How to Start a Web Series
A web series can be an effective way to attract consumers to your brand. Video content is extremely popular among consumers. In fact, 74% of marketers say that videos have better ROI than simple static images. People enjoy the intimacy of videos, and the numbers don’t lie: 44% of global internet users say they watch web series content every month.
Here’s how you can start a web series for your organization.
What Is a Web Series?
A web series is video-based, serialized content. Usually produced on a regular schedule, web series function much like a podcast, newsletter or other form content that people subscribe to. Web series can be limited, meaning they have a definitive end or final episode. Or they can be unlimited, broken up by seasons and brief pauses, but always returning.
Viewers return to the series each time a new episode is released, and the content of each episode can relate to a common theme or build as new information is revealed. Web series can be hosted anywhere, but platforms built for video, like YouTube, can amplify a web series’ reach and exposure to potential viewers.
Step 1: Define a content brand for your web series
To set up your web series for success, begin by establishing its content brand. This includes:
- A name that is unique and includes keywords such as your brand name and keywords related to the content it will cover
- A description that lets viewers know what to expect from your series and that serves as a North Star for you and your team as you create new content.
- A tone that matches the subject matter of your series. Will it be serious and business-like or upbeat and conversational?
- Audience personas that help you understand who will watch your series, what they are interested in and how they consume video content.
- A format that viewers can expect from your series and that optimizes the delivery of your content. Some formats you might use include interview, panel discussion or narrative storytelling.
Step 2: Create a content calendar for your web series
Before you even determine the topic of your first episode, decide on the cadence of your web series. Will it be a weekly show, or will you post new episodes monthly? Choose a frequency that you can maintain consistently. Then map out your production cycle for each episode, allowing time for storyboarding, scripting, filming and post-production.
Next, choose a topic for each episode and document them on a content calendar. These topics should relate back to your core business.
Step 3: Plan each episode
Depending on the format you choose, planning your episode may include storyboarding and scripting. If you choose a conversational or interview format, start with an outline of topics and questions you’d like to cover, and leave room for follow-up questions or conversations that may branch from the original topic. If you are using a narrative format, you’ll likely have more planned out before filming.
Consider how you will incorporate the keywords and topics that are relevant to your business and how you will deliver value that makes your audience want to return for the next episode. Plan out where you will insert calls to action and sponsorships, if you have them, so that they don’t feel interruptive to the main content.
Step 4: Film your content
Film in a place where you can be clearly heard, without background noise. If you’re filming in a crowded space, use a microphone to ensure the audio is usable. Avoid wearing clothing or jewelry that makes noise when it moves. Your space should have proper lighting. A setting that is too dark or bright can result in poor video quality.
Choose a video recording option that fits your budget and skill set. If you don’t have the technical knowledge to operate a professional camera or the budget to hire someone, look for web-based tools or use your phone’s camera. If wearing headphones, try to use wireless buds. The microphone on corded headphones can pick up sounds if you move and ruin your audio quality.
Read More: Check out our blog on maximizing the quality of your audio recordings.
Step 5: Publish and promote your web series
Consider where you will post your web series. You can make it exclusive to one platform or repost the content on a variety of channels. You can also choose to livestream instead of pre-recording your content.
Once your content is published, promote each new episode on your other channels. Email subscribers when you post a new episode. Share a clip of each episode on your social media feeds. Write an accompanying blog post and embed the video. Make your series discoverable in as many places as possible, and always remind new viewers to subscribe.
Web Series Ideas
Unsure of what to film for your series? Here are a few ideas to engage your audience:
- A tour of your office or headquarters, giving consumers a glimpse behind the scenes at your organization to make them feel like they belong
- Film at a conference or event your organization is putting on or attending, allowing those who can’t be there to share in the fun
- A “Day in the Life” video to give consumers an idea of what you or a team member does on a day-to-day basis on the job
- Take part in a “challenge” that’s being featured online, such as a popular dance trend on TikTok
- An update from the CEO or president on the state of the organization or any big plans