
On the other hand, content series can also turn to boring, time-consuming black holes where your marketing budget and team spirit go to die.
Follow these Do’s and Don’ts of content series and create sequences that thrill your audience and help you win their trust.
How many have you tried?
⛔ Think content series needs to be big or long
Don’t think that a content series needs to be long and in-depth in order to work. A series can be something as small and light as sharing a client testimonial or a client question every Monday, or presenting your team one by one. The length is not the key, consistency is.
✅ Plan and create at least 3 pieces of content
To get started with a long-lived and consistent content series, plan and create at least 3 pieces of content before publishing the first part. A series needs to last at least three or 4 pieces in order to catch your audience’s attention and loyalise them. Having the first parts in stock takes the pressure off.
⛔ Announce the length of the series
Unless your content series has a clear intended strength or it’s built upon a time-limited theme, such as a theme day, month or a season, don’t announce the length of the series in advance. Leaving the ending open allows you to keep the series going as long as it feels good and cut it short, if it starts feeling like a drag. It’s like the Netflix series Breaking Bad which finished on the top of its fame.
✅ When unsure, start with a secret pilot
If you’re not sure whether your series can really carry the weight of being a consistent part of your content plan, start without telling anyone. Publish 1-4 pieces of similar content without branding it as a series. If the reception meets your expectations, you can launch the series with all the bells and whistles.
⛔ Stay stuck because you don’t have a name
A catchy name or hashtag can help you launch a series, but don’t get stuck if you don’t come up with great ones right away. Pretentious or too long names will do more harm than good, and you can iterate the name, hashtags and calls-to-action as the series progresses.
✅ Ask for ideas and feedback before starting
Before even publishing the first post of the series, build up momentum and generate interest by asking comments, feedback and ideas on your upcoming series. When the first post then goes live, you’ll already have an intrigued audience waiting for it – and a bucket of good ideas to keep the series running.
⛔ Let the series die without saying anything
Whatever you do when planning and creating content series, don’t let the series just fade out without wrapping up. Sometimes good ideas don’t feel so brilliant after a month or two, maybe the content creation was more laborious than you expected or the series just feels like the far-away aunt who came for a short visit and then overstayed her welcome. If that happens, wrap up with elegance and let your followers know the last part is now out.
✅ Think in seasons
Content series can also be seasonal. Many podcasters, for example, publish clearly defined seasons of their podcast, which can include 8-10 episodes. Then they take a break and come back with a new set of fresh content. Predictability is key: when the break is clear, your audience knows when they can expect more. If you just disappear, they’ll feel abandoned and find someone else to follow because they don’t know if you’re coming back.
What will your next content series look like?
What would you like to build a content series around? For inspiration, have a look at the calendar for theme days, business birthdays, major events in your industry and so forth.
If you’re lost with getting your ideas organised, download my favourite editorial calendar template below. It helps you plan the series, save your team’s time and create content that drives new clients to your website.