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Episodic content: give the people what they want

Ken Schellin

Written by Ken Schellin

I used to watch "Lost" every week. Couldn’t wait for the next "30 Rock." And when the next episode from "Glove & Boots" appears on YouTube, you know I’ll devour it right away.

Episodic content is addictive. We get comfortable with the characters, locations and format in a particular show, and we want more!

What if you discovered that your customers wanted to hear more from you? That’s what happened to Snap-on®. The idea for the "Diagnostic Quick Tips" series we produce for them didn’t come from a top executive or the marketing team. It came from the field. In training sessions, auto technicians asked for shortcuts and time-saving tips they could use with their diagnostic tools. National Field Trainer Jason Gabrenas realized that every tech could benefit from such tips. How could he reach the most customers with the lowest cost of distribution? The answer was clear: a web series.

A perfect fit

Episodic content is a perfect fit because:

  • The tips are brief, not warranting an elaborate video about each one.
  • Technicians can easily access the videos online, both on the Snap-on website and YouTube. And they often discover other branded content while they’re there.
  • Customers can select the tips that apply to them. Ford techs will eagerly watch the episode about reprogramming Ford key fobs.
  • The series becomes a reference library. Six months later, a tech might be faced with a problem and recall, “There was a Quick Tip about this.” He can easily look up the episode and refresh his memory.

When customers are asking for more content from you, that’s what I call success. What are your customers wishing you would tell them?

More content, less cost

Plum can help you produce more content at a lower cost per video. Rather than finishing one video and then starting work on the next, book us for the day, and let’s shoot as much content as we can. We’ll come up with standardized graphics and titles so the clips can be edited quickly. When it’s time to post the clips, we can add search engine optimized metadata and keywords, to help viewers find them.

In the case of the "Diagnostic Quick Tips," our analysis of YouTube analytics shows that viewers often stick around to watch other Snap-on content, and many wind up clicking the Subscribe button. These videos are not about selling a product; they’re about building a relationship.

We’re currently planning our the third season of "Quick Tips." Who knows what will happen - will Jason finally get off the island? Oh wait, I’m thinking of "Lost." What we do know is that loyal viewers will tune in as new episodes are posted, and that’s a win-win for everyone.

Diagnostic Quick Tip | Snap-on Training Solutions

Author: Ken Schellin

Inspired by Star Wars and the Muppets, I started making mini-movies as a kid- why stop as an adult? It’s just that my productions no longer star my sister or my cocker spaniel. Outside of work, you might find me puppeteering a character in a web series or planning my next international trip. From China to Cuba, Austria to Australia, my foodie wife and I are always exploring. And yes, the camera keeps rolling. Check out our blog at Now, when's the next flight to Mongolia?

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Related Topics: YouTube, episodic


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