Episodic Content: Replacing Attention Spikes With Anticipation

Victoria Rudi
June 6, 2022
⌚ 5 min read

→ Your growth practice

Break your content into episodes and launch them gradually to build an audience around your SaaS brand and consistently engage your existing/new subscribers.

→ Quick explanation

Most SaaS companies invest great resources into creating and distributing singular content items. These items are interrelated based on a specific topic and type of content (articles, video, audio, newsletter, eBooks, and more).

► Quick note: You’ve probably seen an article page that contains a section dedicated to “Similar articles.”

Creating strong singular items will contribute to higher attention spikes reflected in your website traffic and engagement metrics such as likes, views, downloads, and more.

But these attention spikes will fade quickly, as the effective lifespan of singular content items is relatively short. As Patrick Campbell, founder of Profitwell, indicates: 

“The effective life of an ebook has gone down from 6.2 months three years ago to 1.8 months today. The max average touch point, per lead per week, from inbound, has gone from 3.1 to 1.4, largely driven by the expectation that you can’t send emails more than once (maybe twice) per week.”

Singular content won’t help you:

  • Grow your audience (after all, you’re not interested in chasing spikes)
  • Keep your audience engaged
  • Promote other content pieces

What’s the solution? Episodic content.

According to Patrick:

“You attract an audience on a given topic or outcome and then episodically entertain and educate that audience towards that topic or outcome.”

For example, you can create a show that teaches your audience a specific strategy and break it into several episodes.

A recognizable format and a consistent frequency are the elements that make episodic content different from singular items.

  • Recognizable format: Your episodic content needs a unique twist that will differentiate you from others. Let’s take the RevOps and Hops by ProfitWell. RevOps and Hops is a “show that uncovers the mysteries and truth surrounding the RevOps space.” Adding a twist to Patrick Campbell’s interviews made this show unique. Instead of simply interviewing RevOps experts, Patrick invited them to do a beer tasting. This way, the professional conversations were enriched with comments about the beers’ color, consistency, and taste, making the show more entertaining. Think about the Youtube show Hot Ones by First We Feast. The host and producer, Sean Evans, interviews celebrities while eating progressively spicier chicken wings during the show. Apart from entertaining interviews, viewers also get hilarious and fun situations. This specific format makes the Hot Ones show recognizable and unique.
  • Consistent frequency: You can publish an article or send a newsletter once in a while. Episodic content, though, requires a regular frequency. Otherwise, it won’t create the anticipation effect.

→ Definitions

📓 Episodic content: According to Rand Fishkin, co-founder and CEO at SparkToro, episodic content has to fit three main criteria:

  • Produced as distinct series with a similar structure/format
  • People can subscribe to it and receive notifications about new episodes
  • Builds a back catalog of the previous series that can generate ongoing engagement

📓 Media product: Content packed into a specific broadcasting format, such as TV shows, docu-series, podcast seasons, movies, animation, and more.

📓 SaaS media product: Media products created by SaaS companies as part of the brands’ growth strategy.

→ Types of episodic content

  • Podcast episodes: There are countless SaaS companies launching industry podcasts.
  • Blog series: The Our Startup Journey by Alex Turnbull, the founder and CEO of Groove, is an excellent example of a blog/articles series.
  • Newsletters: The Audience Research Newsletter by SparkToro is an excellent example of an episodic newsletter with a recognizable format and specific frequency.
  • TV show seasons/episodes: Some SaaS companies, such as ProfitWell, built entire in-house media companies around the product, focusing on creating multiple TV show series based on episodic content.

→ Your growth opportunities

  • Create the occasion for multiple touchpoints between your audience and your brand. After all, if people like your episodic content, they’ll keep consuming it.
  • Build anticipation and binging behavior, making people stay more on your platform and connect with your brand.  
  • Keep building your audience in time, ensuring that people will consume both new and old content/episodes.
  • Engage your audience consistently.
  • Increase brand awareness and brand affinity.
  • Position your brand as an industry authority. That’s easier when you create high-quality episodic content on a specific topic.

→ Case examples

>> Jungle Scout, Amazon Seller Software

🗃 Jungle Scout launched Million Dollar Case Study, a series that shows what it is like to sell on Amazon. As the series page indicates: 

“If you’ve ever wondered what it’s really like to sell on Amazon, you’re in the right place. In Jungle Scout’s 5th season of the Million Dollar Case Study, our team of experts demonstrates how to sell on Amazon — by going through the entire process themselves.”
Jungle Scout Screenshot

>> ProfitWell, a financial and subscription platform

In 2019, ProfitWell launched Recur Network, a media brand for SaaS shows. According to the Network website

“Recur is the only media network dedicated to the world of subscriptions bringing you thought-provoking content with insider knowledge and data to help you grow.” 

To this day, Recur Network launched shows, such as: 

🗃 Pricing Page Teardown. A weekly show where ProfitWell breaks down strategies and insights on how subscription companies can win with monetization from all market corners. 

Pricing Page Teardown by ProfitWell
ProfitWell Screenshot

🗃 Boxed Out. It shows the audience what happens when people buy from DTC’s subscription brands and then cancel their subscription. 

Boxed Out by ProfitWell
ProfitWell Screenshot

🗃 Protect the Hustle. A show about and with people in the B2B SaaS growth trenches. 

Protect the Hustle by ProfitWell
ProfitWell Screenshot

🗃 Tradeoffs with Patrick Campbell and Hiten Shah. A show tailored toward product pros, addressing the most significant tradeoffs SaaS companies make. 

Tradeoffs by ProfitWell
ProfitWell Screenshot

🗃 RevOps & Hops. This show uncovers the mysteries and truth that surround the RevOps space. 

RevOps & Hops by Profit Well
ProfitWell Screenshot

>> Webflow, no-code website builder

In December 2021, Webflow launched Webflow TV, a space for original and highly curated stories of creativity, entrepreneurship, and designing outside the lines. 

Webflow TV is offering media products, such as: 

🗃 Stories. Experience the power of visual web development through these real-life stories of creativity, flexibility, and success.

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Generation No-Code. No-code is closing the gap between idea and impact. Gain inspiration from four real stories of pursuit, empowerment, and the magic of creativity.

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Inside Marketing Design. A podcast created to help you improve your skills and have more impact as a marketing design professional.

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Portfolio Design. As a creative, your most powerful tool is your portfolio. Learn how to use that power wisely and responsibly.

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Built by Hand. To rebuild his neglected website, a self-taught designer and entrepreneur must discover his voice and carve out a place among the businesses he’s helped build.

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Your Career Design. So you want to be a product designer? Get empowered by hearing what it (really) takes to succeed in the product design industry.

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Creator Sessions (by ConverKit). An online event series showcasing the art and stories behind today’s most beloved musicians, artists, videographers, and photographers.

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Young Guns. A series that follows up and coming designers across the globe in their pursuit to become creative professionals.

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Trust the Process. What does the website design process look like for a freelancer, and what are the common problems to solve?

Webflow Screenshot

🗃 Design from Scratch. What’s it like to work as a designer at a startup in Los Angeles? How do you begin the task of creating a huge facet of the business: the website? How do you get everyone involved and on the same page?

Webflow Screenshot

And more. 

>> 360Learning, a collaborative learning platform

🗃 Onboarding Joei. During her onboarding process, the creators of this unscripted docu-series follow Joei Chan, Director of Brand & Content at 360Learning. The docu-series has two seasons. The second season follows Joei as she’s facing new challenges under lockdown. 

Onboarding Joei by 360Learning
360Learning Screenshot

🗃 Learning Audrey. Like Onboarding Joei, this docu-series follows Audrey as she starts from zero to become a Learning Manager. 

Learning Audrey by 360Learning
360Learning Screenshot

>> Appcues, a user engagement paltform

🗃 Voice of the Product. The producers of this show put eight product-led leaders in the hot seat and asked them eight hard-hitting questions about product-led growth.

Voice of the Product by Appcues
Appcues Screenshot

>> Buffer, a social media toolkit

🗃 Breaking Brand. It is a podcast series that takes its audience behind the scenes with the Patter Brands founding team. It embarks on a journey to build a direct-to-consumer business and launch its first brand to market.

Breaking Brand by Buffer
Buffer Screenshot

>> Klaviyo, email and SMS marketing automation platform

🗃 Beyond Black Friday. A docu-series focused on following three brands that are doing things differently and keeping momentum all year round. 

Beyond Black Friday by Klaviyo
Klaviyo Screenshot

🗃 Ready, Set, Grow. A show that takes the audience behind the scene of the fastest growing eCommerce brands to learn about growth strategies.

Ready, Set, Grow by Klaviyo
Klaviyo Screenshot

→ What to consider?


  • What type of episodic content should I create? Is it a podcast, a blog series, a YouTube series, or a TV show? The answer to this question will depend on your resources.
  • What format should I give it?
  • What episode release frequency can I sustain?
  • How much can I invest in my episodic content?


The requirements aren’t necessarily different from those needed to launch a content marketing strategy. After all, you can launch a blog series with the help of your content writers. However, if you’re planning to launch a podcast or a TV show, you’ll need:

  • High-quality equipment
  • Post-production software
  • A production team, which includes roles such as hosts, producers, videographers, screenplay writers, editors, and more

► Quick note: You can also use the Netflix strategy and release your episodic content all at once for immediate consumption. To build anticipation, though, a specific episodic launch frequency is required.

→ Your action framework 

📒 Evaluate your resources and decide what type of episodic content you’ll produce (audio, video, or written). 

📒 Choose a niche topic. You can go with a broad topic (your industry, for example, such as sales, growth, events, productivity, etc.) then narrow it down by adding specificity, such as: 

  • Productivity for remote teams
  • Reaching your first $1K MRR in sales
  • Events marketing for micro SaaS companies 

📒 Build episodes around your niche topic. For example, you can have a 10-step framework that helps companies reach their first $1K MRR in sales. In this case, you can create 10 episodes, explaining each step in great detail.

📒 For greater impact, create a brand around your episodic content. 

► It’s not your company’s podcast. It’s a well-defined media brand focused on tackling a niche topic using a specific format. 

► It’s not a YouTube series. It’s a media brand with a well-defined and recognizable structure/format. 

► It’s not just a blog series. It’s a full-fledged publication. 

Here’s how to build a brand around your episodic content: 

  • Come up with a memorable name and logo for your audio, video, or written series.
  • Design easy-to-identify visuals and illustrations to accompany your episodic content
  • Create jingles, intros, trailers, or any other identifiable element
  • Launch a social media account for your episodic content (if you want to grow it big)
  • Build your media brand in public by producing behind-the-stage content
  • And more

📒 Episodic content requires consistency, both in terms of publishing and format. First, you have to show up and keep producing/launching your content. A schedule and public commitment will help.

Second, you need to ensure that your episodes follow the same structure. In other words, you need a system to make things easier. For example, you can build an entire podcast brand around specific questions. You can come up with a list of fixed questions and ask your guests the same exact things. This will save you time preparing for the interviews and ensure format coherence.  

📚 Other resources: